On Cycling-6

Konsultramesh
3 min readJan 25, 2023

“Meet Prakash Kulkjarni. My friend. From Pune,” is how recently retired Deputy Regional Transport Officer (DRTO) Sanjay Sasane from Mumbai was introduced as I shook hands with the 1958-born Puneikar (or is it Puneite?).

Venue: AutoExpo2023, Greater Noida. My den.

Sasane and I go back to 2012, when we first met at Automotive Logistics India Conclave in Pune and remained in constant touch. I don’t take his refusal to give any juice quote about the role of RTOs in India as an insult. He has his dharma. I have mine!

“Prakashji, a veteran cycler,” adds the tall Sasane.

With my forthcoming cycle trip from Chennai to Hosur nearing D-Day (January 30), I quietly sidestep Sasane and “gobble” up the less than five feet-10 inches Kulkarni.

I am a sucker for even a cycle mechanic these days. My cup of joy spills over to hear of Kulkarni’s cycledom! That, too, with the veteran tag!

The Geminian, reflecting his zodiac sign’s characteristics, has two faces: owning and managing a Driver Training School. On the other side, he loves cycling. Otherwise, why should this sixty-plus (two years younger than me!) diploma in automotive engineering spend 70,000 rupees on buying a Trinx bike (an Italian make?), including the paraphernalia — you know what!

“I began cycling in 2018, much before Covid,” replies the biker from Pune. Covid-imposed lockdown and the resultant ennui made him hop onto his cycle to pedal more and burn calories willingly. Hard physical labor.

Alone to begin with. Subsequently, more friends and neighbors joined to do a daily run of 25–30km. Weekends may have witnessed half a century km. Not more than that. Why? “Sun gets angrier as the day progresses,” quips the Marathi manoos.

“Are you a fleet owner?” he asks matter-of-factly. This misunderstanding was due to my presence in the IVC Logistics pavilion with a giant 18.75-meter car carrier as my backdrop. I disappoint him with a firm “No.”

Kulkarni remembers cycling to school several decades ago, “covering 5km maximum.” After marriage, did he attempt his better half as a pillion rider? No.

I suddenly remember that I have forgotten the presence of Sasane. A gentleman, he is. He does not mind.

“Now that both are you talking about cycling, why not we organize a cycle trip originating from Pune. We will arrange everything. Right, Prakash?” That was Sasane.

Why not? responds Kulkarni. According to him, there are several cycle groups in Pune with whom he is in constant touch via social media.

“Don’t worry about bringing your cycle to Pune. I have a spare. We can ride together,” says the cycler from Pune.

How to thank him? Words fail me.

Then I realize that for the first time, I have NEVER touched the topic of driver training with an expert who owns and conducts classes for drivers! Know why? Because I am consumed with cycling. उसका अलावा कुछ भी नजर नहीं आ रहा है। क्या करूं?

चोडो, there is always the NEXT TIME. Perhaps after the Pune-to-somewhere cycle trip sometime soon.

Bye, bye, Prakash ji! Bye, Bye, Sasane!

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Konsultramesh

An avid watcher & practitioner in the world of communication