Around 200 cyclists from across the city went on an Independence Ride early on Sunday to convey to a city blind to bicycle-riders that they exist and that their numbers are growing.
“The cycling community is growing. Independence Ride was not a competition but an occasion to show our strength and solidarity,” said Subhojit Das, a management consultant and cycling enthusiast.
The pedal-pushers were organised into five groups and had five routes to choose from, with the meeting point being Prabhadevi, where they all met around 10 am. The cyclists collectively pedalled 10,000 km.
“The idea was to promote cycling and a pollution-free environment,” said Shammi Sethi, one of the event organisers who rode a bicycle made of bamboo.
The bikers were an eclectic mix of corporate executives, school kids, homemakers, and even tourists, who came from Nariman Point, Vashi, Thane, Powai, Bandra and Andheri, among other places.
Ajey Shetty, an architect, who pedalled with 15 others from the Gateway of India to Prabhadevi and back, said: “The ride was fun. It showed our strength, the group is getting bigger everyday.”
“On a regular day, it’s tough to ride on the roads as cyclists get bullied by vehicles. This ride offered an opportunity to cycle without fear,” said Tanupam Akuli, who works with a rating agency and rode from Powai to Worli and back. “Even buses gave way to use today as we were a big group.”
Romy Beumer a tourist from Holland, chose to sight-see through this ride. “We cycle a lot in Holland but here it’s scary,” she said.