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On a mission to promote cycling

Not many will practice what they preach. However, here is a person, who is into the business of selling bicycles, turning out to be an avid admirer of cycling and is on a long mission to promote it as a safe and clean mode of transport for daily needs.

Ganesh Nayak (left), a member of the Mangalore Bicycle Club, along with members of Pune Cycling Club, before proceeding to Mumbai recently.

Ganesh Nayak of Jyothi Cycles and Fitness in Kadri in Mangaluru could have done good business sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of his state-of-the-art shop. However, he chose a different path—building a network of enthusiastic cyclists in the city through Mangalore Bicycle Club and encouraging them to take up cycling seriously, to remain fit as well as contribute a bit to reduce the carbon footprint.

From conceptualising ‘Car Free Day’ on every second Saturday to night bicycle rides and from encouraging group bicycle rides every day to organising long group rides of 75 km, 100 km and 200 km, Mr. Nayak has now ventured into cycling solo for a distance of 2,000 km from Mangaluru to Indore in Madhya Pradesh via Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Having rode Harley Davidson solo twice in 2013 and 2015 to Jammu and Bhutan (about 7,000 km each), respectively, Mr. Nayak this year thought of cycling at least 2,000 km. “My intention is to promote cycling as a means of daily commutation. The health benefits of cycling are almost known to everyone; but I intended to exhibit that it is also possible that one can ride to work every day,” Mr. Nayak, who was in Thane, Mumbai on Tuesday evening, told The Hindu .

En-route, Mr. Nayak has been interacting with members of cycling clubs in cities as well as cycling enthusiasts. “While a majority of them will do morning rides to keep themselves fit, not many are into cycling for commutation. They were impressed by the idea and also by the Car Free Day of MBC,” he said.

He would wind up the ride at Indore after visiting Vadodra, Ahmedabad and Godhra on February 23 and reach Mangaluru on February 25. “Back in Mangaluru, I would ride at least four days in a month for daily needs to start with,” Mr. Nayak said.

Started on February 8

Route: Kumta, Hubballi, Pune, Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad and Indore

Distance: About 2,000 km

Daily ride: About 120 km, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mission: To promote cycling as a means of daily commutation

Distance covered so far: 1,050 km (Thane-Mumbai on Tuesday)

Date of winding up at Indore: February 23

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