August 13, 2021 12:44:26 pm
Around 17 cyclists will participate in a ‘salute ride’ on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day. Apart from paying homage to freedom fighters, the purpose of the 170 -km cycling trip from Chandni Chowk, Pune to Gateway of India, Mumbai is also to spread awareness about environmental conservation.
“One person cycling is as good as planting a 1000 trees,” said 45-year-old cyclist Anand Vanjape who has been promoting cycling for health and environmental reasons and is leading the ‘Salute ride’. Vanjape is the founder of the `Pedal Mission’ which collects out of use cycles, repairs them and donates them to the needy.
The mission accepts simple non-geared and easy-to-use cycles so that the person it is donated to can afford its upkeep. “From May till date, we have donated approximately 275 cycles,” says Vanjape who has done several solo long distance cycle rides – from Pune to Ratnagiri – Pune to Amritsar while participating in group cycle rides also . “I have done group cycle rides like Pune to Goa and Pune to Delhi,” Vanjape adds
He also favours the concept of cycling to work. “We find many cases of lifestyle diseases among persons who are 35 years and above. Due to our sedentary lives there are various medical ailments that even youngsters are facing like diabetes, blood pressure and others. ”So why not counter both problems – medical ailments and air pollution,” he says.
Vanjape feels the coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call. “In a way this pandemic has shown us the importance also of being healthy and so many people have taken up cycling,” he said.
“We have a mixed crowd for the salute ride with some taking up their first century cycle ride while some have done it 14 times. We have a support vehicle, mechanic and medical teams,” he said.
President of Rotary Club of Pune’s Lokmanya Nagar Ravindra Patil will flag off the ride from Chandni Chowk while the ride will be welcomed by the Rotary Clubs of Talegaon, Lonavla, Khopoli, Panvel, Kharghar, Kalamboli and Colaba.
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