Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Not so guilty about driving in the city anymore

We recently bought a Reva, with the intention that dad and mom can drive around in a safe and convenient way, within the city. It may not be as safe as a standard car, but definitely better than a two-wheeler which has a constant fear of being knocked down by a bus or lorry. The Reva has given us more freedom and choice and more importantly a guilt-free ride for short distances within the city. There are no direct emissions, no sound, and a smooth and easy ride.. A friend of mine, Thej has a more comprehensive review on the Reva.
There have been many stares, curious on-lookers peeping in to see a gearless car, excited kids talking about the Reva and free advice from many people. One of the advice was from the guy doing the sun film - "mam, 3 and half lacs ge 'car'e togoboditalwa", meaning "for 3 and half lacs, you could have gone for a car itself" I told him this is indeed a car. The guys at the workshop somehow couldn't stop smiling and giggling at my choice.
All said and done, I am happy to be driving a state-of-the-art electric vehicle which is environment friendly to a large extent.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Cycling, cycling and more cycling on one fine Saturday

A couple of hours before logging out on Friday evening, got to know about a cycle inclusive planning workshop at Bangalore with interesting topics by eminent speakers. I was very excited that something like this was happening in Bangalore and that I had a chance to contribute my two cents to it. Last year when a friend of mine organized a cycle rally, I had come across BMLTA and their idea of making cycling as the prefered mode of transport for Bangalore. But I had thought that it was all only on paper. So was pleasantly surprised to see some progress.

Though it would have been apt to cycle to the venue, I ended up going by my new Reva.
The workshop started with introductions and context settings by the BMLTA convener, Mr. Gaurav Gupta and Rajeev Chandrashekar, MP. I was happy to see cycling getting the much deserved importance.
Then there was a nice video from cycling friendly cities like Amsterdam, Bogota, Copenhagen. Cycling is really in their culture.
As the day progressed, there were some serious presentations by architects, town planners and environmentalists on the challenges faced in designing for sustainable and non-motorized transport. I was amazed by the amount of thinking and planning behind a simple form of transport.

For me, the best part of the day came in the form of an imprompto cycling experience in the form of critical mass. Critical mass for cycling is a monthly cycling event in Bangalore to prove that we are also part of traffic and need to share the same infrastructure with all other vehicles.

I learnt the bike salute (check out this bike salute in front of the Vidhana Soudha). It was so much fun.

How can forget to mention this kiddo who easily did atleast 10 km with us!

There were some enquires at traffic signals and some questioning by policemen and a lot of stares! Our purpose was served.
Thanks to Mayank and Omer for arranging the cycle for me.. a cool, foldable Montague and a cycling experience comparable to the one I had in NYC.
Go.. cycle and save the planet :)