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  • Writer's pictureThothathri Raman

Highway cycling

This morning I rode some unchartered routes deviating from the usual routes I take. This time around I took the Meerut road starting around 7.10 a.m which was a bit of a mistake as the traffic had by then picked up. The 38 km round trip turned out to be an adventurous one as the unfinished Highway landed into strips at places and the speeds of the cars and trucks were unbelievable even when the road funneled into a strip. And of course the constant honking behind you!

But then riding out of the city on the Highway can also be quite rewarding as you see completely new sights, lots of greenery, agricultural fields and simply vast stretches of land. Interestingly also wherever one saw there were cycles which was gratifying as everything from sacks of grains to an entire supply for a bakery were seen riding on the ubiquitous bi-cycle. Here is where one could realise that cycles are primary part of the rural living and transportation and it is handy for short distances and also it can carry load. And of course you dont have to spend money for fuel or even maintenance.

In the Highway I did not find any fellow cyclist with a bright helmet manipulating the gears in his cycle. The cycles that were on the road were single speed ones with heavy steel and aluminium frame. Interestingly I saw a number of Neelam brand cycles which I need to look up. There were of course the usual Atlas and Hercules cyles. Needless to say that I got some weird looks considering the helmet, cycling ride clothing, goggles and sports shoes that I was wearing.

The best part was while coming back I crossed the Hindon barrage and old Railway bridge with plenty of foliage sticking to its ramparts and a muddy river brimming with water hyacinth with its old bridge and almost two kilometres of bright flowers on the side of the road. There were hundreds of butterflies and bees scouting for honey and carrying with them pollen. It was a fascinating sight that made the trip worth its while. Cycling definitely has its own charm.

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