The authoratative guide to riding a bike to work in an Indian city 3


  • Should I do it?

Hell, yes!

  • Why?

It is faster to get to work in a bike (as in bicycle) than in a car or on a motorcycle.

Curse everyone when you’re stuck in traffic? A bike is your answer.
Not been getting enough exercise lately? You know the answer.
By biking, you are killing two birds with one stone – commute and exercise.

  • Is it hard?

Physically – yes, a little. But then, what isn’t hard? Finding a good parking spot, paying fuel bills are hard too.

  • Don’t you get sweaty?

Yes, take a change of clothes to work and wash up before you go to your seat. My workplace doesn’t have showers, so i take one before i leave for work. I wear a dryfit tshirt while riding and clean up in the washroom. I carry a towel too. Riding in the rains is a little tough if there’s no place to hang clothes to dry.

  • Isn’t it tough to ride in Indian traffic?

No, it’s not. People in India are used to two wheelers on the road and are aware of them – guess how many wheels a bike has? I would even venture that a bicycle is safer than a motorcycle on Indian roads.

Is it safe? What if I crash?
Yes, it is safe as long as you ride defensively. Wear a helmet – always and the right way.
  • What will people think of me?

Do you really think people have enough time to think about some stranger on the road? But seriously, the reaction i have got has only been positive till now. The age of cars being a status symbol is past – ride a bike and then you’ll see how many approving stares/glances you’ll get. If you’re wearing cycling shorts, double that number (i don’t – i think they make you look weird). But even a cycling helmet will make people give you way on a busy street.

  • Isn’t parking a problem?

Not really. If you own an expensive bike, you would want to be a little careful where you park it. I carry my bike and keep it right in front of my office door (3rd floor).
As with anything, getting used to it takes some time. And you can always find excuses not to do something. But think of how much fuel and foreign exchange you will save if you avoid driving a car with a single passenger. More importantly, think of the satisfaction you’ll get.


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