Waking up every morning to the city’s smog filler air, not many would even fathom cycling to work. It’s a new concept to the Indian metropolitan who are now obsessing over the bad air quality. However, less than one in a million chose to cycle to work even if their office is within a decent radius (up to 3 km) from their place.
It’s not just the smog, but also the dust, shocking roads, and bad driving sense, which is truly a concern for those who dare to dream.
So, what’s it like cycling to work in the city, you ask?
My first battle is with the air I breathe. The air quality in NCR is so bad that no exaggeration is an exaggeration really.
The roads here have a way of surprising you… like every day!
Potholes somehow multiply like the Indian population.
The dust drifted in the air by whooshing vehicles gets in your eyes every now and then.
Not to forget the fellow commuters who always seem to be running late for office.
Some common questions asked by shocked onlookers are:
Is it safe to rice cycle with the traffic?
Do you change clothes after reaching the office?
Doesn’t the dust and pollution bother you?
Where do you park? Is there a cycle stand in the office building?
Why do you do this? Health conscious, environment conscious, or both?
Everyone has some creative inquiry or the other but most of them seem convinced by the idea at some point. It’s safe to conclude that social admiration comes complimentary with health, and environment-friendly benefits, against the efforts you make every day. Needless to say, you’ve earned it!
There is also another category of people who think it’s a fad, betting it won’t last more than a month or so.
“So, what is it like to ride a bicycle to work every day, huh!?”
“What difference do you feel has been made?”
“Do you feel stronger already?”
Don’t let them get to you. Believe it or not, they’re just jealous!
Here are few hacks while cycling to work in the city:
Always a helmet, always a pollution mask
Only deathwish could make a rider skip these 2 essentials when riding in the city traffic.
Wear a breathable layer atop office wear
Dust and pollution are not good for your clothes either. Moreover, you don’t want to look dull early in the morning
Carry some basic toiletries
Wash your face with soap and touchup on the deo once you reach.
Ride at a pace you don’t feel strained
While sweating is normal, you don’t want to be drenched in it. Have some mercy on your colleagues.
Get Insurance for you and your cycle
Toffee’s Daily Commute Insurance covers you for accidental injuries while commuting and can be bought within 90 seconds online. The cover is up to Rs.1 Lakh while the policy costs just Rs.430/-, valid for a year.
Also, while buying your cycle, ask the dealer if they are registered with Toffee Insurance. Registered dealers can issue Toffee Insurance’s Cyclist Insurance plan, which covers your cycle from theft and accidental damages, up to the cost of the cycle.
This is a true memoir by Nishita, here at Team Toffee who rides a 21 gear to work every day. Do you know someone who rides a cycle to work or is thinking about it? Tag them!