When I was nine years old, I learnt riding cycle. Then my legs just touched the pedal. But to get down from the cycle I needed to jump after I stop. We had many techniques as kids cycle with 2 wheels were not available those days. We would stand on the pedal and do half pedaling. The joy of something carried us to places when we operate a mechanism made us think of cycles in dream as well. All my friends learnt cycling with just one cycle, we used to take turns of 10 mins each. Waiting for our turn and pleading elder brothers to teach us cycling used to be such exciting moments. After few months we pestered our parents are got our own cycles. Now each of us had our own cycle and we used to go on cycle race. Leaving both hands free from handlebar and cycling was a challenge we enjoyed. Other challenges were leaving one hand alternately, turning at 45-degree inclination at super speed, riding zigzag on the road and racing fast. We were least bothered even if our teeth broke by falling. Life was complete ecstasy with cycling.
My first cycle was a BSA-SLR. Then can my high school and tuition. Going to school and tuition and any shopping place was all easy with cycle as companion. I used to feel I am spending more time with my cycle than with my parents. For high school I got a HERCULES in violet colour. Wearing violet, blue shade dresses matching the cycle colour was crazy times. The cycle saw all my mood swings, super-fast riding when I am happy and dead slow peddling when I am upset with exam marks.
Then after few years when I entered post-graduation, the college was three kms away from my accommodation with no conveyance. Everyday auto or going by walk would not work. Having a Scooty would be unnecessary expenditure and petrol as I was still studying and not earning. The AMMA cycle given by govt. to my cousin sister in high school came walking to me brand new for free. After a first look I liked it a lot. For two years of my post-graduation this olive-green cycle was my best friend to carry my laptop and me safe and secure. The best days were when we friends used to go for dinner to the hotel two bus stops away just for paneer butter masala and naan in cycles at nights in pitch dark. This hotel area was said not so safe, but we believed in our cycles and the north Indian cushions would tempt us once every month. Watching “vinnai thandi varuvaya” movie in theatre with another friend by riding bicycle and parking in theatre bike stand when so many heads turned towards us was super memorable. We didn’t mind going in cycle as we were getting late to movie. I can never forget that cycle ride and the movie first climax when heroine dumps hero. The whole theatre was shouting loud “ooohhh… these girls”. While we were a breed of different girls who didn’t go to movie with boyfriends in bike, but we and our cycles bindas!
After I joined office there where FREE cycles inside the campus. So, all commutation inside office was mostly in cycle. We used to ride those cycles in the evenings as workouts.
Such was my connection with cycles. Now after many many years when I got to ride my own cycle again, I feel so blessing. No pollution, no tension, no strain… the air that blows on face while pedaling is elixir for my happiness. I need nothing more! Love you Cycle!
The cycle trends have changed. Now intelligent gear systems are added to latest cycles and people are riding 200 km in a day. Strava app tells lot of analytics, heart rate, travel route, distance, groups. But my only reason for riding cycle would always be the wind blowing on my face as I ride. It’s the best breeze that brings loads of memories and self-love.
Why this post is because I bought a new cycle: