Of Cycling and Fitness

They say cycling is a shortest road to fitness, not only it burns up your calories, tones your body and strengthen your heart but also help you stay in shape. Regular cycling gives you skinny upper body and shapely legs, or so they say.

Cycling is the best fitness exercise for obese people, since the weight of your body is supported by the cycle; it doesn’t exert much pressure on your joints. Couple of years ago, cycling wasn’t very common in the highland country like Bhutan. However, with the passage of time, cycle brand started producing cycles with gears as much as 25, which has perhaps convinced the Bhutanese small society to seek fitness out of harm work and gym.

I had a small cycle in Bangalore for 2 years, small enough to be for kids. Unfortunately my best buddy, Pema could never learn to balance her body on two wheelers or to ride for that matter. That’s why we could never enjoy a ride together but then I had my share of fun riding early mornings or on weekends. Those days we used to ride for hours for no apparent reason. Most of the times, it used to be my friend Mithun and I. Occasionally Tim used to join us for ride but then at times like this Pema was the cause of worry for us. Since none of us could take doubles, Pema had to walk, while we rode. For that reason, she hardly joined us.

Anyways that joy was short lived. When I graduated from Bangalore, I couldn’t bring my cycle on the train till NJP. That was the last I saw of my dear cycle and God knows I miss her very much. Well now that I’m in Bhutan, I can’t help falling for every geared and helmeted cycle on the streets here. So I thought of buying one myself and one day I asked opposition leader, Tshering Tobgay, the cost of cycles and Lyonpo was kind enough to answer my query.

To my disappointment, the cost of cycle freaked me out. For the life of me, I could never dream of owning one, the price was way above my budget and so I had to give up finally. Cycles are luxury items for the riches, not a necessity for middle-class people, like me.

However, we had this discussion in my office and to my surprise; many of my colleagues (males) are in awe of cycling and fitness. It was good to know, somebody shared my passion for riding. We had exclusive discussion on the topic and finally agreed that we all should take loan and buy one for each and maybe eventually go for long ride as a team. It was a sheer pleasure to talk about stuffs you like.

I’ve always admired Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay, for his passion for the sport. And it’d be a good way to start especially now that the world has become conscious of environment related issues like automobiles and pollution.

Someday, I’d hope to see the streets of Bhutan flooded with riders, not vehicles, accidents and traffic congestion.


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