March 09, 2009

Pedal the Planet to Safety, Say Bikers

About 60 cycling enthusiasts spent their Sunday morning exploring the heritage buildings in Lutyens’ Delhi on bicycles. The twin objectives—heritage & history and health—both of body and planet—were achieved as part of the ‘Heritage Cycling Ride’ organised by the Delhi Cycling Club.

The motley group included IT sector’s workaholic young professionals, never-without-my-car company executives, short-of-time businessmen, mothers with their driving-us-crazy children and even a few foreign nationals.

Many of the participants brought in their cycles in cars while the rest of them either cycled their own machines or rented one from the metro’s facility. The journey started a little after 9 am and after travelling about 10 kms—through Rafi Marg, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament, Raj Path, India Gate, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Janpath, outer circle Connaught Place and Jantar Mantar and back at the starting point at around 11.30 am.

Nirbhay came with his mother Meeta Vadhera. “My son and his friends keep cycling all the time in our colony so I thought why not give this a try. I was a bit wary but now I am happy to be part of this,” Vadhera said.

Mahesh Kumar Singh, BRT Officer with DIMTS, said, “I was already at my duty and was asked to join the ride by my boss.” Singh attracted a lot of attention in his office suit complete with laptop bag etc even as he passed instructions on mobile to his staff on site.

Tour organisers briefed the participants about the heritage buildings en route before an impromptu session at the Agrasen Ki Baoli. Elaborating on how cycling is energy efficient, P. Kanthasamy, a researcher with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, said, “A 70-kg person drives a 1500-kg car, (but) the car does not take you anywhere, it is you who take it around.”

Ranmal Singh Jhala, who uses only cycle to commute, summed up the mood when he said, “There is a need to carry out an eco-audit. We would see we have to give back much more to the planet.”

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Pedal the Planet to Safety, Say Bikers


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