Mixing exercise with one’s daily errands may sound a good proposition for all those people who are bothered about health but have little time to spare for exercise either because they are too lazy for that or have too rigid a schedule.
Athi’s Bicycle Club (ABC) that is about to be launched in the city by Mayor Tony Chammany on Tuesday offers just that. The club was introduced in the city on a trial basis last May. But it stopped when the registered members exceeded 2,000, far exceeding the capacity to manually manage the operations. This prompted Athirup M.S. to think of automation software, which is now ready.
The SMS-driven club will be launched with cycle racks at 14 major points in the city with three to four cycles each. Anyone with a mobile phone can become a member of the club by filling in an application form and send it by SMS (type form to receive the application form) to the number 96455-11155.
Members can rent a cycle immediately after registration, which is free. They just need to SMS the rack code and bicycle ID while taking the cycle. They will, in turn, get the code to open the cycle lock.
For instance, for renting a bicycle from a rack at Palarivattom, one needs to SMS pvm<space>3061 (pvm is the code for the Palarivattom rack and 3061 is the ID of the bicycle chosen.
The service will be charged at Rs. 2 per hour. While returning the bicycle after five hours of usage (any number of times), the user should drop a Rs. 10 note in a drop box kept at every rack and the last four digits of the serial number of the currency note should be sent as an SMS.
Athirup said that the club looks forward to contributions from individuals and corporate bodies to keep the charge of the service as low as Rs. 2 per hour.
Individuals can contribute bicycles not older than six months or an amount of at least Rs. 3,500. For each cycle contributed, the donor can lend a cycle from any rack and use it for up to three hours a day free of cost for six months.
To understand the various steps in the usage of cycles, SMS steps to 96455-11155.