Monday, 8 June 2009

Bicycle Commute: First Impressions

Today I drove my bicycle to work and back. My office is around 10 KM from home. I started the trip towards office at 7:15 AM. There was very little traffic and overall the ride was smooth. I was a bit circumspect about shifting gears and mostly stayed on the 4th gear (2-4, if you are curious). The trip was finished in 35:15.

While coming back I started at 4:45 PM. This time around I was much braver with the gears and was happily playing around with them. The traffic was medium density. I took 46:33 to cover the distance.

Other Notes:
  1. Switching from a motorbike to a bicycle also requires a reflex switch -- I was looking inside my non-existent rear-view mirrors.
  2. There is a proper way to shift gears, which every newbie cyclist must learn.
  3. Overtaking buses at the bus-stop from either side is not a very bright idea -- they will anyway overtake you.
  4. You have a super-power(?) which makes you invisible to Bangalore auto-wallahs.
  5. Major advantage at traffic jams/signals: you can pick up the bike, become a pedestrian, and easily come to the front.
  6. Cycling on Domlur flyover is slightly scary. On both ways there is a left turn, which you should be very wary of, if you are going straight.
  7. There are many slow-moving-idiots-on-vehicles whose egos get hurt, as soon as you pass them. And when this happens they will accelerate, causing problems for you.

    They remind me of the slow-moving-runners who increase their pace, when you near them. They feel that they are in front, and you shouldn't pass them. Of course, you are not really overtaking them consciously; you are just maintaining your pace. But they feel hurt and they try to run faster. You, being wiser, and a much more awesome runner, know that they won't be able to maintain the increased pace and happily remain behind them. Within 5 minutes, they are behind you. In 10 minutes, you are a dot to them, which seems to get smaller and smaller*.

  8. I'm getting overly paranoid that someone might steal my bike. I have couple of locks, but I'm thinking of buying another (better) one.
  9. The overall experience was good. You get to see more things.
  10. This point left intentionally blank (or is it?).
* When you are on a cycle and the other guy is on a motorbike, the last part doesn't really happen.


Rake said...

dont you get all sweaty when you reach office??

SmartKid said...

It great to hear that more people are biking to office. Even I bike to ofc 2-3 days a week. Its awesome and all the points you mentioned are very true. You can add
1. Ppl notice you as if you are an alien.
2. Be careful when you get off the bike ( like the way we do on motorcycle )
3. Follow traffic signals.
Do read and

Rohit said...

@Rake: I carried a change of clothes + Deo.

@Smartkid: Good pointers. Thanks for that and the links.

ROhan said...

nice. Welcome to the bicycling community in Bangalore.

do join us -

some more resources -

and more commute experiences -

Rohit said...

@ROhan: Sir, already am there. My cycle purchase and the decision to commute was all due to the resources from the community.