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