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The TFN poster is here, in all its high res glory! Please take a printout and splash it on the nearest wall in your cubicle/office. Even better, use it as a wallpaper, and help spread the love for cycling!

Life in Progress

This is why I love Coorg. Whichever direction you look in, there's beauty, fresh air wherever you go, streams that have their own music, and a nice easy pace at which life does not rush past. The construction's started and cannot wait for it to get over! Also learned some stuff about wood selection, timber, rates etc over the last two days I was there.

Doing what you've never done before is sure a lot of fun!

BMTC Site Updated

BMTC 'upgraded' it site, and there's a search etc. The earlier static pages to the Vajra and other services are missing - and the route search takes you to the schedules as earlier. You can search via a route number, or using an auto-suggest of source and destinations. Clicking on the service links does not provide any route/schedule info yet, and a lot many source/destinations and routes aren't up there yet. The site also needs to get a little quicker (cannot imagine too much load on the servers right now). To be fair, they have put up a "Website under testing & final stage of construction. Route search is not updated." on the site - will check and update this entry once thats fixed.

Oh, and there's also a new service from HSR BDA Complex to BIAL (The Bangalore International Airport, i.e.) - the BIAS-7A goes via Indiranagar instead of Shanthinagar. This means a bus to the airport almost every 30-40minutes for HSR folks.

Hopefully, a step in the right direction - though needs to be complete before its actually useful. They'd do well to expose an API so a mobile service could provide updated info over SMS etc.

Time. And Money.

For a while now, I've been mentioning to people that for the next raise/job change, they could ask for the hike/ compensation partly in time. After all, we all repeat sooo often that age old adage - time is money - that its time we put some money where our time is :)

Here's a good one I read in the context of some very very compelling reasons to take up cycling :
"...why spend loads of time working to pay for the car to get to work to pay for the car"
What you choose to do with that time is then the next question. It could be spent on places you've wanted to go to, books you wanted to read, or relearning how to play the guitar, or even just spending more time with your kids (at least till such time that they tolerate your company :) ) You could finally start executing on those amazing ideas you've had. You could go back to school to acquire some additional skills!

How ? A few hours a day ? An extra day a week ? A few months a year ? Different jobs will suit different plans. And it also depends on what you want to do - you can hardly do that trans-Himalayan-unsupported-trek a few hours a week.

The really really tough one is to have a somewhat clear understanding of your financial situation, and the discipline to arrive at an appropriate tradeoff between Time and Money, the two parts to that whole equation. You'll need to fund the "time-off", plus the thing you want to do during that time. But usually, we can, and just go overboard on the "need more" front. More often than not, we're not too clear on how much of the latter we need/want/can use, and end up overstocking on, at the cost of the former. Its just a way of playing safe.

But safe isn't fun, is it ?


Right after the post - read this. Slightly unrelated, but appropriate :) Cannot say this has not crossed my mind! Oh, the strength....

Update #2:

Just saw this (recvd thru a tweet). Can't agree more. And for all of those - you need to invest - time!

TFN09 Updates

Some TFN09 news :
  • RJ Anjaan of Radio One will pick 3 lucky peeps to ride the Tour of Nilgiris - free - this week! Tune in to his show at 94.3FM!
  • Lotsa people have started training seriously. (I still need to :( )
  • The contest for the photographer and blogger should be up tomorrow or so. The goodies are in, and quite yummy!
  • Ladies - immediate registration privilege extended to the next few registrations from you. Do spread the word amongst women you know who want to go on the bestest, toughest, funnest ride.

The Big Routes

The Big Circle Buses have quietly started functioning on the ring roads. Here's an updated map describing the routes:

(click to enlarge)

Unfortunately, the information dissemination on the routes, schedules etc is still quite lousy. For instance, it seems that the Big10 frequency on Sarjapura Road is higher now, though there's no way of knowing that for sure.

Anyone know the frequency of the Big Circle buses ?


Whither ?
So many pointers...
Regular Content Joe ?
Which way does it go ?
Is safe safe ?
Risk risky ?
Is choice a "yes", or "no" ?
All kinds of swings - to, fro.
Or just let moments flow ?
The truth ?
Which the show ?

You're Grounded!

There was a recent mail on our apartment mailing list which informed us that about 1/2 of the 2000 borewells in our area have run dry, because of which the water tanker supply was likely to get erratic. We were requested to brace ourselves for water shortages, at least intermittent ones.

At least a couple of weeks a year, BESCOM, anyhow struggling to keep pace with the ever increasing need of a burgeoning city, fails to supply power for hours together. Our apartment's diesel gensets have been known to run overnight. These run at a maximum of 35-40% efficiency, and the entire dependence on huge amounts of fossil fuel directly to keep the lifts etc working is definitely not a very ecologically conscious act.

Vertical living just needs more natural resources and energy. The lack of these is starting to cause minor inconveniences and may give us a taste of major failures in not too distant a future. It'll take very little time for these tall edifices to our conceit and imagined prowess and mastery of the elements to be uninhabitable. Sure, sounds like a doomsday movie, but I'd almost bet that 24 hours of no water supply will be a real, quick trailer in not too distant a future.

Are apartments, as they're designed and built today, sustainable in the long run ? An 'independent' home on the ground level can live off human effort and power, harness enough solar energy, harvest enough rainwater, and redo stuff like plumbing etc more easily as newer, smarter, more efficient solutions are found to reduce our individual footprints. The pressure an individual home exerts on the earth is lower, and can be reduced quite dramatically. Can apartments do it ? Will real estate values start getting tied in to these fundmentals ?

Should I really start thinking about that house ?

From The Biker's Mouth : Cycling Safety in Bangalore

Its very tough to really really convince people that cycling is hardly an act of daredevilry. Its a normal, safe, mode of transportation and recreation, not an adventure sport meant only for those living on the edge!

This was posted by Kanishka Lahiri in the course of a discussion on one of the lists I'm on:
"I have some personal experience that might help dispel certain myths. At the outset, I am a far more experienced driver (~15 years) than I am a cyclist. I consider myself a careful and good driver. I moved to BLR in 2007.

In 1.5 years of driving around Bangalore, I had 4 (all minor, but highly stressful) accidents. That;s more than the number I had had in the previous 14 years. This includes brushes with auto rickshaws, cars, and one stupid cyclist. On a separate occasion I got punched in the face by a motor bike guy because I braked to allow an old lady to cross Sankey Road. Needless to say, each incident resulted in high levels of stress, and a feeling of being physically threatened.
I started cycling in June 2008. Number of accidents in nearly 1.5 years --- ZERO. Number of near misses: I'll admit there have been a few, but in almost all cases, I could attribute the near miss to stupidity on my part. There are a set of rules one ends up following when cycling on Bangalore roads. Mature cyclists make up their own rules to make themselves safe in what otherwise looks like a hostile environment. As a result, for me, while concentration levels are high when biking, emotional stress, and physical risk levels are very very low. Much lower than when driving.

The point I am trying to make is, the notion that our roads are highly unsafe for cyclists who have good judgment is a myth. And my contention is, cyclists must have good judgment, else they have no business being on the road. So I agree, an 11 year old who has little experience, is well-advised when told to stay away from busy roads. But then, why single out cyclists? All road users are required to have good judgement, since city roads are a shared and potentially life-threatening environment. That's why we issue driving licences, and that's why we don't let 10 year-olds drive motor cycles.

At the same time, I am not saying that all is well for cyclists. Things could be better. Much better. Many of the rules I practice when cycling seem unjust to me. I practice them because I need to be safe. But ideally, policies on road-space sharing should be designed in such a way that I do not have to follow some of these crazy rules."

So there. This one's as unbiased as they get. I've a similar story (more in relation to motorbike which I used a lot before I started cycling) but by now, I'm probably considered an outlier. The whole effort reminds me a bit of Wall-E. Perhaps even walking will be considered something fraught with risk and not something that normal members society undertake.

[ Earlier post on this discussed what we mean when we talk about "safety". Do read for a very nice pov from another thread on another forum. ]