- In India, there are more number of cyclists going to work everyday than any other country, probably after China, but sadly a cyclist is looked down upon here, subject for abusive language even by the ones on the wheels of four wheel automobiles. We see everyday, cyclists being pushed and bullied on the Indian roads and hit often. Why so? Indian cyclist is a poor man, who can not afford to buy an automobile, actually. A poor man has no place in the Indian society. In India cycles are bought by the compulsion of poverty.
Now, it seems there is the beginning of brighter future for bicycles in India, probably only for those who ride expensive stylish bicycles and are attired in proper gear, look like pro cyclists and it emits enough to convey anyone that such cyclists are from the elite group of the society … BEWARE…
Till recently, I also thought bicycle is a bicycle … so what if its stylish and anyone riding this could be paying only for the `fashion style’… but a chance test ride on a Trek bicycle for 50 yards in the corridor of sector 22 market of Chandigarh changed my perception within a minute. I have been contemplating to buy a bicycle for the past a year or so, but I was not willing to pay more than Rs 5k for a good quality bike, as average bikes are around Rs 4k only. When I heard that the bicycles of Trek start at Rs 25k, I fainted and I knew I could not buy that kind, being way beyond my present resources.
But the quality of the ride, especially the brake system reminded me of some kind of safety features which are a must for a cycle. I have been awakened after Chirag, our son, fell off his tiny bicycle of one and half feet height, as its brakes did not work properly, even being BSA bicycle, best in India in my views. Chirag’s elbow was disentegrated badly and had to undergo painful procedure at the hospital and was admitted for few days, followed by a POP cast for more than 5 weeks. Chirag has undergone very agonising 5 weeks and we as well. We spent sleepless nights for this period, skeptical as we were about the joint and future growth of the bone plates. Chirag has been deprived of a`kid’s freedom’ for this period, elbow bent at an acute angle (very uncomfortable), but hats off to Chirag for not complaining much. He could not go to play with other kids for this period and now after the cast has been removed, his arm is not straight as yet. We have taken him to military hospital every morning for physiotherapy for two weeks. Chirag will NOT play like a normal kid for next three months. But I have promised him for one thing from my heart that the day he is allowed to ride a bicycle, he shall be gifted a Trek bicycle with helmet and much needed safety kit.
Imagine, the agony we all have undergone and I can not express about what Chirag has undergone for this period. All because of poor brake system of his bicycle. This is why I decided to go in for a bicycle which is way beyond my means. As we Indians are all used to saying – bicycles is bicycle …so why this kind of price tag… But when I look at the safety and pleasure of riding a bicycle, I think this is a great investment which will have far more returns on health than anything.
I have learnt the value of these well made bicycles after Chirag’s accident and after having done cycling for a month now. I have bought a new Trek 4300D and it has changed my life for sure. I used to think that I am another `Atal Bihari Vajpayee’ in the making, as I could not walk down the stairs from 2nd floor. Soon after two weeks of cycling itself, I felt the strength being regained in my knees magically. Now, I cycle around 22 kms every day, on an average, some days 35 kms and longest 80 kms in one day.
It did not take me long to sense the importance of these bicycles for quality, safety and fun… which could be greatly good for good health and live happily.
Now, I realised that how unlucky are those who look down upon bicycles in India and say – SO WHAT BICYCLE IS BICYCLE…
Blessed are those who cycle everyday … and those who have woken up now, especially after the advent of these swanky bicycles.