To my mind, it’s one of the great enduring images of cycling; the Indian street scene. Chaotic, vibrant, streets, populated by colourful, busy locals, many of whom will be riding, pushing or holding their two-wheeled beast of burden. The bikes will be large, traditional and loaded. Rod pull brakes, dynamo lights, racks front and rear. Boxes, bags and baskets vie for space, whilst goods are loaded, unloaded and traded. The – truly – humble nature of the Indian bike, its utilitarian affordability and subsequent widespread use, make it the unsung hero of sub-continent.
Perhaps unsurprisingly I’ve always fancied one for those days when you just have to carry lots. And lots. And LOTS. The weekly shop perhaps. Taking the cat to the vet or a youngster to a Tae-Kwon-do class (guess what mine’s doing now?). Carry a cart full of books or being the odd man out at a car boot sale. Anyway….I fancy one. Until this point in time, I wouldn’t have a clue where you lay your hands on an Indian bike, then…BINGO…. I spot a new company on twitter ; The Indian bicycle shop बढ़िया है! (fantastic!). A quick nose around their site reveals 4 models – The Punjabi flyer, The Maharani, The Sahib and the Bombay Express – all geared (literally) for work horse city use. Love the dark paint jobs. Love the comfy saddles. Love all the shiny details (like the fork crown and the rod pull brakes). Love the fact that most of the kit is hand made using tooling that started life in Nottingham. Best of all, I love the price. At £390 for their top end Punjabi Flyer (pictured above), what’s not to love?
The Indian bicycle shop website can be accessed here. I really want one.