Tube Investments of India
Tube Investments of India
Tube Investments of India Ltd.
Pedalling for a Greener Chennai
Keeping fit: (from left ) Mr L. Ramkumar, Managing Director, Tube Investments of India Ltd; Mr A. Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Group; Mr Lakshmi Narayanan, Founder-Member, United Way of Chennai and V

Chennai, Feb. 26: The road skirting the Marina beach, so used by walkers and joggers, had a different set of visitors this Sunday morning. One that got energy levels soaring instantly. As over 4,000 cycling enthusiasts – men and women, young and old, and corporate honchos – pedalled passionately for a green and fitter Chennai as part of the BSA Hercules Chennai Cycling race, one hoped cycling lanes would become part of the city's landscape.

The good news is this is no wishful thinking as the Tamil Nadu Government, at the request of corporates such as the Murugappa group and Cognizant, is working on a plan to create cycling lanes in the city. This will certainly take time and effort, but events such as the BSA Hercules cyclothon hope to catalyse change in the days to come.

Consider this: The annual bicycle production in the country is estimated at 13 million units, a far cry from 40 million in China.

Munich and Mexico are also classic examples of cities where cycling is a way of life. Infrastructural woes, lack of political will and absence of cycling zones are some of the reasons why India has not embraced bicycles in a big way, said D. Raghuram, President, TI Cycles.

Apart from IT parks, schools, beaches, metro stations and residential areas also lend themselves beautifully to cycling lanes, said A. Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa group.

This is the fourth year of the cyclothon , after events in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Says A. Vellayan, “The cyclothon, a regular feature in the Murugappa calendar, is an effort to inculcate the cycling habit among citizens and also get some visibility for our bicycle business, which is one of the group's oldest businesses going all the way back to 1950.”

The cyclothon was organised by TI Cycles in association CRX Sports, a sports management company, and supported by the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. It had several rides for professionals from across the country, amateurs, CXOs, kids, parents, and a ‘green' ride as well.

Several amateur riders felt this event helped them test their fitness levels, while for children, it was all about showing off their fancy bikes and having fun.

For 58-year-old Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice-Chairman, Cognizant, who took part in the CXO ride, cycling is the best way to recharge himself as he gets ready to tackle currency conundrum and anti-outsourcing rhetoric. Narayanan begins most days with a 40-minute power ride inside the green and clean Theosophical Society.

Proceeds from the cycle race go towards United Way of Chennai, which trains the underprivileged to find employment in BPOs.

The event will ride into Hyderabad and Kerala next.