Pedal Strength – Part 1

Atlas. Hercules.

The first one walked around with heaven on his back. And the other destroyed dangerous monsters. Both popular for strength and valour.

Greek mythology is as far away from me, as far as nation development in a politician’s agenda. Ok. Perhaps not that far. I know who Atlas and Hercules are.

But hey this post is not about politics. Or mythology. But of bicycles ! If you are from India, chances that you are aware of Atlas and Hercules as bicycle brands are far higher than knowing them as mythological strong men.

The Atlases and Hercules es doing the rounds on Indian roads are a sight to see. Mythological strong men would arch their eyebrows in respect ! For the Atlases & Hercules of today carry everything from Crackers to Pappad to Milk to anything that you name.

In the slightest of possible spaces they make their way, in the busiest of roads. These are not fancy cycles used by people with ‘environmental friendship’ as a credo. ‘Saying save the world’ that with a fancy helmet and a T-Shirt to that effect.

No. This is part of everyday mainstream living ! That these wheels will have to be pedalled so that the wicker at home is lit. That a kid goes to school. That there is roti to eat. (Ok. Rice too).

To see an Atlas or a Hercules pass by with all their load is often a salute to ingenuity. To innovation. To the spirit of labour. And of course, to the reality balancing a life on two wheels.

Atlas may or may not have shrugged. But he sure does balance life on a pedal ! God knows for how long !

13 thoughts on “Pedal Strength – Part 1

  1. Well, the man of metaphors has done it again:) Atlas and Hercules pedalling, carrying loads of loads, squeezing their ways amongst busy roads. Thumbs’up:)

    Btw, are the pics googled?

  2. You didn’t show the unfortunately common spectacle of a 100 chickens tied by their legs to the handlebars.

  3. Suma says:

    another lovely post…we practically grew up on the hercules/atlas bicycles…

    and the ‘balancing life on a pedal’ is so true for so many in this country!

  4. Jeevan says:

    Wonderful post kavi! These bicycles remind me so much, and till 10 years back I was in touch with bicycles. These days’ people pedal for exercise; but enough are days people pedal for there life source of exercise .

  5. manju says:

    For how long? I don’t think these bicycles can be replaced. They’ll be here for many more years.

    Though the pizza delivery boys generally use scooters.:)

  6. Great post, Kavi.

    One question: Are cycles in the picture made of edible material?


  7. Where I live, despite the invasion of seat plastic and motorized 2-wheelers, we still see gentlemen taking their wives pillion on their bicycles, sometimes even sitting in front, as they pedal away to the Main gate to leave their wives there to, maybe catch a bus….

    Wait, I just had an idea for an exercycle….

  8. ♥ Braja says:

    I love your photos Kavi 🙂 It is so nice to be back here and getting around a little … yours is one of the first I’m going to 🙂

  9. tina says:

    Bicycles are good for the environment, no pollution. Those people carrying all those goods on the bike must be very technicle in balancing & for a safe ride. Thanks & Happy Easter!

  10. nsiyer says:

    Atlas may or may not have shrugged. That’s an interesting way of writing. Kavi, interesting.

  11. You have the knack of ‘balancing’ wonderfully-observed photos with witty and funny observations. Are you good at riding a bicycle? And what do you prefer? The Atlas/Hercules types or the BSA SLR rockstar-on-wheels style?

  12. amreekandesi says:

    I remember the days of the doodhwalas (milk man) going around on his bike. Till they started using motorbikes.

    Another great post!

  13. Kavi says:

    Naperville Mom : man of metaphors..!! What a title. What a title. I am touched ! 🙂

    But please do tell me..what is pics googled. I am a neophyte to technology…

    roshini : yes..Oh Yes…. And thats been missed. I can see ! 🙂

    Suma : Thanks ! And yes. we grew up with them ! 🙂

    Manju : Oh. The Pizza boyz…well, thats a separate post ! 🙂

    VSP : Thanks sir ! And edible cycles…well, thats a new angle ! 🙂

    Ugich Konitari : Living in campus has its pluses. And now i have realised one of them would be to see a couple on a bicycle. With the lady sitting on the handle bar ! I dont know how many years its been since i saw that sight !

    Braja : heyyyy Welcome back. glad to know that you are back. And thanks for those comments. It warms the heart !

    Tina : Oh you bet Tina. They are the most technical ! 😉 so to speak. Their technology cant be taught. it has to be learnt !! And hey..happy easter to you too !

    NS Iyer : Sir..thank you ! Thank you !

    Sucharita : Rockstar on wheels ?!? I am a staid man whose age is showing more than it should. Rockstar on wheels…phew ! You give me a complex Sucharita !!

    Amreekandesi : In Mumbai the cycles still rule ! Big time !! Thanks !

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