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Gear up for Mumbai's Bicycle Diaries

Nothing beats a bicycle when you want to negotiate through a crowded city or wish to leisurely enjoy sights and sounds. Little doubt that it’s a favourite with delivery boys, dabbawalas and tourists. Today, we spot ultra-modern versions of the bicycle on sale — the sport even features in the Summer Olympics. Celebrating the two-wheel wonder is The Bicycle Festival, which will take place this Sunday.

The team behind the event includes Zubair Lodi, owner of Bichanix, a bike servicing and rental store in Bandra, as well as volunteers including media professional Meenal Sharma, fashion designer Dipti Shah, scientist Anjum Roshan and Bilal Moolji, the owner of a graphic designing firm. They plan to make the festival an annual event.

Elaborating on it, Sharma says, “The idea was conceptualised by Zubair Lodi after he heard that such fests were held across the world. Our aim is to promote cycling and prove that cycling isn’t just about sweating it out. It can be fun too.”

Pedal power
Funding was the biggest challenge for Sharma and the team: “It is a festival by cyclists, and for cyclists with sponsorship being in the form of prizes. No monetary sponsorship has been taken.” The festival begins with a bicycle parade that commences from three different locations at 7 am to converge at Pushpa Narsee Park at Juhu, which is the location for the events. The three starting points are Otters Club, Carter Road, Bandra (W), Infinity Mall, Andheri (W) and Bike Shark, Borivali (W). Decorate your bicycle to win a prize.

There will also be a slow-riding event, a 100-metre ride where the last cyclist to cross the line wins provided they don’t touch their feet on the ground (it disqualifies the entrant). Since Pushpa Narsee Park is Mumbai’s first cycle park and has a cycling ramp, there will be a bicycle fashion show and ride-the-ramp events.

There will also be a short race around the park and a kids’ race. Other scheduled events include a BMX and Roller Skate show, music and live art, stand-up comic acts and a cycle safety skit. Sharma adds that there is greater awareness of cycling, in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. “People use bicycles not just to workout but also to commute in the city. But India has a long way to to prove itself as a bicyle-friendly nation,” she sums up.

Bike essentials
where to buy: 
Pro9 Bicycle Studio
At: Carter Road, Bandra (W).
Call: 9769712311
Gear: The Bike Shop
At: Fatima Villa, 29th Road, Pali Naka, Bandra (W). Call: 26409139 / 26403565
BikeShark
At: Pawan Building, Satya Nagar, Borivali (W). Call: 9833366647

Dos
} Wear a helmet
} Keep your bicycle in optimal condition
} Check traffic at the corners

Don’ts
} Don’t talk on the headphone while riding
} Don’t try to pass between cars
} Stay off busy streets  

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