This post was featured on Global Voices Online (English Edition). Click the image below to check it out.
Someone once said that the real world is out there. You can never get the taste of it sitting in front of your computer under the roof of your home and office. Interesting thing is, I actually did read this quote sitting in front of my computer at home.
I stay at home a little too much than those of my age. I grew up kind of lonely in my home with my mother and father only. Brother stayed at Dhaka Medical College hall and sister got married. Yes, I did go to school but strangely my classmates were good friends while we’re at the school. As soon as we leave the premises, it’s like we forget each other. These are just a few reasons why I don’t end up going out of my home that much. I stay at home after my school/college hours, and apart from studying I work from home for some extra income (like blogging and article writing for printed IT magazine).
I wanted to go out but I didn’t know where or with whom I should go out. This was until recently I stumbled upon some YouTube videos showing a couple of bicycle riders enjoying their way around the city. It got stuck in my mind and I began wondering if I could join the team, known as BDCyclists.
What is BDCyclists?
The group is more like a group of people who love to go out with their bicycle to enjoy vacation and weekends. The group does have plans to organize race someday, but that’s not its primary focus. Following is how the group defines itself on its Facebook group and website:
We are neither an elite athlete group, nor people who are training to compete in races. We are just general people like you who is either a student, a service holder, a business person having a common goal of staying healthy in this stressful Dhaka life and ride for recreation, health, and sheer fun.
I find that pretty exciting and adventurous to join in. But how could I join in without even knowing how to ride a bicycle?
How I got in
Luckily I had an active member (maybe plus founder or something alike) named Fuad bhaia. I began bugging him to help me learn riding a bicycle. From the beginning, however, he was positive in helping me out and finally he did introduce me to the group page asking a few others to help me out. Soon I realized there were other people who were interested in joining the team without knowing how to ride properly.
As a result of a bunch of personal requests knocking at BDCyclists, today the group arranged a beginner’s session to help newbie learn riding bicycle. I was invited and I went there early in the morning.
How it went
The first problem with me was that I never rode a bicycle before. Approximately 3-4 years ago, I once cried a lot to my parents to buy me a bicycle but they never did it. As an excuse, they kept telling me that it was dangerous to go out there with a ride because I could get hurt by an accident. Back then it sounded okay. Years later, now it sounds stupid to my ears.
Good that I can manage a bicycle for myself, but not just yet. So the second problem with me is that I don’t have a bicycle. The cyclists from the group managed bicycle for me as well as other newbie riders today. And then the training actually began.
I wouldn’t say it was easy. I never quite understood that riding a bicycle required some technique as well. I kept falling on both sides (not on the ground, though ). I’m still not good at keeping my balance while pedaling or sitting on the saddle. However, after one hour training session with wonderful support from Ripa apu, Nazia Apu, Shan vaia and a couple of other members of BDCyclists, I’m a little more confident that I will learn it sooner or later.
After the session, Mona bhaia gave us some tips on learning and riding bicycle and confirmed that the session will be a continuous one starting from next Saturday onward. Luckily, my college is closed on Saturdays so I can happily join each and every upcoming session.
Here are a couple of photos of today’s session in front of the parliament house in Dhaka.
The photos were taken from BDCyclists official Facebook group page. The photos were taken by (respectively) Nazia Apu, Ripa apu and an unknown guy arranging a stage for a small event on the occasion of World Pneumonia Day in front of the Parliament House today.
I’m not a rider yet, still I feel like starting to get out. I haven’t begun cycling yet, still I had so much fun at today’s session that I can actually imagine how fun it would be to go out on an actual ride. I’m also aware that it’s not an easy task either, but at the cost of fun and other things that staying at home doesn’t offer, I’m willing and dedicated to do that hard-work (cycling, I guess!).
And one more thing, back from today’s session, whenever I see a bicycle rider on the road, I see the rider from a different perspective. I can’t tell what, but it’s not what used to be before this morning. Possibly another proof that nothing is as easy as it looks in the first place.
Thanks again to everyone at today’s session and the whole BDCyclists team. I can’t wait to join you and hit the road together!