No uptrend in cycle business

NO ‘PICKUP’: Some residents have embraced the conventional mode of travelling by bicycles. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: M. Moorthy

R. Krishnamoorthy

The lowly bycycle still suffers from status factor even as fuel prices have soared

TIRUCHI: Expectations of bicycle dealers in the city that the steep hike in the cost of petrol will reflect in a soaring sales graph have been belied.

Interestingly, they are not entirely surprised. They also do not nurse any hope that there would be any immediate change in the mindset of the people towards bicycles, though some feel confident that bicycle would become the most opted means of transport in a decade’s time.

According to a city dealer, the rise in crude oil prices is bound to continue for a long time , prompting the middle class and lower middle class sections, who now ignore bicycles due to status factor, to switch over to the cheapest mode of transport.

Sleek models of bicycles adorn showrooms now in the place of the standard models. “If fashionable cycles are not seen on the city roads in large numbers, the people are not to blame. The roads are just unsafe,” observed S. Periasamy, Proprietor of Ajanta Agency, along Fort Station Road.

Also the Government must encourage the use of bicycles through exemption of excise duty besides planning the peripheries of cities and towns to accommodate exclusive cycle tracks along side major thoroughfares.

Fortunately for the dealers in the city, though sleek cycles cost upto Rs. 4,500 apiece, they are a hit among the student community. The teeming number of cycles on the premises of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi is enough proof. However, outside campuses, safety factor will continue to matter most for years to come.