Wheels And Pedals

Cycle had really been my partner till I was teen. Later when I started my engineering education, I had to opt for public transport in the beginning and then eventually ending up with my moped. Years passed by and somehow from nowhere I found myself getting excited about cycle again. It existed at thought level for long time. But finally, my thought became thing when I enrolled in TV Week 11 (Tata Motors Volunteering week 11) with office colleagues. It was 15 Kms cycle rally. It was almost after 5 years that I rode a cycle, results of which were far better than my expectations.

We just had finished our rally when Hanish sir said that he used to ride cycle at least 15 Kms a day. I was amazed. Subrato sir was also an enthusiast about these extracurricular things. I guess we all were little excited about the 15 Kms we had just pedalled and now we were looking forward to do more. Eventually, we came up with a plan of cycle trip.

Fortunately, one of my friends was very good at cycle thing, so I decided to take his help to plan a trip for us. Thus, to start with, we formed the opinion to ride to the Prati-Shirdi, a temple which is around 15 Kms away from our city. The date was decided, cycles were serviced, and we were ready for our trip.

On Sunday, the 24th March 2019, at around 6:30 AM, we all gathered at Dange Chowk, and started our journey. We were going through the road which was almost rural. There were farms, rural houses on our way. By seeing some of the houses which had multiple cars parked in the front yard, we doubted if that is really being rural. I mean really? Those many cars?

As our convoy advanced, pushing pedals little harder, we found ourselves traveling through another so-called village. We encountered other cycling enthusiasts passing by. We greeted and waved at them. They also happily waved us back. Ahead, on our narrow path, it seemed like two teen girls were on the morning walk. But when approached, we realised that one of the girls, while walking, was tickling another girl in a very different way. (Looks like some rural people are really shedding their skin, and have started accepting bold things or, maybe I had misconceptions about rural in the first place)

45 minutes past, we were really enjoying the sense of riding the cycle on the way which was going through trees and farms. The air was very refreshing. Our energy was at another level. Sun was just entering into his business, birds were chirping and humans were starting their usual daily routine.

Hearing to the chirping of birds, Hanish sir said, “I also hear it every morning, there are birds near my apartment and it really feels good”

Agreeing to him, Subrato sir added, “Yes, it is really beautiful to hear them and I like it too”

Our chosen road was one of the two ways which could lead us to the same destination. But still they heavily contradict to each other. One is fast. Speed is thrill for it. Doesn’t believe in the ideology of patients. Neither anticipates in giving sense of surrounding and environment. It rather values the destination more. A Highway. And there is another. It is never in hurry. Calmness and patients are in its veins. And it believes in admiring the beauty of the way and the destination as well. A Countryside road. I was glad we opted for the other one.

After another 30 minutes of riding, pointing in the direction of temple Hanish sir said, “we are here”

Just another turn, and we found ourselves in front of temple of Prati-Shirdi. To my surprise, we were not the only cyclists there. On the adjacent wall of the temple, were supported at least 15 cycles. And those were the brands we (or at least I) never heard of! One by one came out the little groups of cyclists who had entered into the temple and everyone was wearing proper gears. All of them were looking pros. No doubt those cycles belonged to them. It was wonderful to see so many enthusiasts on the first cycle trip itself!

Later, we clicked some photos and selfies. To celebrate, we went into snacks (?) centre and ordered two Puri Bhaji and one Medu vada. Of course we were hungry. And we ate our Puri Bhaji and Medu vada with utmost happiness. It was very tasty. Subrato and Hanish also agreed the same.

There was a burst of laughter when Subrato sir uttered “It is like burning 70 Calories and adding another 700 in the celebration of it”

The return journey was quite challenging because this time we were determined to really push our strengths. The result? In less than 60 Minutes we were at the starting point of our journey, the Dange chowk! But we had some serious muscle teardown.

I stay another 8 KM away from the Dange Chowk, hence, after having a little break at Hanish sir’s home, I resumed my remaining journey and reached home sweeting, exhausted, and tired.

As they say, every journey gives an experience, thus, no matter how tiring or exhausting it was, there is a sense of achievement, joy and enthusiasm, which will flourish our next Cycle trip!

©Gaurav Sutar

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