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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Joy of Cycling


I was mounted on the cycle and was being pushed by my siblings and soon it gathered speed and despite efforts to slow down it did not help and the cycle crashed into the hedge, throwing me off with a few cuts and bruises on the elbow and knee. The memory is still vivid despite many decades that have elapsed since. It was my first effort to ride a bike and I am certain anyone who has learnt to ride a bike has gone through a similar experience. I was not deterred and was determined to enjoy the pleasures of biking for many years to come. The life tends to get adventurous when one is astride on a cycle. The sheer joy of the wind that blows in the face while whizzing along and maneuvering through the busy roads is unparalleled.

I remember that there was a public library about two kilometers from the place where I stayed. One day, with my brothers one perched on the front handlebar and other on the rear carrier I was merrily cycling along, till I heard a huge crashing sound and for a moment everything around me blacked out. Next I could hear the shrieks of my brothers. As I got up and tried to assess the damage my heart sank. The bicycle lay in a mangled heap in three pieces and it was impossible to believe that I was riding this till a moment ago! We carried the heap of wreckage to a mechanic, as fortunately all of us had received only minor cuts and abrasions. The mechanic assessed the damage and agreed to repair it.

The traffic on the roads was not very heavy and chaotic as it is now, but the number of adventures I had on road far out -number   ones on my scooter and car in the years that followed. I could never claim any fame like the fallen hero Louis Armstrong who won the Tour de France seven times till he was stripped of the title for doping scandal. How I wish that we in India, who cry hoarse for pollution problems and traffic congestion, seldom pay any attention to building cycle tracks in cities like Delhi and Mumbai and other metros to encourage cycling. Not only is it healthy, but extremely eco- friendly.

We have one of the most beautiful scenic spots starting from snow clad Himalayas in the north to Kanyakumari in the south with a terrain unmatched, but have never explored the potential of cycling and encouraged it as a sport. It is a pity that even small nations like Vietnam have a cycle track from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh  along the NH1 covering a distance of 496 kilometers as one traverses along the lovely coastline of South China Sea.


Be that as it may, I have once again got addicted to cycling as the life goes in a full circle starting from being pushed in a stroller as a baby to a tricycle in growing years and graduating to a bicycle. It is easy to relate to the icon Amitabh Bachchan who decides to explore Kolkata in the sunset years in the award winning movie, “Piku”. Even the doctors recommend cycling as the best exercise for the keeping fit and toning the aching joints. Though discouraged from time to time, my love for cycling has only got stronger.

PS- Images kind courtesy Google

26 comments:

  1. Cycle is an excellent means of transport for various reasons. Its use must be encouraged. Enjoyed reading your post.

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    1. Thanks a lot Tomichan for reading and liking the post.

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  2. Cycling is one of the best exercises..I had a similar experience like you...falling off my bicycle. I wrote in one of the initial posts on my blog. Folsom is one beautiful city which has many bicycle tracks. These days, I crave for a cycle again, but S is so tired of a cycle as he cycled to school, college all his younger days...he goes, ask me anything but not to bike :) I bike in the community in Summer with the kids :)

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    1. Absolutely Latha! So you too are a cycling enthusiast! Lucky you to get to cycle with the kids.

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  3. My kids love to cycle though unfortunately there are few public spaces safe enough to bike.

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    1. So unfair that kids are unable to cycle for want of tracks and congested roads, Rachna!

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  4. Ah - the joys of cycling! You write about it so well.

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  5. How I missing cycling through the lanes of my colony, enjoying the sunshine during cold winter afternoons. Nothing in the world can replace that joy.

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    1. Bang o, Akanksha! That is how cycling feels:)

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  6. I strongly support cycling for all those good things it does:) Lovely write, Rahul:)

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    1. Thanks a lot Amit for the support and the kind words!

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  7. I love to cycle, Got one for myself and earlier when the office was near I sue to cycle to work ..

    Bikram's

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    1. That must be nice to pedal to office! There are only few lucky ones to do this, Bikram:)

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  8. You are living Alok's dream. He wants to cycle when he is back and I keep on reminding him about the sorry state of Indian roads. Stay safe, sir.

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    1. Wow, how nice to know that Saru! Indeed one has to be careful while riding a cycle in India:)

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  9. You made me nostalgic Rahul. Those bike rides from my childhood (along with the numerous falls) came rushing to my mind. :)

    You are right... It would be great if there was more encouragement and amenities for cycle rides in India.

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  10. Thanks Raj! Anyone who cycles will have tales of humour to narrate:)

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  11. Cycling is my fav time pass and it's also good for health

    Regards
    Aana

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  12. Welcome to my blog Aana! Nice to know that you too like cycling!

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  13. Cycling is the best eco-friendly mode of travel! I feel nostalgic reading though your experience of cycling… although some ends with mishaps. Good for you to begin recycling and I too support for separate cycle track, which will benefit me as well going on my wheelchair :)

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    1. Thanks for reading Jeevan and hope you get more eco friendly places to make the ride of life smoother!

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  14. You reminded me of my college days.... Cycle was the main mode of transport fo r us girl students in Pilani and at the end of four years I had developed an emotional bond with it...you are right... We need more cycle tracks

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    1. Thanks Jaishree for mentioning about your cycling experience of BITS days it is fun to cycle around:)

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  15. Exactly the way I feel about cycling, even I wrote about it few days back. But I am unlucky I don't get to ride one now.

    I am glad you had a good time, and hope you keep enjoying it in future too!

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  16. Thanks Alok, for reading! Will read your post . Try cycling when you next visit India:)

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