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Cycling in Bangalore!!

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Public Transport

How many of you believe that
1. Cycle is a sustainable mode of transportation?
2. Cycling in Bangalore is possible?
3. You are faster on you cycle than you car in Bangalore?

Let me share my view on these :

1. Yes, this is the only sustainable mode of transportation. A study by Queensland university says that, the fossil-fuel reserve will be over in 37 years from now. So in your life time you will be forced to cycle or walk, so better do it now.

2. I do it, let me hear it from others. I cycle 42 kms as part of my daily commute.

3. Earlier i was taking my car to work, use to take 1.5 hrs one way. But on my cycle it takes 55 mins + 15 mins of cleaning (Bathing) one way. Plus i dont have to go to gym. Just to compare the two ways
Car: 1.5hrs x 2 (Commute) + 1 hr of gym = 4 hrs.
Cycle : 1hr x 2 (Commute) + 15 Mins x 2 (Cleaning up) = 2.5 hrs
You save 1.5 hrs .


Now let me hear it from you!!
~ Ravi Ranjan Kumar
Trustee, RideACycle Foundation
-------------------------
Tour of Nilgiris
http://www.tourofnilgiris...
Official Accessory Partner: Wildcraft
Official Radio Partner: Radio Indigo 91.9FM
Official Print Partner: Time Out Bengaluru

Comments

Naveen's picture

Bicycles - The Future

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Yr queries :

1) Cycle is a sustainable mode of transportation?

Absolutely - the only personal mode that can outlast any type of fuel.

A few quotes :

"When man invented the bicycle, he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision & balance for his convenience. And, unlike subsequent inventions for his convenience, the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here. for once,  was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, & of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle"   From "Hovel in the Hills" - Elizabeth West, Author.

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race"   - H G Wells, Novelist, 1866-1946.

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart"   -  Iris Murdoch, Author & Philosopher, 1919-1999.

"Let's have a moment of silence for every American stuck in traffic on their way to a health club to ride a stationary bicycle"   - Representative Earl Blumenauer, US Congress, 1948

 

2) Cycling in Bangalore is possible?

During my schooling & college, my best friend had been my bicycle. I used the bicycle to commute to school & college for over 10 years without fear of being over-run by other traffic. Today,  my son uses a bicycle to reach the bus stop or to reach nearby spots. We discourage him to go further on to any of the thoroughfares as bicycles, particularly school-going children on bicycles, are being systematically pushed off the streets with heavy traffic.

 


3) You are faster on you cycle than you car in Bangalore ?

I do not use a bicycle now, but intend to once the Metro is operational.

I also request some information - Namma Metro will not permit bicycles to be taken on board the coaches, & thus, bicycles can be used only on one side of the journey. Do you know any place in bangalore that I could buy a folding bicycle that can be carried on the trains ?

 

Some pictures of bicycle infrastructure abroad :

 

asj's picture

Amazing stuff

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Thanks for sharing this. In fact I am left wondering how much more the gains would be were there proper cycle lanes on the wider roads.

And you have not even stated the benefits of financial savings (include gym fees and better still, costs of angioplasty /bypass surgery).
 
ASJ
raviranjan.kumar's picture

Make it the present

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Let us work together to make the Biking present rather than pushing it to future.
I invite all the members out here to pour in your suggestions to to make the cycling a present then future of the city.

About the Folding bikes, Yes you have couple of good options available in Bangalore.
1. wheelsports.in (They can import it for you)
2. Srtida is available in Bangalore (With obvious bike shop, google it and get it)
3. Montague Paratrooperes (Sports one on St marks road, they import it)
4. Firefox, they have a folding one, but not so nice
5. BSA-foldman - cheapest one and heavier
Best would be to buy one get it along once you are abroad, however this may not be possible for ppl like me.
~ Ravi Ranjan Kumar
Trustee, RideACycle Foundation
-------------------------
Tour of Nilgiris
http://www.tourofnilgiris...
Official Accessory Partner: Wildcraft
Official Radio Partner: Radio Indigo 91.9FM
Official Print Partner: Time Out Bengaluru
Rithesh's picture

Safety?

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I almost completely forget until i saw Naveen's post. I too used to cycle to my school without any fear - that was just 9-10 years back. I used to travel on Cord Road.

But i just cant imagine traveling on these roads on a bicycle these days. With all those buses and cabs racing each other and squeezing themselves in the narrowest of places - god protect these cyclists.

I use the BMTC buses heavily - i have noticed the attitude of these drivers towards cyclists - for them this endangered species is a nuance and they consider it is their right to punish them for using the cycles, by going so close to them that they almost physically push them off the road.

If I were one of the cyclist and by Gods grace even if I survive any physical injuries, i would definitely get an heart attack.

Unless we have dedicated cycling lanes - this is extremely dangerous.

Raviranjan, i am just curious, which roads do you use to commute to office?
idontspam's picture

If not cycle tracks then atleast this...

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The Centre party ministers have laid out a four-point plan to establish Sweden at the forefront of the battle to combat climate change.

The plan includes a ban on fossil-fuel driven cars by 2025 with dramatically higher taxes for thirsty cars in the meantime. A proposed tax exemption for eco classified cars will be available for three-five years with an emissions guideline of 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Ethanol-fuelled cars will remain as an eco-car alternative but will be subject to tougher fuel-efficiency regulations.

Source
Naveen's picture

Sweden Takes the Lead - Petrol Cars to be banned !

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Hi IDS,

Thanks for posting this. This had to happen somtime, & Scandinavia had to do it, but I had thought that Norway would be the first as they are slightly ahead of Denmark & Sweden in the race to combat emmisions.

This is great stuff - & the cat is surely being "belled", at least in some part of the world.

Whilst at Malmo (near Copenhagen), I had visited statoil's ethanol plant there & had also noticed how conscious the public was about emmisions.

silkboard's picture

BMLTA's cycle tracks + electric cycles

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BMLTA gang had circulated nice and forward looking brochures about building cycle tracks in central Bangalore. Any idea if those plans have moved ahead? I didn't see anything in the newspapers lately.

Vikash (cvikash here) had shown me some new elctric battery driven cycles as well. I test rode one and it seemed really nice to use. You can either use the motor, or just peddle along in case the battery is out, or if you want to go faster.

Just can't find a picture on the net, though this is what it sort of looked like (image copyright of the respective blog, link is provided, click on the image):

Ultra Motor Electric Bike

While looking for photos, I alos found an electric cycle conversion kit. Don't know anything about them: (again, image from a third party website, click on the image to go there)

Click to view full size photo!

 

mynk's picture

Why?

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There are many reasons why people I meet choose to cycle. I had compiled mine at - http://ngopost.org/story.... Today I see a lot of them turning to cycling simply coz of the soaring fuel prices. I think Government should not use the taxes we pay to subsidize fuel. It should penalize people using four wheelers/two wheelers and encourage a good public transport instead at a subsidized price. People should be motivated to work towards a better Bangalore not encouraged to destroy it by widening roads and introducing cars like Nano. Interact to impact! http://ngopost.org/

Interact to impact! http://ngopost.org/

Open Up KhulaManch.org

ssheragu's picture

bicylcing

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ssheragu glad to know that Ravi Ranjan Kumar is arranging the cycle trip to Nilgiris More glad to know that this way he is spreading awareness of the goodness of cycling I also used to cycle to my office some time back from CV Raman Nagar. But the road being a busy road, the cyclists are always exposed to danger Ons suggestion would be to identify specifc areas as bicycling zones and allow only cycling as the mode of operation in that area Subsequently, roads can be dedicated to transportation by cycling alone This way the usage of cycling will increase thanks Srianth Heragu
GVK's picture

Is your neighbourhood bikeable ?

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Maybe this blog post - Is your neighbourhood bikeable: http://1greengeneration.e... - would set some of us thinking about factors that inhibit us. And bike enthusiasts might appreciate this photo-essay on biking round the world - http://1greengeneration.e... . My take on biking in Bamgalore - http://gvk-givingitashot....
Rithesh's picture

Cyclist run down by BMTC bus

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A American citizen was yesterday run down by a BMTC bus when he was cycling in the city outskirts. A very sad news. Unless the BMTC and cab drivers are educated not to treat cyclists as obstructions on road.. these things are bound to happen.

http://epaper.timesofindi...
s_yajaman's picture

Not just BMTC / cab drivers

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Rithesh,

I wish it were just BMTC drivers and cab drivers.  It is the whole lot of us. We are probably the most inhuman race that exists once we get into our cars. 

Foreign governments ought to put a travel advisory on India asking their citizens not to visit till the government gets serious about road accidents. 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Disgraceful !

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Our maniacal drivers will soon ensure that there will be no more visiting faculty coming here, especially Americans who ride bicycles, a species which at one time was on the verge of extinction but is now putting up a brave fight for survival !!

Vaishak's picture

I Cycle to my office

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Hi I cycle to my office almost every day. I started cycling about 6 months back. I stay in Girinagar and my office is in Infantry road. I have to encounter some busy roads and junctions on my way. Though it is not very easy, i have not had any real problems biking my way through these roads and no motorist has been rude to me barring some few morons. One has to show some attitude and convey the motorist that 'I too belong to this road as much he or she does, so make way for me'. For the bus drivers stay away from them but do not fear them. I do not know how is the traffic behavior in rest of Blore especially outskirts of the city. But the technique has worked form me till now and hope that keeps working for me in future. Regards Vaishak
mkesharwani's picture

I Cycle to Work -

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I cycle to work daily (4 kms one way). I sold my car & bike so that I don't have any excuse in the morning :). Cycling to work is fun. Couple of things - a) Start early to work (when it is not hot and moreover avoid traffic) b) I maintain some toiletteries at work so that I can freshen up after reaching office.
idontspam's picture

Cycle facilities at work

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The UK government’s Cycle to Work scheme offers tax breaks for employers and employees big savings on new bikes. However, the poll by Cycle 08 shows that it is the facilities in the office are an important consideration when employees decide whether or not to commute by bike. A lack of changing and shower facilities at the workplace is one of the main reason Brits are put off cycling to work

Source

blrpraj's picture

BTS (Bicycle Transit System)?

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What may be needed is a bike transit system (complete with the bike lanes, bikes etc.) A couple of years back a new self-service bike share system called "velib" was opened. We could adopt a lower-tech cost effective system once the bike tracks/lanes are in place. This system was featured on discovery and was really cool!

http://us.franceguide.com/article.html?NodeID=1&EditoID=88863

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUUyvhj-VdM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2kvjs6T_bM

How to use velib in Paris -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d40gx_zZUnM&feature=related


Making Namma Metro bike friendly

One bike friendly public rapid transit system that I have personally used is the BART in the bay area. We could similarly experiment with Namma Metro to make it bike friendly. The only issue though, the patrons using the system have to be highly disciplined and curteous to others.



simple solution - bike ramps
http://www.bart.gov/news/barttv/?&cat=27&id=156 

bike access on BART
http://www.bart.gov/docs/BART_Bicycle_Access_Parking_Plan.pdf

all you need to know about bikes on bart
http://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/      (I can personally attest to the success of bikes on bart with people from all walks of life using this system)

Bike share programs in North America

North America is widely blamed (and perhaps rightly so) for excessive consumption, excessive addiction to the automobile thereby being the prime contributor to greenhouse gases; but most fail to realize that in addition to other infrastructure for vehicles and public transport they provide -
1) dedicated bike lanes/tracks in multiple cities
2) good pedestrian sidewalk facilities
both of the above facilities being virtually non existent in India (one of the few countries  on the globe perhaps having the maximum number of pedestrians&cyclists but absolutely pathetic infrstructure targeted to this segment). 

Here are a few bike share programs in North America

https://www.smartbikedc.com/program_information.asp
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/san-francisco-bike-sharing-pilot-program-2009.php?daylife=1&dcitc=daylife-article
http://travelinglight.professionaltravelguide.com/2009/02/denver-introduces-carbon-conscious-bike.html


The challenges of making Bangalore bike friendly

separating cycle traffic from motorized traffic
- making cycing attractive enough to get people out of their cars (especially thos who see cycles as below their status)
- for a cycle sharing program..how to prevent thefts and misuse (a common problem other bike share programs around the world have faced)
- official government policy (and direction) to encourage cycling and developing cycle friendly infrastructure to complement other infrstructure like Namma Metro, Bus Rapid Transit etc.
 - the polluted air and the hot/humid climate may be a deterrant to a would be cyclist expecially those used to the comfortable confines of a car or to those used to a 2 wheeler.
srinidhi's picture

mysore taking right steps

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http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/bengaluru/mysore-mantra-pedal-your-way-office-737

Separate five to six-foot wide lanes are being planned for cyclists on city roads and Mysore city traffic police have been instructed to guide the cyclists and give priority to their safety on roads. KSRTC drivers have also been asked to give due regard to cyclists. Civic bodies and head of various offices have been requesed to create appropriate parking spaces for cyclists, Mr Vastrad added.

 

Government officials in Mysore district will have to pedal their way to offices on bicycles every Monday as per the orders issued by Mysore deputy commissioner P.S. Vastrad to all offices in the district.

We just talk in blr..thats all!

 
srinidhi's picture

news on metro and cycles for last mile!

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The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) has announced an eco-friendly initiative in introducing the rent-a-cycle concept to encourage commuters ride bicycles to and from the Namma Metro stations. According to general manager (finance) U.A. Vasantha Rao, the aim is to promote sustainable alternative transport which will help reduce gas emissions and protect the health and quality of life of citizens.

more here

It mentions that the the cycles need to be returned back to the nearest metro station..useful for the occasional user..

This will not work for daily commuters to work..guess they will need to tweak the tenders to allow this!

srinidhi's picture

j'ngr cycle tracks paint job..

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..aint working...not srprising actually!

the stretch between the Jayanagar 3rd Block and the Ashoka Pillar junction, two-wheelers and cars can be seen occupying the space meant for cyclists. Not only this, at certain points, parking signs for vehicles and the cycle signboards have been erected at the same spots, creating confusion for both motorists and cyclists.

Furthermore, the cycle track on this stretch also ventures into a bus bay, creating a major hazard. As the road also has many commercial establishments, owners of the vehicles claim that they have no choice but to use a section of the road for parking

.....

Gopal Kishore, a cyclist, said the lanes make no difference if people remain indifferent to other road users. “Barricades have to be put on the roads to clearly identify the track meant for cyclists. This track could also be shared with pedestrians as we seem to lack space for footpaths.

more here

Vasanth's picture

Today observed cycle lanes carefully in JNR - It is parking lane

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After reading Srinidhi's comment today I observed the cycle lanes between Ashoka Pillar and Madhavan Park. It is nothing but parking lane than a cycle lane. All the cars are parked on cycle lane. 

Unless it is segregated by a divider from the main road  width of  within which a car cannot enter, painted cycle lanes are only name sake coporator's collar up job. It is really not a cycling lane. Something like below as done in Lalithmahal Road Mysore, but, with little less width to prevent cars from entering is what we need. Divider need not be that large as well. A cycle if breaks down can be easily lifted out of the lane.

 

Sanjeev's picture

Thanks for sharing info of Mysore progress

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With Mysore DC Vastrad taking efforts in promoting the Cycle in Mysore and beeing tourist place,  it will really gets benifited

idontspam's picture

DIY cycle lanes

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Frustrated and unsatisfied with the city’s efforts in promoting bicycle infrastructure, bicycle advocates in Guadalajara, Mexico took action into their own hands by informally painting bike lanes along the city’s roads through a community event called Ciclovía Ciudadana.

 

srinidhi's picture

cycling from metro stations

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Come mid-October and the dusted cycle docking stations that you see around MG Road will cater to Metro commuters on all stations between MG Road and Byappanahalli. This after Namma Metro appropriated BBMP's shelved rental cycle project and put it back on track.

The Automated Tracking and Control of Green Assets (ATCAG) run by Kerberon Automobiles, which started a pilot project to promote cycling in the city, has won the tenders to start cycle docking stations for the Metro. The project will roll out by the second week of October at all six stations with 100-cycle capacity; high-end machines will replace the current docking stations around MG Road.

more here

I only hope they look at the end stations (byp) also. Having booths at Bagmane and RMZ office locations will provide a better option for office commuters. Will try speak to Arafat.

srinidhi's picture

more kiosks needed?

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The ambitious ‘rent a cycle’ facility that was launched as part of the first anniversary of Namma Metro operations on the 6.7-km long Reach -1 — Baiyappanahalli to MG Road — will finally take off on Tuesday.

more here

A wellcome move indeed. However limiting rental station to metro stations only is a constraint. There are many people, including the ones interviewed in the newspaper article, who will want to use the cycles to get to their work places and return them off there, closer to their work place.

More drop off locations need to be identified because keeping the cycles unused/locked for most part of the day at work places as Arafath suggests..even though its subsidised..is really waste of resources..

 

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