Riding high on patriotism: Bike, bicycle groups revel in I-Day spirit
Delhi-NCR based bike and bicycle groups have planned to celebrate the spirit of freedom on India’s 75th Independence Day, by organising various rides. Filled with enthusiasm and adrenaline rush, these groups will take to the city roads with pride.
August 15 is a date that brings the entire nation together as one, for everyone gets eager to celebrate the occasion when India got its freedom from the colonial rule. Marking the spirit of freedom, on I-Day, will be some riders in Delhi-NCR, who have organised group rides. Many who used to get together and mingle freely earlier, are now returning after a Covid-induced hiatus, to celebrate the day with the same fervour as before.
Their expression of patriotism is reflected in their rides, under the open skies, with the Tiranga flying high on their machines as they jaunt through the city with pride. “It all started 10 years back; I remember asking my friends to go out riding on Independence Day but received lukewarm responses to it then. That’s when I formed this group, so as to have more people participate in celebrations by coming out of their homes,” shares Tarique Afaque, founder of Royal Mavericks Bikers Group, whose participants would be spotted from afar with Tirangas placed respectfully on their bikes.
With the pandemic forcing most of us to become slave to a laidback lifestyle, it again become crucial for bikers like Afaque to revive that spirit of celebrating the country’s independence. “This year we are expecting more than 100 riders. We will start from the Mahamaya Flyover in Noida, cover the Taj Expressway and conclude at Greater Noida with a lavish breakfast! This year we are targeting a smooth ride, and also not allowing any aftermarket silencers on bikes, to to cut down on noise pollution since that’s our responsibility as citizens,” shares Afaque, and Mohit Kharbanda, member of biker group Highway Players, adds, “For us it’s about riding free, enjoying the camaraderie and spirit of the occasion. We all share a common passion thus there is no better way to celebrate our Independence Day than riding together on this day.”
Striving to pay a tribute to the rich historical heritage in the city, will be riders from Highway Players. “We have confirmation from 35 riders across Delhi-NCR. We’ll start our ride in the morning from Humayun’s Tomb and culminate it at Qutub Minar. In between, we will make stops at Delhi’s iconic monuments such as Safdarjung’s Tomb, National War Memorial and Red Fort. We will also cross India Gate,” adds Kharbanda.
Taking to their bicycles will be members of Noida Cycling Club (NCC). “We plan to have 75 cyclists in the Independence Day ride since we are celebrating 75 years of independence this year,” says Ankit Hindwan, ride co-ordinator and admin of NCC. Sharing about the enthusiasm among those who have registered, and the preparations that are in full swing Hindwan adds, “On August 15, we have a 10km ride from sector 34 to sector 29 with 75 cyclists taking part. But before that, on 14th we have a 50km ride from sector 38 to signature bridge; for this ride we want to have as many people as possible to join us. After reaching the destination we will speak about our sentiments towards the Independence Day, with the Tiranga in the backdrop. We are all so excited about clicking pictures that will capture our joy and jubilation on this occasion.”
All set to participate in the ride, Komal Warman, a teacher-librarian at American Embassy School, shares, “I have been riding for only a couple of years, and this will be the first time I will be going on a bike ride to celebrate Independence Day. Thus it’s very exciting for me, as I have seen many biking groups going on rides with the flag fluttering on their bikes, and I imagined myself as well doing it on August 15 this year. It’s such a beautiful spirit and I would love to be a part of it.”
Author tweets @karansethi042