Along for the ride
Head over to Juhu's Pushpa Narsee Park this morning for Crank it Up, Mumbai's first cycling festival and catch the city's cycling enthusiasts in their Sunday best
The idea behind this fest, explains Roshan, is to remind people across age groups to enjoy their bicycles. The highlight of the day will be the bicycle parade, which the organisers envision as a carnival. “We’re encouraging everyone to dress up their bicycles and to use them as some sort of floats perhaps. If they’d rather not touch their bikes, they can come dressed in funky costumes too,” says Roshan, who plans to turn his bike into a horse. With starting points at three spots in the city—Otter’s Club (Bandra), Infinity Mall (Andheri) and Satya Nagar (Borivli)—the festival aims at including as many bicyclists as possible.
The riders are to converge at Juhu’s Pushpa Narsee Park, the first and only park in the city to have a cycling pathway, at 7 am. “The events begin with three races, which will be held just outside the park. The rest of the event can be enjoyed free,” says Roshan. Adults can participate in a slow race, a la school sports day, while the under-12s can gear up to race along the park’s cycling track.
Art lovers will appreciate avid cyclist Arzan Khambatta’s sculpture made with cycles, created specially for the event, while music enthusiasts can enjoy live performances through the day. While the organisers are ensuring fun remains the focus with BMX stunt performers and a bicycle fashion show, they are also highlighting bicycle safety in the city. “We will talk about how to ride on city roads, maintaining decorum, the importance of using helmets, following signals, and not getting intimidated by traffic,” says Roshan.
The first time the group came close to organising something as fun as this was their superhero dress-up ride during the car-free day celebrations. “But we were merely testing the waters then,” laughs Roshan, who hopes Mumbai can take the lead from other nations and welcome the cycling festival annually.
Where: Pushpa Narsee Park, Vile Parle (West)
When: Today, 7 am to 1 pm