Zen and the art of cycle repair

It’s been a fun 5 months of cycling. And I have pushed my frontiers to doing 18K consistently. (I know, I know, I need to push it further! But usually the early winter sundown hurts.) Today I started off in the evening on the usual route: Home to the NICE road bridge of Kommaghatta road.

cycling-route

Like with most vehicles the cycle is only as good as when it is running fine. The moment a problem hits you know you’re in for it. This gets progressively worse with the vehicle size. I dread the day the Bullet would get into trouble in the middle of nowhere! (Touch wood!) The car is somewhat better, but I’ve had my share of scares. The time when the battery almost died, or the months I drove around with a punctured tyre. But somehow car troubles are easier. At the very least you don’t have to push it anywhere. The problem is almost always with tyres, if you do due maintenance that is, and even that can be fixed as the spare is always there for the worst case. Most of the time, with tubeless tyres you can drive until the next “puncher” shop or a petrol pump who can air it up. If you don’t fancy replacing the tyre with the spare yourself, that is. Continue reading “Zen and the art of cycle repair”

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Cycling Days

I can’t believe it has been so many years since I gave up my cycle. I had a StreetCat Rock’n Roll, a fully loaded bike with 6 X 3 gears and shocks on both sides. In ’97 it cost a heavy Rs. 3200! It was my incentive to ace the 2nd PU exams. Of course, it did not help that I kept falling sick and started using buses more often. But it was there. Before that there was my brother’s hand-me-down StreetCat, a single-gear one, the more common sight which I used from ’95 when in school till ’97 when I got the new one.

Most memories of cycling are about huffing and puffing my way up from Srinagar. I say ‘up’ because we lived in a low-lying area, almost like at the bottom of a volcano. To get anywhere I had to deal with crazy slopes! Of course, the perk was that I could reach home with minimum effort. We used to do this thing about stopping pedalling some 1.5 Kms away and get home with just gravity. And it used to work! There were only 2 tiny ‘ups’ and the momentum carried you up usually. Of course, there wasn’t much traffic also those days. And neither were there speed bumps placed strategically at the end of each down-slope.

So, after much thought, actually not that much thought, I went down to Decathlon and bought myself a bicycle. It cost a cool Rs. 18000 with extra for stand(seriously!), water holder and helmet (sigh, I did not need one back then!). That evening I promptly took it on a ride to my cousin’s place and back.

IMG_2087 Continue reading “Cycling Days”