On Cycling-12

3 min readMar 16, 2023

Music Maestro A R Rahman’s love for cycle did not surprise. He recollects his 45-minute ride from home to a bookshop to buy music-focused magazines in Chennai long ago — perhaps before Roja days. (1)

Rahman kept cycles at his Mumbai residence and London as well. Colleagues warned him about the necessity of wearing helmets whenever he wanted to ride in the London suburbs.

It is no secret that the Hindi filmstar Salman Khan rides a cycle from his Bandra (mumbai) home to Filmcity occasionally. Why he does what he does is not a mystery. Celebrities in any walk of life can ill afford seen in public. None bothers non-celebrities. But those in limelight perpetually (high glamour quotient for female stars & the chocolatey chehera and good physique of male stars, is it?) have to resort to all sorts of gimmicks to hide their true identity — even without make-up!

Therefore, the itch or urge to do something to enjoy the pleasures of common man remains insatiable. Cycling offers one such aam janta opportunity. Salman and maybe others too attempt.

Arthur Conan Doyle who created the unforgettable detective Perry Mason and his secretary Della Street, wrote: “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope seems hardly worth having, just mount a bicyle and go out for a good spin down the road, without anything but thought for the ride you are taking.”

George Bernard Shaw has a unique style of cycling. Writes his biographer Michael Holroyd:

“For someone physically timid, Shaw’s experiments by biculce were extraordinary. He would raise his feet to the handlebars and simply toboggan down steep places. Many of his falls, from which we would prance away shouing, “I’m not hurt,” with blacks, violet lips and a red face, acted as trails for his optimism.”

Shaw, in his typical style, claims that if he had taken to the ring (circus), “I would have suffered less than I have, physically.”

(1) (https://youtube.com/watch?v=8QF6ZvYpkbU&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE …. This interview is in Tamil.)
(2) https://thevictoriancyclist.wordpress.com/tag/george-bernard-shaw/

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