Mumbai gears up for its first ever Cyclothon
Amit Bhowmik,Obaid Hakim,Raunak Chetty,Niranjan Kalelkar,Shaunak Anoakar and Mehul Ved made good use of their holiday on Mahashivratri. They woke up earlier than usual,got their bikes out. The reason behind this early morning mission: To be fit for the Cyclothon being held in Mumbai on February 21.
The citys first ever Cyclothon,to be held around Bandra,will consist of two cycling eventthe BSA Hercules India Cyclothon and Being Human Tour De Mumbai. The former is a Cyclothon for everyone and the second is a race for cycling professionals from across the world. The event has been conceptualised by Sport 18 which has collaborated with ID Sports to roll it out in Mumbai. The inspiration for the venture is the huge success of a cyclothon held in Bangalore last year. Bangalore is a city where
cycling is already very popular. But Mumbai is quite the opposite. Thats why,Im hoping it will make a bigger impact in this city, explains Satish Menon,CEO of Sports 18.
The maximum capacity for the event is around 5,000 cyclists. There are different routes for people who want to cycle for different lengths. The professional race will be 40 km long while general participants can cycle for 24,12 or 2 km stretch, says Menon. Those who dont own a bicycle have the
option for hiring one at the venue.
The main reason for bringing together professional bikers and occasion cyclists in hordes is to promote cycling throughout the city as a healthy alternative to driving and bikes. I have worked with many heart patients and have realised that very few people in the city get to exercise out in the open. Cycling will not only permit that,but also reduce the congestion on the roads, explains Akil Menon,CMD of ID sports.
The coming Sunday will see people from all over the globe,getting together to promote cycling in one of the most polluted cities of the country. Avid biker Saurabh Dahal,a resident of Kathmandu,is one of the participants who has travelled to Mumbai for its maiden Cyclothon. He has previously cycled all around Nepal,Bhutan,Thailand and other countries to promote the cause of education for all. He wants to carry his mission forward when in Mumbai. Mumbai is an extremely important destination since it is such a popular city. Cycling is a healthy habit and I want to promote that, says Dahal,who plans to keep cycling around the world till 2020.
The organisers chose Bandra as the location of this event since they have found a partner in the Khar Bandra Santacruz Association,which have been trying to promote cycling for a long time. The resident members have been asking the government to create a cycling lane in this area and they believe that this event will push their cause. The main route of the Cyclothon will be from Rangsharda Theatre to Carter Road then on to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The cyclists will then head to the finishing line through Bandra Reclamation.