We bought two new Atlas Goldline Super bicycles today. The bright green color in the picture above is protective wrap. The gentleman with the bikes is bringing them out to prepare them for delivery: we need heavy-duty racks in back, mine will have a top-guard only over the chains, they both need seats with big fat springs, and the most important part: installation of the signature Atlas hood ornament. Cost ? Sixty bucks.
The Atlas bicycles, as well as the Hero brand bikes, are ubiquitous in India; and by “ubiquitous,” we really mean ubiquitous: these beasts take people to work, to the movies, to the villages and back; and with the rack on the back they can hold a family of four, several bushels of produce or sticks, or, tied together properly, a moveable showroom of cane furniture. With a few alterations they can pull an ironing cart, a fruit vendors cart, a pony-cart schoolbus, or a barbershop in a box. Sounds weird but we will get around to posting on those subjects at some point ;) Anyway, like the beautiful Roya Enfield Bullet motorcycles and the Hindustan Ambassador automobiles, the designs are virtually unchanged from 50 years ago. I like that.
Tonight, Rathnama and the rest of our band of gypsies are planning on making a puja for the new bicycles, to keep the riders safe during the coming year. How cool is that?
Break time for this Port Blair cabbie, sorting through his CD’s in the passenger seat of his Ambassador. Cab interiors are a world unto themselves, every surface covered with stuff that the cabbie loves. Not uncommon is the presence of flowers, one bouquet here, but I have seen entire dashboards covered with ‘em.