At first, riding a bicycle through Mumbai seemed like a death wish. I saw lines of cars, scooters, rickshaws, horses, oxen and even human-pulled carts lurch into intersections before the light turned green. I hesitated at the crosswalk, holding up traffic and setting off honking from behind. I was petrified by cars going the wrong way, pedestrians hopping between buses, scooters pulling onto sidewalks. It was like the arcade game Frogger, except in real-life, with much higher stakes.
The game was not limited to Mumbai. As I spent two years cycling from France to China, the scene replayed in some of the world's most dense, overcrowded metropolises — Istanbul, New Delhi, Hanoi, and Shanghai, where traffic rules are more like “guidelines.”
Yet, despite this chaos, I still felt more comfortable on a bicycle there than I ever do during my daily bicycling commute in L.A. Here's why. See our full story: Bicycling Can Be Deadlier in L.A. Than in Mumbai, Shanghai and Other Heavy-Traffic Cities.