Mar 302018


Some Pictures of The Great desi Cycle – For The Love OF Cycling


Cyclist carrying national flag of India

A developed nation is not one with best cars, but with best facilities for a bicycle ride

When I was a kid a bicycle was a big deal. There were very few cars in the country and most of them were of Ambassador or Fiats unless you were a movie star then you had an imported Impala. The now discontinued Bajaj Chetak Scooter was available on payment of foreign exchange or waiting for 3 or more years. Metro was a concept that was still decades away and OLA and Uber founders were yet to be born. So most of the normal everyday families had a bicycle that was no less than the family steed when it came to the utility value of a bicycle.

Cinema halls, colleges, government offices had a special provision for cycles where you could keep your cycle, and when you returned the chowkidar would have dusted it and expected a tip in one of the smaller coins in vogue in those days. If my memory serves me right a 25 paise coin was a big deal and a 50 paise was actually half a rupee!! Anyways the point I am trying to make is that a bicycle was a big deal in India for a very long time before our roads became what they are today and if government statistics are to be believed more bicycle riders are killed in road accidents than any other vehicle drivers.   Does that tell you something about our nation? The big guys in bigger vehicles are regularly killing the poor cycle wallah and nothing has changed over last many years. Is that not exactly happening in other fields too? The big fish are taking business class tickets to London while you and I are threatened every day..” Link Aadhar Warna

Anyways before we move further you may want to read 3 of my earlier posts

Cycling Holidays in India 

Sentimental Over Scooter

Jugaad The Hero Of Indian Innovation


My interest in cycles was rekindled on one of my earlier trips to Europe, especially when I was in Amsterdam where cycles are a big part of daily life and the government actually encourages people to use bicycles and has made special lanes for bicycles. Something similar was started in the IT part of Hyderabad in the Gachibowli -Hitech city area though I am not sure how successful it is as of now. But we actually need this in every major city in India and let people do at least the last mile connectivity from their office to Metro ( say in Delhi NCR ) and from Metro to home on cycles with the government providing the necessary infrastructure in form of cycle lanes etc. But in all honesty, this seems like a pipe dream as of now with our Bhai logs in Gurugram taking pride in the biggest and baddest SUV available in the market who are only too happy to flout every single traffic rule leave aside driving safely for the sake of a cyclist.

But the good news is that all is not lost for the bicycle. Slowly and steadily it is making a comeback, though more as a recreational equipment in the big cities and as an adventure activity partner in the rugged terrains of places like Leh, Spiti, and even places like Hampi. The better news is that middle India and the mofussil India never truly abandoned the cycle. While most folks may have migrated to the bikes and cars the cycle kept a low profile but continued to be used by few loyal folks and those who could not afford anything else.  In small-town India from Majuli in Assam to the White Rann of Kutch you will find folks using cycle for various purposes. From kids going school on a bicycle to farmers carrying fodder for animals you will find that the bicycle may have vanished from the consciousness of the big city folks but it actually never left the heart and soul of India.

Pictures of Cycles from Clicked during Travel in India

Dear reader in this post let me share some pictures that I clicked on India during my travels. Most pictures are self-explanatory with the Instagram caption in them but I am added where needed some quote about the bicycle that may suit the picture.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving….. Albert Einstein

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When I spotted Vikram running as I was clicking the melting Sun in Rann, I had no idea why he was running. (Check earlier post ) But he soon emerged with his blue bicycle and showed us his newly acquired riding skills. Soon his proud father and mother also joined and blissfully looked at the antics of their Sun.⠀ A Sun setting in the Sky a Son showcasing his cycling skills to the blessings of a proud mother, such is the life and colors in the White Rann Of Kutch often mistakenly called barren. Trust me there are more colors and life in the Rann of Kutch than you can imagine. Just another beautiful day on a @darterphoto trip.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #Cycling⠀ #bicycle⠀ #sunset⠀ #rann⠀ #GujaratTourism⠀ #IncredibleIndia⠀ #everydayindia⠀ #Cntgiveitashot⠀ #lpmi⠀ #bbctravel⠀ #_soi⠀ #_coi⠀ #streetsofindia⠀ #streetphotography⠀ #panning⠀ #nikonasia⠀ #portraits⠀ #landscape⠀ #desi_diaries⠀ #travelblogger⠀ #mypixeldiary⠀ #indianshutterbugs⠀ #desiHumans⠀ BTW: Are you joining for the January edition of the desi Traveler digest? Just follow and tag @desitraveler using #desiTraveler for a chance to be featured on my blog.

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One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle…… Michael Palin

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Ever been to middle India? Ever seen a desi #cycle? The mofussil villages, Kasbahs and the likes where kids still roam free on the streets? If you have been then you will notice underfed kids riding oversize cycles in a strange manner? The bicycle in these homes is purely utilitarian with the only exception being a rare family outing on the cycle to the local haat. No tricycle, no learning cycle with supporting wheels for these kids, one day when dad is away they just sneak out the big cycle they have been eyeing and hit the road.The underfed kids with the oversize bicycle learn to ride it what we call " Krenchy Style" in North India. Bruised knees, chaotic traffic, potholes that were used to test run the Mars Rover, nothing stops these kids to learn to ride a bicycle when dad is away. So ladies and the Odd Gentleman still left out there let me present you my first image in the series > A desi Bicycle 🙂 ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #bicycle⠀ #everydayindia⠀ #cntgiveitashot⠀ #ruralindai⠀ #boy⠀ #portrait⠀ #portraiture⠀ #portraitphotography⠀ #monochromeindia⠀ #desi_diaries⠀ #discover_india⠀ #telangana⠀ #portraitgames⠀ #portraits_ig⠀ #Portraitmood⠀ #monochrome⠀ #bnw⠀ #mountainbike⠀ #cycling⠀ #huffpostgram⠀ #cyclingpics⠀ #cyclingphotos⠀ #_soi⠀ #streetsofindia⠀ #incredibleindia⠀ #OnePhotoOneIndia ... ............... The latest edition of the desi traveler digest is now live and you can go to my blog and check who all have been featured if you want to participate just tag and @desitraveler using #desitraveler in your images

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When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me……… Emo Philips

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Image 2 in the Cycle series :)⠀ Remember Dev Anand and Mumtaj on the #cycle? They were crooning⠀ ⠀ Hey Main ne kasam Lee⠀ Leee⠀ Hey Tuune kasam Lee⠀ Lee⠀ nahin Honge Judaa Ham⠀ ⠀ The song has all the classical love elements of Bollywood including the ⠀ ⠀ famous #SarsonKeKhet, this was much before King Khan made them popular once again.⠀ So dear love birds on this 14th February that is celebrated as the #Vday the world over, let me give you the original Bollywood date Vehicle. The great Indian #Bicycle ⠀ This picture of a bicycle with #Sunset in Sarson Ke Khets was taken near #Ludhiana in #Punjab.,⠀ ,⠀ ,⠀ ,⠀ ,⠀ ⠀ ,⠀ ,⠀ ,⠀ ⠀ ===========================================⠀ ⠀ Q> Have you checked the Jan edition of the travel digest? Head to the blog and if you would like to be featured follow @desitraveler and use #desiTraveler in your images

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The bicycle is a former child’s toy that has now been elevated to icon status because, presumably, it can move the human form from pillar to post without damage to the environment. …… Brock Yates

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Just another post in the #Cycle series >⠀ ⠀ These brothers were carrying rotis for breakfast for their class fellows in the Madrasa they study. Too shy to stop and talk, I just had a moment to click the twinkle in their eyes and the cute smile on there faces. .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #desidiaries #desiSmiles #SmilesOfIndia⠀ #desiFaces #desiHumans #travel #smilesofinstagram #Delhi #sodelhi #streetsofdelhi ##streetsofindia #Street #streetphotography #streetsphotographers #travelblog #travelbloggers #delhibloggers #dfordelhi #India #incredibleindia #_soi #clickitshareit #intach #delhiheritage #monuments #incredibleIndia ⠀ ====================================⠀ ⠀ BTW: Have you checked the January travel digest? If not go ahead check and if you would like to be featured then tag & follow @desiTraveler using #desiTraveler

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To learn to ride a bicycle, as with the other great noble human inventions, is a hugely complex activity. Generally, it requires three things: the learner, the teacher, and the bicycle, all in the same place at the same time, most often outside someplace…… Chris Raschka

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A slow shutter speed post in the #Cycle series. Cochin is not a small town, but Fort Kochi area is a quaint little corner that is still friendly to cycling. That is where I met Mr. Tom clicked, here at a very slow shutter speed on his cycle he regularly uses to commute around. The ambassador you see in the background once belonged to his father and now no longer meets the emission standards, but Mr. Tom has taken special permission to keep it and rides it once in a while to keep the engine running, but for everything else he has his trusted bicycle. If you are in Fort Kochi area you will find Mr. Tom's at his quaint little cafe - Vasco Cafe right next to " Art of Bicycle Trips" walking distance from Kochi Head Post office. Give him a visit the Appams and Coffee served is one of the best and this is coming from a tea drinker :)⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ ⠀ #desidiaries #desiSmiles #SmilesOfIndia⠀⠀ #desiFaces #desiHumans #travel #smilesofinstagram #FortKochi #visitKerala #Godsowncountry #bicycle #streetsofKerala #streetsofindia #Street #streetphotography #streetsphotographers #travelblog #travelbloggers #Ambassador #slowshutter #slowshutterspeed #India #incredibleindia #_soi #jj_forum_2279 #incredibleIndia ⠀⠀ ==============⠀ PS: Last few days to submit for the #desiTraveler digest. Check the link in bio if you would like to be featured.

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I simply haven’t the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds. ……… Quentin Crisp

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An #8mmfishey lens is the last thing you would want to use for a #Portrait. But guess what nobody told me that & I as I was standing on the street fiddling with the manual Rokinon lens the first day I got it, this #flower / #plant seller was wondering what I am trying to do. You see in the age of mobile mania struggling with manual settings of a camera is very amusing for most people. Anyways once I was able to figure how I shoved in the camera in the face of the poor guy. I don't know what to make out of this portrait or if it can even be called a portrait 🙂 But guess what I am totally loving my #8mm manual lens 🙂 So what do you say? What is the smallest focal length you click with? Do you still use a manual lens or you have gone all Auto? ====================================================================== For the November 2017 travel digest entries close on 30th of November. Want to get featured? Just follow @desiTraveler & use #desiTraveler in your Instagram images, it is that simple. Check the earlier digests on desi Traveler blog. . . . . . . . . . #_foi #desiHumans #_soi #streetsofindia #travelblogger #cntgiveitashot #everydayindia #indianshutterbugs #isbtraveler #Portraits #Portraits_ig #Majestic_people #portrait_society #portraitphotography #Portraitpage #portraitmood #flowersofinstagram #travelblogger #gurgaon #sodelhi #dfordelhi #CNTGiveitashot

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The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. …… Christopher Morley ( and to add to that of photographers too 🙂 )

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One more in the #Cycle series. Have you checked the earlier pics in this series. This one has an interesting story just like the other ones. The image was made in Old Hyderabad and I wanted to click portrait of the elder brother but he was too shy to get clicked and would not agree to be clicked. So I asked his younger brother would you like to be clicked and the younger one nodded yes after looking at his mother who encouraged him to be clicked. So I asked the elder one ⠀ "Would you hold your brother on cycle so that I can click him, I think he will look really good on the cycle."⠀ As a responsible elder brother he agreed and I clicked the younger one. After clicking I showed the pic to the brothers and we all had a great laugh.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #bicycle⠀⠀ #everydayindia⠀⠀ #cntgiveitashot⠀⠀ #Hyderabad⠀ #boy⠀⠀ #portrait⠀⠀ #portraiture⠀⠀ #portraitphotography⠀⠀⠀ #desi_diaries⠀⠀ #discover_india⠀⠀ #telangana⠀⠀ #portraitgames⠀⠀ #portraits_ig⠀⠀ #Portraitmood⠀⠀ #jj_forum_2281 #mountainbike⠀⠀ #cycling⠀⠀ #huffpostgram⠀⠀ #cyclingpics⠀⠀ #cyclingphotos⠀⠀ #_soi⠀⠀ #streetsofindia⠀⠀ #incredibleindia⠀⠀ ... ...............⠀ The latest edition of the desi traveler digest is now live and you can go to my blog and check who all have been featured if you want to participate just tag and @desitraveler using #desitraveler in your images

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To these ideals which were instilled in me when I was a youth, I attribute in a large degree the success that was mine on the bicycle tracks of the world…… Major Taylor

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Ladakh 9/15 Panting after walking 10 steps I settled on gravel to catch my breath and tried to focus my camera on the peak beyond the morning mist rising from the valley below. As I struggled to focus, a bouquet of colors punctured the monopoly of the monotonous dusty landscape around me, the clouds parted to let the blue skies also have a peek at what I was doing. I wondered what is coming our way from the road far away till the bouquet of colors started spreading. I wondered what is so colorful and is climbing this steep road in Ladakh. As the colors started splashing on the roads a row of cyclist started taking shape. I almost abused in disbelief," Bloody ( replace it with your favorite cuss word ) I can't even walk in this rarified air and these fellows are cycling uphill and god knows from where they started. My disbelief vanished when the cyclists waved and passed on their infectious enthusiasm and smiles to me. I am telling you guys one of these days I will buy a mountain bike and hang colorful clothes on it and if all works well I may even enter those clothes. And in case my wife jee is reading this please note > I will buy a mountain bike and take it for a ride in Gurgaon if not in Ladakh 🙂 . . . . . . . . . . . #Ladakh #Cycling #Mountainbikeing #sportscycle #cyclinglife #cyclingpics #desi_diaries #ladakhdiaries #smilesofindia #streetsofindia #Highwaysofindia #travelrealindia #incredibleindia #cntgiveitashot #bbctravel #everydayindia #streetsofindia #_coi #colorsofindia #julley #adventure #roadtrip #desiTraveler #discover_india

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I really don’t like the gym. I like experiences, so I take any chance I get to go on a bicycle or on a hike. …. Blake Lively

If I can bicycle, I bicycle. David Attenborough

And my personal favorite >> If I can bicycle, I bicycle. David Attenborough ( This style of learning to ride a bicycle is called Kenchi style ( scissors style ) and kids in India learn riding like this )


One day hopefully I will be able to cycle as much as I want to, as of now I can only imagine the day but I do hope with the increasing awareness about health and environment we will have more people riding a bicycle with the government also pitching in to create the necessary infrastructure in our cities for safety of cyclists.

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cycle race hyderabad

🙂 🙂 🙂


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  2 Responses to “An Ode To The Great desi Bicycle”

Comments (2)
  1. Excellent captures, Prasad
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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