Biswas: I picked up cycling this year; a really nice Rs 35,000 ($495) cycle. I’ve cycled nearly 1700 kilometers this year.
Surprises on the cards
The Ken: I’m surprised you bought one. I’d have thought you might have used one of the green or blue cycles popping up all over Bengaluru?
Biswas: That’s for short commutes. This morning I went cycling, and in 50 mins, I covered 24 km. This is cycling for exercise’s sake because I got bored with running.
The Ken: Where were you running in Bengaluru?
Biswas: I start from somewhere near the center of the city, then all the way around Old Madras Road around Ulsoor Lake, then to Indiranagar Double Road, up through Domlur to the military area, then back to MG Road, then two circles of Cubbon Park, and that’s just 15 km. So there’s no way to even run a half marathon in the morning.
The Ken: How long have you been running?
I’ve got data that goes back five years, but, last year, in June, I got really really fat. I went up to 87 kg. Now I’m down to 71. Because one and a half years of Dunzo had really taken its toll.
Last year was a 700-km year. In six months, I ran about 600 km and got close to about 80 kg. But then, I figured, running in Bengaluru is very boring. You can’t go anywhere.
I get out at 5.30 and am back home by 7.30. Started short. Did 2.5-3 km run? The longest I’d run earliest was the dream run in Airtel Delhi half marathon, which was 7 km.
Figuring out the stress
I figured that the stress of Dunzo only goes away if you can find an hour of salvation time, which I find while running.
The Ken: Do you meditate?
Biswas: I’ve tried but I don’t have the focus. I’ve tried a lot. I’ve used Headspace; I’ve tried sitting at a spot and putting the phone away. But at some point in time. I’m just too fidgety as a person. The nervous energy is just a little extreme.
I realized running is the only thing I could find peace with, so, this year, I ran the Bengaluru marathon. That’s 42 km. I can run 25 km easily. I can do a half marathon at 2:10 or 2:15.
I used to run all the way from Frazer Town to HSR Layout and then figure out it was only 19 km.
The Ken: And how did you get back?
Biswas: Uber. The best part about all of this is that you can just run and come back in an Uber. I usually run on Sunday mornings. I take Saturday afternoons to Sunday afternoon off. Saturday first half we’re working and Sunday second half we’re working.
The Ken: Why Sunday second halves?
Biswas: Because Monday mornings are crazy. Because my team has to end up working with me. These 3-4 ppl get impacted instantly. And a larger group of 20 people get impacted thoda thoda sa. So they’ve started calling it “Smonday”. “Iska Monday chalu ho Gaya.”
Setting up the different goals
Cycling gives you very different goals. I’ve realized it’s a rich man’s running. You just have the equipment, cool stuff you can buy. You buy a nice cycle, you buy gear, you buy shorts, you buy a helmet, you buy gloves. The fucking gloves are worth Rs 1,500 ($21.23).
The furthest I’ve done is 115 km in 4.5 hours.
The Ken: But you can’t Uber back?
Biswas: No, you can’t. Though I have once given up. I went all the way towards Hosur. I crossed Hosur, there was a jungle, which I crossed, that was around the 65 km mark. And then I started returning, and that was around the monsoons. I kid you not, this city has winds. At some point, I was cycling as hard as I could, but I couldn’t go beyond 10 kmph. The wind was so heavy.
The Ken: So what did you do?
Biswas: I just got an Ola and paid him Rs 1200 ($16.98) to come back to the city after putting my bicycle in his boot.
So now my fav thing is to do a circle of the city along the ORR route. It’s a nice 75-km stretch. It’s the prettiest thing in the world.
The Ken: What bike do you ride?