Cycle Day, now into its third month, went local in December! The first local edition held at Jayanagar on the 29th December 2013, saw over 1200 cyclists in attendance. It was truly heartening to see many families and children come out and support the event.
The chief guests, Lok Sabha MP for Bangalore South, Ananth Kumar, Jayanagar MLA, BN Vijayakumar and Prof. Rajeev Gowda joined the cyclists at 8 am to kick off the event. Mr Vijayakumar inaugurated the 6.5 km long cycle ride. The ride covered local landmarks such as the beautiful tree-lined RV Road, KR Park, Ashoka Pillar and Lalbagh. Mr Ananth Kumar received and welcomed all the cyclists, as they returned from their tour of South Bangalore to converge at 10th Main Road, Jayanagar 5th Block.
Highlights of the event:
- Local MP Mr Ananth Kumar, MLA Mr Vijayakumar and Prof Mr Rajeev Gowda graced the event with their presence.
- Kerberon Automation and Namma Cycle (Ride a Cycle Foundation) provided bicycle rentals for free with a photo ID deposit for the event, starting from 7:30 am till 11:00 am. The free cycle rentals are getting more popular and this time there were two slots of booking. After the 6.5km ride, once the rental cycles were returned, there was yet another batch of folks who rented the cycles, just to feel how it was to cycle.
- “Happy Cycle Day” is how the wishes went around; a proud moment indeed for Cycle Day as well as cycling in Bangalore.
- Mr Vijayakumar inaugurated the event on time and rode the entire length of the rally.
- Mr Ananth Kumar received the cyclists after a 6.5km ride, showing his enthusiasm for cycling and promised to join the next month’s event as well.
- ESAF Bangalore conducted activities for children outside Narasimhachari Park.
- To keep the spirit of the green movement and Christmas, prizes for the kids’ activities were Christmas Poinsettias.
- People came in from places as far as Kanakpura, Hoskote, Devanahallia to attend and participate in the event.
- Mr Suri, Art Director, brought along one of his vintage cycle – a tandem!
Fun activities for the children
While the cycle ride was on, families and children assembled at the venue to participate in traditional street games like Lagori, Gilli Danda, and Slow Cycling. About 70 children took part in the street activities.The adults too couldn’t resist joining them, especially for Lagori and Gilli Danda.
Some of the highlights of the street activities included:
- Lagori was extremely popular with the kids and adults, who played together.
- Three rounds of the Slow Cycling race were held for kids, adults and traffic police respectively.
- Kids showcased their creativity at Street Rangoli.
- Several adults gave old games like hopscotch and skipping a shot, after many years.
Support for Cycle Day
Some public reactions on Facebook for the December edition of Cycle Day:
- Sumedha Bhosekar: “It was surreal today during the ride and I sincerely thank you guys for doing a commendable job in making this happen. Kudos Cycle Day.”
- Nayantara Kurpad: “The last Sunday of the year has been spent very well!:) A big Thank you to all the organizers and BTP for having this event and supporting all the riders. Let’s do this often and help our Bangalore in staying green.”
- Vibhor Singhal: “A perfect start of Sunday. Thanks to Cycle Day for making group cycling a monthly ritual in Bangalore. Also thanks to Bangalore Traffic Police for providing motor-vehicle-free streets on the route of the event. Bangalore looks even more beautiful without the hassles and noise of traffic.”
The community comes together
Thanks to the residents of 10th Main, Jayanagar and Jayanagar Traffic Police, a stretch of the 10th Main road was blocked to ensure safety for kids and their families, as they participated in the Cycle Day celebrations.
Cycle Day also extends its special thanks to the 40 volunteers who joined hands to make the local edition in South Bangalore possible. A team of volunteers led by Anil Kadsur, worked with Traffic Police to ensure that the Cycle Ride was safe and smooth for all. Another team led by Manju George, ESAF, ensured kids and families had a good time, by planning all the street events. Srinidhi Sampath led the group that coordinated all other arrangements.
About Cycle Day
“Cycle Day” is a campaign to make cycling mainstream again, to affect a dramatic increase in the usage of cycling for commuting, shopping or leisure, and to promote cycling as a green, healthy and safe alternative to motor vehicles. The campaign also 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 cycle lanes, bus-cycle connections, cycle rental schemes, cycle parking stands, and more.The campaign is anchored by DULT (Directorate of Urban Land Transport), Government of Karnataka and supported by multiple community/city level organizations (like Praja RAAG, ESAF Bangalore, Critical Mass Bangalore, Namma Cycle etc.), many citizen volunteers and multiple government organizations (Bangalore Traffic Police, BMTC, Dept of Horticulture, BMRCL, KMF).