Saksham Cyclothon was held in Mumbai on 25th February 2018. The Marque event is organised annually by Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA).
PCRA is a non-profit organisation set-up under the Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas, Government of India. The national government agency is engaged in promoting energy efficiency in various sectors of the economy. It helps the government in proposing policies and strategies for petroleum conservation, aimed at reducing excessive dependence of the country on oil requirement.
Saksham Cyclothon is one of PCRA’s premiere initiative. The event is organised to create public awareness about ‘Cycling’ as an efficient mode of personal transport. The communication objective is ‘Cycle for health, environment, fuel conservation and greener cities’.
I purchased a new bicycle – firefox hybrid on 10th February, 2018. After two weeks of cycling around my neighborhood, I saw a facebook post about Saksham Cyclothon event. I enrolled for it – but had no clue about the scale of the event.
On 25th February 2018, Mumbaikars witnessed the city’s Largest Cycling event. A record breaking 5500 cyclists came together to take a stand for fuel conservation, and I was one of them in the crowds.
The cycling route covered some of Mumbai’s most iconic landmarks and streets with cyclists from all over India. Fitness icons like Milind Soman – the first Iron man of India, and Narain Karthikeyan – formula one car racing driver along with many dignitaries and the truly inspirational Mumbai Dabbawalas, pedaled their way towards a greener Mumbai.
In this blog, I would also like to talk about how I rekindled my romance with cycling?
I lost an opportunity to purchase a bicycle in 2015 because of my office commitments and hectic work schedule.
In 2016, I visited the ancient city of Athens in Greece, followed by a trip to Paris in 2017 for office conference. That’s where I saw people cycling on the streets. I was awestruck!
For my next conference to Barcelona, I booked three bicycles and rode a distance of 100 kms with two of my office colleagues – from Girona Town to Costa Brava beach. I can say I was bitten by the cycling bug.
Back in India, it all began in the summer of 2018 after I bought a new bicycle for myself. I had little realization on how this simple machine is about to bring a massive change in me.
With every ride I felt a sense of freedom. Freedom to move and to be outdoors. I was able to connect with people and establish new relationships across age group, culture and mindsets.
And… as the wheels moved around more often, it unlocked several barriers – transforming my thinking.
A cautious experiment of ‘Pedal to Work’ became a confident affair. I received appreciation from my family, friends and social circle. Being labeled as a smart commuter, I started promoting cycling through my blogs, social media and casual discussions.
The blog pedalandtringtring.com captures my everyday cycling experiences. I publish my views and news, interviews and stories that need to be told to the larger world.
I am marketing cycling via this blog since three years. It has become popular in the national and international community.
Friends, Bicycle, an old-time transit system has lot of relevance in modern cities. It is a simple answer to many complex problems. Cycling reduces burden on environment and provides greater health benefits. It is a more economical option for commuting and even offers opportunity for social engagement.
To inspire and involve more people to adopt cycling in their daily lives is my goal.
Come join me!
Let’s pedal together and make cycling a way of life.
Enjoy the photo album of Saksham Cyclothon 2018:
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai