Bikes of Bangalore

On the crowded streets of Bangalore, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles are everywhere, winding in and out of stalled lines of cars and trucks, riding on the shoulder, lining up two and three abreast in a single lane. According to the Bangalore City Traffic Police, two-wheelers, all called “bikes,” make up more than 70 percent of the city’s total traffic volume. While drivers are required by law to wear helmets, passengers are not—and, in fact, most don’t. Women wearing sarees ride sidesaddle behind the driver. Often, a family of three or even four will pass by on a bike, one young child nestled between the mother and the driver, a baby in the mother’s arms. And given that the two-wheeler is the only form of personal transportation for many, riders often carry loads that seem too large for even a mid-sized car. The rule seems to be: If you can hold it in your arms or strap it to the bike, you can transport it on your two-wheeler.—Rick Ricioppo

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