Today, nearly 270 cyclists from four points across Mumbai will cycle to their workplaces in Bandra Kurla Complex. Titled The Smart Commute, the event aims to introduce Mumbaikars to the benefits of cycling to work. “We are trying to inspire people to take a pledge to cycle to work at least once a week. We are aware that many wish to cycle to work, but don’t know how to go about it. The Smart Commute is an attempt to enable people to cycle to work, comfortably and confidently,” says Piyush Shah, who conceptualised the event with Firoza Suresh. The event is organised in association with cycling community, Cycle to Work.
The Smart Commute aims to train people on how to cycle to work. PICS/Ronak Savla
The event will start from four points — Raymond’s office in Thane, Shivaji Chowk in Chembur, Oberoi Mall in Goregaon and Mumbai Traffic Police headquarters in Worli. It will end at Sofitel hotel in Bandra Kurla Complex. Each point will have a group co-ordinator and volunteers, who will guide participants through the route till the destination.
Shah speaks of the benefits of adopting this routine: “Cycling to work is a good workout as well as reduces stress, as you don’t have to face traffic jams.” The event will see not just regular cyclists, but also first-timers, who have hired the services of participant cycle rental companies. These companies will provide cycles at the starting points, and pick it up from the end point. “Nearly 40% of the 270 participants are first-timers. This shows that people are willing to take up cycling. The remaining participants cycle for leisure — on weekends or to work. One-fourth of all the participants are women,” he shares.
Irrespective of whether one lives close by or far from their workplace, the organisers feel cycling can become a routine. “If you live close by, the best thing would be to cycle to work. But if you travel longer distances, you can still do it using folding cycles, that can be carried in the luggage department of local trains,” Shah says.
Through The Smart Commute, the organisers hope to persuade corporate organisations to promote cycling. “We intend to convince organisations to create facilities that will promote cycling among their staff, like installing shower rooms and parking spaces for cycles. So far 8-10 organisations have shown interest, and their employees are participating in the event,” he adds.
Firoza Suresh and Piyush Shah
On Today, 6.15 am onwards
At Raymond’s office in Thane (W), Shivaji Chowk in Chembur (E), Oberoi Mall in Goregaon (E) and Mumbai Traffic Police headquarters in Worli.