With the surging cases of COVID-19 since March, 2020, India experienced heavy lockdown. The more its effect seemingly became prominent; the Government imposed strict laws on daily transportation like daily runner buses and trains. Earlier, bicycle was regarded as poor people’s strength and mobility, however, now even the illustrious, high profile, or middle class society in India still falling in love with spikes, all over again.
Everyone thought it’s not a big deal to cycle their way to office, or to bring basic amenities like stationary, medicines as there was fewer traffic or congestion over the road at the time of lockdown. There are multiple accounts where wholesalers felt it might be a part-time craze, and not going to last. However, in the initial days in 30% hikes in market base, made people believe in its urgency.
According to CycleWorld Bangalore shop in Kalyan Nagar, last year they experienced a record –breaking sell after lockdown. They are recalling their experience on how people were threatened by the expansion of the CORONAVIRUS and made their way on buying bicycles to keep up with the #socialdistancing norms.
Apart from following social distancing guidelines, fitness enthusiasts of every age thought it is their only way to ‘stay in shape’. During COVID lockdown, mental and physical health was completely distorted, people fall under the anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Many found cycling as their only way out to inhale some fresh air. Many doctors and nutritionists felt it’s unnecessary to hit the gym every day. Rather, they recommend everyone at least 15 minutes of cycling to release some ‘happy hormones’.
According to global level researches, minimising carbon emission at least 2% daily globally can reduce the ultimate threat of spreading CORONAVIRUS. Many environmentalists and world thinkers felt cycling is the best way to reduce carbon emission. However, although it was difficult to switch, yet Indian urban population is ready to accept this ‘behavioural change’. In metro cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and or even in wholesale cycle market in Bangalore, shopkeepers are overwhelmed with the hike they received in the market (around 40%) in 2020.Best part is such immense love for bicycle is not limited among kids, surprisingly, the joy of riding has exceeded even among adults.
Interestingly, this Pandemic has turned out to be ‘blessing in disguise’ for many individuals, as they started forming cycling groups, and campaigning everywhere. According to many news reports, this cycle groups became ‘hand of God’ for many as they started distributing essential goods, sanitizers, masks door to door.
So will India continue to love its age old mode of transportation?
In a country like India, maximum population is poor and depended on MSME sectors; it will be wrong to say that Cycle has lost its traditionalist popularity. Rather, we can conclude by saying that it is again emerging as ‘new mode of transportation’, and gaining some added popularity because of extraordinary ‘urbanised mobility’.
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