Wheels of Fortune


The humble bicycle remains an indispensable tool of trade for many professionals, even in today’s automated world.

Producing about 10% of the world’s bicycles, India is the second-largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world, next only to China.

Apart from being used for fitness, recreation and personal transport, most bicycles in the country's financial capital - Mumbai - are used to provide basic services. Not quite blue-collar workers or full-fledged entrepreneurs, these service providers rely heavily on the utility value of a standard bicycle to make a living, often ingeniously adapting it to their occupation.

Most often, their choice of a cycle is the Atlas Goldline Super – a reliable performer on the streets, distinguished by its black and chrome outline, raised steel handles and 28-inch wheels. Designed for the “common man’s daily uses”, the Goldline can be seen delivering food from restaurants, carrying milk and eggs, and ferrying newspapers and other recyclables on Mumbai’s streets.

Here are 5 men (among the countless many) who keep Mumbai moving, one pedal stroke at a time.

This feature was published in Time Out Mumbai magazine's Jan 2013 issue.

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