Simi Marina Mathew - Bangalore
Bicycle Commuter | Relief Rider | Social Worker
Simi first hopped on a bicycle when she was a little over five years old. It was an adult sized bike and she could barely reach the pedals. But she loved it so much that she used to save up money in her piggy bank to rent bicycles for a rupee an hour. Then one day, her mother took her in an autorickshaw towards Bangalore city Town Hall and she rode back her own Hero Devil bicycle. She rode to school every day. She rode to her flight school when she moved to Florida, park her bike beside the airplane hangar and hop into a Cessna 172 (four-seater single engine aircraft) for flying lessons. She rode to a number of watering holes when she worked as a mixologist in Boston downtown and the theatre district area for a few years and to her shoot locations on modelling and acting assignments.
She took her passion for cycling a notch higher by working as a bike shop manager at some prominent bicycle stores when she got back to India, where she enjoyed test riding some of the finest new arrivals. She loved being surrounded with bicycles and working with tools. She has conducted basic maintenance and repair workshops, from patching punctures to tuning the gears and has also inspired many others to take up cycling or ride regularly. She loves to commute on her decade old bicycle to work or to buy groceries for her mom.
Simi works with an NGO where she shares inspiring stories of her fellow cyclists and the impact that cycling has had on them. She is also a volunteer Relief Rider and her bike ‘Isa’ helps her carry medicines and groceries to the vulnerable and the elderly during the Covid lockdown. Simi has evolved through many cities, professions, hairstyles and romances. But her love for cycling has been the only constant throughout.
When asked why she rides bicycles, her spontaneous response is “I ride for my peace of mind, away from the daily grind. I ride for strong legs like tree trunks. I ride to chat up with strangers at the traffic signals and make many friends at the roadside tea stalls. I ride because it is the closest I have experienced to flying planes, it puts me in a state of Flow. Cycling to me isn't a fad but a lifestyle. And who said, meditation means you have to Sit Still?”
That’s one true blue bicycle commuter for you! Hope this has inspired you to start commuting on a bicycle too. 😊