Short cycling experiences in Mumbai aka Bombay

A short collection of experiences on my usage of the foldie during the last week of Nov

Surprise begins at home
Day before the trip, I was asked – so you are taking a taxi right. I say-no I am biking.

Surprise continues in the train.
Folks who meet me seem intrigued by the cycle under the seat. Sometimes I think the train authorities don’t object because they believe its a wheelchair.

Surprise continues on the road.
The taxi drivers looked at my luggage , and as usual started soliciting. Curious look on their faces as I opened up my commute vehicle 🙂

On a Ride from Khar to Borivali on the Western Express Highway
Pollution,pollution,pollution. The alternative was to ride in the local train.I chose the former. the roads were far worse than JC Road in Bangalore. It became better after Malad when the traffic was less, and was quite okay in Borivali,possibly due to thenationalpark nearby. Borivali, I swear was a good 2-3 degrees colder than the western suburbs. I faced a glare from  a Traffic Cop. He wasn’t happy that I was using the flyover(s). I gesticulated that there was no board around, and he let me continue.

Then there was this gent with a pillion rider who came close to me.
Motorcyclist:Wow  you are fast boss. How much do you ride?
Maybe an average of 20km.
Motorcyclist:That is not much.I’ve been seeing you forthe last 10km or so. That doesn’t explain that you are riding like this.
Me: Most regular cyclists ride much faster. Guess you are probably stuck in traffic that makes you think I am fast.I do  do weekend rides of 100+km.
He wished me the best and moved on.

Another lady came by and asked me , how much I ride everyday, and was curious about the unusual cycle. I explained that its a folding cycle that I can carry around. She hadn’t seen me on this road, and my cycle does stand out.I explained that I was visiting Mumbai.

The foldie’s adventures on a local train.
Sharad Pawar’s party apparently had a lot of supporters around Mira Road. So a lot of trains were cancelled. I bought a ticket and wanted to take my cycle on the train. Ended up waiting 30mins for a train.And to top it, Borivili Platform 7 is at the end of platform 1,so had to walk and lug my cycle for half a km. Another gent who was going to Malad got in, and so did a few vendors. Once inside they got quite curious about my foldie,and I offered to do a demonstration, once the train left the platform. Given that the train was not crowded, after the train left Borivali, I showed them how the whole thing folds and unfolds. This started  a conversation. One man, who happenned to be a street vendor in Borivili was going back to Mahim.He told me that he used to cycle a lot in his hometown Thiruvannamalai.  He wanted to buy a cycle for his young son, but the tag of Rs 50k was not affordable. He had gone to a shop that sold high-end bikes. The guy who got into the compartment behind me confided that he had entered the luggage compartment hoping to see how my cycle works and thanked me for showing it to him.

At the  bus stand in namma Bengaluru.
Auto rickshaw driver asks me why I am  denying the likes of him a livelihood and the chance to earn 200-300 rupees. I reply that he would probably see a max of 2-3 persons in Bangalore getting around like this.

Random queries about the bicycle.

  1. Sir aapne koi alteration kiya kya isme? (Did you alter/remodel the cycle)
  2. Sir, does this belong to your son?

13 thoughts on “Short cycling experiences in Mumbai aka Bombay

  1. Enjoyed your account of the trip to Bombay , what is the make of your foldie ? I am a bangalorean.
    Please let me know some more about the options available and what do you do you recommend since I am interested in going in for a foldie for city use and as an mtd for trails.
    Thank you. And ride safe ,
    Omer kaiser

  2. Nice , So which foldie do you have . If you could take it in Mumbai local then it should be very easy to take it regular trains ..


  3. 1) Forgot to mention that the train ride was the day our Agri minister was slapped, hence the cancellations
    2) I took my foldie in the *luggage* compartment of a train starting at Borivli in the reverse direction of the office goer traffic, hence could easily get in and out.

  4. Sooper writeup.. Enjoyed it.. It is the curiosity of the onlookers and the people that takes the cake … and forms the essence of your blog.. 🙂 .. Have to visit mumbai atleast once in 2012.. lets see whats in store for me.!!

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