Getting the first Bicycle Mayor of the City of Guwahati on Earth Day

I have been cycling in Guwahati since 2014 and have always had the confidence among the citizens of this city that cyclists will grow in numbers, especially daily commuters and it is indeed heartening to note that people are taking up cycling in large numbers in-spite of the fact that the city traffic does not whole heartedly support the safety of the cyclists.

What is more encouraging is the fact that as a best medium of achieving fitness people are motivated towards taking up cycling. We encourage and support all forms of cycling, be it commuting, recreation, fitness or sports. Cycling should be a way of life.

Now that we have been recognized by BYCS (Bicycle Space) a global NGO based out of Amsterdam, Netherland, as a city which can be promoted for their Global Sustainability Goal of 50By30 (50% Commuting to be done by Cycles by end of 2030 in all cities) and also a city Bicycle Mayor have been appointed, we are extremely hopeful that we are not very far to achieve what will let the city breathe in carbon free air. I am also happy about the fact that we shall be leaving a better city for the generations to come.

Awareness campaigns at mass level to be initiated and is suggested to the authorities by cyclists at various levels at different forums. We have heard Administrative Authorities committing cycling lanes, but we are awaiting the same to surface. But in the meantime, we being cyclists let us be more adamant and try in our own little way to push through our perspective. Now its time that we take it to a different level and make our presence felt to the fellow commuters on road.

On the occasion of Earth Day which is organized on April 22 every year, Guwahati Cycling Community, organized an eco-friendly ride to Pobitora starting from Narengi in which 50 cyclists from all spheres of life attended the ride of 35 km one way.

At the end of the ride, Arshel Akhter was declared as the first Bicycle Mayor of the City of Guwahati. The group of cyclists present during the occasion have welcomed the decision of the NGO, BYCS and have put across their views to Arshel who has committed to live for the cause of the global goal, 50by30 whole heartedly.

We still believe that this is just a very humble beginning. We need a mass movement for awareness to grow among all levels of the society and make cycling a craze among all age groups. To take up cycling as a mode of commuting is the key. Health Budget of India is Rs 52800 Crores which is 1.15% of the GDP. For 2017-18, the imports of Petroleum and Crude Oil was 219.15 MT for USD 87.725 billion (Rs 5.65 lakh crore), according to the latest data available from Oil and Petroleum Ministry. We cyclists have a large roll to play in reduction of these bills and to develop a healthy economy and a healthy society.

The part sponsor of the event, Spoke Hub which is a dealer for international cycle brand Giant, Proprietor: Bikash Doley have declared an MTB Racing Team of 6 Members and the same team will be competing in Manipur MTB Racing Circuit in a forthcoming event during last week of the current month. Bikash has also confirmed that Giant will promote this team as a team which will eventually be representing the state of Assam in all National Events. During the event Giant has supported Jumi Orang with a high-end race cycle. Jumi is an ace cyclist of Assam and during the last inter-district cycling challenge organised by Kamrup Cycling Association, Jumi won 4 Gold medals.

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