World Bicycle Day: Cycles Can Be Best Alternative To Public Transport In Post COVID-19 World

On top of that, there's a ton of health benefits of cycling every day.

World Bicycle Day

As India begins to ease lockdown, people have started looking for an alternative to public transport. Some survey has predicted public transport ridership will decline for six months post the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. A Survey conducted among 400 residents of the capital by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) sensed a positive shift in attitude towards contact-free walking and cycling and other lifestyle adjustments to reduce unnecessary travel trips in the longer term. This is apparently because social distancing is becoming the new normal due to novel coronavirus pandemic.

Also, city dwellers witnessed clear blue skies all thanks to cleaner air as most of the vehicles were off-road during the lockdown. On top of that, there’s a ton of health benefits of cycling every day. According to fitness professional Abhi Singh Thakur, cycling increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, improves posture, and decreases stress level.

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“Cycling is a great way to lose weight also as it burns 500 and 1000 calories an hour. Because cycling is a cardiovascular exercise, it can help you achieve your fitness goal. Anyone can start cycling with15 – 20 minutes every day initially and gradually increase the pace with time,” Thakur said.

Fitness professional Abhi Singh Thakur.

Considering all this, ‘cycling’ could be the ideal solution.

Meanwhile, Hero Cycles has started a campaign – ‘Road Pe Dikhegi Tabhi to Chalegi’ this World Bicycle Day. The cycle manufacturer is urging Central and state governments, via this campaign, to push for an urban infrastructural shift towards bicycle-friendly roads and usher in a behavioural change among people.

“With the public wary of using public transport, there is a need to urgently reconfigure urban infrastructure to make it cycle-friendly. If we look around the world, cities are taking major initiatives to reallocate road space from cars to cyclists to enable greater use of cycles and prevent crowding of public transport. India must take note of this global trend and use this situation as an opportunity to shift a large number of people to eco-friendly bicycles,” said Pankaj M Munjal, Chairman, and MD, HMC, a Hero Motors Company.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has stated that investing in pedestrians and cyclists can save lives, help protect the environment, and support poverty reduction.

Also, a study released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in January last year estimated that if bicycles were to “substitute the two- and four-wheelers used for short-distance trips, it can result in an annual benefit of Rs. 1.8 trillion.

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