Register for annual cycling event at Vasai

Jul 09, 2018, 08:41 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

In a bid to promote eco-friendly alternatives to short-distance commuting, Vasaikars join hands to support a cycling extravaganza

Register for annual cycling event at Vasai
Vasai Fort on a cloudy day

Taking away a foam glass loaded with caffeine hurriedly as opposed to taking our own sweet time with a Marie biscuit dissolving in a cup of hot tea, or booking a cab using an algorithm suited to our needs instead of throwing our legs up in the air while pedalling without caution — we shed a bit of our childhood every day to fit into the made-to-order quick-paced life of an adult. But this Saturday, we can reclaim those fast evanescent parts of our lives while simultaneously committing to a cause.

Participants at an earlier edition of Tour de Vasai
Participants at an earlier edition of Tour de Vasai

Tour de Vasai, a one-of-a-kind annual cycling event that sees scores of participants cycling down a fixed route in the Vasai-Virar region — stretching across 50 km — is back for its fifth edition. It is a collaborative initiative between two Vasai-based cycling clubs, both of which were founded around the same time in 2010. Cycle Village, a cycling business-cum-community, was launched by Seraj Lopes, whereas Ameya Cycling Club is the brainchild of Palghar district's former mayor Rajiv Patil.

Seraj Lopes
Seraj Lopes

"Mr Patil is dedicated to promoting local-level sports in the region through the club, and cycling was one of the facets of this larger endeavour," Lopes tells us. "The idea is to promote athletes at the grassroots level," he explains.

In a bid to savour the lush green expanse of the region that is dotted with quaint bungalows and trees on either side, while also promoting cycling as an alternative to carbon-dioxide emitting automobiles for short-distance commuting, the event was launched conjointly by the clubs five years ago. "We had initially started with shorter rides in the region and then we thought of expanding it into a sort of extravaganza. The first edition had only seen 50 people, whereas last year, 500-odd participants showed up. So, it has gradually grown into something quite big," Lopes shares.

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Elaborating on how the tour began, Lopes tells us, "Vasai has the kind of infrastructure that is conducive to cycling because it is less polluted and populated than the urban hubs of Mumbai. We believe that curbing pollution and maintaining the carbon footprint on our planet is the need of the hour."

How has it been so far? "If you visit Vasai in the wee hours of the morning, you will notice many people going about their chores on cycles. So, the change is happening," Lopes is happy to share with us.

ON: July 15, 6 am
MEETING POINT: Ameya Classic Club, Yashwant Nagar, Virar West.
CALL: 9665997663 (the last date to register is July 10)
COST: Rs 250

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