For Amit Bhowmik (33), there is no better way of starting a morning than to cycle beside the sea, and that is exactly what he and 60 other cycling enthusiasts did on Sunday at a rally.
The rally, organised by Pro-9 Cycle store for 350.org began at Carter Road in Bandra at 6.30 am and cyclists rode to Worli sea face and back by 8.30 am. The rally was organised to create awareness about environmental issues.
"Sunday is the only day when enough people can take time out and participate in an activity like this. This time we had people of all age groups right from 60-year-olds to children joining us. The average age group was between 20 -35," said Bhowmik, a Santacruz resident who cycles every day.
For most of the cyclists, the rally is a great place to interact with friends and meet new people, but there were others who came to support a larger social issue. “The overall turnout was much better because the rally was supporting a cause, it goes to show more people care about the environment," said Faisal Thakur, the organiser of the rally.
With the monsoon over, the season is most conducive for cycling and at that early hour, roads are empty for the cyclists. "Cycling will pick up pace in the winter as weather is an important factor for cyclists. We hope to organise similar rallies across the city so that more people can join the movement,” said Bhowmik.
Over the past two years, the city has seen a rise in the number of people cycling and some attribute this to social media and the availability of professional bikes, which were earlier inaccessible to youngsters.