THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: This Sunday, take your bicycles and claim the streets. The city corporation in association with city-based cycling club Indus Cycling Embassy (ICE) is planning to mark the World Car Free Day with a host of activities. And thereby set forth a tradition and transition into cycling. As initiatives are taken across the world to go car-free for a day, city cyclists and other environmental enthusiasts will join hands to commute on bicycles, going carbon-free and eschewing four-wheelers for a day.“This is the first time the city will be marking this event and the vision is to make more people take up cycling. Activities are in line with our mission of reducing pollution and promoting carbon-neutral modes of transportation. There is much stress on promoting cycling among residents. As such we are setting up a cycling track in the APJ Abdul Kalam ark. Further, designated cycling tracks will be set up on certain stretches,” said Mayor V K Prasanth.
On September 22, cyclists from the city will start a mega ride from Manaveeyam Veedhi for an hour. Manaveeyam Veedhi will be the hub of all excitement on the day. Various cycles such as the road bike, mountain bike and electric bike will be featured.
The cycle collection drive initiated by the corporation will be held at Manaveeyam where one can bring in their old worn-out cycles and donate it to the corporation. These cycles will then be repaired and donated to school students and will be used to set up cycling clubs in the city.
A cycle clinic will also be underway, where a mechanic will work on the cycles and repair them.
“Repairs will be held at the stretch itself and cycling enthusiasts will get an opportunity to learn cycle repairing as well. Moreover, we will be keeping a few bicycles for riding on the stretch,” said Prakash P Gopinath, bicycle mayor.
The focus is on bringing cycling enthusiasts under one umbrella. “Across the world, there are attempts by people to do away with cars and depend on public mode of transportation on this day. We are trying to create awareness and initiate more people towards this. The idea is to keep out as many vehicles away from the streets as possible and encourage the younger generation to take up cycling,” he said.
School students will also be part of the day-long programme. The evenings will be enlivened up with a host of cultural programmes.