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Is the cycling culture that bloomed during the pandemic withering away with the resumption of normal traffic? Or does the buzz indicate that this is the beginning of a cycling revolution?
Cycling and cyclists in Indian cities today are like the lover in Shakespeare’s lost poem, `Shall I die? Shall I fly?’ Indeed, like love, cycling in Mumbai is fraught with danger. Common sense says that it is back to being an adventure sport. One can get knocked down and killed like 12- year-old Aksha Malu last month.
The boy and his father were returning home at 5 am on a Sunday with two other kids. They reckoned it was a safe time but no Indian road is ever safe for a cyclist; minutes away from their housing complex on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, a cement mixer rammed Aksha’s bike.
Experienced bikers too meet with fatal accidents. In November 2017, Ashok Khale (64), a champion cyclist and a mentor for many was killed on the Vashi bridge as he was pedalling from his residence in Dadar to Khopoli on a Sunday.
Environmentalist Sunita Narain had a nasty collision while cycling in Delhi not so long ago. The NITI Aayog report on bicycles says that cyclists constituted 2.4 per cent of fatal road accidents in India during 2018. Even otherwise, danger lurks underfoot in potholes and drain grates which are poorly laid and sometimes open. But like love,Indians have taken to cycling despite all the dangers.
Cycle sales which were stagnant […]