GUWAHATI, Aug 6 - Guwahati Cycle Tour is organising a bicycle rally, �Freedom Ride 2017�, on August 15 to celebrate the Independence Day.
After singing of the National Anthem, the rally will start at 6:30 am from Latasil Playground and pass through various parts of the city for a total distance of 30 km before ending at Latasil.
�We are expecting about 150 to 200 cyclists for the event. We have made wearing a helmet compulsory for all cyclists participating in the event. This is to inculcate safe riding habits among the people. We have restricted the age of participants above 18 years so as to have some control of the event,� the organisers said.
Many cycling-related organisations of Guwahati, both having commercial and non-commercial interests, are supporting the event.
Partnering organisations will provide technical support to cyclists in case of breakdown or repair. They will provide vehicles capable of carrying 5-6 cycles in case of total breakdown. Nutrition partners will provide snacks and drinks to the cyclists. A fully equipped ambulance will follow the cyclists to provide first aid if required.
The ride will be led by two open-air vehicles with people from the partner fitness organisation.
There will be pacers on cycles who will guide the cyclists to ride in unison.
Meanwhile, the Guwahati Cycle Tour has submitted a petition to the Government of Assam requesting to create cycling lanes around Guwahati.
�There is no dedicated path for the bicycle commuters, which is unsafe as all motorised vehicles burgle in the sides of the roads (normally where the cyclists ride) to sneak a way through. In the process, they cause threats to the cyclist,� the organisers said in the petition to the Chief Minister.
It said that designated paths should be earmarked only for the cyclists. �Authorities should enforce the same for rest of the vehicles not to infringe into the cycling path,� it said, identifying at least nine such roads where a separate cycling lane can be created.
�We have noticed in recent years that most of the schools which are inside the city create a havoc in city traffic as most of the parents drop and pick up their wards in personal two- or four-wheelers. We suggest that every school should encourage cycling to school and restrict parents from dropping their wards to school. This will not only encourage the children to be independent but they will also imbibe the character of responsible citizens. Schools have to provide the students who come on a cycle with some incentives, while the authorities need to recognise the schools which introduce the cycling-to-school concept and ensure that enforcement of safety rules are strictly adhered to,� the petition suggested.
Guwahati Cycle Tour was first organised on August 2 last year. The team comprises 15 like-minded members aged from 32 to 62 years and is also connected to most of the leisure cyclists in the city of Guwahati.