Two middle-aged men drag their bicycles on the slope leading up to Koteshwor, Kathmandu this evening. In these times of “environmental consciousness” I can safely assume that they are not trying to make any statements like “we are toiling because we care for our environment” and “we prefer cycling because we dislike traveling in vehicles that consume fossil fuel”.
Motorbikes are the most preferred form of transportation in the city for those who can afford them (and those who can’t afford a car). I don’t think people put their concern for environment before their desire to travel comfortably. Bicycling could be fun (or even fashionable) during the bandas in Kathmandu but this city is not bicycle-friendly. Not just because there are no separate lanes for bicycle on roads. There are far too many slopes in the city which means bicyclists have to get off their cycles and drag them, like in the photo above, every kilometer or two.
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Saurab Dahal, World Cyclist from Nepal, in New Delhi recently. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium is on the background
The ‘world cyclist’ finally arrived in Delhi last week. He had been traveling in India for the past several months. He had added me on Facebook a couple of months back. I had been following his updates on and off. He had posted photos of his meetings with at least two chief ministers, some Bollywood actors and soldiers of Gorkha Rifles, Indian Army. His entries provided insights into his travel experience. One of his status updates said that he had to flee the house in Punjab where he was invited to stay overnight after the male host attempted to kiss him. [एउटा साइकले ठिटो– नेपालीमा ।]
Saurab Dahal was 14 when he started his world tour on bicycle in 2002. He dropped out of the school (9th grade) to spread awareness on issues like “green environment”, “education to children” and “world peace”. He said he was disheartened by the sight of street kids sniffing glues and begging for food on his way to school in Koteshwar, Kathmandu. “I wanted to do something for them,” he said. “That’s why I decided to leave the school and travel to tell the world about the plight of such kids who are not able to go to school.” After traveling 21 countries including Nepal and India Saurab has mastered the art of convincing people that dropping out of school is the best way to contribute to child education. “I am on a noble mission,” he says. “The people and Nepali embassies must help me [by providing shelter and air tickets]. Continue reading
The IIT graduate who set off on a bicycle tour to Nepal [Here is the TKP PDF Page. Here is Kantipur Koseli Nepali PDF page]
By Dinesh Wagle
On his chin, Anand sports a Lenin-cut beard and a compromise. He wanted to be a bearded man, perhaps like Marx, but his girlfriend hated that. Thus the compromise.
Occasionally, the compromise is breached. This past week, Anand didn’t get time to trim his beard. The young Indian who left Delhi last Monday (15 June) aiming to reach Nepal spent his days bicycling on the sizzling roads. The juicy updates about the international cycle journey have been popping up in Twitter (@kaargocult) and his website rega.in frequently. “i hve a frnd named gautam who is into chakra meditation. Claims to have power over weathr. I requsted him for clouds n here they r,” says one post, called Tweet, in the micro-blogging site. “Sitting besides ganga watching others washing their sins away.” One guy says, ‘saare paap dhone hain bhen@&od‘ (Have to wash away all the sins, sister @&od).”
After a round of interview in a crowded eatery in Lajpat Nagar, I invited Anand to my apartment where he got a Chandra Surya! [रातो र चन्द्र सूर्य जगी निशान हाम्रो…] Continue reading