My First Ride on my new Hawk.. A Relook – 3 Years Hence

It has been exactly 3 years since that fateful day when I bought a cycle, naively thinking that I would just use to commute to office. Little did I know, how things will change. I’m re-living the initial days by documenting here a few articles I wrote during my initial days of cycling. I’ve posted these first on Bikeszone
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Hi All,

After much deliberation, I have managed to buy a bike last evening. Its a Hero Hawk NewAge 10 Speed. Got this after considering so many bikes, after 4 visits to bankstreet(almost all the shops on it), three more visits to BSA Go and a visit to Peddlar’s Point(both on Rajbhavan road). Ahem.. I know.. I might have spent more money on petrol on these trips than for the bike itself. Naah.. may be not that much. 

Anyway, I finally did it! I am now a biker that rides not just talks. 

Here is why Hero Hawk multispeed for me. I wanted a bike with slim tires to begin with although I had doubts on how well they can fare on our roads. Then I had this fascination with bent handle bars. So that means a road bike. What choice do I have in road bikes? Well not much. BSA Mach, Atlas Concorde, Hero Hawk and Hero Thunder racer. I really liked Thunder racer but no one in Hyderabad seems to be stocking it. I really liked LA Navigator for its sleek tires alloy frame and all the features except that it does not have a handle bar that I wanted and its stretching my budget at the moment. Other imported bikes are also way over my current budget. So I thought may be later.  So that leaves me with just three to choose from and only Hawk offered multi-speed. Although I had apprehensions about gears I decided to go with them after so many of you have positively said they are not much of a problem.

I brought it from Hero Cycles Shop (the first cycle shop on the left that we encounter after we take a turn from Abids towards Bankstreet). I really liked the experience of interacting with its owner Nitin saab, a middle aged man with a positive approach to life. I learnt that they have been in this business for almost 70 years now. Others quoted a good 1k above what he had quoted. He quoted low and said no bargains. Fair enough I thought.

The cycle was ready by 7:30 PM. I gave the keys of my Honda Activa to my friend Sagar who accompanied me on this trip that resulted in a purchase and I started to ride back home on my Hawk. Off I was in peak time traffic from the heart of the city to the suburban area of Miyapur where I live. The route I took was Koti-Abids-Panjagutta-Ameerpet-Erragadda-KPHB-Miyapur. Anybody living in Hyderbad Krish, Ravi, Murali et.al., can understand what I mean when I say peak time traffic on this route. Behemoth buses, Stray dog like autos, teen adrenaline powered moto-bikes, power steered cars are what we have for company on these roads. And lots of them. It does not take any mistake on your part for you to be laid low on these roads so you got to be extra cautious. This was the setting I chose for my first ride on any road bike. Nice choice. Isn’t it?

Well, for the first few meters I was not in full control of the bike as I was not used to the bent handle(I now know the jargon, they are called drop bars). Then the Koti traffic forced me to get used to it real fast. The first traffic signal I encountered was at Mozamzahi market. The curious motorist who stopped next to me inquired about the bike, its cost, its gears, tires etc., and we ended up having a small chat on the benefits of cycling before the green signal set us moving on our paths and he sped away. 

I tried staying to the far left side of the road most of the times and moved past Hyderabad Central when my phone rang. It was from a friend from this forum Ravi Kiran who wanted to update me on his visit to Peddlars point on Rajbhavan road. I stopped to the left and we chatted for a while and I told him that I have finally bought a Hawk and was on my ride home. He was pleasantly surprised and sounded happy for me. He wished me luck with my first ride and I was on my way again. I was feeling a bit thirsty and stopped near Ameerpet Charmas and had a couple of glasses of sugar cane juice and moved forward. Although the juice helped raising my energy levels it seems to have done little for my thirst so I stopped to pick up a water bottle at S.R. Nagar signals. Took a couple of gulps of water and moved forward.

The bike seemed to be taking the small bumps and undulations in the road quite well. This made me feel a bit relieved that my doubts about its ability to with stand our road conditions can be laid to rest for a while. I would learn more about its capabilities and limitations as I ride more though. But so far so good.

I surged past KPHB and JNTU when I thought I would try meeting Krish and may be pick up my copy of the book that Abhi couriered. He lives near by in Nizampet road and its on my way home. I stopped to the left and called Krish. Unfortunately he was in still in office and I updated him on my purchase and ride. He was happy that I would finally start riding and give him and others from Hyderbad some company. So with a meeting scheduled between us for Saturday, I moved forward. I was just about 4 km away from home now.

I reached home by 9:00PM and dismounted my hawk after abusing it for almost one and half hours on its very first day of existence. I finished off the rest of the water left in the bottle and was about to take the stairs when a couple of friends from my flats met. I showed them the bike and told them my idea of commuting and taking weekend trips and they were expressing doubts if it is a wise thing to do in Hyderabad traffic and pollution. He also thought a stationary exercise bike like the one in his home would have been a wiser choice. Well, that reminded me of the HSBC advertisement (the one that comments on the lines ‘different people, different perceptions’). I just smiled and moved on. 

It was a 20km (approximately) ride through lots of traffic and lots of pollution. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the end of it I badly needed a hot shower and I took it before eating sumptuously and hitting the sack very contended. 

My post is longer than my ride. Isn’t it? Well thanks for your patient reading. 


Happy riding,
Venky
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 The Present:
Yesterday(Oct 23rd) marked 3rd anniversary of my cycling journey. Incidentally that was marked by my fastest 100km ride which I completed in 3hr 11mins 40secs. Although it was a group ride with a bit of drafting, the Bulldog and I completely enjoyed it. Would be interesting to see when I can do a solo effort like that.

More in this ‘A Relook: 3 Years Hence’ series. 
My first commute.
My first long ride.
My first century ride.

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