Mar 21 2010

2010.03.12-21 Bikes and Pedicabs in India (and Frankfurt, Germany)

India 2010 3-14-2010 Garmin

Rajokri Protected Forest

In March I was in India for about 9 days.  It was interesting to see that India has a very vibrant bike culture — as in many people were riding bikes and pedicabs (three-wheeled bikes used as taxis).  There certainly was not a diversity in models as you can see from the photos; mainly your basic 2-wheel and three-wheel models.  The air was very polluted in New Delhi, less so in Hyderabad, but it was still acrid.  

Cycling in not a recreational sport as it can be here in the US.  Rather, in India it is a utilitarian form of transport meant to get you, passengers or even cargo from one point to another.  Owning a car is expensive so using a bike is done out of necessity.  I went mountain biking with a friend when I was over there and we sometimes got strange looks.  Given that my friend has a full-time driver and cabs are easy to get and inexpensive, they find it hard to understand that we actually wanted to bike even though we had at our disposal people who would chauffer us around!   

Given the density and growth rate of New Delhi, it was in encouraging to see that the government had set aside some protected land.  Once inside the forest, we saw peacocks, dear, cows and other wildlife.  There was even a village in the forest.  We rode through it and the people seemed quite friendly.  When we stopped to fix my flat, the kids gathered around us to see what we were doing.  Later as we rode out we noticed that I was still losing air.  As we were replacing the tube an wizened farmer came by and asked to ride my friend’s mountain bike.  It was a nice way to make a connection with the villagers even though we did not speak their language.  

The people that we met in India were very hospitable and I really like the country.  Hopefully I can go back again — this time with my family.  

 Cycling by His Grace,  

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  _-\<, -\<,_

Click here for mountain biking route  

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Rajokri Protected ForestAutocabCycling to WorkPedicab Used as a Moving A Pedicab Waiting LineIs It That Bad?Pedicab Used as a Delivery Hauling RecyclablesTraffic Jam of PedicabsDrafting a Jet Plane on a RunwayFeet and BikesHanging on for a PullPreparing to RideIn the Forest PreserveDefeated by a 1-inch thornLet's Draft Behind HimMaybe in the Future...Vendor BikeJesus ProclaimedJesus ProclaimedCycling In the Frankfurt Airport

1 comment

  1. blueneck

    Very cool – except for the thorns. Those are pretty nasty, and there’s not much you can do about them. In the desert there were some pretty tough thorns too. I split a tube and put it inside between the real tube and the tire. That seemed to handle the thorns for the most part, but it dramatically increased the moment of inertia.

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