Growing tribe of cyclists for green cause

Growing tribe of cyclists for green cause

The big turnout of cycling enthusiasts at the “Cycle Day” event on Sunday at Agara Lake was proof that Bangaloreans yearn for eco-friendly modes of transport.

The Cycle Day event, which had generated a buzz in its earlier avatar in Cubbon Park and Jayanagar, was back after the election break.

An estimated 1,000 people, including families and children turned up for the Sunday event. Besides the regulars, 150 cycles were arranged for rentals through Kerberon and Namma Cycle.

About 700 riders joined in for a group ride that went around HSR Layout on a six-kilometre-long route. Once the riders left the scene, the families and children joined in for the various activities lined up in the safe zone.

On the Cycle Day agenda were traditional street games, street painting and more by ESAF, art workshops, fitness and endurance activities and a cycling workshop by ProCycle. The riders later returned to join in for the street games. The slow cycling race drew in curious onlookers and passersby who promised to return with their families for the next cycle day.

Cycle Day is now organised as an “open streets” car-free event where a few kilometers of roads are blocked to motor traffic.

This is to create a safe and festive zone for people to just come out and try cycling as well as engage in sport, fitness, or community building activities. By putting cyclist and pedestrians first, the campaign seeks to change the prevailing mindset that roads are meant primarily for cars. 

Here’s what a Cycle Day organiser had to say: “We want people to re-boot their relationship with streets to ensure that all users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, have an equal claim to road space and the right to use streets safely.

At the same time the campaign aims to provide our government partners with the public support and impetus needed to create an enabling environment for cyclists through the planning and development of better roads, cycle lanes, cycle rental schemes, city-wide cycle parking stands and so on.”

One side of 14th Main, HSR Layout, and the entire service lane of Outer Ring Road adjoining the scenic Agara Lake were blocked to create a three kilometre long safe zone for the event. The event will be back at the same venue on the last Sunday of next month, that is May 25. 

The event was organised by Bengaluru Cycling Promotion Coalition, a citizen-government partnership consisting of the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), several civic non-profit organisations (Praja-RAAG, Embarq, ESAF) and multiple cycling enthusiasts.

This coalition has been arranging a monthly Cycle Day event on the last Sunday of the month since October 2013. The organisers said they had received requests from citizens from North Bangalore and Whitefield to take Cycle Day events to these neighbourhoods.

Those interested to partner, or willing to volunteer can reach the organizers at contact@cycleday.in

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry