Fancy a ride through heritage?

Fancy a ride through heritage?

Picture this  - you are cycling your way through  leafy paths, there is hardly anyone else on the road except the solitary jogger, the wind is in your hair and you are smiling from ear to ear.  

Did that make you happy? You are welcome but let's bring you back to reality now. Leafy paths  are rare to find, isolated roads even more so and  you are most likely to have smoke and dust in your hair if you go for a ride in the city. However, this is set to change with the latest initiative by the  tourism department and Namma Nimma Cycle Foundation that will let you rent bicycles in the city's largest green pocket.

Visitors will get a chance to explore the heritage spots in and around Cubbon Park  on GPS-enabled cycles. The initiative, aimed at promoting tourism and cycling, has been christened 'Cubbon Trails' and will see  cycle stations coming up on January 26 near the park gates on MG Road, Kasturba Road, Hudson Circle and Ambedkar Veedhi.

"I think it is a fantastic initiative,"  says Aditya Mendonca of South Fire Cycling. "More cycles on the road will hopefully make more people want to rent them and it will be great to add more cyclists to the existing community. The proposed area is quite suitable for cycling too."

Iconic spots like the Venkatappa Art Gallery  and Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall are some of the many spots that will be easily accessible to people under this scheme.  Tandem cycles  or cycles that can be ridden by more than one person will also be available on rent for the first time in the country, though Aditya feels "it  will be fun watching people ride tandem cycles in traffic."

However he is glad that the culture of cycling is on a firm footing in the city. "There are many organisations  in this field now, like 'Yulu'  and Zoomcar's  'PEDL'. Even Uber and Ola are getting into it. If it becomes as easy as pulling out your phone and simply paying through online wallets to get a bike, then why not?"

Friederike Fokuhl is also upbeat about this idea. The German national, who is a true-blue  Bengalurean now, says, "This sounds like a fun idea. It will be especially helpful for visitors and tourists who come to the city because, unlike the locals, they do not have their own cycles. My friends have experienced this problem themselves."

Sunil K G, civil engineer and ardent cyclist, too agrees with the  notion that this  move will help outsiders to understand the history of the place. "There is a Bengaluru tour package that is organised by  KSTDC.
The government can look at integrating 'Cubbon Trails' with that by including it in the tour package," he notes.  

He also adds,"There can be multiple targets though. It can be aimed at the localites who would like to know their city better. It can even be promoted  among school students and senior citizens.  The city has quite a sizeable population of senior citizens but cycling, or any activity, for them is not being promoted. But all said and done, this seems to be a good step."

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