Harish Baijal, the 50-year-old deputy commissioner of police at Nashik, pedalled the last few yards of his journey from India Gate in New Delhi to the Gateway of India on Saturday.
Baijal began his bicycle journey with his friend Harshad Purnapatre on February 6. The idea, Baijal thought, would be a fitting tribute to the Indian police force which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and would encourage more people to adopt cycling as a daily mode of transport.
“I wanted to give something back to the police service. The idea of cycling from India Gate in Delhi to the Gateway of India in Mumbai seemed symbolic to me,” said Baijal.
Baijalm, who cuts a well-built figure, and his friend went through the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat to discover a different India.
“We had decided that we would cycle only from sunrise to sunset. And in those 12 odd hours, we would cover around 130 kilometres on an average,” said Baijal.
The experience of cycling through the National Highway number 8 was different for Baijal as he encountered different people and various cultures and traditions which “changed his perspective in a lot many ways”.
Since he was transferred to Nashik about 10 months back, Baijal had begun to cycle close to 60 kilometres on a daily basis.
“I just had to take it to another level. And the idea of spreading awareness among people to use cycle as an alternative mode to commute within a city had always been in the back of my head,” said Baijal.