‘Heroes of cycling’ feature in campaign to mark World Bicycle Day
Ahead of World Bicycle Day, Hero Cycles celebrated everyday heroes who have inspired others by their motivational journeys and exhorted many more to take up cycling for fitness, sport, environment or just the love of it.
The company has unveiled an initiative to celebrate these ‘Heroes of Cycling’ as a part of its ongoing ‘Road pe Dikhegi, Tabhi Chalegi’ campaign that has helped shape a dialogue around the need for take up cycling and a bicycle-friendly infrastructure in cities.
From a pre-teen girl in (Gurugram), a teenage homeschooler in Bengaluru and a 21-year-old professional mountain biker in Shimla, to a woman who in 2015 cycled 300km in a day, the multi-platform social media initiative shares the stories of common people from all over India who pedal to work, have pursued cycling as a profession, do it stay fit or just for fun.
In its fourth year, World Bicycle Day, celebrated on June 3, draws attention to the benefits of using the simple, affordable, clean and sustainable means of transportation.
A total of 30 inspirational stories in the last 30 days were featured on Hero Cycles’ social media handles as part of the initiative.
Avira Bhatt, 11, took the cycling community by storm after covering 40 km before she turned 10. Explaining her special connection with cycling, Avira says, “Ever since I was young, I have loved cycling – everything about it has been a pleasure. As I grew older, I realised its physical and mental health benefits. Over the years, people have shifted towards motorised transport even though they know how harmful it is for the environment. Cycling can truly change your life…I urge you to start doing it today.”
A resident of Bengaluru, a metropolis notorious for traffic snarls, 17-year-old homeschooler Nihar Thakkar is an avid fan of public transport, cycling and walking, and is working to create an app that increases the modal share of cycling in neighbourhoods by creating safe infrastructure and community engagement programmes. “As someone who is under 18, I can’t drive; my bicycle gives me the independence and freedom I want. Cycles have no emission, and they are super quiet. I think we all should cycle a lot more,” the ebullient teenager says.
Mountain bikers Lakshay Jangid from (Jaipur), a pro MTB stunt rider and world champion and Akshit Gaur from Shimla, the U-19 National MTB Champion, are “emotionally attached” to cycling which they deem as “a way of life”. They have urged people to pedal for daily commute to work or buying groceries as cycling keeps one healthy and happy.
Ritu Mehta of Ludhiana, who cycled to the Wagah border and Golden Temple to complete a 162-km run in only 9.5 hours in 2021, concurs, “Thanks to cycling for I got to explore those parts of Punjab where one can’t reach by car. Cycling is a source of happiness and has become a major part of my life. I encourage you to make it an essential part of your schedule.”
The month-long activity has helped generate a positive discourse on the need for mainstreaming cycling, particularly at a time when a devastating pandemic is raging through our cities, making the use of public transport unsafe.
“We aim to tell latent bicycle lovers that there is enough inspiration around them to ditch inaction. The campaign aims to provide a platform to them to voice their demands and concerns,” says Rohit Gothi, CEO, Hero Cycles Ltd.