Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cycles, The Most Convenient Transport!

We had been to the United States, last October.  I am writing about our visits to different places over there in different posts.  Still many are to come!

Until I saw these cycle stands in many places,  students and even elderly people using cycles in the States, I thought that cycle was prominent only in China than other countries.  Many students ride on the platform too! It was a happy sight. 

We noticed cycle stands like these in many places.  This photo is from an SFO roadside. Cycles are available for rent too, it seems!

We stayed at Berkeley and visited San Francisco often via BART Railways.  The inside of the compartment had separate place for parking cycles!
Another cycle stand at Berkeley

Cars also had attachments like this to carry cycles.  They come to the trekking areas etc.  by car and use their cycles to roam to other places inside the woods, hills etc.  We saw cars like these in the parking areas of Muir woods. We saw extra attachments for taking cycles in the local buses too...on the front side of the buses! Many people use cycles here, which made me very pollution plus exercise!

My son who studied at the Berkeley University and now my niece also is studying...say that nearly all students have cycles, some students use geared cycles too.  I saw many students and teachers too using cycles inside the college campus.  Good exercise to stay fit!

While writing this post, my son called from there.  He laughingly said that he lost two cycles at Berkeley.  Cycle theft is famous there than other thefts.  

I wonder why our children are not using them now! My sons were going to school by cycles.  Now, children mostly use school bus.  But for that, they have to start early to school.  The bus has to cover many areas to pick up students.  They come back from school also very late in the evening. When my sons were admitted in school in Chennai, the Principal said that he would admit them in his school if we find a house within 5 Kms. radius from the school.  We did that!

Hope things will change one day and everybody realize the importance of cycles! I know that parents are worried about our erratic traffic.  Well...keep this point in mind! Let the children use cycles to go to nearby places at least!

Be happy and stay fit!



KParthasarathi said...

Netherlands is famous for usage of cycle.The use of cycle has many advantages like good exercise,pollution free,no need for fuel,direct access to many points,no waiting, and so on.Delhi in 1950s used to be a city of cycles.With the advent of scooters,good transport system and long distances and oppressive weather, cycles have fallen in disuse.Ironically we busy stationary cycles to exercise at home.

Sandhya said...

K PARTHASARATHY: you say, stationery cycles for exercising has become famous now!

I remember seeing at least one cycle in every household when I was a school girl. Slowly, but many years later, they changed to TVS mopeds...then scooters, motor bikes and so on. My maama was going everywhere in cycles even when he was around 70 plus years. He was very frail but healthy. Now, every household has got a car, thanks to the IT boom.

Thanks for the first comment, Partha Sir!

SG said...

Use of cycle is more prominent in USA, especially in San Francisco and The People's Republic of Berkeley. In San Francisco, all city couriers (messengers) are cycle couriers.

Your son and niece are UCBerkely alumni! They may want to know (or already know) that the Head of the Tamil Department at UCB, George Hart, was awarded the Padma Shri this year. George and his wife Kausalya are our good friends.

Destination Infinity said...

I think, even adults should start using cycles for commuting to work, casual outing, etc. My friend tried it, but Chennai's traffic put him off. I like walking more than cycling, so am not considering to buy one immediately.

I was actively using a cycle until the third year of my college. Only during the fourth year, since I had project work, etc. I learned to drive a scooter and took that to college. Otherwise, I was happy with my cycle :)

Destination Infinity

Rama Ananth said...

Yes all over the west cycle is definitely used by mothers, students and everybody else. In Germany we are warned, to watch out for the cyclists as they ride their bikes like maniacs, so keep away from the cyclists. It is a pleasure to see young mothers with their children all fitted with helmets and riding merrily.
The thing they have proper lanes for the cyclists, and also they have good pothole free roads, that is an advantage. Here too many years ago cycling was the best means of travelling. Even my father used to go to work to Avadi in h is cycle, and my periappa used to come to visit us whenever he felt all the way from Anna Nagar to Beasnth Nagar, which is so far. He would come have coffee and some tiffin and spend some time with us and be back riding home.And he was doing that till the age of 65.
My sister in law still goes everywhere nearby in Besant Nagar only by cycle.
I can't imagine anyone riding such long distance like Avadi and to and fro from Anna Nagar to Beasant nagar in these times. It would be impossible to do even if the person was fit enough to do so.

Sandhya said...

SG: Good to hear that SFO's couriers are all cycle couriers.

Sent the news about George and Kausalya to my son. He must be knowing about them. He was there for more than 10 years. Niece joined there last year. This is a happy news! Thank you!

DESTINATION INFINITY: I think the traffic is not helping people to use cycles here. I don't see many cycles on the roads nowadays.

RAMA ANANTH: Your chithappa is great. My mama did that for many years. He was riding his cycle even after his retirement, I remember.

The traffic and pollution doesn't help cyclists here, Rama even if people want to use it. Cycling days are gone in our country.

I noticed in London and the USA, mothers riding two seated cycles with two pairs of pedals. The child also was moving his legs with a happy face along with his mother's. It was nice to watch them! They come by their cars, along with their dogs and cycles and ride them in the parks!

Shail said...

My son goes to work on his cycle most days :)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello greetings and good wishes.

Cycle has been very much a part of my life during school and college days.

Cycle is the common man's transport and considering the chaotic traffic conditions in the city, it would be ideal to encourage the use of cycles for short distances. There is also no pollution. There are many health benefits also.

My eldest son when he was San Francisco for a month's training moved around the city on a hired bicycle for sight seeing. He even rode on the Golden Gate Bridge and sent us a video taken with one hand using a camera.

Interesting post

Best wishes

Renu said...

We used cycles the went on scooters.Now the west is using more cycles and encouraging it a environment friendly, so we will come back to it. In Zurich one can get the cycle for a day free with some deposit like 20 CHF.take it in the morning..use it and return in the evening and take back your deposit..its free..

Saritha said...

I wrote a big comment...looks like i lost the comment.

Here once the sun is out cycles come out. You have noticed that buses too have a stand in front where people park their cycles and take bus for some distance and bike away with the cycle

Some companies give incentives to people who come by cycle and they have solar powered cycle taxi stand. Cycle are mostly called bikes.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: That is nice!

JOSEPH PULIKOTILA: Going out by cycle was the norm in those days. Even my sons used it for going to their schools. Now, because of the chaotic traffic nobody dares send their children to school by cycle.

There, in San Francisco, it is easy to ride a cycle. Your son must have enjoyed his ride!

RENU: Zurich method is very encouraging. If somebody starts that here, people might start using cycles! Anything free is tempting for us!

SARITHA: I noticed buses having cycle carriers in the front side. I don't know where the photo is!

Cycle taxi stand is interesting. We should have separate lanes for cyclists. Maybe that might encourage people to use cycles more, here!

I checked in the spam folder too. Your earlier comment is not there, Saritha. Thank you for writing it again!

Onkar said...

So true. We need to create a culture of cycling.

sm said...

informative post
India also needs such policies

Rachna said...

Oh yes, cycling is so wonderful. The only hassle in India is that with rash traffic, it is a bit unsafe to cycle.

Sandhya said...

ONKAR: Yes, one day we might realise the importance of cycles!

sm: And the policies should be followed!

RACHNA: Yes, Rachna!

Jeevan said...

Cycle is a dream for us once and only my brother used cycle to school for the last few years of schooling. Obviously the city is not safe for riding cycles while everyone rushing in cars and bikes... moreover people who went for bikes, don't look at cycles after that and same goes for cars. Wish people mindset change and turn towards the Eco- ride.

Locomente said...

Makes me want to dust mt cycle and start using it again!

Sandhya said...

JEEVAN: The attitude of people is changing in many countries, mainly because of the pollution and have started using cycles. Hope it catches up in our country too, soon!

LOCO MENTE: Please do!!!

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