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Pedalling his way to ideas

Ace scientist V Adi Murthy gets most of his genius ideas while pedalling down the road, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 14:10 IST

Ace aerodynamics scientist V Adi Murthy gets most of his genius ideas while pedalling down the road on his sturdy green Hercules Champion.

The associate director of the country’s premier space research centre, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, has been cycling for the last 20 years, covering at least 16 kilometers from home to office every day. He is a regular on the roads with people making way for him. Be it for personal work or office work, Adi prefers riding his human-powered vehicle everywhere. No wonder then, addressing an international seminar recently, he said: “I have covered the earth on my bicycle thrice — one round of earth is 39,000 kilometers.”

Each time he scaled new heights on his trusted cycle, worried family members, amused colleagues and harried security officials thought he would surely dump his old vehicle. But he proved them all wrong.

An authority on hypersonic speed,  the 60-year-old gets a bit miffed when people say he is forced to ride his rickety cycle due to health reasons. “Not true. Health is only a secondary reason. I love and enjoy riding it. I get most of my creative ideas while pedalling my favourite vehicle, especially during morning rides,” the IIT-Kanpur alumnus says.

But he has one complaint: cycle repair and servicing joints are fast disappearing. “A times, I have to pedal miles to get it repaired. I am now doing most of the repairing on my own.”

Adi may be an unassuming man who rides a humble bicycle but he has his sights set on great things — the moon, for instance. He is currently busy developing low-cost access to the space. Of his famous team mate on the SLV-3 project, APJ Abdul Kalam, he says: “A great team man; he is the most lovable person too.”