The Rime of the Modern Biker (Biker here is the cyclist not any fancy Harley or the Bullet which is made like a gun). I know that The Rime of The Ancient Mariner is the longest lyrical ballad written by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge which is actually a masterpiece. I am no poet to even try my hands at that so I stick to normal prose and ask people to please be tolerant 🙂
Let me be very frank that I am not a regular cyclist but once in a while I like going out on my cycle over the weekends and I would tell you it is a very humbling experience here in Bangalore.
The probability of you getting honked at on Bangalore roads follows the given below pattern in increasing order
Flying an Aircraft <<< Luxury Cars (like Rolls Royce, Jaguar) < Semi-Luxury Cars (Mercedes, BMW) < Cattle Class Cars (Marutis, Volkswagens, Hyundais) < Motorcyclists <<<< Cyclists <<<<<<< Pedestrians
There is another set of class apart where you have a “Lal Batti” and thats enough to stop all honks (Make doesn’t matter.. many times it used to be the extinct colonial hangover called Ambassador 🙂 )
So you see the trend here, unless you are flying on the roads the possibility of getting honked increases exponentially. If you are cycling there may be two reasons either you don’t have the means to buy any motorized vehicle in other words what we call the “poor” or you are health freak who wants to do some good to the body (but you never know that the benefits of cycling is more than inhaling the whole lot of dust and pollution). This will be good research paper to really find out if half an hour cycling and same amount of inhaling toxic air, which side the scale weighs more.
Just the other day, I was at Petrol Bunk to fill air and as everywhere in our country there was a line, couple of cars and few motor cycles. I was already doing a crime of going to petrol bunk to fill air which is basically an anti-thesis to their existence. When I started cycling I was very fearful of going there but now I am little more courageous. Because you are on cycle many time you can go ahead in the line and I was able to reach before the cars in line. I was really worried because this can be considered jumping lines and since you haven’t paid for it you can’t do that. So there was a Polo and “The Sir” driving it started honking and was almost hitting me as he was seeing the possibility of the guy filling air to my cycle before him. I normally try to be out of any altercations as much as possible so didn’t say anything to “The Sir” and he happily got his right and went away.
Anyways the fault lies with someone who is creating such a ruckus on the roads either by walking or cycling. In our country the right to roads increases with the size and any pedestrians or cyclists should be happy that they are only honked not killed.
A little mercy for the pedestrians and cyclist will go a long way in increasing tolerance levels of our country for sure :).
This can be one be one of the ideas that government can take to increase tolerance levels in our country.