Friday, August 6, 2010

Bespoke handbuilt bicycle 2010 photo gallery

For the bicycle enthusiasts, check out the very classy hand made bicycles at the Bespoke: Hand Built Bicycle 2010 . Don't miss out the specially designed seats/saddle, handle bar grips, very selective placement of chrome. Its a must watch till the last slide.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Interesting hand bags for carrying on the bicycle handle bar or carrier

Found on the
Yanko Design , interesting bags , Perfect for a day ride or night out in the town, Po Campo's Handle Bar bag easily clips around the handlebar.
Also allows for easy access to belongings en route.
Features include:
  1. Adjustable attachment clips
  2. Water/fade resistent fabrics
  3. Easy open magnetic closures
  4. Stow away loops

• Water/fade resistant fabrics
• Easy open magnetic closures
• Stow-away loops

Monday, July 5, 2010

Anti-theft technology for bike components

while surfing today i came across a very interesting link on anti theft technology for bicycles. Theft is a major drawback in public cycle systems and use of technology may help in checking it.

Here's the link to various ways to locking your bikes against theft.

Public bikes to hit Toronto streets next May

Bike stations like this one will soon be cropping up all around downtown Toronto, thanks to the green light city council gave to a bike rental system based on Montreal's successful Bixi program. VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
Bixi bikes await their renters in Montreal (Image: Shawn Carpenter)

City council has given the thumbs up to a bike-sharing program that should see about 1,000 bikes set up for public use throughout downtown Toronto by May 2011. The initiative will be run by the same company that orchestrated the successful Bixi—“bicycle taxi”—program in Montreal. In theory, the city of Toronto will incur no costs in the endeavour but will act as a guarantor for the $4.8 million loan needed to start things up.

The city will also cover the cost of replacing or repairing stolen or vandalized bikes if the rate of damage to the fleet rises above six per cent. Here’s hoping that Torontonians are as tame as Montrealers (we are, after all, out-partying them now), who demonstrated an admirable one per cent rate of vandalism or theft in their program last year. Things didn’t go so well in Paris, where a much larger bike-sharing program ended up with 80 per cent of its initial bikes stolen or damaged.

article from

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Dutch government takes a stand -- against cars, for bikes

A woman rides her bicycle past a painted wall in Amsterdam in February 2006. The Dutch government has taken a trend to promote eco-friendly cities a step further than its European neighbors by announcing firm measures to discourage cars and driving.
Bicycles are fixed to the railing of a bridge in Amsterdam in May 2007. The Dutch government has taken a trend to promote eco-friendly cities a step further than its European neighbors by announcing firm measures to discourage cars and driving.

THE HAGUE (AFP) — The Dutch government has taken a trend to promote eco-friendly cities a step further than its European neighbors by announcing firm measures to discourage cars and driving.

The plan was outlined in the 2008 budget presented this week, and the capital Amsterdam -- a leader in the drive -- and other Dutch cities will use a "no car" day on Sunday, an annual event, to press home the message.

In the traditional speech from the throne read out by Queen Beatrix, the centre-left cabinet said it would raise taxes on diesel fuel and vehicles using it. Laws are also being drawn up to make taxes dependent on how much pollution a vehicle emits: the more polluting, the higher the fee.

Unhappy, the Dutch car industry association RAi is trying to rally car owners to protest plans, which are sure to have majority support in the country's coalition system. RAi says the government measures will cost drivers 500 million euros (700 million dollars) more per year.

But a number of cities, like Amsterdam, want even stricter action against cars. Among these are Eindhoven, The Hague and Leiden which have ignored drivers' complaints and joined Sunday's "no car" day.

On Sunday, streets inside the ring road that circles Amsterdam will be closed for incoming cars and open only to cyclists and pedestrians between 9 am and 5 pm (0700 GMT to 1500 GMT).

The capital hopes to show out-of-towners that they can leave their cars outside the city and travel in via public transport or taxis, which will still be running Sunday.

Amsterdam, where half the residents do not even have a car, is also hatching other plans to clean up the air and unblock congested roads, including a tax on sports utility vehicles (SUVs), Jeeps and other big cars that run on diesel fuel.

Parking meters will be connected to vehicle tax records and drivers will have to punch in their license plate numbers. The price of a space will be calculated on how much pollution the car creates.

"The technology is available," Tjeerd Herrema, an Amsterdam city council member in charge of transport, told the Het Parool daily. He wants to introduce the system in the course of next year.

To back the measures, Amsterdam will build large car parks inside the city for residents and just outside the ring road for visitors, linked to the city's "park-and-ride" public transport system. Plans call for doubling spaces in the outside lots to 2,300. At the moment, visitors pay 5.50 euros per day to park and get two free public transport tickets, which the municipality wants to increase to five per car.

Inside Amsterdam it now costs 3.90 euros an hour to park in the city centre from 7 am to midnight everyday, except Sunday morning during church service hours, but prices are set to go up.

The city also wants to improve public transport and increase the number of green spaces in the centre, and Herrema is pushing for trams and buses -- which now stop around 1 am -- to run all night.

The move to go "greener" has seen several European cities like Paris and Lyons in France, Barcelona, Geneva, Oslo, Stockholm and Vienna stock the streets with city-owned bicycles for cheap rental -- a step behind bike-friendly Netherlands which pioneered the idea of bicycle sharing in the late 1960s.

But Amsterdam has not forgotten its numerous cyclists, who are almost as much of a tourist attraction as the 17th-century canal houses. The city is setting aside 70 million euros for the capital's bicycle riders over the next four years to pay for improving bike lanes, creating more bicycle parking spaces and cracking down on bicycle theft.

Probably something similar needs to be done to check the bicycle situation in the Ahmedabad city. May be if we can make the old city around teen darwaza, manek chowk etc. autorickshaw, car and motorbike free, it would be such a releif for pedestrains and cyclists to walk and ride on those tiny crowded streets.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Seoul cycle design competition 2010

Seoul cycle design competition 2010
Seoul Design Foundation together with designboom promotes an international design competition.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Boda-Boda in Uganda

On my month long vacation in East Africa, I got to see a lot of cycles and people who are dependent on cycles totally. The above photo was taken on way from Nakasangolo to Kampala. Uganda being a poor country, people are dependent mostly on public transport which are usually motor van taxis, or boda-boda. Here's is what a Boda-boda means and is a very interesting part of the Ugandan lives.

From Wikipedia,

Boda-boda (or bodaboda) is a bicycle taxi, originally in East Africa (from English border-border). The bicycle rider can also be called boda-boda.

The boda-boda taxis are part of the African bicycle culture; they started in the 1960s and 1970s and are still spreading from their origin on the Kenyan - Ugandan border to other regions. The name originated from a need to transport people across the "no-mans-land" between the border posts without the paperwork involved with using motor vehicles crossing the international border. This started in southern border crossing town of Busia (Uganda), where there is over half a mile between the gates, and quickly spread to the northern border town of Malaba (Kenya). The bicycle owners would shout out boda-boda (border-to-border) to potential customers - not to be confused with poda-poda, which is a form of shared taxi in Sierra Leone.

Motorbikes replacing bicycles
While the boda-boda bicycle is still spreading to other areas, in its area of origin, especially in cities in Kenya and Uganda, the bicycles are more and more replaced by motorbikes. The motorbike-taxis have taken the name bodaboda as well, though in much of Uganda, the Swahili term for motorbike, piki-piki, is used to describe motorbike boda-bodas. In 2004 it was estimated that more than 200 000 men in Uganda were working as bicycle bodaboda and already almost 90 000 as motorized motorbike bodaboda.
Okada or Achaba is the Nigerian equivalent to motorbike bodaboda.

photo source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Young, successful: But they cycle to work

shared link :

A growing band of young, successful Indians are taking to cycling as a green lifestyle choice, but it's far from a smooth ride, find Tanushree Ghosh and Gargi Gupta. Photograph: Anil Dayal/Reuters
Kaustubh Srikanth goes everywhere on his bicycle. He came to meet us riding one, which is unusual, to say the least, since very few -- with the exception, perhaps, of the milkman and the newspaper vendor -- ride bikes in the Capital. Even more unusual, he carried the bicycle into the coffee shop, neatly folded it into a compact triangle and placed it upright by his chair. "I even cycle to my office in Gurgaon and client meets," says the 30-something IT entrepreneur who lives in South Delhi [ Images ].
Cycling on Indian roads? You may think it's just too dangerous given the terrible disrepair of our roads and the chaotic traffic, but there's a growing band of intrepid Indians -- youngish, city-bred, successful and well-travelled males (for the most part, which is sad) -- who've taken to cycling. You'll find them early on Sunday mornings on the Greater Noida Expressway near Delhi, or the Mumbai-Pune highway, or near the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad -- wearing 'hairnet' helmets and gloves, tearing down the macadam on their expensive bikes. For these, bicycling is not just a hobby, but a lifestyle choice that's healthy and green. Most of them ride on weekends as a form of recreation, but there are some, like Srikanth, who ride a cycle wherever they go.
Joining the club
Take 32-year-old Sridhar Birlangi in Hyderabad, who not just bikes to work from his home in Hydernagar to his workplace in Hi-Tech City (18 kms one way), but has also founded the Bike2Work Club to persuade others to follow suit. "I save around Rs 5,000 a month on petrol. In addition, I don't have to spend on gyms as this is a great way to keep fit," he says.
In Mumbai [ Images ], 40-year-old Anil Uchil, owner of Ellipsis Communications, a marketing and communications firm, cycles to work daily from Mulund to Andheri, and even to client meets, riding 40-60 kms daily. "It is bothersome to travel by local trains. If you use a bus or car, you're bound to get stuck in traffic jams. Cycles are the best alternative; you can go anywhere, faster." Saurabh Gupta, 35, senior manager, human resources, Café Coffee Day, pedals to office 5 kms away in Saki Naka, Andheri East from Powai, deliberately taking a longer route in order to cycle more. "I lead asedentary life and cycling keeps me energetic," says Gupta.
Delhi too has a few who brave the extreme temperatures and the fast-moving, brash traffic to bicycle to work and elsewhere as often as they can -- Sudip Bhattacharya, creative director, IRIS Worldwide; lawyers Ashish Prasad and Chander Lall; and Jaspreet Bindra, regional director, entertainment and devices, Microsoft [ Images ] India [ Images ].
Just for pleasure
The numbers cycling for recreation are, of course, far greater -- among them quite a few celebrities. Rahul Gandhi [ Images ] created quite a splash last year when the media caught him pedalling away early morning in Lutyens's Delhi. His party MP Sandeep Dikshit reportedly pedals to Parliament, while filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is a recent convert. Most Indian cities have cycling clubs, whose members bond over e-groups and informal rides on weekends.
There's Bangalore Biker's Club, which started three years ago and now has 2,000 members; the Capital has Delhi Cycling Club, started in 2006, and Pedalyatri in Gurgaon. Besides Birlangi's Bike2Work, Hyderabad also has the Atlanta Foundation and the Great Hyderabad Bicycling Club, started by Deenanath Harpanhalli who heads Invesco, an investment management company, in India.
Most of these clubs organise special 'rides' pegged around, say, Earth Day, which have been drawing huge numbers. At Atlanta Foundation's Republic Ride this year, for instance, as many as 800 turned up. The Mumbai Cyclothon in February this year was a huge success, with 7,000 participants.
Corporate support
Interestingly, there is a lot of corporate support for cycling, especially from new-economy biggies such as Infosys [ Get Quote ], Accenture, HP and Bosch. At Infosys campuses everywhere, for instance, vehicles that run on fossil fuel are banned; instead there are bicycles -- hundreds of them -- scattered all over which employees are free to ride. Many offices also provide lockers and showers, where bikers can take a quick shower after a sweaty ride and get into their workday clothes. Recently, the entire staff of Cafe Coffee Day [ Images ] Mumbai drove to Pune, then cycled to Diveagar Beach, 200 kms away.
There's also corporate sponsorship trickling in for cycling events -- TI Cycles, which manufactures the BSA and Hercules brands of bicycles, part sponsored the Cyclothon held in Bangalore in October last and again in Mumbai this February. The Cyclothon will now be held annually and also in cities such as Delhi and Hyderabad, says Satish Menon, CEO of Sport 18, which co-sponsored the event. Incidentally, Menon too is an avid biker who cycles every day from his home in Bandra to his office in Matunga on his Bianchi Aeron-Sport which he bought in 2009 for Rs 42,000.
Pricey wheels
Feeding the fad is a range of expensive super-bikes available in India. There's Firefox, which launched in 2005 and sold as many as 10,000 such bikes last year. Firefox makes its own brand of bikes and also distributes Trek, an iconic American bicycle brand, and Popeye -- a recent launch -- for kids. Mercedes-Benz also launched its brand of bikes in India in 2005. Merida, another established English brand, came to India in 2007, while last year Bianchi and Canondale, two other renowned brands of bikes and biking gear, tied up with TI Cycles to sell in India. Giant, Schwinn, Raleigh and Adidas are some of the other brands now available.
These high-tech beauties, some made of titanium and other high-performance materials, don't come cheap -- they start at around Rs 17,000 and go up to Rs 2 lakh. There are also stores that sell high-end accessories such as Decathlon and BumsOnTheSaddle, started four years ago by Rohan Kini, a software developer-turned-cycle evangelist. This year, a cycles-only mall, LifeCycle, opened in Pune.
Dissenting voices
While all this means that cycling is finally catching on in India, there are a few who see it as an elitist trend. Divya Tate, a long-distance cyclist who has been cycling around Pune for the last 34 years, is scathing -- "I didn't see too many of these people cycling before the expensive imported bikes came into the country and it became cool to do so." Agrees Sudip Bhattacharya, "It's only when the affluent people start riding that it gets noticed by everyone." "It's all for show," concurs environmentalist Ranmal Jhala.
That may be largely true, but there are also those like Navneet Kathait, 26, a junior clerk at the central excise department. Kathait pedals 10 kms from his home in Kidwai Nagar to his office near the ITO daily and, despite earning only around Rs 14,000 a month, has bought a Firefox bike and accessories worth Rs 30,000. His friends all want to buy a motorcycle, even a second-hand Maruti [ Get Quote ], but Kathait has his eyes set on a Firefox that will cost him Rs 40,000. "It's a way of life now," he says.Bumps on the road
Unlike in the West and China, India does not have dedicated cycling tracks and parking areas for cycles. A lot of city governments have been making noise in recent years about the need for these; some have even taken the first steps in this direction. A look at the cycling infrastructure in a few of our important metros:
Delhi: The BRT corridor provided cycling tracks, but they are mainly used by motorised two-wheelers and autorickshaws. Last year, the mayor-in-council made it mandatory for every proposal by the engineering department to provide for a cycle lane along side roads. In December, the Delhi Cycling Club submitted a memorandum of 11 demands to the state government, the foremost being for cycle lanes. Rent-a-cycle stands have been operating at a number of Delhi Metro stations -- very successfully in stations like Viswavidyala, but not so in most others.
Bangalore: No cycling tracks yet, but Queens Road and Cubbon Road near Chinnaswamy Stadium have auto-cum-cycle lanes. City-based RideACycle Foundation is working with government bodies to make cycle lanes a reality. Bhaskar Rao, transport commissioner, promises city buses will soon have cycle racks for commuters.
Hyderabad: As part of the multi-modal transport system, local trains and buses have the provision to carry cycles. No cycling tracks.
Pune: Cycling tracks along many roads in Bibwewadi, Shivaji Nagar and Kothrud. These are regular pavements with a board stuck on the sides at intervals and so narrow that even two cyclists cannot pass each other. The paving blocks are uneven and have come off in places.
Mumbai: Cycling tracks have come up in the Bandra-Kurla Commercial Complex and along Carter Road in Bandra, but these can hardly be said to facilitate commuting within the city.
Critical Mass
Critical Mass are 'political-protest' rides by cyclists drawing attention to the cycle-unfriendliness of city roads. Usually held on the last Friday of the month, these are meant to be unstructured affairs -- a band of cyclists gets together at a designated place and begins cycling, no one person leading the group, on any route that takes their fancy. Other riders join in so that at one point there are only cycles filling up a road. The movement began in San Francisco in 1992 and has spread to more than 300 cities worldwide.
It's been happening in India too, in a few cities like Pune (since 2000), Mumbai (since 2008), Bangalore (on the last Saturday of the month) and Delhi. In most cities it started with a lot of enthusiasm, and a healthy attendance of about 150-200 people, and then fizzled out. Only around six people turned up at the last one held in Delhi. "Sadly Critical Mass does not have 'critical mass' as yet," says Sunil Kalra, a Delhi-based investor who cycles every weekend.
Tanushree Ghosh and Gargi Gupta

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Cycle is a poor man’s transport, hobby of rich man and
medical activity for the old.

Photo credit:

In most of the cases, a child life starts with a cycle, two wheeled & tri – wheeled irrespective of his/her status of being from a rich, middle or poor family , hence, it may be mentioned that the cycling activity starts in the beginning of childhood and it becomes a sport at 10-12 years of age.

Cycling as a sports was introduced in India with the efforts of Sh. Janki Das in mid thirties. It found its International level when Sh. Janki Das, the lone Indian Cyclist participated in the British Empire Games at Sydney (Australia) in 1938 with Swami Jagan Nath accompanied as Manager.

With the pioneering of these two, Indian Cycling was to secure affiliation of National Cycling Federation to the National Cyclists Union of England. A few years later, another stalwart Sh. Sohrab H. Bhoot of Bombay & Sh. Janki Dass joined hands in furtherance of cycling sports & formed the National Cyclists Federation of India in 1946 & secure affiliation of this new body with Union Cyclists International (UCI). The same year, Indian Cycling Team participated in World Cycling Championships held in Switzerland. Thereafter, Indian cycling teams participated in London Olympics in 1948 & World Cycling Championships at Amsterdam in 1946 & Brussels in 1949.
Cycling was one of the sports in 1st Asian Games held at National Stadium, New Delhi in 1951

The first facility for cycling sports appeared in the form of a concrete track in National Stadium, New Delhi which was built around an athletic track in 1951 for 1st Asian Games with a maximum elevation of 27 degree on the curves & a length of 466 mtr.

Extracted from the website of Cyling federation of India

Delhi by cycle

Cycling is an amazing way of exploring a city !!
Delhi has an organised cycle tour on bicycle , which is an amazing initiative just recently started in Decemeber 2009. I somehow find the fee for the tour a bit too much.

Creating a set up for guided tour of the old walled city of Ahmedabad has also been one of our design opportunities for the cycle systems project. In this regard, I had a meeting with Mr. Debashish Nayak , the founder of the Cruta Foundation to first start Heriatge walk in Calcutta and then in Ahmedabad in 1997. When I proposed a Heritage ride of Ahmedabad he was excited to know about this and agreed on lending all the possible help for making this project a reality.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

People's Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad by Meena Kadri on The Design Observer

Photos by Meena Kadri

People's Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad

It's been more than a generation since the Brazilian city of Curitiba pioneered Bus Rapid Transit. Since then this cost-effective and flexible transit system — which repurposes existing roadways into bus routes rather than constructing capital-intensive new railways — has become a worldwide model for urban mobility in both affluent and developing nations. A new addition to the BRT network was recently launched in India. Last year the northwestern city of Ahmedabad opened the first phase of the Janmarg — the People's Way. Though still in its infancy, the system has already attracted favorable attention: early this year the U.S.-based Institute for Transportation & Development Policy awarded Janmarg its Sustainable Transport Award.......

Focusing on socio-economic needs, the planners developed priorities: to provide poorer citizens good access to employment and education centers; to create a multimodal system of main and feeder lines that would serve both densely settled districts and more dispersed areas; and to safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. “We devised routes based on connections to key railway stations, industrial estates, recreational areas and colleges, with the goal of providing access for all Ahmedabadis," recounts Swamy. "We approached NGO’s for their guidance on access and inclusivity for the disabled and disadvantaged.” Swamy notes that the proposed 55-mile BRT network was organized to integrate with conventional buses and rail lines and also with automobiles, so citizens could use the different modes for various legs of intercity journeys. The planners also incorporated cycle lanes and footpaths — far from ubiquitous in India — and these have been extensively landscaped to provide shade. "We opted for full BRT mode, including predominantly dedicated corridors for buses, rather than mixed-use lanes, as in some cities," says Swamy. "Dedicated lanes are the key to making a bus system smooth and speedy — a real alternative to private vehicles."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bicycle renting at Delhi Metro Stations

Delhi Metro Extends its Bicycle Rental Facility to Pragati Maidan, Patel Chowk and Indraprastha Metro Stations

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation today extended its 'rent a bicycle' initiative already available at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station, to the Pragati Maidan, Patel Chowk and Indraprastha Metro stations on 5th February 2009.

While the bicycle rental facility is mainly catering to the needs of the students at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station, the facility at the Pragati Maidan, Patel Chowk and Indraprastha stations is expected to help the tourists and the office goers who work in offices situated at short distances from these Metro stations.

Each of these Metro stations will have ten bicycles available on rent. There will be six cycles for gents and four cycles for ladies. A nominal amount of rupees ten will be charged for using the cycles for a minimum of four hours. The same amount is being charged at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station also.

The commuters will have to provide a photo identity proof for availing the facility. All the rules and regulations related to the service will be put on display at all the Metro cycle stands.

DMRC had started this eco-friendly initiative with only seven bicycles at the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station in October 2007, which has increased to 25. On an average, about 50 to 60 people are availing this facility everyday now at the Vishwavidyalaya station.

The facility may be extended further to other Metro stations also depending upon the potential for such a scheme in other areas. The concept of renting out bicycles is already very popular in many countries abroad, but is being tried for the first time in India.

DMRC encourages the use of bicycles by commuters as it is an eco - friendly mode of transport. All the parking slots of DMRC have space allotted for the parking of bicycles and smart card holders of Delhi Metro can park their bicycles free of cost at the parking slots, while others will have to pay a nominal amount of Rupees two for parking their own bicycles at the stations.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Information Design Workshop April 2010 at NID conducted by Andreas Schnider and Rupesh Vyas

Participants of the workshop
From left: Andreas Schnider, Brajendra Nandan Panda, Wanda Proft, Sebastian Muller, Shwetal Khaire, Gunveen Kaur, Poorva Kelkar, Reiko Yamagucchi, Takashi Kondo, Shipra Singh, Benjamin, C. Subash and Ankit Vyas
Discussions during one of the sessions in Product Design studio

The Japanese students from IAMAS, Ogaki

A one week workshop was conducted during 5th april to 10th april 2010 on Information Design with students from IAMAS, Japan and Berlin, Germany. It was guided by Prof. Andreas Schnider, Institute of Information Design, Japan and the Information Design faculty at NID, Prof. Rupesh Vyas. The students of Product Design who are working on their Systems Design course were the host students for the workshop and the main aim of the workshop was to come up with visual presentations for the research work which we had been doing from 3 months now. The presentations were prepared with the intention of showing them to higher authorities/stake holders of that system.

The ReDiscover Bicycle team had a chance to work with Wanda Proft (Visual communication Designer, Berlin) , Takashi Kondo (Interaction Designer, Ogaki Japan), and Reiko Yamagucchi (Architect, Ogaki, Japan). They helped us in presenting the field work and the research work in a handout format like a map which can distributed as a guide to the volunteers who wish to promote cycling in Ahmedabad.

Friday, April 9, 2010

ReDiscover Bicycle : Where it started?

ReDiscover Bicycle,a movement which is now far more then just a course.Frankly speaking the course was just taken as an opportunity to start with the idea awaiting long in my mind.So from where does this idea generated?It all came to me while attending a 5 weeks workshop on "Auroville:Creating Bicycle Friendly
in Auroville, 150 kms from Chennai and 10 kms from Pondicherry ( workshop was centered in creating a bicycle friendly environment thus demotivating the use of motorized transport which does not go along with the environment of auroville.
The workshop as a whole was focused on different area of development w.r.t bicycling.The basic outline of the project were:

Workshop Outline
• Each participant will work in one of the five mini-projects (tentatively: pathways,shelters, lighting, signage and accessories) within the overall theme.
• Each mini-project will have a small team of 3-4 people from different backgroundsand will be mentored by a senior Auroville expert.
• The collaborative design process, research techniques and decisions making will befacilitated through out the workshop by an expert.
• Teams will be provided space with Internet facilities at the mentors business unit.
• A series of plenary sessions, talks and videos will be scheduled throughout theprogram for sharing of results and experiences.
• The resulting concepts will be demonstrated by building prototypes.
• Participants and mentors are free to publish and show case the results in the publicdomain free of restrictions.

As the outcome of the workshop, a small stretch of bicycle path will be constructedand show cased with prototypes:
1. Bicycle shelter and stand
2. Bicycle path andentry barrier
3. Signage
4. Lighting
5. Bags, bike wear etc.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Arivoli Iyakkam Cycling Initiative in Tamil Nadu

Arivoli is an NGO which focuses on improving the literacy levels of poor rural women in Tamil Nadu. In 1992 they introduced an additional program to empower women by teaching them to cycle. After facing initial social pressures not to cycle, over 100, 000 women have learnt to cycle and now use bicycles as a transport method. It improves self esteem, independence from male family members, income earning potential, health, lost time spent time waiting for transport and the ability to access places which are further from their homes or bus routes. 

A recent study on the project shown that the initiative has lead to a huge increase in the number of women who can and do cycle in Tamil Nadu. The study also suggests that women's sense of self confidence is improved by their ability to cycle. However there are still many issues which prevent cycling having a positive impact on these women's lives such as limited access to bicycles and an increase in their expected work load when they have a bicycle.

Why don't women cycle?

As members of the ReDiscover team we have, of course, become acutely aware of the cyclists we see on the roads of Ahmedabad. I feel a sense of pleasure and pride watching them going about their daily cycling activities and I am sure that my delighted ‘cyclist spotting’ smiles and encouraging waves must be quite confusing as they ride past.

When you are watching the every day cycling population of the city as we have been a major absence is immediately apparent: women.

According to research by CEPT University, just 5% of women in Ahmedabad make their daily journeys on a bicycle while 63% make their journeys on foot. It seems that this phenomenon is not just seen in India but also in urban centres in the US and Australia also where a large majority of cyclists are also male.

So why are there so few women who choose to cycle in Ahmedabad?

We have been doing lots of research and case studies and have come up with many possible answers but the overriding (excuse the pun) two reasons are:
  • It is regarded as an unsafe activity for women and
  • It is not the social norm

It seems that these two reasons are also an international phenomenon. So how can we address these issues and help women to ReDiscover cycling as a mode of transport?

Safety on the road is a big problem in India, the country with the highest incidence of road deaths in the world. In Ahmedabad most cyclists we have spoken to report bad traffic as a major hindrance to their daily cycling. Improving safety on the roads will take some design intervention with improvements in the attitude of other road users, the road conditions as well as the infrastructure and facilities available to cyclists.

The design suggestion I have come up with is a safety map that would be available to all cyclists using the ReDiscover sharing system and other sharing systems that may develop in the city. By making the map interactive, we could chart user’s personal experiences and therefore cater the map to the area and needs of the cyclists. The map could chart the more safe, dangerous or common routes in the city to cycle, facilities available to cyclists like safe toilets, rest stops and health facilities and use visual clues for directions to circumvent the lack of street signage. I have trialled using a user-generated google map and you can have a look at the results on the google maps webpage – search for ‘time to cycle’ under ‘user generated maps’. For more information or suggestions please leave a comment below.

Changing social attitudes towards female cyclists is a difficult talk but there are many design possibilities. Check out the ‘Copenhagen Cycle Chic’ site for inspiration on making everyday women cyclists and bicycles look very designer-cool.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cylcing practice at the St. Xavier's Jesuits house: PremalJyoti

A student inflating his cycle tyres on his own.
The cycle parking stand at the rear of the building

PremalJyoti, the front facade of the beautiful building by Architect Hasmukh Patel

It was an interesting discovery when, me and Katharine walked into this interesting piece of architecture as we were observing the cyclists in the university area.

We found out that all the 25 resident brothers, under scholistics training in the Jesuits house, are given cycles so that they can use cycle as the mode of commuting in the city. The cycles are then used and maintained by the brothers themselves. Their are 15 cycles at the moment and 25 brothers, so some of them share theire cycles.

Fr. Dinesh Braganza
When we went again to see the Father who looks after the cycle sharing every year, we met Fr. Dinesh Braganza, who gave us a very interesting insight into the practice of cycling in the house.

When he was student here, they used to have picnics on cycles and used to go for longer trips of 30-40 kms. He feels that now a "motor bike as a status" thing has made huge difference to the number of cyclists. "People now have a poor sense of self-esteem".
According to him, for a motorist driving a vehicle, the only aim while driving is reaching his destination as fast as possible, where as,
"a cyclist has a passion for the journey"
"Cycle says much more than just cycling"
Accoridng to him Ahmedabad is yet to wake up in green aspects. The amount of traffic has increased in last 10 years so much as that cyclists get pushed around on the roads. Its not easy cycling even around the university area, which once used to have quiter, cycle friendly raods.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cycle renting system in Majur Gam, East Ahmedabad

A cycle repair shop and also cycle renting place. This shop belongs to Puran Lal and is into cycle repair business since he was 10 years old. But he started renting out cycles only 10 years back.
One of the cycles for renting numbered 26

Puran Lal, 54. Has a fleet of 41 cycles for renting out.

It is a very interesting system of cycle renting in the Majur Gam area of East Ahmedabad. Most of the cycle repair shops in this area about 15 of them, rent out cycle sto the people who are mostly the building construction (brick laying, plastering,etc.) workers/labour. Since they do not work at one location throughout, so according to their need they borrow a cycle as and when needed. The most interesting thing about this system, that is how do they ensure, that the borrower would return the cycle back in time? They rent out cycles only to the people they are familiar or have an acquintance with. Thus, when i asked about borrowing a cycle from him, he refused to give me.
Ajay Kumar, 26 helps his father in running the business of cycle repairs and cycle renting.

They maintain a proper log book in gujrati and charge Rs. 10 per day, or just in rare cases a cycle is available for sometime then Rs.2 per hour.

Most of the cycles are booked by their permanent customers 365 days a year, and there's no chance of new people getting a cycle for a day, as the shopowner doesnt want to spoil his regular clientele.

In case the cycle is lost by the borrower, the shop owner feels that the borrowers are like him, poor people, so he would never force them to pay back, he would be happy with \ whatever the borrower would be able to payback through his savings over a period of time.

Its an amazing system that works only on the basis of TRUST !

Monday, March 22, 2010



The official inauguration ceremony is taking place on Wednesday the 24th at 10:30am, under hostel A parking area (middle gate) NID Paldi campus!

We have invited the director of NID to cut the ribbon and be the first participant to use the bike sharing system, as well as members of the press.

From now on all NID campus members will be able to use the bikes, and journey around Ahmedabad where ever they please!

Feel free to join us on the day, to help us celebrate this great event! Hope to see you all there!

Cheers, ReDiscover Bicycle Team!




Sunday, March 21, 2010

What were your experiences?

In order to learn from our NID trial system we need to ask people who use the system about their experiences and suggestions for improvement. We have created a survey which will be filled out by users when they have finished using the bikes and are returning the keys. The surveys will be collected in a big yellow box at the middle gate along with any fees and donations. Please feel free to comment about the survey or suggest ways we can make it better.

Fire Fox cycles in Ahmedabad

Fire Fox super bikes are becoming a craze among the youth in India, especially in Ahmedabad. After me and Swati visited Fire Fox Showroom on S.G. Highway, we got to know some interesting facts about the craze for these cycles. The same day, a customer (also a firefox owner) had specially come from Jamnagar for the Fire Fox accessories as they are available only at the exclusive showrooms which are a few selected in whole of India. The sales woman at the showroom Tejal, told us that they are selling at least one Fire Fox everyday so roughly 25-30 each month and the showroom is about 3 years old. But its still a good sale for a premium cycle brand which costs anything between Rs. 7-8,000 upto Rs. 1.5 lakh.

Most of their customers are here to buy cycles for school going kids in higher classes aged 15-16. They also had cycles for toddlers aged 2-4 years, but since they way expensive as compared to cycles by other brands, they hardly sell. Then their customers are also cycling enthusiasts and people who have higher incomes including builders, doctors, etc.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

black or white

brainstorming sheets, information mapping

Information map of mainly the Cycle merchants in Ahmedabad, the school kids mobility trends, cycling trends among the higher income group.

How system has subsystems and every are a whole complex system within themselves.

The initial map of stake holders of the system, and other dependents on the system

Mapping from Katharine on how can we motivate people in India to use bicycleas their priority choice mobility.