Saturday, May 12, 2007


I put another 15 miles on the bike today and took a few pictures on the way. I also found a potentially interesting place for visitors to stay, took care of some minor bike maintenance and met some scarecrows (sort of).

None of this was supposed to happen; I had plans to spend the day visiting a farm village south of Hyderabad with Anil and Anu, who have relatives there. But I got a message from Anil last night saying that the family had gone away for a wedding, so we rescheduled for tomorrow. This left the day free, so - heat be damned! - I decided to go biking.

My first stop was a gas station to try to get air for my tires; they seem to lose air very slowly and were a little softer than I would wish. I found that the nipples on the bike tires are not standard automobile-tire nipples,so I pedaled down Road #10 to a place I got air the last time my tires were low. Sure enough, their hose fitting was double-sided, and on my first visit I just happened to pick the right side, so I didn't notice the issue. Anyway, I got air and then turned left off Road #10 and into Banjara hills.

My sense of direction failed me completely; I'll try to post the GPS track as an update, but when I looked at it I was embarassed at just how far off course I was. Not that it mattered; my wanderings were bounded by large, easily-recognizable roads. And the exploring was fun!

My first scarecrow really is a scarecrow. As I passed this construction site, I noticed a rather odd-looking worker near the top:

On closer examination, I discovered it's a scarecrow.

Why is this here? I can speculate: cheap security, good luck charm, memorial to a fallen worker. Who knows?

A few miles later I came upon a Hindu temple (a common occurrance) with this interesting feature:

The rest of the temple is pretty typical.

Just past this temple, I pulled in to check out the "Zion Guest House". I was shown several rooms; the first was OK, the second was actually quite lovely. The location, on Road #14 near KBR Park, is quite a plum, and while it's expensive as guest houses go - Rs. 1600/night, or about $40 - it's much cheaper than, say, the Taj Deccan, and far more homey. In retrospect, it wouldn't have been a bad choice for me; at about Rs. 48000/month, it's much cheaper than my flat and would be easier. Ah, well; perhaps a place for guests, if I ever get any.

As I prepared to get back on my bike after this stop, I discovered that my basket was missing a part of the bracket that holds it to the frame; it must have loosened and fallen off without me noticing. This determined my course for the rest of the ride, as I went back to Pedaller's Point for repairs.

The fellow who does assembly and repair at PP recognized me as I rode up and gave me a big smile; he fixed the basket immediately and adjusted my brakes. He insisted that I should return if I have any problem at all with the bike; I think my "wacky old foreigner" persona opens doors for me.

With the repairs complete, I pushed on to Kashmir Emporium for a few games of backgammon with Feroz, and then home to collapse.

1 comment:

  1. A nice guest house in India is a wonderful thing indeed. I like to think of it as an oasis from the hustle and bustle of life in India. The heat and all of the activity and, of course being non-Indian, is wearing. It's really nice to have a place that is quiet, cooler, and where someone takes care of you (at least a little).