Monday, June 19, 2006

Pedalling away to work

Since i got this apartment only 2.5 km from work, i started thinking on why spend a pound everyday to commute by bus (80 Rs for a bus ride, that to standing throughout, damn im still converting in Rs, and my gujju genes dont even fade away)

So i started walking the distance, which though not a lot some times gets boring. So simply to be a little better off, i bought a bicycle. Thinking that this would not only save money, but also this is the fastest mode of transport for me, and gives my lazy bones some exercise.

So I went ahead to a cycle shop nearby, thinkning i would buy the cheapest second hand cycle there, and to my shock saw that it only sold new cycles. At first i was fancying a 80 pound one, but the salesman said that was'nt good, it was heavy, and with a uncomfortable gear shifting mechanism (damn i had never ridden a cycle with gears before how would i know)
So after a lot of confusion, I end up buying a 200 pound bicycle, with shimono gears (3x7), front suspension, all aluminium body, allow gears and powder coated alumium chain. The sales man said the difference on this and the cheap ones was between in porsche and a volkswagon beetle. (Damn that guy made a nice deal, after also selling me the most expensive lock, helmet and a puncture kit)
All my female readers (Ok mom, i was refering to you) might just end up saying, men and their machines.
Dont know how many men have been suckered in to buying jazzy cars, or electronic equipments which had a lot of functions which were unecessary, ot they simply didnt understand, but went gaga over them right after they spent a bomb buying it. Guess i am the same. And am sure this is not the first time i am gonna get suckered by some salesman in my life.

So after i buy this bicycle my daily commute by bicycle is only 7 minutes, but i take 5 minutes park it and lock in at the nearest bicycle stand, and 10 minutes to get it out of my apartment down to the street. Net net i save 3 minutes compared to walking.
And compared to bus, I shall break even some time after 235 bus journeys (did i here someone say pennywise pound foolish)

Anyways cycling to work is much more fun than i had expected. I am not one of those environmentalists, who say cycle to work to cut down green house gas emmissions, and nor am i a health freak, but i do feel rejuvenated after the journey rather than tired.
Also strange as it may sound, i get time to think and plan while cycling (as compared to walking or commuting by bus or tube) . Dunno why but when on two wheels, my eyes hands and legs coordinate, somehow bypasssing my brain.

also its great fun to try taking right turns, on no-stop roads with speeding vehicles, and me pedalling and frantically signalling with my outstretched right hand and trying to precariously balance myself.
Also cycling gives me a better perspective on the roads. Nothing else tells you about the incline of the land better. Even a damn 5 degree uphill slope can be recignised, and now i have stopped considering routes based on distance or time taken, but also on the gradient of the path.

the only sad part of the day is when i some person whizzing past in a 60 bhp motorcycle while i am on my single "nirav" powered bicycle.
I guess that too shall come, may be a year later (hope the city of london and its mayor dont apply the congestion tax to the two wheelers as well)

Also i found out from , that cycling daily to work not only makes you move, keeps your reflexes sharp, and exercises your joints preventing from them turnign stiff.
With a sedentary desk job like mine, i need every bit of physical activity possible.

also on the weekends i rode to Hyde park, some 7-8 km away, and the whole to and fro journey was nearly as enjoyable as admiring the sun-bathing beauties while in the park.

And now that i cycle every day, it gives me the license to pop another beer.
Which reminds me, enough rambling, time to open the can

1 comment:

Neha said...

Hey! came across ur blog thru a frndz. nice stuff here :) will come bak again sometime.