There is barely any light in the south Mumbai sky when the cyclists begin to gather. It’s 6.30 am on Day 2 of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and most of the city is yet to arise and make their way to the art district for a day of theatre, cinema, workshops, music and more.
One group, however, is up early and is all set for the Fox Life heritage ride for kids over 12, and parents who’d like to tag along. The route will take them through the historic Fort area – from Rhythm House to Gateway of India, CST, Marine Drive, and past Asiatic Society.
Among the eager crowd are Jigna and Shaun Wadhwana, a mother-son duo from Andheri, both avid cyclists. As they offload their bikes from their car mount, Shaun grins and says this is a first for him. “I cycle for 45 minutes every day, but this is the first time I’ll be cycling through Fort. I’m most excited to ride past the Gateway of India,” he adds. Jigna only started cycling in May last year, but takes it seriously. She was part of the cycle ride for HT No TV Day as well.
For her, the mix of heritage and cycling drew her to the event. “I want to tell each child to cycle daily. It’s the best way to combine fitness and leisure,” Jigna says.
Young Melvin Matchavel too, was driven from Kalina to Fort by his sister and mother, who excitedly says she almost considered buying him a new cycle for this ride.
Kriti Garg, conservation architect, and curator for the heritage section, reveals why the ride is called Rock n Roll. “The idea is to roll on two wheels, and see the city in a different light — with less traffic — while looking at historic structures.”
Now, if only you could bring a cycle to history class in school.