On World Bicycle day put the pedal to the metal


When the pandemic struck and lockdowns were enforced in the city and around the world, people forced into their homes took up cycling as a way to workout, safely socialize or even just to get a breath of fresh air. Cycling groups, gained prominence as well and While the city is no longer in lockdown, Mumbaikars continue to gear up and take their pushbikes out for a spin.

Cycling has many health benefits including improved joint mobility, lower stress levels, increased cardiovascular fitness and it is a fun way to exercise. With over one million cycles sold in India alone, we ask the citizens about their new found love for this not-so new two-wheeler.

Judelyne Banerji cycling through her colony
Judelyne Banerji cycling through her colony

Judelyne, 27, PR professional

Cycling just happened to me. I decided I wanted one for my birthday and started cycling the next day. I have had my fair share of hobbies, and this seemed like a great outlet from the monotonous work-life. Pedaling my way though the lanes and by-lanes of the colony gave me a chance to step out from the confines of my home. Cycling gave me a feeling of freedom while the lockdown was enforced. I loved every moment of my early morning rides, but waking up was a challenge. Hence, I signed up for many virtual cycling and awareness rides which meant I had to complete a certain distance within a stipulated time. I try my best to cycle whenever I can. With work now following the hybrid set-up, I skip cycling on days I have to go to office and go for a walk instead as it gets tedious. I never took up cycling with the intention to stay fit, so I didn’t really pay much attention to that aspect.

Linus Arhana
Linus Arhana

Linus Arhana, 23, Motion Graphic Designer

I took up cycling just after the first lockdown ended to save some money on fuel and have an active lifestyle while at home. My profession doesn’t allow me time to go to the gym or sneak in exercises during the day. So cycling 6kms round trip to work became a regular thing. I was then introduced to cycling groups who organise planned rides to certain places everyday/every alternate days. From here on i made new friends who’d do long rides, understood more and more about my bike and got familiarised with road etiquettes.

Even after things went back to normal, I still cycle to work and back, that never stopped. Apart from that I’ve done long distance tour rides with friends to destinations like Lonavala, Goa,etc. Most of us cyclist tend to head more towards exploring the city and its internal beauty… places that aren’t really on the map. Its a fun “Living on the weekends” feel for all who work and don’t get time during the weekdays. Yes ofcourse… mostly just getting to start my day early and have a good sleep schedule is a major plus. It has toned my muscles and given me a leaner physique. I find myself less tired by the end of the day… unless ofcourse the cycling squad decides to cycle for 100+ kms on a particular day. What was a merely a hobby for me has kind of turned into an addiction now. I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

Roger Rodrigues
Roger Rodrigues

Roger Rodrigues, 38, Conference planner

I love cycling and go for a ride four to five times a week. I used to occasionally cycle, however during the pandemic I stumbled upon a FB post from a cycling group called CylOdians calling for people to join. And that is when I got into cycling more regularly. As i only recently moved to the area I am living, I did not have any friends. But after i begun cycling and joint this group, I have made many new friends. I also lost a lot of weight and I managed to maintain it without having to diet.

Chaitali Kadam
Chaitali Kadam

Chaitali Kadam, 28, PR Professional

During the lockdown, when all of us were at home and couldn’t go to the office or travel anywhere, I decided to learn cycling as it was something I had wanted to do for a very long time. Additionally, it is great way to exercise as well. It helped me stay fit and active, while instantly feel refreshed after long hectic work hours. Yes, cycling is a lot of fun, besides being a great form of exercise.

No, now that we are all returning to the pre-covid work culture, I don’t get much time to cycle after work. Yes, since I cannot exercise much or go out for cycling, I have gained weight

Narendra Tambe
Narendra Tambe

Narendra Tambe, 46, Senior Product Manager

I loved cycling from my childhood days and would even cycle to college. In those we had very humble bicycle (the non geared ones) but it was so much fun riding through the bylanes of Dahanukar college in Vile Parle with my friends.

I had bought my Rockrider ST 100 pre pandemic and had just started to going on rides with my building friends. Pandemic was the apt time to restart my old passion, i started cycling on a regularly. Our destinations would be Gorai Beach, the Golden Pagoda, Aksa beach, Juhu beach and Bandra Fort. I felt like I am reliving my childhood again. Post lockdown too i have continued with the rides and i always look forward to the weekends for our rides as during the weekdays it becomes difficult due to office.

Cycling gives lot of health benefits and i too have benefited from it. It has made me a calmer person and longer rides have helped me in my stamina. Post cycling i really feel very fresh and energetic. And above all cycling has given me very good friends who are my life time treasures.

Anish Phalle
Anish Phalle

Anish Phalle, 25, Content Marketer

I have been cycling since 2019 and during pandemic I wanted to be more consistent and become a stronger cyclist. So, I invested in a turbo trainer which I can use for cycling indoors. And started taking part in cycling events. In the process have become more consistent. Also I believe in using cycling to commute to nearby places like grocery shops, theatres, cycling to work, meeting a friend, etc. I now cycle four to five times a week.



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