on Radio !!!

I cant believe I almost passed the chance of being on radio !

Got a call from Radio City asking if I could be on air the next morning (day before). They were having a show on Bangaloreans doing things a little differently. And I got called for biking to work and because of BumsOnTheSaddle

Didnt think too much about this, was only worried about screwing up as this was going to be a live show ! What if you say something wrong, what if you are unable to say anything - in front of tons of Bangaloreans !!! Sheesh. What a way to start a day.

RJ Vasanthi at the Radio city studio - in action

But then I must admit it was one helluva experience. It was the Breakfast show, with the award winning RJ Vasanthi who was extremely nice and made me comfortable in no time at all :) The next time you are listening to the Radio City Breakfast show this is what Vasathi is doing - playing music, checking sms's which are pouring onto here system, taking calls from listeners, figuring out what to talk next to the guest on the show, drinking coffee, taking personal calls and chatting away with the guest and at the same time doing short segments on the show like traffic update etc etc. All at the same time. Kinda incredible !

Moral of the story - never say no to things like this. Go. Experience !

Just when I was starting to get comfortable and was all loosened up to talk it was all over ! Sigh.
Did manage to talk a little bit about the bicycling scene in Bangalore and what it takes to bicycle to work. Wish I had a more planned agenda. Figured Radio is a really powerful medium that can reach so many people at once ! Next time :)

came out to a familiar Bangalore scene. Traffic Jams. Sigh !
Balloon pricked.

TVs Still rule compared to the radio. A quick look at Google Analytics stats after this short interview on radio showed

Till date nothing has generated traffic like the interview on CNN IBN did. Interesting huh.

parking lots

(Video should load up in a bit)

Cycle of Change : Video Coverage on CNN IBN

Kiruba has a more detailed write up on his blog of what the plans are.
Currently there are two sets of bikers - one in Chennai and the other in Bangalore who are looking to accomplish something small in 4 weeks. We are supposed to document the whole process on tape so that CNN can show this as a part of their citizen journalist show.

In Chennai - these guys are looking to organize a bike to work day and maybe have a bike race in January
in Bangalore - we are looking to introduce bike parking stands in the city.

Dunno what the status quo is with the various groups. But been so freaking busy that I have had no time to do anything for this at all. Very sad. Would have very much liked to have contribute more than what I currently am.

Bicycle parking

Design a bicycle parking stand - NOW  (Poster designed by Chaitanya)

The bigger picture. We at BOTS have been wanting to slowly start improving the bicycle amenities in the city.  Bicycle lanes, bicycle parking lots, safety awareness for bikers, simple products that can make your life easier etc etc. Some are in the pipe line and some have been gathering dust, due to lack of time, not interest.

Recently CNN IBN got in touch with us and asked us to take up one activity related to biking and take it thru in a span of 4 weeks for some programme of theirs. We were extremely hesitant as we were swamped with work and all these short term thingies really dont work out. But then there was another group in Bangalore which was enthu about this too. Formerly called A.I.R, now renamed Go Cycle. We met up a few times and decided that parking lots for cycles was something that could be addressed.

So here goes. We are going to introduce bicycle parking lots in 3 places in the city and see how it holds and then introduce them all over the city. Hopefully. So stuff to do
- identify locations for the parking lots
- design the stand
- figure out funding
- execute it

One place that we identified was outside Lalbagh. Its a shame to see 100s of folks who ride/drive up till lal bagh. Walk inside and then drive back. Seems utterly pointless. Atleast 10 of these could be converted to biking till there and then biking back home. There were a few other locations.

- design the stand. We are asking some person to design it. But it would be really nice if interested people could take a stab at it and see if they could come up with something interesting. I want to design some really nice posters on this and see if we can have some kind of bicycle parking lot design contest (lack of time is a problem here). Should be a lot of fun.

- funding and execution. Seems far away !

Overall pretty exciting. Parking is an issue right now.
Only problem is time.

Trek University

Trek University

nikhile and I had a chance to attend Trek University. Till date whatever we know about bikes was self learned - by experimenting, making mistakes and reading from books and the internet, which is a kinda slow process.

For the first time we met guys, technical guys from Trek who have been doing this for over 30 years, who really loved their bikes and it showed ! The time that we spent with them was brilliant. They knew what they were speaking about and even better, understood why they were doing it. And they rode bikes ( sarcasm, but important :) ).

Kinda makes me understand why the age old tradition of a Gurukul was so awesome. If you are really interested in something you might not be able to learn it by just attending a session or two. You got to live the path and a fast track way would be to stay and work with a person who is substantially better than you in that field.

The little time that we spent with these guys gave us an insight into the way Trek works. Apparently these guys go around the world taking dealers through what Trek stands for, what their bikes are capable of and the kind of research thats happening in this field.

Awesome stuff.