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Old 09-13-02, 11:19 PM   #1
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cycling in india

Hi dirtbikedude, Mediacreations & all,

although i had posted a reply abt biking in my city(india), i am stretching it a little bit.

Mediacreations, I welcome you to cycle delhi's streets(with caution) during feb next year(had u ever been on a bike trip b4 in this part?).

I am from near deep south from a city called chennai capital of tamil nadu.

Sad part is I had never been to delhi and have no plans for a visit in the near future.

But i can say a lot about cycling in Delhi and that applies to India in general.

India has a population whose attitude towards road safety is the attitude a race driver has and add a whole lot of ego and disregard for other road users.

Here are some of the tips that might help:

1. India's roads are the most dangerous, placing it at the top of international list in number of fatalities and grevious injuries(fatalities 90000/year, grevious injuries 200000/year).

2. Delhi tops the list within India, with the most of the culprits from bus and heavy vehicle category.

3. Never expect the other road users to yield or stop at intersections or even at signals, think twice b4 u proceed on recieving a green signal.

4. Any driver who has caused a fatal/grevious accident can bail out the same day, the bail amount in most of the cases being a paltry Rs 1500 & above (US$32) and most of the trials end up with the driver being convicted and fined a paltry amount of the above said magnitude.

5. Twowheelers, cyclists & pedestrians form 60% of road accident victims.

6. If u bring in a bike form your own country, u shud be aware of thefts. Bicycle thefts are most common in india. Geared/sports cycles are especially vulnerable coz the thieves break away with the gear equipment!

7. With the recent boom in mobile phones, its advisable for foreigners to carry one around.

8. Its always hot and humid most of the time, keep adequate amount of fluids handy.

9. One of the most bitter fact is in some of the accidents the drivers responsible for accidents are at greater risk of being severely beaten up by the surrounding public.

Other horrifying fact is some inhuman cops/people take some valubles away from unconcious accident victims.

So its always advisable to carry less valubles/money, keep an identity handy for identification and there are numerous NGO's helping trauma victims.

10. Besides threat from road users there are death traps in the form of municipal road diggings, dangerous protrusions on pavements, snapped transmission wires, death pits covered with water during rains....

11. LADIES BEWARE, females shud always be aware of sexual harrasments on road in the form of screams, vulgar comments/hand signs and in extreme cases being knocked down by the offender's vehicle.

I am very sorry for typing this bad about my country, but its the fact. But if u can swim(pedal) thru it then you might see India as it is, a million times different from the organised west.

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Old 09-14-02, 12:24 AM   #2
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Fascinating, no more complaints from me.
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Old 09-14-02, 01:15 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information. I'll keep all that in mind. I'll be riding my mountain bike rather than my road bike because I believe it'll be more durable in the conditions.

I am hoping to be part of an organised ride with a car behind carrying a warning banner that we're on the road. It should help a little.

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Old 09-14-02, 09:45 AM   #4
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Holy crap!!! That is scary!!! I know I will probably get a bunch of crap, but the show Amazing Race had them going through parts of India last year. I was amazed at how many people (mostly children) were begging foreigners (sp?) in the streets. The people could hardly move. I also noticed the crazy cab drivers. A fight started about cab fare. I know this may not be representative of all India, this is reality tv, but it looked pretty nerve racking to me. I am pretty sure they were in Dehli. Is it really that packed with people? I don't see how you could cycle anywhere.:confused:
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Old 09-14-02, 02:13 PM   #5
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The cautionary description of life and death on India's roads is pretty scary stuff!
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Old 09-15-02, 05:47 AM   #6
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Are there any places in India that are better than others for civilised road use?
I have though about biking around southern India, maybe Kerela. What do you know about that area? Id be interested in your view.
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Old 09-15-02, 03:26 PM   #7
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HI MichealW & all,

I am from the state of tamil nadu(TN) which shares more than 75% of its western border with kerala.

As i had said roads thru out India are the same, in Kerala they are bad if not worse.

My state, kerala & delhi tops the country's list on road accidents.

The road conditions in TN & kerala are different from delhi, but the driver's attitude is the same.

Unlike delhi which is a big city as well as a state(like New York state), kerala is a much bigger state.

Delhi's accidents can be attributed to overchoked roads and impatient road users.

Kerala is a very beautiful & mountainous state with a little bit of rain forest on the eastern side and a beautiful back water network on the western side, its a bikers paradise but the folks attitude on road messes everything up.

Most of kerala's terrain on the west is a combination of flat and gentle slopes which raises suddenly towards east.

One will find a lot of ups and downs on road which becomes dangerous for a cyclist/twowheeler due to extremly unruly heavy vehicle drivers.

If any foreigner is thinkin of peddling in kerala beware of buses and trucks. They have the most utter disregard for road safety and cyclists/bikers/pedestrians.

But if one is cautious and alert then its ok.

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Old 09-15-02, 04:04 PM   #8
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Hi redhead & all

redhead wrote,

>>...I was amazed at how many people (mostly children) were begging foreigners (sp?) in the streets...<<

welcome to the third world, most of the children u have seen are the products of history...tribes and traditional farmers who had been driven out of their forests(replacing them with cash crops, plantations) to squalid cities in the name of industrialisation.
The wealthy indians are faithful enuff to the british in carrying out this trend of exploiting the poor to this day and it will continue...forever.

I am just fed up with my folks bragging and bragging abt my country's ancient heritage, not giving a tinker damn to the future.

>>I am pretty sure they were in Dehli. Is it really that packed with people? I don't see how you could cycle anywhere<<

Nope the other way round(yeah delhi's packed with folks), indian cyclists are as bad as other vehicle drivers. All roads(except mumbai-pune expressway and some others) are accessible to cyclists, bullock carts, some other type of vehicles which would shock Thomas.A.Edission's innovations, a whole lot of pedestrians and holy cows, canines, goats, pigs, chicken......

India is a LCV(Low Commercial Vehicles) country meaning a lot of people are pedestrians/cyclists/mass-transit commuters etc. The accident stats for HCV(High Commercial Vehicles) countries like USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe are always lower than the LCV countries coz LCV environ offers little protection to the road user than the HCV environ and in a country like India cyclists/twowfeelers/pedestrians are left at the mercy of motorised vehicle drivers.

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