BIKE TO WORK COMMUTER PROFILE – MAYUR BATHIJA

Shaun George Commute, Featured Rider

As kids, almost all of us have had this euphoric moment where we felt intense happiness in doing something for which we have been preparing a long time. One of these moments for me was learning to pedal a cycle and the sheer joy of being able to cycle without the support of those extra wheels that helped me balance or someone holding the saddle and making sure I do not fall off my bike. 

Hi, My name is Mayur, and I’m going to tell you about how I began cycling, fell in love with it and why I cycle to work.

It all started back in 2012 when I began cycling just for the fun of it – cycling back then was more of a leisure activity I undertook to stay fit. My rides mostly comprised of weekend rides with friends. I tried joining a gym nearby but a few days into the new schedule I realized that the enclosed gym environment wasn’t for me. I left the gym eventually. On weekends I would cycle in and around my layout to keep in touch with cycling and also because I enjoyed it.

In 2017 I moved out of my former company and joined Swiss Re. Swiss Re is a reinsurance company with the goal of making the world more resilient. True to its roots, anything eco-friendly is encouraged by the company. So much so that, they reimburse a significant amount of the original price towards the purchase of any “green” product! How cool is that?

The office was an 18 km one-way commute and I used the scooter for a bit. The traffic was crazy and commuting in the evening took me at least 90 minutes. It was certain that this could not continue!

Apart from assisting with the “green product” purchase, Swiss Re had fantastic shower facilities within the office with fluffy fresh towels for their employees in the showers! All these perks re-ignited my passion for cycling to work.

Inspired by this scheme, I purchased a road bike – the Specialized Allez Sprint from BUMSONTHESADDLE. Prior to the Allez I also own a GT Traffic for my daily commutes. It’s a hybrid that is ideal for my city commutes with its upright seating posture and comfortable ergonomics. I usually use my GT Traffic for commuting. Whereas the Allez is reserved for longer rides.

Being apprehensive about the distance, I initially tried 3 days a week to see if I could manage this. I immediately realized how much more convenient this method of commuting was for me. Travel time was reduced by a considerable amount with a MAX commute time of about 55 mins on the way back in peak traffic. On days with less traffic, It would take me closer to 40 – 45 mins. This used to take over an hour on my scooter!

I felt a lot better with this new system in place as I was saving a lot of commute time that I could now spend with friends and family. Besides, biking to work has kept me fit with non-existent transportation expenses.

Biking to work is really the best thing to do. I urge everyone to follow this wonderful lifestyle.

Why do you cycle to work?

I love it.

I don’t need to spend extra time on exercise as my commute is now a fantastic workout. It also helps me do my bit to stay “green”. Most importantly, biking to work is a way more fun and time-efficient way to commute in Bangalore city.

What are 3 simple tips you would give first-time office commuters?

  1. Carry only essentials, the added weight can add unnecessary strain while cycling.
  2. Always ensure your brakes are set up properly and your tire pressure is optimal.
  3. Wear cycling gear if your ride is longer than 10kms at a stretch.

How many people have you influenced in your workplace to bike to work?

I’ve inspired about 7 – 8 people to give cycling a shot and commute to work on a bike in my workplace alone. This number is gradually rising as people are becoming more aware of the advantages of biking to work. I had recently published a bike commuting article within my workplace and that alone has sparked interest and also led to a few riders commuting to work.

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