Bicycle Diaries With 'Brakes' For History

If you want to up your kids’ history grades with a new school year ahead, perhaps you can try a ride with the Cycling Yogis soon

Published: 13th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2015 04:16 AM   |  A+A-

Almost seven months ago, Girija Venkatesan, who sold her business, took to cycling for the first time. She had never owned a cycle or even stepped on a pedal till then. A matter of months after joining the Cycling Yogis,  she started cycling regularly, and was part of their DakshinaChitra ride as part of the group’s third anniversary. For entrepreneur Aparna Rajkumar, who has been an athlete all her life, cycling and revisitng history have added up to the most delightful combination. Bringing people together from across fields is the passion to pedal through history, in a group. 

Bicycle.jpgCycling Yogis’ founder Ramanujar Moulana says, “I wanted to draw attention to knowing something about places in the city. As a person who studied history academically, combining the activity of cycling and my passion for history was just the right combination. Cycling Yogis is also an endeavour to create awareness about protecting and conserving heritage,” he says.

Close to four years ago, when French teacher and history enthusiast Ramanujar went on a trip to Shimla, he met a group of cyclists called Pedal Yatris. The meeting fuelled the idea of starting a similar group with a focus on heritage and history in Chennai. Starting with a small group in April 2012, the group has grown by a huge proportion to a whopping 2,000.

After participation in the subsequent Madras Week celebrations and the Mylapore Festival, encouragement from the festival’s founder Vincent D’ Souza gave more impetus to the group’s activities.

“Over these years, Cycling Yogis have carried out around 10 heritage rides to Mahabalipuram, around Triplicane, Mylapore, Perambur, Royapuram, ECR and Pulicat. There is a recce done ahead for every trip just to avoid wastage of time,” says Ramanujar

Cycling Yogis also went on a ride around Fort St George to contribute to the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. Aparna says, “After the event one of the participants, a young boy came forward and said he would never litter the streets anymore. It is gratifying, even if it brought a change in just one person.”

While Aparna is kicked about the upcoming ride along the 2,000-year-old Cooum in August this year, Girija says it would be exciting to have rides based on food stops. “It is wonderful to explore our city; there is so much to it. In fact, you can do food stops all the way from Sowcarpet to Mylapore.”

 

The rides are free of cost with sponsorship from like-minded people, and supporters of the group.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp