Thursday, 30 August 2012

Cycle Need a revisit

Cycle need a revisit

What about a non-polluted environment and good health. In our own ways, we keep looking for ways to healthy living. Here's a viable option that's also an enjoyable one!

Remember the old days where we could just ride away with a bicycle to almost any part of the town? It’s so much fun to remember those days. Recently I came to know about so many cyclists who pedal daily to keep them fit and for day to day activities. I got interested in cycling and started just one month back. So far I had 2 cycling trips and those were fantastic. Cycling seems so tough to me before I started and I never thought that I will be able to cover 30 Km through cycle. My first trip was 35 Km and 2nd trip was 25 Km. First trip went well but in second trip we got 7 punctures and realize a need to have a toolkit to fix flat tires. The overall experience of cycling was great and I truly enjoyed it.

Having said all this, a thought came in my mind is not cycling an option for our day to day transport. I started thinking more and more and felt that cycling is a very efficient and effective mode of transportation for short to moderate distances. We go to nearby market for vegetable, milk etc and we can easily go by cycle. We always keep talking and expressing our great concern about petrol prices and being fit. But do we really care how we can save on petrol expenditure. Cycle as a transport comes really handy. You can easily cover the small distance without any cost, also there is no hassle for parking. You are keeping yourself fit without realizing that you are doing exercise.

Cycle is a gr8 way to explore your own city. While travelling in motorized vehicles we leave so many places within city which has a great scene or monuments. It’s gr8 way to keep chatting and explore the city. If we look at developed countries they have defined cycle tracks and cycling in developed countries are quite popular to use as transport and as a sport. India is far behind in this area. There is no infrastructure for cyclist and no one really think to use cycle as transport. Although there are few initiatives by Delhi Metro where they have started providing cycle on few metro stations. Similarly there are companies who promote cycling as a sport and provide packages to explore the city or places on cycle. But India still need to go a long way to promote cycle. While infrastructure is a challenge to develop there are other big challenges to adopt cycle as a short distance transport. Biggest challenge is to change people mindset, which sees cycle as lower class transport. That’s true at large extent, as we see only lower class people using cycle for commute.
I remember my childhood days travelling a lot on cycle but there was always a urge to go on scooter, bike and then on car. It is always taught to us that as you earn more you need to move to better vehicle. There is status quo and then there is comfort level. Cycle is always seen as a vehicle for lower class.


If you don’t have the infrastructure, you can’t expect people to cycle.”
The primary need to make cycle as an option for transport is infrastructure. Government and corporate need to create infrastructure to encourage people for cycling. We need separate road and shower room in the offices so that cycling as a transport can work. No body would like to sit in the office sweating badly and smelling full of sweat.
Indian roads are said not to be safe for 2 wheelers. So safety on cycle is another big concern. One way to ensure safety on cycle is to wear helmets, so that people take you seriously and give way for you.  

Traffic rules for cyclist, Interesting thought::

Another thought which comes to my mind is, does cyclist need to follow the same traffic rules as other motorized vehicle. Being a good Indian citizen we will all say Yes. But do we think it really make sense? We have traffic rules for motorized vehicle and then there are traffic rules for pedestrians. But it’s really tough to follow the same traffic rules as by motorized vehicles. Especially in metro cities where on Highway a U turn comes after 6-7 km it’s too much work for cyclist to go so far just to take a U turn. While he can easily pick the cycle and go to the other side of the road. Traffic rules for cyclist and pedestrians can be same. Cyclist is not so fast that they can’t accommodate the pedestrians speed. We need to make cycling more feasible so that it can be used. Also encouragement to use cycle is must, as we do’t see any one using cycle so we think it’s not a good option. More we promote and more we use cycle I am sure India can see a tremendous saving in terms of Petrol and also better health of individuals. 


  1. It is better, cheaper, but the mindset of Indians needs to change. We still think Cycle is lower class option, and don't use it.

  2. I like your comments on traffic rules for cyclists; that's an interesting thought and difficult to go against!