Us v. Them
I just heard an “Excuse me” which is quite unlikely on a Noida road. Naturally, while you are at 30 km per hour speed on a mountain bike, with empty road and a bright and sunny Sunday morning ahead of you, it would be natural to expect the sound of a horn or bell. To my surprise, he had neither.
As we entered the empty road, I spotted these two youngsters chatting. Both of them had racing bikes, wheels thin a few micrometres. What are they doing on a normal road with bikes meant for a stadium…wondered Smitha.
What caught my attention though was the line “I think you’d ride 30km at least. I can say that by looking at your face”
Ah, the face. That’s what Delhi-ites are all about: The looks. I’ll explain that in another entry. This was the Ohmygod moment, if I could borrow the phrase from fellow blogger and cyclist who blogs as The Drunken Cyclist.
A quick note about the new generation cyclists in Noida: It’s all about showing off. Most of us here think, this is what it means when you say “attitude”. Wear big brands, get an expensive looking bicycle, flashy costumes, no matter whether you are fit or not. Neither does it make any difference if you know or obey traffic rules. It doesn’t even matter if you’re not able to ride the bike properly.
So I asked the racing biker (on whose face it is written that he rides 30 km) if he has a flat tyre, while he was busy overtaking me. I didn’t want to sound offensive by pointing that out directly.
“I don’t know” he shouted, while racing forward. We continued our slow pace. More miles to go.
Less than a kilometre down the road we met them. One of the bikes now has both tyres flat.
As a cyclist to the heart I’m bound by the commandment “Thou shalt not leave thy fellow cyclist alone when he is in need.” So we stopped to help them.
Me: Do you guys need a pump for the wheels?
They look at me as if l am speaking Spanish. It takes them more than a few moments to respond
“Yeah. Do you always carry one?”
Ah, the sarcasm.
I pretend not to have registered that, and continue.
“Sometimes yes.” But I make sure well beforehand that my bike can handle the road I’m planning to ride. Cycling needs preparation.
You need to be fit yourself. The gear system on cycles is not meant to cover up for your unfitness, it is meant to provide support when the ride gets tough. It’s not about walking in to a flashy store and buying the most expensive bike that money can buy. But I don’t say any of these.
I tried using my portable pump on the lean machines. It wouldn’t work. It became difficult to detach the pump from the tyre. Somehow it came off without causing trouble.
I honestly wanted to help. I said I’m sorry. I’m not able to help them.
They call up their homes, asked for assistance. One of them says their driver is coming with the car to get them. Good then. I really hope they ride normal bicycles on everyday roads.
How’s the cycling scene in your city? Have you met someone with high level attitude that towers over common sense? Please share your story.
Image courtesy: http://bicyclemechanic.blogspot.in