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Bicycle is this man’s best friend

While most people don’t cycle to work because of the heat, Amar Harolikar doesn’t mind pedalling to office even when the temperature is 43 degrees Celsius. Vimal Chander Joshi reports.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2011 00:43 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi

While most people don’t cycle to work because of the heat, Amar Harolikar doesn’t mind pedalling to office even when the temperature is 43 degrees Celsius.

He even carries a thermometer-cum-compass to check the temperature. The higher it is, the happier he gets. Don’t be surprised if you come across the 37-year-old chartered accountant, riding an Atlas bicycle, with water bottles tied to his ride, between the expressway and Connaught Place on a sunny afternoon.

“Some days I return from Dhaula Kuan, though I often take a U-turn from Mahipalpur,” said Harolikar, who also owns half a dozen bicycles.

He moved to Gurgaon from Bangalore three months ago with his financial analyst wife.

“I cycled 2,500 km last month, from Bangalore to Jaipur, and then back in 20 days. I have taken several short trips in the recent months, including Jaipur and Agra. I have been riding a cycle for two decades,” he said. Even while he was pursuing BCom in Bangalore, he preferred cycles over bikes or cars to go to college.

His wife, too, seems to have caught the eco-friendly habit from him. She doesn’t mind sweating it out on a bicycle for the last two years.
Harolikar owns six cycles in Gurgaon, while one has been kept at his in-laws house in Kolkata.

His collection includes four Atlas, one Hero Thunder Race, and some expensive ones such as Firefox Road Pro (R16,000).

But he prefers to ride a basic Atlas model. “It’s risky to take an expensive cycle on long tours because you have to park it anywhere, outside a small hotel or by the roadside,” he explains.

Such long tours are always well-planned, and he schedules them at a time when his wife is also travelling. “During long tours I ensure I carry a shaving kit, a pair of clothes and a toothbrush. If not these, I always carry a water bottle and a compass,” he said, as he peddled towards Delhi and disappeared from sight.