Pune’s Cycling Culture Revived at “Pedal to CycleOn” Event for World Bicycle Day 2024

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Shivajinagar, 2nd June 2024: CycleOn, a Pune-based community dedicated to reviving the cycling culture in Pune, on Saturday evening organized a public event “Pedal to CycleOn” to celebrate World Bicycle Day 2024 (on Monday, 3rd June). The event was designed to experience the joy of cycling and revisit the good old times of cycling that the city of Pune was known for. Livelihood cyclists, daily wage workers, and house helpers have been cycling for decades and continue. This event was organized to celebrate them and the humble cycle.

Pooja Tanna, Campaigner for CycleOn and a member of the Carfree Cities Alliance, emphasized the significance of this year’s theme, ‘Cycling for Cooler Cities!’ She remarked, “As temperatures continue to rise to crazy levels, you may have noticed a crazy irony: we drive cars (or ride motorbikes) for our comfort and convenience, but all the fuel we burn to do so contributes to the climate crisis and is directly heating our cities. Pune, along with many Indian cities and cities in other parts of the world, have experienced unusually high temperatures and days of heat waves this summer.”


The event featured the team from Trk Dhoom Music Academy, led by Nitin Satav, who created a rhythmic energy around the participants pedaling 10 stationary cycles fitted with LED lights and dynamos, which lit up the cycles as they pedaled. Hatim Abbasi, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student from VIT College in Pune, volunteered his time and knowledge in setting up the dynamo fittings on the cycles.


CycleOn aims to continue engaging with all those who already cycle, those who support cycling, and those who want to build their confidence in cycling as part of the Pune Cycle Partnership, which is part of PMC’s Pune Bicycle Plan.


Harshad Abhyankar from Save Pune Traffic Movement added, “We wanted to impress upon the audience that cycling is an enjoyment that we have forgotten in the clamour of cars and motorized two-wheelers. And I think we succeeded in that! Many people came up to us and said that they still remember how enjoyable it was to ride a bicycle to school. Yes, you can’t be unhappy when riding a bicycle!”


He further explained that PMC’s Pune Cycle Plan has suggested a ‘Pune Cycle Partnership’ to coordinate all activities to revive the bicycling culture in Pune. CycleOn will be the banner under which various citizen groups and individuals will conduct such activities, from simple efforts like repairing bicycles and giving them to the needy, to large-scale events like Cycle Expos. The possibilities are countless.”


The Jungli Maharaj Footpath design serves as an excellent demonstration of inclusive road design, accommodating pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport alongside lanes for private vehicles. This cycling event was the perfect opportunity to celebrate one of the city’s existing cycling infrastructures, with more to come, providing safe and convenient options for citizens walking, cycling, and taking public transport for their daily commutes and beyond.