Coimbatore City has witnessed many races and road shows in recent years such as those by bikes and cars. Even the legendary American bike — Harley Davidson — held a road show in the city a few months ago.
However, Sunday witnessed a race the likes of which few residents of the city would have seen — bullock cart races or rekla race as they are popularly known in rural areas.
The races were held in two categories: 200 metres and 300 metres, each featuring 20 participants. Each cart had two bulls and one rider. Participants came from Pollachi, Malayandipattanam and Zamin Uthukuli.
In place of the traditional format where all participants race together, this event features the participants running on the track one at a time. The winners were decided on their timings.
The winner in the 200 metres categories was Sentil Kumar of Velayuthapalayam who timed 15.66 seconds. The winner in 300 metres was Appadurai of Puliyamarathupalayam who timed 23.62 seconds. An anxious movement was witnessed when one of the bulls broke free from the cart during the race. However, the bull owner quickly pacified the bull and brought it under control.
Meanwhile, as part of Coimbatore Vizha, a100-kilometre cycle tour was taken out along the outskirts of district on Sunday to celebrate the scenic splendour of Coimbatore.
‘Tour de Kovai’ began on the Sri Shakthi educational institution campus at L & T By-pass Road, with 51 cyclists taking part.
The youngest was a seven-year-old and the oldest, 51. Those who took part include corporate professionals, college students and entrepreneurs.
The route from Perur to Marudhamalai, along Vedapatti, was a landscape filled with various species of birds including peacocks. The cyclists took between four to seven hours to complete the entire route.
Deepan Thangavelu, managing trustee of Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, who is coordinating this event for Coimbatore Vizha, said the rally proceeded through Madukkarai, Perur, Marudhamalai and Saravanampatti before reaching the starting point through Chinniyampalayam.
“There are some exceptionally beautiful locations in the district. We want to highlight them through this cycle tour,” he added.