10 things you should never say to an Indian cyclist

Ride Tiger, Ride!

Ride Tiger, Ride!

Oh! You are a cyclist

Now that’s one thing many including myself would have rarely heard from others.

In India, many consider cycling not a sport but as a transport medium for the poor. If you have a cycle; considerably local cycles then people term you as poor. Certainly I don’t mind them calling me poor or rich or whatever, I only ask them to re-consider their views on a cyclist or cycling.

But that’s not what this is about.

As a cyclist myself, I have faced many questions from my friends, family and colleagues; not about the sport but the need of the sport. On the lighter side of frustration of answering these inane questions, it is time for everyone to have an agenda of queries or questions that should never be asked to a cyclist. Here are some,

[Fill your family or friends name here], I bought a bike.

That’s great. (On seeing the bike) That’s a cycle. Where is your bike?

Me: That’s the bike.

Them: Oh! You bought a cycle. Why are you calling it a bike? Okay how much?

Me (Smiling): [Fill any amount]

Them: Why! Why did you buy a cycle this expensive? You could have bought a real bike. Are you mad?

Me: It’s nothing. I’m interested in cycling, so……. Never mind.

[Alternate Scenario]

Me (In my mind): See, the thing is that this is a Mountain bike and you don’t know anything about it.

Are you a racer?

Me: [Hesitating for a sec] No

Are you racing?

Why do you think of me racing when I put on my helmet and start pedaling? Have I asked you the same when you start your motorbike? I’m a cyclist and I’m not an alien. I do bike commute to work or ride for leisure, do some biking for endurance and why not, some racing as well. But all you ask is am I a racer or am I racing. Grow up fellas.

Are you rich?

This is blasphemy. I love cycling and I bought a cycle. I don’t have a motorbike or a car but I have a bike. How can you term me as rich or poor?

Why do cycle to work where you could come by [any motorized transport]?

For this one, I could give you a hell lot of answers which you would have heard many times. But I do have a question: What is your problem with that?

[When they see me somewhere else] Don’t you tell me that you came here by cycle?

Mate, cycling is not a compulsion. It’s my cycle and I could ride it anywhere I like. Don’t you use your facility like that?

It’s too hot outside. Don’t ride.

Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Bye.

It’s raining, don’t ride now.

Why not? Obviously I will.

Okay, take an umbrella.

Are you kidding? I couldn’t say more.

I have a mountain bike and my mom told me this: Dear, buy some groceries while coming back.

Mom! How could you?

I’m sure you would be have faced some funny questions, What response do you get when you tell them you are a cyclist?

Your comments would make a difference!

Find me on  Facebook or Twitter.

Rajkumar Mahendran
See Everything, Be Nothing



  1. Chandra · November 29, 2013

    In the late 80s, people rode cycles. I rode a bicycle all over Madras. I ride a cycle now. People offer me a ride, if it is rainy, which I loitely deny. I think asking how much one’s bike costs is rude. The askers may not like it if you asked them how much their automobile cost. I have flabbergasted some, by asking that question in turn 😄

    Peace 🙏

  2. bijoor · November 28, 2013

    Love the photo!

    • Rj · November 28, 2013

      Thanks, Many more yet to come. Please share.

  3. lalitha · November 28, 2013

    Since childhood I wanted to ride a cycle. when I bought one on my first salary, my younger brother commented “you should have bought a moped at least”. Even when I can afford a car, I am very happy with my cycle.

    Happy Cycling

  4. Jyoti · November 27, 2013

    hahaha, hilarious but true, I was smiling throughout while reading this article.. I’m not a biking enthusiast but am sure these are the questions that almost every cyclist has to face sometime or the other..

    • Rj · November 28, 2013

      Thanks Jyoti. In fact this is okay to some extent, but it really annoys me and every others cyclist sometimes.

  5. bubbles1111 · November 27, 2013

    So true.!! My brother is a cyclist and he seriously has to face all these questions…!!

    • Rj · November 27, 2013

      I accept this wholeheartedly. Please share.

  6. aborrowedbackpack · November 27, 2013

    This such a lovely post! I can relate to it as I have a bunch of cyclist friends who brevet to god-knows-where! 😀

    • Rj · November 28, 2013

      Thanks @ aborrowedbackpack. Share it to them, most importantly to Non-cyclists. cos those are the ones who really put them through this agony.

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