Sunday, April 24, 2005

`Go Cycling Bangalore' picking up speed

`Go Cycling Bangalore' picking up speed

The Hindu

Campaign, a prelude to more events

BANGALORE: It may not solve all our traffic problems and there are too many. But there is no harm trying.

The Go Cycling Bangalore campaign got another boost on Saturday with top models and other celebrities endorsing cycling as a healthier transport option and one far more eco-friendly than driving your own car and being caught in the middle of emission-spewing traffic snarls.

There is going to be more about cycling. May 15 will see the first Lipton Bangalore International Marathon when hordes of international cyclists will descend on the city. Three days ago, we had a cycle marathon champion from Australia, George Braid, personally pedalling around the designated route of the marathon next month.

The marathon route

The route of the marathon, which will be flagged off at the Kanteerava Stadium, is: Kasturba Road, M.G. Road, Trinity Circle, Ulsoor Lake, Dickenson Road, Manipal Centre.,Cubbon Road, Minsk Square, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Cubbon Park, Hudson Circle and Kasturba Road. The finishing point is the Kanteerava Stadium. Mr. Braid was the official course measurer for the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and for the marathons at Bangkok, Perth and Auckland. He feels the Bangalore Marathon will be a great opportunity for the young people of the city to see celebrated athletes in action at close quarters. "I look forward to coming back again here later to check out your pubs,'' he remarked. He has a tip for youngsters who may want to enter marathons: "It is important to pedal in a measured course as you can compare yourself with other participants."

Excellent course

Rupinder Singh, former national champion and organiser of international marathons, said: "Bangalore is ideal for international marathons with its parks, lakes and historical buildings. This will be one of the best courses in this part of the world.'' After Mr. Braid calibrates the course, a report is submitted to the official body for marathons in the Asian region and then a certificate valid for five years issued. Of course, it will hold good for more cycling marathons to be hopefully seen in this city.


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