Reflections

..of a peerless nincompoop

It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Expensive cars, affordable bikes, cheap bicycles. That is India. Things are slightly different on this side of the world. Everyone has cars, the rich buy bikes, and some kind of crazy people buy bicycles. Bikes are called motorcycles and bicycles are called bikes! No wonder it is called the other side of the world. Or is it because everything is crazy here? A weird game in which you hardly play the ball with your feet is called football, and the game in which you mostly play the ball with your feet is called soccer. Can’t blame them. If they can call that thing a ball (I think someone miserably failed while trying to make a real ball and it ended up like this!), they can call the game football also!

Two years on this crazy side of the planet is all it takes to make one crazy enough to buy a “bike”. Buying a car is day to day stuff, but buying a bike needs lot of money and careful planning. Test riding bikes at Sports Basement is fun too. If you are not too much into biking, you don’t need to sell your car to buy a bike. You get slightly cheaper ones too, like the one I got. If you pay more, you may even end up with just a handle or a saddle. Yes, the more expensive the bike is, the less stuff you get on it! First you lose the pedals, at about $1000 or so. Rich guys can pay more and watch bike stripping 😀 . If you are not that rich, they almost strip you instead! Well stripping is better than getting everything measured from head to toe in front of others (for the REAL mallus out there – It is almost like our dummy to body, body to dummy, dummy to dummy thing. The only thing missing is CID Dasan and CID Vijayan 😀 ). Once it gets over, you should collect your carry on baggage and proceeding for boarding. Oh, sorry! You are in a bike shop. Just make yourself comfortable while computerji fits the bike for your size.

More about bikes here while we wait for computerji. Bikes are super light. But take it with a pinch of salt. They make you buy everything which you find on a normal bicycle and attach it to your body! What is the point of giving a saddle that reminds of a police “lathi” and then making you buy a shorts that has almost a seat attached on its butt! You just look like a joker with a light bike and a bulge on you bottom as if you soiled your shorts! Once you buy all the accessories like jersey and biking shoes, you are heavier by a few pounds. But don’t miss the point, the bike IS light 🙂 .

Computerji is ready with your custom sized bike. And you are ready with your custom fitted accessories. You even have a portable pump, water bottles, saddle bag with a quick repair kit! All set to go. Oh! wait a minute. How do you ride this thing without a pedal? You need to buy custom pedals. The rule of thumb holds here too. The smaller it is, the more expensive it will be. Who is crazy enough to buy a pair of minuscule pedals for $250? It is ridiculous to pay almost one fourth of the cost of your bike for two small pedals! You could as well get temporary ones and wait for a week for those “cheap” $60 pedals to come. It is a little bit of circus using biking shoes on temporary pedals. But who cares! A few days of circus is all it takes to get used to the crooked handles and blade like tires.

In a week, the temporary pedals make way for the $60 Shimano R540 pedals! It’s so easy to fall down with them! Basically it locks your feet on the pedals, and it won’t come out. When you want to stop, you put your nose on the road to avoid falling down 😕 . The sales person sounds like he is consoling someone who spent $60 to fall down for fun. “The first few times when you fall down with these pedals, you will feel sad. But that is ok, you will soon get used to it”.

I still haven’t figured out whether he meant getting used to the pedals or getting used to falling down 😕 . Crazy world indeed!

September 7, 2008 Posted by | On the lighter side | 5 Comments