The Social Responsibility Committee (SRC) of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore, conducted a Biking Awareness Workshop at their campus on the 31st of July in association with Ride A Cycle Foundation, B-Twin, Merida & Bangalore Bikers Club. The event was a continuation of the Go Green Campaign conducted by SRC, SIBM-B. Last year, the campaign focused on sapling plantation. This time around the objective was to sell ‘biking’ as a cool option which is environment friendly.
Bangalore Bikers Club is currently the largest biking club of its kind in the country, with a membership base of more than 1100 members. RideACycle Foundation, which has been promoting biking since October 2008, helped organise this event to advocate biking.
The main focus of the event was to bring about greater awareness about the benefits of biking and how masses can take up biking as a way of commuting in traffic clogged city such as Bangalore. The event got off to an enthusiastic start, with biking enthusiasts from all over Bangalore converging at SIBM-B’s campus at Electronic City.
Static displays were set up to showcase both Indian and imported bicycles. The brands on display included Strida, B-Twin, Merida, Trek and several others – road bikes and mountain bikes. Strida, a foldable bike, with a gross weight of only 12 kg, was a German design. These bikes stole the show.
The students of SIBM-B took time off from their busy schedules to participate in the event, especially because of the breathtaking static displays put up. Later, the participants of the seminar got an opportunity to ride the bikes.
The participants included distinguished professional bikers from all over Bangalore, who spoke passionately about cycling and its benefits. This included members of Bangalore Biking Club, including Sriram M S, a representative from Decathalon Stores (which sells the B-Twin), Samim Rizvi, a national level champion, who cycles 500 kilometers a day on at least one day a week, Joshine Antony, a health trainer and an ace biker who won the BSA Duathlon to name a few. There were other avid bikers such as Ravikumar Ranjan – one of the trustees of the RideACycle Foundation, Nilesh Dhumal, Bicycle Tech Head from Red Rooster Racing and Mayank Rungta, from RideACycle Foundation.
Another notable participant was a renowned Human powered Vehicle (Bike) Designer, Vijay Sharma, an entrepreneur. His unique trikes fascinated one and all. The sporting goods major, Decathlon, was also present. Their product line-up of B-Twin bikes, already extremely popular with professional bikers, was introduced to the participants.
The participants highlighted that Bangalore, with its benign climate, is truly the biker’s capital of the country. There is a growing number of successful, young urban professionals who take up biking as a full time hobby, some for health, some for the sake of the environment and some merely for fun.
The event created awareness among students and corporates about the scope and extent of biking in the city. Biking is a wonderful pastime as well as an excellent cardio-vascular exercise. It helps you beat stress, and helps the environment Biking is an exercise that anyone can take up, regardless of the physical shape that they are in. And, biking greatly helps improve fitness levels.
There was a informal presentation by Rungta which was interleaved with inputs from the various bikers. Sriram M S said, “I used to be 106 kg at one time and with a combination of running and cycling I am in real good shape training for athletic events such as thee MTB Himachal. I hope to take part in a Triathalon sometime. I love biking and joined Decathlon Stores to use my expertise on bikes. Biking when compared to jogging has lesser impact (on the body) implying lesser chance of injury”.
Examples of professionals who bike to work daily was also narrated. Ravi Ranjan takes 90 minutes by car to his office 21 kilometres away one way. He cycles to his office in 55 minutes saving about an hour each day meaning more time with his kids. Aziz mentioned how he has a cool motorbike but yet he loves cycling as it is more challenging and keeps him fit. Many mistook him to be in his 30s when he is actually over 40 now.
A major highlight of the event was the Bike Rally through Electronic City, at the peak office-rush time of 6 PM. This time was chosen so as to have maximum exposure of the event within Electronic City. The sight of about 20 bikes in a group within the heart of Electronic City, with placards and posters promoting biking, was truly one to be cherished. Many passersby took snaps of the rally, and were extremely enthusiastic about the entire event. This helped spread the message about conserving the environment and helping yourselves in the process. The event ended in several bike salutes – raising the bike over head – on the busy entrance to Electronics City on Hosur Road. It got many heads to turn around and aroused a lot of curiosity among onlookers.
Rungta mentioned that he was disappointed to notice that in all the time he spent at that junction – not one car that passed had more than one driver. The event was organised in the hope that such things change in the time to come.
If you believe that such a workshop can be organised in your locality, office, college or any place else where there would be a good number of people interested, the bikers from Bangalore Bikers Club will be happy to help. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org for further details on the same or simply join the bikers club. ⊕