Exploring on wheels

Exploring on wheels
Bengaluru is soon going to see a welcome change with a system of ‘bicycles-on-rent’ in Cubbon Park. The Tourism Department, along with the Horticulture Department, is introducing this new network on trial basis for two months in an attempt to improve the tourism experience in the city.

Thought to be a positive addition to the city’s transport system, the new initiative has seen mixed reactions from cycling enthusiasts. Shweta Humnabadkar, a product designer, frequents Cubbon Park with her friends during the weekends and sees this as a welcome move.

“For those who can’t bring their cycles to the park, renting one on the spot is convenient. Adding a fee will ensure that there are more bicycles available. One can even book in advance. The location is also an apt one as Cubbon Park is a lovely place to explore and there is so much to see all the time. You get to keep yourself fit and explore an integral part of the city.”

There’s something special about exploring a part of the city on a bicycle, says Anuj Arora. The art director and graphic designer explains, “I moved to the city four years ago and Cubbon Park was on top of my bucket list then. Though I walked then, cycling would have made the experience cooler.”

He says that when one is travelling in a four-wheeler, the charm is lost due to a closed roof. “Renting cycles will allow you to explore in peace. You get to see more of your surroundings,” adds Anuj.

Cycling, on its own, has quite a few health benefits too. Ashraf Ali, a cycle technician, says, “Being fit is important and cycling for about four to five kilometres per day is sufficient to burn calories. Clubbing a healthy lifestyle along with promoting tourism is one of the best moves by the government. And when the visitor is travelling on a budget, going on cycle rides seems to be a good option.”

But there some who are sceptical about the movement. Dr Ali Poonawala, a urologist, voices, “I honestly don’t see how feasible it is in our city. Private vehicles choke up the roads in the park on weekdays. Most of the events and happenings also take place over the weekends, so what will one see on other days?”

Proper advertising is key, says Nitika Rao, a business intelligence and analytics consultant. “Bicycles-for-rent is great for people who already frequent the park but it doesn’t look like other people will find it interesting enough. This could work if it is advertised properly though. It could even become a unique selling point for Cubbon Park and maybe for other tourist spots too,” she notes.

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