Pre-dawn twilight was yet to grace the city when about 1,500 cyclists rode into the city on Sunday. Clad in blue jersey, these riders covered a distance of 27.51 km between Hi-Tec City and Nagole carrying the message of green commuting. These riders were part of Hyderabad Metro Connects 2013 – Blue Edition, an event organised by L&T Metro Rail and Atlanta Foundation. The ride was conducted on the proposed Blue Line metro corridor between Nagole and Shilparamam and went through 23 areas at which metro stations are scheduled to come up. Cyclists had a free ride through key stretches in the city in the wee-hours as authorities ensured traffic-free roads for them. Though there were no prizes to be doled out, the riders gave their best and the fastest of them arrived at the finishing point at Nagole in less than two-and-half hours.
The event was inaugurated by Information Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah by launching a ‘Concept Bike Station’ at Hi-Tec City. Such bike stations will be provided near metro stations and one can hire a bicycle to go to their offices and deposit it back while returning. “This maiden cycling event is being taken up to underscore this connection between metro rail and cycling,” L&T Metro Rail CEO and MD, V.B. Gadgil said. Cycling enthusiasts had a gala time during the event. “This is an amazing initiative. I am looking forward to the day when I can mix workout along with commuting,” P. Lavanya, a financial consultant at a multinational company exclaimed. Uday Kiran, a student from Kukatpally, had a different story. “I am an avid biker but riding a bicycle on city roads could be suicidal. I am looking forward to the proposed dedicated bike lanes to come up,” he said.
A grand finale was organised at the Metro Rail depot in Nagole after the event where participants were felicitated. For a change, the depot reverberated with vibrant music and energetic cultural shows.