Cycling clubs in city say more people are warming to the idea
With pollution, traffic, and fuel costs on the rise, people are waking up to the charms of cycling - the healthy, cheap and clean mode of transport.
Of late, the city has seen a mushrooming of cycling clubs. “People are now realising the importance of an alternative option to deal with the pollution and traffic problems. When we started, we were only 20 in number but now it has gone up to 52 in two weeks,” said Prakash P. Gopinath of Indus Cycling Embassy.
The embassy has been organising cycle rally on second Saturdays in the city through its Indus Cycling Saturday Cycle Ride Movement.
Its members are hoping to rope in more persons to slowly bring about a lifestyle change. This month’s rally will be held on August 10 from the Manaveeyam Veedhi at Vellayambalam at 6.15 a.m., said Mr. Prakash.
Athi’s Bicycle Club (ABC), a cross-city bicycle club, recently re-launched the initiative with more patrons. At present, the club offers bicycles on rent at select spots on the Sasthamangalam –East Fort stretch in the city.
“A few months after we started the club in 2011, 1,200 members had joined the club. We needed software support to control the operations. After the re-launch, the club extended the activities to Ernakulam. At present, we have close to 4,000 members,” said M.S. Athirup, proprietor of the club.
The cycle club, conceptualised by Allianz Cornhill and implemented by the ABC, at Technopark has been receiving good response from techies.
In addition, there are a number of cycling groups such as the Trivandrum Bikers Club that organise weekend trips, a get away after hectic work schedules.
Cycling seems to be gaining in popularity in schools too.
“Children will easily understand the need to conserve nature and take up cycling to promote healthy living,” says N.Retnakumar, Principal of Government Vocational and Higher Secondary School, Karakulam, where students recently formed a cycle club.
However, Mr. Athirup said the initiative could reach the masses if the government took the initiative to promote it.
“Separate bays for cyclists may not be an immediate solution. But the government can at least provide designated parking space for the cyclists, especially at railway stations,” he added.