This is all about augmentations of human energy with electric power for cycling
as the most sustainable form of human transportations

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Photo features in two Regional papers

My trike and myself was featured in two regional languages, Kannada and Malayalam daily newspapers past two weeks and common factor was both reporters were inconsiderate.

Few days back Anilkumar sent message from Puttur that my photo along with trike was in Suddibidugade, local tabloid. I was surprised as I had not met their reporter and there was nothing special. Later things fell into line and here is the report.

I had gone to Puttur two days earlier as I often do. A fellow in mobike riding parallel to me asked my name and whereabouts. Normally I don’t reply to people while riding in middle of city. My thinking is only traffic policeman on duty has right to communicate to a driver or rider moving vehicle. Anyway I gave him cryptic reply about my name and nearby location. I live in a remote village and many people may not be aware of that name. He zoomed past and took a photo from roadside. So single sentence report filed from these information contains only three mistakes - my name mispronounced, my village wrongly stated and that I am new to that town.

Last month I had gone to Kasargod, 54 km away to attend a meeting on endosulphon. Dr Shreepathy introduced me to a reporter - Mr Vinod of Mathrubhumi – leading Malayalam daily. I shared the facts and asked him to give me a hint if that is published.

On 17th May, exactly a month after that visit to Kasargod, I started receiving Emails from Kerala that - they have seen me in their paper and need more facts. After receiving many similar cryptic mails, I started looking around for reason. I asked with Mr Shree Padre, endosulphon activist and journalist - if he has any clues. He gave me probable hints and sent them Emails. So five days after publication, Rajesh of Mathrubhumi was kind enough to forward a small clip.

The clip is too small that you cannot read the printed matter. It is okay for me as I cannot read Malayalam language. The newspapers becomes trash by evening and same attitude is shown by the reporters towards subjects after the interview. I am not very keen to meet reporters as almost news reports so far ignored the crucial fact – this is unique vehicle in the world that makes use of human energy and electric power supplementing one with other.

It is unfortunate that most of our journalists do not exhibit professional conduct. Makes me remember a fake funeral video shot in New York two years back. One local TV channel over there without realizing it was a april fool prank picked up the video from youtube and claimed ownership.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rode 54 km to hear Vandana Shiva in Kasargod

Saturday afternoon I got hint from consumer activist friend Sundar Rao that a meeting organized in kasargod next day on Endosulphon and noted activist Vandana Shiva is coming. She is real inspiring personality who has contributed a lot for sustainable society. It got me excited as there is little chance of seeing her speaking otherwise and I decided to go. Normally I don’t attend these meetings as hearing impairment means I understand little about the proceedings.

I left home just around daybreak time @ 6 AM. Had first glimpse of rising Suryadeva while riding in a place called padubagilu – meaning western gate in kannada. Previous day itself I had called Narayana Murthy enquiring about the state of roads across the border from his place, in Kerala state. It was in poor condition when I was in that area earlier and in such conditions efficient pedaling is simply impossible. Tires gripping the road and my legs holding pedals – both should be very firm. Otherwise lot of energy is lost and takes fun out of cycling.

Had delicious breakfast plus some charge for my batteries at Murthy’s place while passing by. Murthy had reported the roads are tolerably good and have been recently repaired. Still I was uncertain till I reached there. Luckily the roads was in good condition and after pedaling 54 kms I reached Kasargod in 2.5 hours riding time. There was numerous hills to climb but my eZee assist considerably flattened all those hills. Hills were expected as I was travelling  from  North to South and the rivers  flowing from East to West.  

Dr Vandana Shiva spoke well in simple English. Line by line it was translated to Malayalam and that created some problem for me. My grasping procedure is bit complicated – it hears, then process it and only then it understands. During this delay, hearing Malayalam words confuses the whole process. Anyway I was happy hearing this great lady speaks. Rest of morning it was brave words spoken by politicians in Malayalam which I could not understand much.

Afternoon session started with slide presentation by Dr Ravindranath Shanubhogue. He lucidly explained the havoc created and probable paths in front of us. One point he said put me in shock. The yearly production now is 14000 tons but there is a accumulated stock of 75000 tons in India. What we are going to do with that ? We cannot simply wish it away. Chilling visuals the compares with effect of nuclear radiation spill comes to my mind.

There is a narrow bridge in Panemangalore pictured above and was built in 1914 which was used till recent past. Two heavy vehicles cannot cross each other on the bridge and one that have not crossed the midpoint had to go back. Looking at the big vehicles that have already entered the bridge, what most heavy vehicle drivers coming from other end used to do was accelerate so that they can reach midpoint early. So there will be roadblock for about half an hour and the culprit was never apologetic. Like these wayward drivers, our companies are stockpiling endosulphon being certain that government will come to their rescue.

While riding to kasargod, these similarities came to my mind. We do not need pesticides for organic farming nor petrol for our daily personal transportation. Both happens because of mental blocks or intellectual slavery that we are suffering now. I wanted to visit this meeting and decided to pedal. I feel this is more positive approach than buying petrol or gas and driving all the way.

I wanted to hear three people scheduled to speak that afternoon – one journalist and two doctors who played pivotal role in bringing this tragedy caused by Endosulphon to light. Mr Shree Padre, Dr Mohankumar and  Dr Shreepathy was expected to speak later but it was getting late for me to leave as I wanted to reach home by nightfall. Raining later in evening is not unusual and so I left at 3.30 PM. Had a leisurely 2.5 hours ride back to home.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Riding Trike 230 km in 11 hour 15 min

Having considerable love towards cycling as Sustainable mobility , I wanted to test my pedaling potential. Having cycled 200 km plus per day many times in normal upright cycle long back, I was confident of crossing 200 km per day in my trike with eZee pedal assist but wanted to prove it. Upper limit of cycling speed of 20 to 22 kmph and limited daylight hours are big hurdles for setting higher goals.

Shankaranna and Mohan who joined me as support crew in earlier attempt were enthusiastic this time too. Boys having summer holidays also joined us. We decided on one of route shortlisted earlier, climbing charmadi ghat road. Instead of coming back on the same road, we planned to come back Via Shiradi provided there was enough daylight remaining. Limiting factor was the fact that they are 40 km apart.

Previous noon I rang up Ravi D Souza who was my classmate and close friend during college days. Information passed on by Ravi was disappointing. One was it is raining here now & may rain tomorrow noon too. Another was road from there to Bangalore Mangalore highway is in poor condition. Things like impending rain do not dissuade me from reaching the goal and I decided that remedy for rain is raincoat and not canceling the trip. I did not want to postpone as there are more chances of rain on days ahead and my team members need to be available.

As planned earlier, I left home at sharp 5 AM. The dogs who usually chase me in my village roads had not woken up yet and I had silent & pleasant ride in comfortable weather. The night busses coming from Bangalore were zooming with bright lights and I was bit dazzled sometimes. Since I was very much familiar with that road, it did not trouble me much. At 6 AM, I was in Uppinangadi bridge and checked the progress of my support team over mobile phone.

We had two options there. One was usual Guruvayanakere road that was still under repair and other was Belalu road involved steep climbs. We had decided to take the Belalu road after asking around. Many people advised this road are one who use petrol vehicles and do not understand the hardship of pedaling steep climbs that puts considerable pressure on our muscles. Shankar supported this road and I was ready for both options.

To increase the mileage per battery, I had reduced the peak assistance from 22 Amps to 18 Amps on the previous day. The climbs right from rivers were real steep and put considerable strain on my knees. I had reached midway of this road when the team members reached me and promptly we put more depleted battery for charging in Nano car. Starting from home with 20 Ah, I had consumed about 18 Ah battery power when reached Ujre. Alternate route might have stretched the batteries little more.

Anticipating the requirement of charging in Ujre I had arranged for access for a plug at Dinakar’s relatives. Shankar was against visiting any houses feeling that answering all their questions will delay our departure. My knees badly needed some rest and I convinced him that it is better to have some charging from the plug. So we spent one hour and fifteen minutes for breakfast and charging.

We left Ujre at 9.45 AM. Kottigehara was 3000 feet higher and 38 km ahead of us. I hoped to cover this distance in two and half hours and managed to do exactly that. We replaced the battery with fully charged one at the foot of ghat [mountain] road at charmadi and younger son Sunil was assigned the task of replacing depleted battery with charged one whenever needed.

The road surface and inclination was good. The eZee pedal assist unit gave me solid support and complemented my efforts. Satisfactory speed while gaining height vastly boosted my spirits and it was very enjoyable ride. The other road users were supportive exhibiting thumbs up sign every now and then. A accident in Japan had claimed tip of my right thumb and so I could only smile back.

Somewhere along the mountain road, I happened to catch signal in my mobile at 11.00 and sent message to my friend Ravi that Kottigehara is 18 km ahead and will reach there by 12.15. There was still lot of climbing but I was able to reach there at the promised time.

The first questions to Ravi was about road ahead and food. Ravi said you have to pass by Mudigere and you get much better vegetarian food there. So we went towards Mudigere and at the junction where our road takes a turn, we parked the trike in a garage and I hopped into his car. Ravi told me yesterday it had rained around this time and it may rain today too. Luckily rain did not trouble us until much later. I was back in trike and started pedaling in about an hour.

Time was 2 PM and road was expected to be bad. I wanted to start descending the mountain road by 4 PM so that we can reach bottom before it is very dark. The road was very bad for about 25 km and non existing in some parts. It slowed me considerably. At Hanbal, I told my team members that all joints in trike as well as in my body have been well tested. About 12 km after Hanbal was tolerably good. Finally I was able to hit Bangalore Mangalore National highway by 4.15 PM.

Coming down the mountain road was really thrilling but I had to take sufficient care. I had brakes only on both front wheels and none in the back. I had to apply both brakes simultaneously and carefully as there was lot of chances of losing control on slippery road surface. I have to admit hub brakes installed in trike nicely took that torture. Most of turns had new surface that looked smooth with pebbles fixed while pouring. Anyway I had safe passage downhill.

I reached Shiradi at the bottom of mountain road in fading daylight. My legs had little to do for many kms in chilly weather and had become numb. After a few km of vigorous pedaling it got better. Cycle analyst computer also malfunctioned there because of chilly weather and I disconnected it for some distance. So I do not have total energy used up data. I could have noted time accurately but somewhere along the way the refill had fallen out of my pen and only shell remained. Sometimes I fail to note down the data because of my clumsy and tiring movements and here was another excuse.

It was getting dark nearing Nelyadi and rain which appeared imminent for a while started to drizzle. Anil advised me to leave the trike overnight somewhere with known people but I was not ready for abandoning the trip midway. Shankar also started feeling concerned as I was almost invisible both due to darkness and rain. The drivers have never seen something like this contraption cannot properly visualize the trike dimensions. Getting mesmerized, they may come and hit me was his concern. If under influence of alcohol mean they not even realize that they have hit me. We came across a muddy layer on the road that happened because of rain moved the soil heaped on roadside. Two vehicles had collided just before we reached there and then Shankar became more tense. Operating a Maruti authorized service centre, he gets news of accidents too often and naturally becomes tense before all of us. Not being exposed to so many accidents, I was more cool.

Beyond Golithottu, I put in all efforts pedaling furiously. I had earlier traveled in that road more than ten times and must have created new record on this day. Mohan driving Nano tried to illuminate my path to maximum extent.

Reaching Uppinanagdy Shankar told me that he can talk to hotelier and we can leave trike here. I convinced him that just 15 km more for your workshop and Puttur road in front of us is less crowded. I had told Shankar during planning stage itself that he has to watch over me. Having sensory and perception problems, I don’t always realize being close to collapsing point due to fatigue. Actually I meant more about heat factor during daytime as sensing ability of my body is poor and urinary inconsistency may push me towards dehydration. Maybe it also made him more jumpy.

The road towards Puttur was more undulating with plenty of turns. So I had to depend on my feeble LED trike light for some distance. When we reached Bolwar circle, Mahalingeshwara was on his yearly rounds. Luckily only front end of procession had reached there and we were not delayed. Finally at 8.30, I got out of the trike and stretched my limbs.

Total distance on trike was 230.3 km and I had been riding for 11 hours and 15 minutes. So moving average was 20.4 kmph. Energy used was about 65 Ah plus maybe another 5 Ah when I had disconnected the meter. Power usage was much more than my estimation because of bad design of locally procured rear tire and bad road near Mudigere.

Next day I had to take Sunil to his school for readmission and so took Omni. When I went near the trike, I was shocked to find deflated rear tire. It is not very easy to attend to rear tire as chain, gear system plus my bag limit our access. So carried the trike home in Omni. I dismantled the tire at home, only to find very small pin hole puncture. I could have pumped air and bought it riding if necessary.

I had noticed more power usage since sometime but never thought increased drag was due to the tire. Now have replaced the local Ralson tire with original Schwalbe and performance improvement is noticeable. I am sure this tire would have saved minimum 10 Ah power during this trip and naturally moved faster too.

Having support crew and vehicle with charging facility saved me about five hours charging time along the way. Maximum time spent in riding was around seven hours earlier and it was four more hours this time. That means with battery exchange facilities available or with more batteries very long trips can easily made with pedal assist bikes or trikes. Darkness, Rain and Crowded Highway together make deadly combination and will be avoided in future.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cycles are more expensive than cars

Vehicle manufacturers employ all tricks to make us feel inadequate without cars and motorcycles. Naturally cars and motor cycles are in the top of shopping list. It is seen as a symbol of success. They’re cut­ting down trees, bring­ing down build­ings in an effort to build wider roads. They are throwing our farmers out of farmland for the sake of building car factories. Most of the incentives provided to Mr Tata of Nano car and Mr Kheny of NICE road will be well hidden. Their persuasion like in above advertisement makes us feel it is right thing to drop friends of Bunty to school along with him and for that we have to replace motorcycle by car. Our plan­ners will never real­ize that all these measures will never solve mobility cri­sis.

Berkley is a famous university town in USA. Recently it was in news for outrageous fines targeting cyclists - USD 220 [ INR 10000 in Indian money] to the students locking their bicycles to a railing instead of a bicycle rack. Adding insult to injury, motorists who park illegally on campus are given a $46 ticket - yet bicyclists who lock their bikes up “illegally” are fined $220. Bike racks are reportedly often full, so locking up to a railing seems perfectly reasonable. But locking cycles to railings are five times more expensive than illegal car parking.

Same attitude exhibited in India too. Customs and Excise duties are like twin brothers. The things imported and levied custom duties and one produced locally are taxed under excise before leaving factory premises.

Traveling by the lonely road is always hazardous and stupid people like me never learn. Our government in Delhi that impose about Rs 10000 as Excise duty on a Nano car, made me pay paltry [?] Rs 68000 [yes, that is about USD 1500] as Customs duties. I had approached the grievance redressal mechanism of Central government Finance Department. Finally Delhi government decided that the duty imposed is fair though it is more than what is imposed on six Tata nano cars.

We have to obey law of land and pay customs duty. But the unexpected thrashing I suffered was CVDs. Countervailing duties (CVDs) are duties imposed under WTO Rules to neutralize the negative effects of export subsidies. The CVD also known as anti dumping duty is levied to protect local manufacture and it is payable equal to excise duty payable on like articles if produced in India. The customs officers routinely exceed their brief arbitrarily imposing CVD on all imports. Recumbent trike, Motorized hubs and Lithium Ion batteries are all not manufactured in India. I paid INR 24000 as CVD on goods that is not manufactured in India which I hope to get back some day.

Cycle and tricycle being symbol of independence should have got more importance, both from society and government. Unfortunately the taxes and penalties on these environmental friendly mobility are extremely high. We are made to pay very heavy price for our principles.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pedaling with Scouts and Guides

I participated in two  group  cycle  rides  in recent   past. The first one was  Rx Life Cycle Rally  in Mangalore on 5 Dec 2010  and the  details I hope to post soon.     The second  one was  Puttur Scouts and Guides  Cycle Jatha  held  on   2 March 2011.

Scout  and Guide Cycle Jatha  in Puttur   was  a  whole day program  giving  us   entirely  different kind of experience  from the  one   held in Mangalore.  Sunil, younger boy  who  is with  scouts    was participating in   Cycle Jatha  and I decided to join him.  There was about  75 students on cycles.  There was ten member  street  play   team conducting  small dance drama plays  on   plastic  pollution  &  awareness on  uses of bamboo.  They  performed about 20 minutes  program in four places. 

We left  Puttur at  9.15 AM  and first  program stop was about  5 km away in Kemmai.  The tarpaulin  was spread out as soon as we reached there and  sound system  was  organized   and program started.  Packing up immediately after program,  we went little ahead and took left  turn towards Sediyapu.  At  Sediyapu junction, children were   given  refreshments. 

Little later   there was  a  steep incline and all brakes  were put under  severe  test. Some  kids complained it was difficult to control the speed   as it was long  downhill road.   We again   stopped after 2 km for breakfast.  That  house  was  of my relatives   and I charged my battery  a little bit. All hopped on bikes again and immediately there  was  a   wall to climb.  After that about half km in National highway.

There was  short program in  kadeshwalya  village   &  we continued towards  riverside temple.  The  sumptuous   lunch   was  ready  for us on time which we had in temple hall.  Children performed their   skit  plus some music and then  to  river to play for a while. Teachers  bought them back by  3.30 and after  giving   fruit juice, put them on saddles.

We took  slightly different route  while coming back with  3 km more  of National highway, most of it downhill.  I could show to one of the teachers who pedaled with us that  aerodynamic drag is less on trike  and accelerates   faster than cycle on downhill roads with no pedaling.  

The most difficult part was ahead of us.  The  climbing a  steep incline  that was   about  climbing  270 feet  left everybody  out of breath.  Many of children  on single speed was  not  trained for  such climbing  also.  There was  watermelon  slices waiting atop the hill. 

A primary school student, little Vaishnavi   performed so well in her little  single speed cycle which was amazing as the route  was  difficult for much older students too.  Many  of the cycles  were single speed and it is unfair  to put them  in  competition with  geared cycles. 

We continued  pedaling towards  Puttur  and  were  guided  thru APMC road to avoid  evening   rush trafic in Main Roads &  reached the starting point around  6 PM.  Organizers  have done a great job and I express  my gratitude to them.   My GPS calculations put the distance as 38 km  but the terrain  taken into consideration, effort was much more. 

Return trip  to  home   was   another adventure. I suspected not enough charge left  and so went to  Shankarannas Service Station for  half  hour   topup.  It was  around  seven fifteen when I left there  and  I put on LED  lamp  tied to my head.  Light  beam  originating  very  near my eyes  highlighted   water  and dust particles  in atmosphere   and effectively acted as barrier.  Pure white light of LED is also  not as good as yellowish light  to show the road in such conditions.   Vehicles  headlights  helped me to see the road and tyres   have  got into few potholes on the way.   

Two kannada dailies,  Varthabharathi from Mangalore [clip above is from  page 3]   and Suddi Bidugade of Puttur   have  reported the  event in thier issues dated 3 March 2011.   For  me  it was 70 km  including distance from home    which  totally  took  four  hours  to   ride and  have consumed about  850 Wh.  Sunil later reported  almost all children who participated  took  next day off to recover.  I hope and wish the children  participated  will  keep  cycling as mobility option all their   life. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

135 km ride with support vehicle.

Having done 155 km in day during my long trip, I was keen on crossing 200 km per day which I felt was achievable by me provided battery charging is taken care of. Shankaranna who services my omni past ten years had installed a inverter in his Nano car and offered to join me. When we were finalizing our trip, he called his brother Mohan asking him if he will come with us.

I was scared of chilly weather and left home @ 6 AM with three layer of clothing and lights on. The programmable meter from Canada was restricting the power flow during wet & chilly conditions. So I switched it off till sun came up thereby losing power usage data during those few km. I could get the distance data from GPS. The usual road was dug up for up gradation and I used interior roads to reach NH towards Bangalore.

I was coming out of hotel after breakfast when Shankaranna & Mohan reached Uppinangady. There we kept the battery used till then for charging in Nano. They went inside the hotel for breakfast and I hit the road towards Nelyadi. Part of this moderately uphill road is one of the most enjoyable to pedal I found so far. Dinakar happened to meet us by chance and he gave proper road directions towards Dharmasthala. There are many interior roads in very good condition due to pradhana manthri graameena rasthe ......

There was a switch between Battery and inverter that started malfunctioning and connected cables became hot said Shankaranna and I felt it is a bad omen & will slow down our progress. Still we kept going forward & Dharmasthala, Ujre and Belthangady passed one after the other.

Passing Guruvayanakere I remembered old acquaintance Ranjan Rao whom I had not seen past twenty years. A local TV stringer chased us on motorcycle & caught us while we were having roadside discussion. There we happened to meet a staff of Ranjan who said he is in town & will leave for Bangalore later. So I decided to see Ranjan Rao and followed him. Later we found that he had already left for Bangalore and Smt Vidya Nayak whom we met arranged for battery charging.

Our TV stringer friend after making a video clip summoned a Udayavani reporter who interviewed me while my trike batteries were charging. A studio owner in Ujre had hopped onto bus following us and he caught us near Guruvayanakere and we couldn’t say NO for his request for photo. This has happened to me many times, being followed by photographers and common man. I had to oblige them without losing sight of my target which sometimes is very tricky & I do not want to appear rude.

By afternoon, we felt we couldn’t do balance of 200 km as we had done only about 75 km then. Shankaranna managed to set right the battery switch by then that enabled good charging from inverter but having lost precious time we were compelled to be satisfied with less distance.

So took Venur road and had lunch @ Venur. I took a photo of trike in the road adjacent to Gomateshwara statue. Later narrow road towards Manihalla crossed hills and valleys pretty steep both while going up and coming down. It was quite enjoyable.

Shankaranna was holding camera most of the time with Mohan driving and so could capture plenty of memorable videos. This is first time I was able to get hold of so many video clips & five of them are uploaded to youtube which can be accessed by clicking here. I meet people all the time who capture me with camera or mobile but I never have access to those photos. The shots I capture sitting on trike never show trike or myself. So these photos captured today are very valuable to me.

Six hours riding covered one hundred and thirty five km. Once in Belthangady I did forget to switch GPS on for some distance. Maximum speed of the day was 48.5 kmph with moving average of 21 kmph. Battery power consumed was 1500 Wh. Higher moving average and uneven roads resulted in more power consumed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pedalling reduces load on batteries

Months back I was working on e-assist cycling possibilities for my trike & once had a discussion with Shankaranna. He was very much skeptic that human input can displace battery usage and said it will use battery anyway. Later he admitted it is working after my demonstration, but I never got along to explain to curious onlookers who see me on the road.

At a given speed and throttle at particular level, I can see decrease in battery usage as I increase the pedaling effort that reinforces my knowledge but again it is not obvious to the non user. Yesterday the similarities of using biogas on diesel engines flashed in my mind. Having a gasifier developed in IISc, Bangalore, I have some experience in running diesel engines with Biogas and Producer gas.

Producer gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and Nitrogen produced by burning biomass with restricted supply of Oxygen. So it gets partly burnt and is in gaseous form. Energy equivalent of one liter of diesel requires three kg of wood chips. The same technology was used during WW2 to run civilian transport.

The Carbon monoxide (Producer gas ) or Methane ( Biogas) is fed to the intake manifold of diesel engine and engine progressively reduces the diesel intake to the extent of 75 %. Similarly when I increase my pedaling effort, my Cycle Analyst meter shows the decreasing Wattage being used to propel the trike.

So presently my trike runs on human effort plus battery power. I am working on adding solar energy to the above inventory so that riding range is considerably increased. There are plenty of hurdles to cross and it is expensive too. Plenty of technical problems and right materials not available in India. Will keep looking for a breakthrough.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trike riding in Bangalore

My Drift X 170 camera started giving problems in November. I had got it in middle of hectic tour preparations in July 2010 and never bothered to register online for warranty assuming there could be little warranty support in India. When Dinakar agreed it needed repairs when asked for second opinion, I registered it online with a follow up e mail that camera is not working. I was surprised to see their reply asking me approach their dealer, RACETECH in Bangalore.

So I had to go to Bangalore. I wanted to make better use of the trip and with my health conditions going to Bangalore itself mean lot of effort. I felt I can make use of this opportunity to show my trike to two people who means a lot to me.

I did not want to repeat the situation I faced in Bijapur railway station and decided to take a disability certificate. It took some time and I wanted to avoid peak winter weather too. So decided to make the visit on 18th Jan and booked the tickets on 12th.

Watching my position in waiting list on internet was part of my preparation for the whole week. Finally I got into RAC on previous day which meant seat assured and maybe berth too. I had pinpointed places I was visiting and loaded all the waypoints to my GPS. I had made complete travel direction chart similar to tulip chart used in Rallies.

I reached Mangalore Railway station around 6 PM on 18th Jan. I had left home at 12.56 PM and pedaled about 40 km to reach Mangalore Railway Station with some chatting with Ashok while my batteries were charging in his shop. The railway officials did not recognize the disability certificate I had [ Issued by Karnataka Government ] and charged me INR 60 for transporting trike in luggage van. There was some time to spare, I used the opportunity to topup my batteries again from the mobile phone charging sockets provided in railway station.

Reaching Yeshwanthpur I had to collect Gate pass from parcel office and it was in Platform six whereas my train was in platform one. So had to go to parcel office in middle of platform six along with my luggage from edge of platform one and collect the gate pass which will allow me to take the trike out.

Coming out of railway station and approaching Mathikere, I remembered relatives whom, I had not seen past fifteen years. So gave them a call but there was hardly meaningful discussion with my poor hearing. Then we agreed that I will visit them on the way back after visiting Racetech.

Harshad whom I was I was supposed to meet @ Racetech was out and I had to wait for an hour. I was getting frustrated as having come long way from home and wasting time here. I would rather be pedaling exploring more of Bangalore. They said they have a demo piece they will lend me now & once replacement arrives from the company, it will be replaced with a new one. That demo piece was not ready in their hands and offered to deliver to me later and I gave my timetable and it was delivered to me in the evening. Being on one of its kind vehicle has its own advantage :-) Harshad’s assistant very easily located me near Sadashivanagar.

Bangalore city at EveryTrail

Venkatramananna was waiting for me near Dollar colony bus stop to guide me to their house when I was returning from Jalahalli and I spent time with them catching up the news and sharing some food. They had sent mail contains directions from indiatimes ID but it was never delivered to me by gmail & if I had their house stored as GPS waypoint, it would have saved me considerable amount of time.

Next stop was to meet Mr Kesari Pejathaya who had closely followed my trike trip(on his flying carpet) and I wanted to show him my trike. It was a comfortable midday 12 km ride to cooke town, mostly on Outer ring road. I had passed by same road about eight months back and I was shocked to find there was no progress in flyover construction work in two places.

Kesarijee was very happy to see me along with my trike. After reading his books, articles and exchanging numerous emails, I was keen to meet him in person. He presented me a autographed copy of his book ರೈತನಾಗುವ ಹಾದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ to be released on 25th Jan 2010. Time flew pretty fast.
The next stop was in sadashivanagar to visit Ra-chikki who first permitted me to go to cycle shop with their servant and learn to ride in a hired cycle. Those days I was spending nine months every year in a residential school near their house and opportunity to learn during vacation in our village was very little. The love they showed me during those days have made deep impact in my life.

I must have been pretty tired by then as I had failed to switch on GPS during last part of journey which is reason incomplete loop in map above. Finally I turned up at Yeshwanthpur Railway Station in fading sunlight. The railway parcel office staff tried to say it has motor and so will be charged for 600 kgs, the disability certificate I had carried no weight and it is very frustrating arguing with them. Finally they agreed to charge for 100 kg and it was Rs 110. I was thankful it was not INR 600 but still told them that I had paid only INR 60 while coming to Bangalore.

I paid money and came back to the platform one with trike but without luggage receipt. When I rushed back after realizing it is missing, they told me not to worry and they will send it to the platform.

After coming out of Mangalore Rly Station next morning around 10 AM, I had some food while batteries were charging at Ashok’s shop. Starting from there at 11 AM, I rode continuously to reach home at 12.40.

Approx Distance by trike 120 km
[ 38 km in Bangalore city + 82 km to and from Mangalore]
Moving time on trike 6 hour 16 minutes
Overall average speed 19.2 kmph

Energy consumption 1418 Wh
My battery capacity 720 Wh

The preparations I made with tulip chart and GPS helped to save time and avoid confusion. Google map had mentioned a Indianoil petrol pump in Hennur Road as HP pump and naturally I continued to ride strait ahead though I had noted another landmark, Charles school on left side . While coming from cooke town to Sadashivanagar I took a wrong road [that goes near cantonment railway station] that happened to be one way and that added little bit distance. Remote planning with maps do not take into consideration one way roads.

I took care to be visible to other drivers on the road, especially those of big vehicles. I reached the railway station before it is dark because my trike will be difficult to understand in dark by other road users. The people and policemen I spoke to were very courteous and helpful. Not being used to using flyovers, sometimes it becomes difficult to pinpoint the relevant signal lights.

I could not take the camera out and take photos at any landmarks as I preferred to keep riding. Camera mount was not fixed to the trike to prevent damage in luggage van. There was plenty of opportunities handing camera out requesting to click but this did not occur to me then.

I had taken One hour Nine minutes to travel 18.5 km from Jalahalli Industrial Estate to Cooke town. Though major portion was thru Outer ring road [that had roadblocks due to flyover construction work going in two places ] My speed was 24 kmph in outer ring road and other roads where there was free traffic flow.

I took 52 minutes to cover 10 km from cooke town to Sadashivanagar and journey time was about forty minutes with traffic signals taking away twelve minutes. Like in other big cities, I am convinced that power assisted cycle or trike can help mobility in Bangalore traffic too.