Sridhar Raman is a 36-year-old software engineer from Bangalore. He is a part of the cycling community from more than the past eight years. He is a proud owner of a twin five hybrid bicycle.
He cycles to work every day and promotes cycling as a part of one’s daily life. The primary reasons for him to start cycling are noteworthy. He believes that it will reduce his contribution to pollution and traffic congestion and also keep him healthy and help him stay physically fit. He feels “The biggest challenge while cycling in Bangalore, especially West Bangalore, is the number of steep uphills. Even with gears, it was tough task climbing some of the roads. Even more so, as these were roads I had to cycle back on after a working day. Thankfully, over time, it’s become part of the routine now.” His workplace also promotes cycling as a form of commuting to work daily. They have a separate stand where employees who cycle to work can park their bikes.
Meanwhile, he confronts the attitude of motorists towards cyclists. In some ways, he feels that it is a manifestation of a caste system where the bigger vehicles like to bully the smaller ones. He alternates between completely ignoring the honking and being aggressive and asserting his rights on the road. On the other hand, he shares the time, when, at a traffic signal, a person in a two-wheeler stopped next to me, and said, “No petrol, no traffic, good exercise.”
He feels the motivation to cycle comes from within. His advice cycling for everyone, “Repetition. That’s the only thing I would like to tell people who have started cycling. Do it enough number of times and all the niggles go away and cycling through traffic becomes a routine task. The first month or so is the hardest when one is grappling with when to change lanes, what gear ratio to use, etc. In a daily commute, after the first month, that gets set more or less, and one can then enjoy the simpler pleasures of cycling – taking in the sights, spotting new eateries, enjoying a cool breeze under trees, etc.”