Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back to Biking

After a gap of 2 years, I'm again back to biking thanks to the biker-friendly area of Redmond. I was a pretty much enthusiastic cyclist between the age of 12 to 21 and pretty much used cycle during all of my high school and college. I had a pretty good race bike in my college and drove it more than 10K miles in 4 years. I loved it a lot and miss it greatly. I've always dreamed of driving around the world in a bike (though it might never come true, I can at least try to go for longer bike tours).

I recognize that biking is a win-win situation for all the parties - the biker, the road users, the community, the government and the mother nature. By getting enough outdoor exercise the biker saves time in the gym and keeps himself fit always. The constant flow of blood to the brain in long, casual rides helps in thinking a lot. And more, it saves lots of money over riding cars. For the other road users, it saves a lot of space (imagine a rider on a SUV compared with 10 cyclists riding in the same space. Though, it brings a slight inconvenience due to slower speeds, on the longer run it is always beneficial to the other motor vehicles. The community benefits by lesser pollution and lesser wear and tear of the road. The government benefits by greater energy security (even if there is an energy crisis, the bikers can keep moving), lesser dependence on basic services (of highway system, metallic industries etc.) and lesser gasoline consumption. And finally, we do a great service to the environment by using lesser materials (20 to 50 times less than a big car) and fuel.

For all these reasons, I'm back to biking and doing my commute of 6 miles from my home to office in this. In the morning, I do 3/4ths of my commute by taking the bike in the bus and in the evening I use the bike trails to come home. The bike trails involve going along a lake, crossing a small river, crossing a major park, going along various sporting facilities, climbing down a small hill and moving alongside alongside a freeway with vehicles going at jet speed. In short, a very interesting and thrilling ride.

For this ride, I bought an amazing race bike (see the picture on the left) and it is similar to my older bike used during my college. So, I love it even more. With its carbon-fiber parts and 27-gear system, I got it at a much lower price (after bargaining a lot) of $900 including accessories.

I want to go on longer tours too. To start with, today I went on a tour around the major towns of Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue at lunch. One enthusiastic MS biker organizes it every week and due to overcast conditions no body turned up today except the author - the 'brave' one. We went on a hilly track and I was gasping and that 22 km ride in lunch sapped all my energy as I was riding after 2 years of inactivity and have never driven on a hilly terrain.

But as it happens, I shall always stay 'brave' and go for more tours like these. Let me put future posts on other tours that I'm going to take part in it. Wait and see to see a great cyclist-blogger in me.

1 comment:

Ananth said...

Balaji .. Back in Full Form !!!