Kerala

Just a 40-km cycle ride, to work and back

Easy pace: Abdul Azeez leaving the Community Health Centre at Edathua, Kuttanad, after work.  

As the clock strikes six in the morning, Abdul Azeez, 66, pedals his bicycle out of his rented home at Kuravanthodu, near Punnapra, in Alappuzha. He rides around 20 kilometres enjoying scenic views of paddy fields, streams, and coconut lagoons before reaching his destination, the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Edathua in Kuttanad, around 7.30 a.m. He is a part-time sweeper at the CHC.

For the past decade, he has been pedalling his 12-year-old bike to commute between home and workplace. “It is the best start to the day. I love riding the bicycle and always ride as much as I can,” says Mr. Azeez, who rides at least 40 km to and fro on most days.

Using a bicycle for commuting, he says, helps him to stay healthy. “Earlier I relied on buses and other vehicles to travel to work. Now, on an average, I ride the bike for three to three-and-a-half hours every day. At 66, I am in good health and it helps me sleep well,” says Mr. Azeez, who wants to work till he turns 70.

Shaji Karukathra, a health inspector who worked at CHC until recently, says the sexagenarian has set an example for all. “He is never tired despite cycling all the way from Punnapra to Edathua. Be it hartal or transport strike, he reports for work. He was present at the health centre with his cycle immediately after floods ravaged the region a couple of years ago. That shows his commitment towards work and his love for cycling,” says Mr. Karukathra who is now a health inspector at the Family Health Centre, Ummannoor, Kollam.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 7:41:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/just-a-40-km-cycle-ride-to-work-and-back/article34353788.ece

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