Pedal Your Way To Good Health

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My 5th Article in the Vijayawada Times

A motley group of Doctors, teenagers, young students, sports persons and businessmen between the age group of 15 to 45 years have come together to start a biking club in the city. Get a bike; get a life – claims the tee shirt of an ardent member of the CCC (Capital Cycling Club). And this slogan is the rallying cry of the group. The club has 25 serious bikers and the numbers are growing. “Bicycles are good for the planet and for your health. It curbs carbon emission to a great extent, “professes, Dr.Satya Kumar (Ortho surgeon), the mentor and executor of the group.

Early every morning you can spot the group pedaling away vigorously on the BRTS road, mainly because it is one of the safest routes in the city. The group of enthusiastic bikers rides imported bikes that are not available locally and have to be procured from other cities.  While most of them ride daily, the others make it to at least four rides a week, the activity heats up over the weekend. Distances vary from a 10 km leisure ride to even a 60 km loop! It’s pretty much a test for how much your calves can take and the time you want to spend on those two wheels.

Dr.Ram Mohan, a dental surgeon is basically from Vizag and says that the beach there had a no vehicle zone and he pursued cycling there. “But sadly, our city lacks dedicated cycling lanes or infrastructure of any kind to support and encourage cyclists,” he laments.

Gokul Chowdhary a tenth grader has joined the club and says it has improved his concentration and is thrilling While Sai Karthik, another teenager shares that he likes to ride as a sport and even more so for the sheer joy of riding against the wind.

Rajkiran, Rishi Chowdhary and Sunder Ravella are ex-cricketers and were working out in the gym and still looking for a good cardio workout outside it and have found a common love for cycling. They affirm that regular cycling will help strengthen your cardiovascular system.Vishwa Raj who is a bit lazy says that he drags himself out of bed every morning, but it is worth every minute of sleep as the freshness in the early hours and the delightful conversations amongst them when they take a well-earned break is rejuvenating.

Denouncing the myth that cycling is not safe, Dr.Rao who has been cycling since four years, maintains that, “It is enjoyable and as all of us wear safety gear- helmets, gloves, reflective tees, and knee and shin pads, it is absolutely safe.” Ortho surgeon, Dr.Prasad, Dental surgeon, Dr.Obul Reddy were looking for an alternative to the gym as they found it stifling – Cycling was the best option as it gave them a great work out as well as  they could breathe in the fresh morning air which they missed in the gym. Both of them are many pounds lighter now and advocate cycling.

Businessman Sudhakar and Hari, owner of a chain of retail stores, were motivated by Dr.Satya and joined the club mainly to get some physical activity as they were always desk bound. “Cycling is good for reducing belly fat. I would like to ride to work if the traffic permits and I am encouraging my 300 strong staff to do the same,” says Hari.

Sumanth, a software professional from Canada has shifted back and relates that he met Dr.Satya, while randomly cycling on his own, and was invited to join the club. He says it is a great platform and cycling in a group keeps you motivated and spurs you on to go the extra mile.

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