I've been riding to work for 3 weeks now. I'm not as regular as I would like to be but it's better than what I've done in the last year. It helps to have a goal. TFN 2010. What would I do without the husband's support? What would I do without the constant encouragement from my friend? Never thought I'd say this but I love my pinks. There's something about the riding-gear that gets me excited!
An early morning ride is the most enjoyable but not always possible. It's not too bad if I leave before or at 8.30AM. Afterwards, it does not matter whether I am on a cycle, motor-bike, auto or a car. I might as well walk most part of the way. Why does all of Bangalore head towards EGL, on the same route every morning, between 9AM and 10AM? Today was an 8.30AM ride. In other words, the cycling itself felt good but unable to enjoy the weather, thanks to all the dust and smoke.
The ride back is disagreeable on most days. Cars and bikes refuse to let me cross the road. Lots of noise and smoke. Auto drivers constantly veering me off the road. Perverts making me want to throw my cycle at them and drag them down the road with the chain around their necks. The list goes on. As my dailymile update says, today was better than most days. I crossed the main road in 5 minutes, as opposed to 15 - 25 that it takes me on most days. No speeding cars or bikes scaring me, no buses threatening to run me over. They all seemed to be well-behaved, as if finally accepting me as part of the traffic. Auto-drivers continued to be the pests they were. No surprise there. The world may turn course but the auto-rickshaw drivers in Bangalore will continue to shun road ethics like nobody's business.
The exercise is implicit, the savings on fuel and not having to stress over cheating auto-drivers or pick-pockets in buses are all remarkable benefits of biking to work. Another major advantage is having to leave office before it turns dark. A blinking red light at the back and two whites in the front will not save my life, in the glare of the high-beam traffic that speed by. It is as if everybody got late at work, realized they had to rush home to their 'personal lives' and had to get there even if it meant running over the guy in front. So, I leave early. So, I get home and spend time with my mother. So, I have time to play with Lucky. So, I have time to read a book and do my daily email. So, I have a life!
The downside is that I cannot have pit-stops. The advantage that walking or even a bus ride would provide me. I cannot stop to jump into the nearest supermarket for groceries or stop at the stationer's for the DVD I've been meaning to buy. I cannot pay a quick visit to the beauty parlour or pig out on chaats at the street vendor. It also means, no impromptu movie plans, dinner plans or shopping.
As the McDonald's ad goes, "Mmm, I'm loving it". It's not helping to be sitting on the laptop, if I rode home early and didn't feed the dog. She will hate me for it. The husband will hate me. Mother will hate me. Oops, where is the life I was talking about? Better go...