The Cyclists Inc.
– Namit Chugh ( CCAP – V, Advisory )
My batch mates think I am fat, and I seem to have put on some weight in past couple of months, all thanks to the food I eat at office. And joining a gym is out of question for me; I have had five accidents in the past on my bike, leaving my muscles/ligaments/bones a bit too weak to be exercised at gym. So one fine day, I decided to get a bicycle to keep myself fit. And once I commit, I don’t even listen to myself (I am a diehard Salman Khan fan!). So I ended up spending more than the stipend we get, on a bicycle named Cyclone, as the company (Firefox) named it, and I preferred to keep the name, because it goes with my personality. Cyclone has 21 gears and is extremely beautiful. By this time, readers would have understood that I am more inclined towards my bikes (Cyclone and Unicorn) than people! And I am extremely boastful about them.
Buying a bike is one thing, and putting it to use is another. I had initially thought of using it as my means of transport to office, but then the plan didn’t really work out well. Riding a bicycle in formals, and reaching office in time, all perspiring, is not my idea of cycling. So I decided to ride on Sunday mornings to places I have not been to – Aksa beach being my first destination. I was just curious to see that beach – Salman had mentioned the name in a stupid song – tujhe aksa beach le jayu, aa chalti kya – so I took my bike to aksa. The beach was a disappointment, like other beaches in Bombay, but I being a Delhiite am always fantasized by the idea of waves hitting me, walking on the beach sand, etc. The ride to Aksa was great, since it’s near INS Hamla cantonment. We did some 45Kms on our first cycling trip, decent enough for amateurs.
My companion in all my cycle trips is another CCAPian, my roomie Mr.Gupta. His name sounds like some investment banker, and he has all the qualities as well (Other details being confidential). He was super enthusiastic when we decided to go to Juhu the next Sunday. Another cyclist batch mate and a batch 4 senior were also supposed to come along. But I wake up at 5am on the Super Sunday just to realize that I have two ‘NO’ sms on my cell phone and my roomie just refused to get up. He had been through something the previous night – what we call – The Saturday Night Effect – so I went to Juhu beach at 5am alone. Riding a bicycle on a full moon early morning, on the beach sand, is exciting (read tiring)!
Here comes the next week, I am almost dead. I have decided by now that I want to sleep and don’t want to ride my bicycle this Sunday. But Mr. Banker, inspired/incentivized me. And this time the targets were difficult, distance longer, the journey tougher and spirits higher. We went to Gateway of India from Powai, via the Eastern Express Highway (which has around nine tedious flyovers). We covered around 65kms in 5hours (speed being super slow while returning). But Gateway is a lovely place to go in the mornings; you get to see an altogether different Mumbai. Moreover, I felt a sense of achievement after that trip, given the fact that I am non-athletic, fat and I hate places like gym. But this ride to Gateway has changed my outlook towards a lot of things. It has taught me how motivation can make people do wonders and achieve something beyond they think they are capable of.
I am now excited to go to Matheran on Cyclone, but we will break the trip over two days – 175kms in no joke. And I am extremely delighted by the fact that we started out as a group of 3 CCAP Batch 5 cyclists, and now we are 7. We haven’t started riding together yet, but I look forward to the same. Super excited!