So far, I have been using bicycles without gears in my whole life. In the last one month, I started taking my bicycle out quite regularly. For more than two weeks, I am doing 6+ kilometers on my bicycle. Based on the positive effect of taking out my bicycle regularly, I started looking at what the local bicycle club members are doing. I found that they are doing anywhere between 10km to 25km on Hyderabad roads, which is quite impractical to achieve with my bicycle without gears. Most areas near my home are hilly and the flat areas a bit farther from my home.
At the same time, good gear bicycles are quite expensive and I didn’t want to invest good amount of money upfront without testing the waters. Unlike in western world, there are not that many pro bicycle rental places in this part of the world. That prompted me to shop around for a used entry level bicycle with gears at a lower cost, so that I get a feel of what would it feel like.
Based on one of the posts in Hyderabad Bicycle Club (HBC) forums, I contacted a bicycle enthusiast who is willing to sell his old bicycle. He recently bought a Cannondale and he is ready to part with his older one. The deal is done in the first meet and I brought home my first geared bicycle Friday night.
This is a Raleigh Elevation 2.0, an MTB with 18 gears. I took the bike out on Saturday morning and had a very positive experience. I got a couple of accessories fitted with the bicycle (water bottle with a cage and a bell – a must thing in the crowded neighborhood I am in) and got the parts lubed and greased. Now the response of the bicycle is much better. Let me see if I can better my 6km mark with this bicycle. Sunday is the testing day.