Delhi goes cycling for better immunity; road infra, safety measures big challenges

Gyms have resumed but the panic persists. Keeping in view the certain protocol issued by the government to combat COVID 19, the Delhiites are strictly adhering to the guidelines

Delhi goes cycling for better immunity; road infra, safety measures big challenges
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Syed Wajid

Pandemic has brought life to a screeching halt in all spheres of life, activities have ceased to exist, a paradigm shift has taken place. Work from home culture cuts down on thick gatherings at workplaces, fitness clubs. Though gyms have resumed, the panic persists. Keeping in view the certain protocol issued by the government to combat COVID 19, the Delhiites are strictly adhering to the guidelines.

"I have been doing cycling for the past 20 years. I find it a complete exercise, keeps fit and boosts stamina. It gives me immense satisfaction and confidence. I hardly skip my routine. "Dhruv Naresh Rana, a high-altitude cyclist gushes.

The city of Delhi has gone into a cycling mode to stay healthy. The sale of cycles has shot up an all time high. Supply seems struggling to meet the raging demand; this in fact has hiked the price.

Delhi goes cycling for better immunity; road infra, safety measures big challenges

"Cycling keeps me mentally and physically toned. This humble transport is quite easy to maneuver. It is an environment friendly exercise." Aman Puri 27, founder Noida Cycling Club lays emphasis on wearing a helmet, reflecting gears and cycle rear lights.

The cost of a cycle in vogue varies from rupees 8 thousand to a whopping 80 grand and even beyond. Cycle enthusiasts comprising all age groups do not hesitate to cough up a packet for the purchase. Shutting down of gyms has made fitness freaks turn to cycling. There is a plethora of cycle clubs paddling down the city post lockdown.

"It is a stress buster; I go cycling every day. It enhances cardiovascular fitness, increases muscle strength and strengthens digestive system. I cycle 100 kilometres on the weekend. There should be proper lanes demarcated for cyclists." Nagesh Sharma 19, a cyclist from Delhi speaks.

The problem of road safety measures and infra is grave; as seen in many places that there are no separate lanes for cyclists that poses a threat.

"The lanes reserved for cyclists are in bad shape, potholes are a common sight; road side hawkers hog the entire stretch which creates a nuisance. Some lanes are poorly lit that may trigger mishaps sometimes fatal.” Madhuri Balodi, an entrepreneur avers.

Indeed, there should be one lane meant for cycle riders but, as seen in most cases that speeding vehicles comfortably and conveniently ignore them resulting sometimes in serious road accidents.

"The streets are not as good as they should be. Several potholes even on a small stretch create havoc. The cyclists in these unlit lanes are vulnerable to the street crime as there were the incidents of mobile snatching particularly in east Delhi." Kapil 29, an accountant averred. Delhi and the NCR are the places where cycle clubs are mushrooming but the common lament is poor infrastructure and safety measures on roads.

"We have a long way to go before we achieve good dedicated lanes and sensitivity of motor drivers towards cyclists and pedestrians. I have been doing the cycling for long but road safety measures are issues needing to be addressed. "Sumit, 28, a businessman states.


Delhi goes cycling for better immunity; road infra, safety measures big challenges

An enormous leap can be seen in cycling clubs in recent few months. These clubs based on age and gender organise cycling tours, tourneys, cyclothons, cycling tours and expeditions across the city.

"When the country was placed under lockdown, a lot went though a massive change; the air quality improved, plants grew even greener, pollution dipped almost to naught. People found cycles as a safe and non-polluting mode of transport. Pandemic shuttered down the gyms and fitness freaks had no option but to paddle the bicycle to keep the malady at bay. Cycling is now trending as a healthy habit to keep fit. I go cycling for short distances. It helps enhance metabolism, cut extra flab and keeps me toned and trimmed." Suhaib Ahmad Farooqui, SHO South Avenue speaks.

Cycling, a new rage, is one complete exercise like swimming that builds up stamina involving all parts of body. WHO has accepted that cycling helps reduce risk of cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. It improves muscle strength, general well-being, quality of sleep and mental health as well.

Cycle remained neglected and almost lost in the din of swanky cars whizzing by in big cities. But after the massive hit of the deadly virus that locked down the world, people have returned to cycling, an easy and humble mode of transport.

"Cycling is a good option for people who have to travel short distances. It will also take the load off the public transport system. Everyone is obsessed with boosting their immunity to fight back the virus. I have bought a bike that helps me do the local shopping. It is an exercise that follows the strict protocol of maintaining social distances and staying masked." Manoj Pawaria 52, a business consultant explained.


As cyclists stand on the lower rung of the highway hierarchy, they are honked to be pushed aside by speeding cars, buses, lorries and trucks. Considering the benefits of cycling the government must take a serious note of it. It will minimize the number of accidents taking place every year, reduce the pollution levels both air and noise and unburden the traffic loads too.

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