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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Cycle Day

The good turnout to 'Ride 2 Mysore' on Sept 21st 2013 (i refuse to take the credit, the person whom i admire Chiddu made the difference)  brought one humble biker by name Ravi in contact. Post that ride he spoke to me over the phone after one full day attempt to find mutually convenient time to talk (we spoke for more than hour over the phone).  The first question what i asked him was what is that time i need to put in, as we are nearing to year end and as i started the year with a fractured hand and broken ego.  Lagging behind with the target for the year 10,000 kms.  He replied it is very minimal, most of the time over the mails, phone calls and a breakfast meet on Sunday morning, i said yes.

Ravi is part of a civic society called Praja RAAG.  That is a great bunch of people who were also the guys behind the famous 'Bus Day' initiative. We first met on the Critical Mass ride and met the entire team on the coming Sunday.  A nice bunch of people with lot of energy towards making some difference to traffic scenes in Bangalore.  By then already the date was finalized for the event and DULT (Directorate of Urban Land Transport) has taken up the initiative to lead the event under its Approachable, Practical and Down to Earth Commissioner Dr. V Manjula Madam.  At Airlines the meeting was attended by most of its members.  Lot of things to take care and follow up, all listed down and made a note of it.

Deepak, Ravi, Manju, me, Srinidhi, Richa, Sonal, Ritu, Pranav, Rajesh, Zubin , Sathya in the first meet on 06102013
I just came to know in the first meeting Manju did not know 'how to ride a Bicycle'.  For the rest of the story. During the discussion at Airlines started looking at the numbers for the Cycle Day, how many bikers may take part? In the last 9 months of Critical Mass ride never touched 3 digits.  Ravi said 200 to 250 is good number, is it possible? Rajesh said how about shooting for 500 numbers? I stepped in and said 500 looks good will shoot for 1000+ (honestly i had no clue what i was talking then, however that number came from my mouth, felt that should be the number).  As the days started progressing BMRCL, BMTC, BTP, all came forward to support the DULT in this initiative.

Superb work by Neha Dar
As team DULT started working on approvals, signs of toughness in pulling this event became even more tougher after this write up in the newspaper Us v/s Them using Cubbon Park for the Cycle Day.  Pranav came up with an idea of carrying bicycles in Volvo and that lead to meeting with BMTC MD, that is what resulted in this.This below poster was such a huge hit and shared 784 times in FB, going across the country or who knows across the globe too.  
As the days nearing to the event 'Heritage Ride' route was not cleared by Traffic Police, it was rejected for security reasons because it was passing in front of Vidhana Soudha. You cant go in front of Raj Bhavan too. Then came up with Minsk Square, they said No to that too because Metro construction is happening. You cannot go to M.G. Road or Lavelle Road because it comes under different jurisdiction as the time is very less getting an NOC is a real task. By this time it was only two days left for the event day. After NOC needed to get the printing done for standee. 

Around this time Srinidhi is busy working on Cycle stand fabrication and Team DULT working on approval of locations for the Cycle stand.  Horticulture dept giving tough time for all this, as this should not lead to permanent damage to the road/foot path inside Cubbon Park. (parallel working on getting cycles on rentals and talking to what options available...). Zubin working on video recording compilation and that was creating some real good views on FB page.  Neha was doing lot of work on FB pages, updates, links, images, posters on and on. Pranav trying to connect all the lose ends, leading and running around for meetings with Govt Dept whenever needed.  Ravi calling up lot of individuals speaking to them and briefing them and inviting them for the Cycle Day and requesting them to spread the word and sending countless mailers to them.  Sathya, Manju too did the work on talking to people, sending mails and spreading the word. Rajesh working on Radio channels  to get their air time and trying to sell them the idea.  He succeeded in doing that with Radio City and they came forward did a complete 2 hrs show on Cycle Day and Bicycle related topics. Radio City has 10 lakhs + listeners. Sreenidhi spoke in Kannada and did a fabulous job.  Same day Fever 104 said yes and Pranav took part in that and did a great job that was in English.  Team DULT continuously running from Dept to Dept getting lot of things organised, getting the approval, facing the hassles and running around for NOC's. 

We're thrilled to feature Paul Fernandes's gorgeous illustrations on our banners for Cycle DayIf you haven't checked out Paul's art yet, you MUST visit the aPaulogy Gallery. His vibrant watercolor illustrations are delightful mix of nostalgia, wit, gentle satire and charm - a loving tribute to Bangalore. What we also love - a lot of Paul's illustrations feature bicycles! Want a warm hug from Old Bangalore? Walk into the aPaulogy gallery at 15 Clarke Road (Opp. Au Bon Pain) Richards Park Entrance, Richards Town, Bangalore.
Two days before the event ie Friday morning again we all met again discussed the complete plan for next two days. Ravi briefed the complete volunteer plan, who is playing what role. As NOC for the route getting delayed and delayed the final recce too went on post phoning (even though we have done the recce of the earlier routes....). Saturday came just a day to go evening had a meeting at DULT office. Team DULT made a final check, made sure everything is in place. During the same time Srinidhi was busy installing the cycle stand at Cubbon Park and getting the cycles inside park it was raining cat and dogs (sorry Srinidhi i couldn't extend my arm....). By the time i am writing this report Two Cycle stands were installed and four more to go.  Manjula Madam asked what is the number for tomorrow? Instantly came an answer 500+, when she heard + asked what if it crosses 1000, i smiled and replied it is also a Critical Mass ride then we have reached the Critical Mass. Had a big laugh all together and left. Team BOTS did an awesome job in sending some 100's of mails to spread the words (ROhan told me when i met him at the event day they have sent the mails to all the members in BBC). Yateesh kumar from Wipro took the initiative to circulate mail (the poster) internally at his organisation that too made a good difference in spreading the word.  Vinay shankara did the same thing at Infosys, doing this in a bigger corporate like these makes a huge difference to spreading the word (he too joined the team Cycle Day from 20th). Cycle Day poster was shared by some 60 + times on FB that has made a huge difference in spreading the word. On Cycle Day we had some of the 'who is who' of the bikers taking part in the event....they are Bylahalli Janardan, Ashok Thiruvengadam, Dr. Ali, Opendro, ROhan kini, Sohan Sintre, Arvind Ganesh, Jayaprakash, Yateesh Kumar, Murali, Prabhakar Rao, Parag patankar, Venkatesh shivaram, Chetan ram, Ravindra rao, Sanath kumar sd, Vijay cp, Sanjay ramaswamy, Promise gangani, Putta narasimhaiah, Karthikeyan b, Suman paul, Anand raman, Rajesh p nayak, Jayaprakash,, Arokia raj, Mohan narasimha, Baskar ramchandran, Nikhil pathak, Subhradip das, Timmanna bhat, Srikanth gururaj, Darshan dwarkanath, Ashish nabira, Vishnu janardhan, Varun gowda, Goutham nagaraj  I thank all the volunteers who came forward and helped (please excuse will not be able to take each name). Photo credit to all my good friends whom i know and some of whom i do not know....Madhavi Rangaswamy, Suresh Upadya, Sushruta Nadig, Shaina Jagtiani, Naresh Khandai, BOTS, Bikram kabir, Esaf blr.  Some of the media links here, Prajawani, The New Indian Express, Bangalore Mirror, The Deccan Chronicle, The Bangalore CitizenMatters. ND tv covered news pretty good. (credit to Zubin)

t-shirt backside - is the message clear and loud!!??
Plan is to meet all at 6 am in the morning and double check everything is in order. Looks like no one slept that night, mails were exchanging and on what's up at 3 am and 4 in the morning also. All were there at decided time, no one looked like not slept, i think each one of us had some one else replying....hehe. You can write what the future events should have, your ideas here. to contact DULT here.

Slowly bikers started coming, weather was so good, i need some external help (i leave it to the bikers who took part and reading this blog post) to explain how was the Cycle Day ?  The ride began with Mayor cutting the ribbon inaugurating the Cycle stand at the Hudson circle gate facing Library, one of the towers of exit of Banglore other side where the Karaga festival starts, Kanteerava indoor stadium next to it and Pallavi theatre (where morning martial arts classes is only a memory...) lost its identity in the era of Multiplexes and as a sign of freedom he just rode ahead along with Dr. V Manjula Madam, CG Anand sir CME(P&TP)at BMTC, B Dayananda sir ACP Traffic and 1000's of other cyclists.

Mayor  BS Satyanarayana inaugurating the Cycle stand as Srinidhi and Muralidhara rao watching it
a local celebrity on regional channels 
Mayor, ACP Traffic B Dayanada, DULT Commissioner Dr. V Manjula (both did the entire distance, thumps up for that gesture, enthusiasm and their interest in the initiative)
what a beauty only cyclists on road  and traffic on the other side (personally this is one of my best click)
1100 + bikers
a house wife from Hebbal came in Volvo with 10 year son and rode the bike after 27 years
appreciate the courage of this family a good friend Vinay and Pallavi with Mihir - 15 months baby
Arvind Ganesh with his kids Siddarth and Anjali (am too impressed with the way siddarth rides)
Janardhan everyone's inspiration
we saw this too....
Sanjay on Brompton foldie and Vijay on Extreme terrain bike
3 bikers from BMS engineering college (a college that is having cycling club for last 30 years)
Deepak and C.G. Anand who rode the entire distance
Muralidhar rao with conductor  inside Volvo carrying the bike
Dr. Ali who did Bangalore to Puna on bicycle for the Medical Conference
B Dayananda (ACP Traffic) and Dr. V Manjula  Commissioner DULT (with their Leadership we are heading in the right direction)
Real walkers cheering the cyclists
Nice to see hbc taking part
Information Standee, awesome work by team DULT
Karthikeyan the runner cyclist (extreme left) Sanath kumar who commutes 45 kms everyday (extreme right)
Babu shekar with his 'Kid in the front'
Kid on the saddle
in blue t-shirt is Opendro, the man whom i am jealous of his fitness, the First  1200 kms BRM finisher and an 100 kms Bangalore Ultra finisher, i envy dude!!
we saw everything on Cycle Day, kid on top tube, kid in the back baby seat, kid on the back carrier, extreme terrain bike, foldie, road, mtb, lady bird, hybrid, fixie, kids bike, kids bike with support wheels and the above. 
Sohan on Fixie -left pic (if you want to know about how not to 'quit' he is the guy) and Amith Biligere- right pic (commitment to the cause, he is here taking part who was recently married)
Beautiful standee with info about 'route and event sponsors' and even more beautiful cubbon park a walkers paradise
Yatheesh kumar, with bikers from Wipro (probably one of the first organisation to promoting 'commute on a bicycle' big time)

Kid in the back
Ashok Thiruvengadam - a separate blog post for this introduction - one of the 2 times SR in a calender from Bangaluru (that is why 2 touching his wheels....hehe)
This is why everyone enjoyed it, little one is on the bike or running behind bike nice timing in clicking the image
Vinay with his bikers from Infosys (vinay, need 1000 bikers from one of the biggest firm in blr for Oct 2014 Cycle Day...good job buddy in spreading word at Infosys)
This is where bike comes handy Multi-purpose and Multi-tasking by Richa  
Rajesh p nayak along with his Team OTHLA 
team BOTS  (Bikram kabir and Suraj) with yellow jersey ROhan in the middle - the man who has re-defined biking; walking...oops cycling the  'road less traveled' 
Happened during the same time, can we learn a lesson or two from them...especially the 'lane discipline'
Cycling Quotes found....
Another Quote, how true isn't it!?
a Quote, it is common sense right....
A quote - that is what we love right? lovely bike....(Vinayak rao and Stanley ravi)
The 'team' that thanks everyone for coming together and taking part either directly or indirectly and in contributing and making it a big one!!!
Above was the message at the end of the first Cycle Day ....


  1. Awesome Write Up Anil, Thanks for wrapping it up so well with pictures and links. Enjoyed every bit of it. Kudos

    1. San Jay,

      Thank you dude, appreciate the kind words.

  2. Replies
    1. Karthick Gururaj,
      Thank you, it is the bikers in bangalore did it i just wrote one.

  3. Replies
    1. Nikhil Pathak,
      oh yah it is the just beginning dude.

  4. Extremely well composed blog Anil..one thing missing is the back bone like support you provided all the way through to make it a success..

    1. Sri,
      Thank you buddy. hehe...thank you for the acknowledgement, i was happy to part of this.

  5. Wonderful write-up Anil. If I will launch a magazine in future I would like to approach for an Editor role for sure :) Kudos.

    1. Avinash Kumbhar,
      Thank you dude. hehe....why not will explore that too...you please be there for the next one.

  6. So much work went behind the scenes. Great work done by everyone involved . Hope this snowballs into better cycling condtions for all of us . Missed this cycle day. Will make it to the next one for sure.

    1. Vikas,
      Thank you buddy. Yes i agree with you, there is a good foot print left behind, missed you too, please block the next date, Nov 24th.

  7. Great work Anil. The challenge would be converting the masses to take up the cycling. Hope this can be achieved by keeping the campaign alive.

    1. Jayaprakash,
      Thank you. yes i completely agree with you. one step at a time.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Great effort and a great achievement. This only shows that if determination and will is in place, things will start working. BTW, it is an awesome report and thanks for sharing. My best wishes to all of you for the next Cycle Day on Nov 24th. Hopefully in my next visit to B'lore will try to be there.

    1. Khader b syed,
      Thank you for the kind words. You are on dot, yes it makes a difference. Please would love to meet you on Nov 24th, look forward to it.

  10. Anil, you haven't mentioned the incredible energy, enthusiasm and ideas you brought to the table. On the day of the event, particularly, you were everywhere!

    Love the post, and on an aside, thanks for all the bike gyaan! =)

    1. Neha,
      Thank you for the kind words. It is a Civic society, i just changed it to MAS (Mutual Admiration Society), hehe, oh yah you now have a beautiful bike....event day, i was looking at converting it to long ride, that is why everywhere hehehe.

  11. Awesome Journalism Anil :).. very nicely written and one can really feel you have covered everything on the event .. Hopefully i will be there next time ...

    1. Prakash,
      Thank you for the compliment dude. Journalism really, not bad, i think i need to write regularly. this event was like that there was a spread. be there next you will just love it.

  12. Wonderful writeup :)
    wish to see many more cyclists in the coming cycle day events

    1. Girish,
      Thank you buddy. Yes that is the need of the hour for a city like banaglore, need your support too.

  13. Anil...that was a great write up..and the snaps...I was not there for the event...but was following all the great work cycle day team was doing...all the best for the future

    1. Mathew,
      Thank you for the encouraging words. Would like to see you at the next Cycle Day event ie on Nov 24th.

  14. What a great event!! I loved your post and all the great pictures!! Congratulations!!

    1. Scott,
      Thank you, i appreciate the time taken to read this and acknowledge it.

  15. Loved it Anil. You have done a wonderful job. Pics are awesome too :)

    1. Hari,
      Thank you, whole lot of guys contributed for this, appreciate your kind words.

  16. Great collection and titles !! Well done ...

    1. Manu Konchady,
      Thank you, appreciate the time taken to read the long write up.

  17. Thanks for the summary, great job by the team!

    1. Arvind,
      Thank you, i appreciate you coming to the event along with Anjali and Siddarth.