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Thursday, 14 February 2013

How to ride a Bicycle...!!??

The team
A thread started in BBC way back on 18th Oct 2011 by Ram and for that Sukumar Shetty replies last week, saying as he need to improve his bike riding skills. Then Mayank Rungta replies (he is involved in lot of workshops on creating more awareness on, 'Commuting by Bicycle' in corporates), as he founds it, it is going to be a great help if all put together draw a plan and execute it.

it is an ideal stretch am referring to - 2% decline road
Around this time I showed interest in being part of this. One of the most down to earth buddy whom I know in biking community Chiddu (Bikers don't need introduction of him, for others he is a barefoot runner and Brevet 1000 kms fame), immediately shown interest to be part of this.  That gave me a moral boost. ROhan (man who has given new meaning to biking, Racing....) made a right move to take it forward and gave a more clear shape to it. Suggested ground opp to BOTS (MES ground) as the venue. It was quite near and central place at least for people from bengaluru south. After suggesting time he went on to create a event page on FB and sent invitation to friends whom he thought was appropriate. It is not a one man show, it will be a collective effort from all the friends who were mentioned in this post and guys indirectly supported,  I am just making an attempt to bring a report on it. It is good idea that got seeded firmly and nurtured by everyone else.

Chiddu  teaching and Can see Ashwini  reaching the ground comfortably as she is sitting on the saddle.
As saturday was nearing ROhan and me exchanged few mails and he came out with the idea of carrying, First Aid Kit, Water and using BOTS in case need be and he kept Prem and Suraj in the loop. That was a good initiative, well thought over in the right direction from ROhan. Event was pre-phoned to 8 am instead of 9 am as Chiddu thought it will be too late and may get hot as the days go by.

Fatima on lady bird and  Nikhil on kid's bike
Saturday morning as my brother was going to meet some one in Jayanagar said he will drop me there. We had coffee at Mayya's, there I met Dr. Ramesh and Diwakar my good friends from cycling circle after chatting with them for few minutes I left.  It was 7.30 am when I reached the venue, I was just checking on some of the places surrounding MES grounds, which would fit into our activity. As grounds were completely filled with teams who were playing cricket and it was more of a level land and what we needed is bit of a declined stretch.

Sister Swathi enjoying the ride, all it took 30 minutes!!!
When I was near Shalini grounds (opp A2B) I met Nikhil Soni a new biker who is just a week into biking.  That morning was his longest ride (from his home to Jayanagar - 15 kms). He commutes to work, round trip is 10 kms. As no one has arrived so far (around 8.15 am) we started walking (using this time for knowing each other better and common interest cycling) towards BOTS, Dr. Ali called up to check where we are? We decided to use road next to BSNL and MES. By then Priya Prabhakaran and Sonal Alva also reached. After few minutes Chiddu also joined along with Vaibhav and Vedant, all of them were on bike and Chiddu was on folding bike.  ROhan joined us too. Later on Ravindra came with daughter Shradda after exploring Turahalli for some time and  Pradeep Naidu came with his daughters ({Ravindra and Pradeep}  recently completed Brevet 400 kms).
Dr. Ali and Fatima
Here I would like to go back a bit, couple of months back I had been to my grannies place. There I got a chance to teach my 9th standard cousin sister (Swathi) how to ride a bike.  As the newly bought lady bird was getting rusted because no one was using it. They have already labelled her, it is almost impossible to teach her biking.

As I started contemplating only thing, I focused on how do I keep it simple and easy to teach/learn. Only then I will be able to make it fool proof or it becomes easier to learn by most. That made me to bring it down to 3 things, that come in the way of learning.

1) Fear of Fall -      (saddle height)
2) Momentum -      (2% decline stretch)
3) Balance -          (centre of gravity)
Learning  can be fun, all the photos courtesy - Bumsonthesaddle
1) Fear of Fall: It is a major stoppage that comes in the way learning. As a newbie if they can't reach the ground, fear of fall increases and that brings down the confidence. Reducing the saddle height and making sure they reach ground comfortably sitting on the saddle is very crucial.

2) Momentum: As long as the Bicycle moves the other two aspects are taken care. Initially what most people make the mistake is trying to learn/teach on a level road/ground. By that what happens is, initially it needs additional energy/effort to make the bike move. With that all the focus is on pedalling  2% decline stretch is the best thing that neutralize  this drawback and the bike moves ahead without much effort.

                                                             end result of 'Back 2 Basics'

3) Balance: When you take care of the first two points you will automatically slide on, it will be a flow after this.  As the bike moving, all one need to focus is on looking straight ahead. If he can keep the back straight, to a great extent Balance is addressed. Keeping back straight addresses the issue regarding centre of gravity.

Above are the techniques used while teaching. What was also impressive was we had zero incidence of fall.  We had three adults who came to learn, Fatima (Dr. Ali' {he recently did Bengaluru to Puna on a bicycle} wife), Priya Prabhakaran- Today's success story (connected by Mayank Rungta), Ashwini Kubaji (Vivek Kubaji's wife, he is biker, trekker and good friend). Fatima need to spend little more time on practising, she was on a kids bike, I feel that was not supporting much for this cause. Vivek feels it has helped a lot in teaching Ashwini and it was back to the basics.

I don't take credit for everything, I am not the doer, only an instrument in 'Teaching how to ride a Bicycle'.