Bicycle and Me


“All those good ideas and easy to talk and debate but implementing is a different ball game”, my friend said on my ideas regarding buying a cycle and commuting to shorter distances by bicycle. He was absolutely right because I have made several attempts on several fronts and never brought them to implementation phase. Even if I brought them into implementation phase, it never succeeded for more than couple of days. Many readers who know me, know about it very well. My mother tells me that, “You do everything but all last not more than 2 and 1/2 days.”.

But despite knowing myself better than ever before, I decided to buy one bicycle. Not a fancy one but something that would excite me to ride everyday. I demanded this as my birthday gift to Monika and Monika agreed in a moment.  I reminded her that my birthday is coming and she confirmed that she remembers it. We both were very busy and we never had time to go to the bicycle dealer and my birthday came and went. I was angry and upset. Then we made sure that we find time over the weekend of my birthday week and went to the cycle shop and bought my ‘dream ride’ after so many years. I was never so excited when I bought my car, home, motorbike or electronic gadgets as I was at that moment. After the deal was done, I asked the dealer, how will he deliver the bicycle to my home. He said,”It’s a bicycle, you must ride it to your home. Whatever may be your reason to purchase the bicycle, riding this to your home now will make sure that you are serious about your purpose”. Not sure, whether he wanted to save the cost of delivery to home or wanted to really inspire me but I accepted the fact that I must ride it to my home.

My Cycle

Almost after 18 years, I started pedaling on a road. 18 years back, roads were different. Very less vehicles, many cycle riders and I was in a small town. Now, almost everybody has a car and who don’t have a car has a motorbike. Only some school going kids and people with less economic advantage are riding cycles. I was odd in some sense although I know there are many like me but I have not see any of them till now on road while I am riding. But it was fun to be different. It was fun to be noticed. It was fun to sweat like never before.

Now time came for implementation. I went to different directions early in the morning and made sure I use my cycle as a tool for exercise. That worked. Then one fine day I decided to cycle to office. Questions came about, what to do for lunch time. It will be difficult to come home during lunch and go by bicycle as it will be very hot at that time. So decided to park my motor bike at office to use during lunch time. So that pan was in place. First day was bit exciting and was feeling little shy as well. Wearing formal dress and shoes, with a laptop bag on my back, office access tag hanging from my neck, how will I look on road? Will people laugh at me? Will I be considered as crazy on Vadodara roads? Anyway, I have done craziest things in my life which I feel embarrassed to think of, so not doing crazy stuff is so unlike me. But that was a good dialogue to say to console my anxiety but the anxiety never reduced. The day I decided to start cycling to office, Monika had to go before I leave for office. She told me that press the lock to lock the door while leaving and she has the key. She reminded that I should ensure I am done with everything before locking as I did not have the key. But I as super anxious at that moment. I thought I am done with everything and closed the door and then realized that I forgot my purse and cooling glasses. Anyway, there were no other options left. I went to office without my money purse and cooling glasses. Cooling glass was important to ensure nobody can really see my shy eyes but man proposes and god disposes. I reached office. Nobody bothered to see me on road. At office parking lot some of my colleagues appreciated me for this and some questioned about where from I bought and other details. Everything was as normal as it should have been. Some rather said that , they are planning to come by cycle soon. I also realized that neither I am the first person nor going to be the last person who will come to office by cycle. All my anxiety was for the strange imaginary block that I had built for myself. Life was as usual.

Now it was time to continue so that I can break the 2 and 1/2 days mark which my mother knows that I usually never cross. Yesterday I completed 5th day of cycling to office. No issues, no problems and I am still happy. Some said traffic is unruly so it’s unsafe and some said rainy season it’s going to be tough. I experienced both in past 5 days and found no problem there as well. I am getting better sleep, my stamina has increased and I am feeling much healthier that what I used to feel. Nothing lost but many gains.

I must not forget that there were lots of encouragement that I got from my friends when I posted my plan in Facebook. Those helped me a lot as well. Although my statement about 7 minutes to office is not true. It takes not more than 12 minutes.

image

Hope I can continue this.

One thing I learnt here, there are two types of hurdles we face. The real ones are usually easy and can be handled, but the difficult ones are just imaginary mental blocks.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

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