BENGALURU: In a first of its kind circuit ride in the country, the Tourism Department, on the World Tourism Day on Tuesday, joined hands with Namma Cycle, a public bicycling initiative from Bengaluru, to promote cycle tourism in the city.
Two rides with more than a hundred participants were flagged off simultaneously at M.G. Road Metro Station and Lalbagh. The riders went on a slow paced expedition through the places of historical importance along the route. They were educated about the importance of sustainable tourism and the cultural history of Bengaluru.
Breathing new life to bicycle lanes could be the answer to most of the problems in this wing of tourism, said Mr Kumar Pushkar, Managing Director, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation, who flagged off of the MG Road circuit ride.
“We have a big IT community here that could do well with a little cycling, instead of just sitting at the desk all day. It is possible only when proper bicycle lanes are added to the roads along with improved infrastructure. If we take the example of Holland, 50% of their population prefers cycling and it works. So why not here,” he asked. “We are drafting a proposal that could help realise this,” said Mr Pushkar.
Cycle tourism, though has immense scope, isn’t exactly soaring in the country because of safety concerns, he said. “Cycling is fun and is good for your health. Besides being eco-friendly, it can help improve traffic congestion which is a huge problem in the city. The city has the scope for it, but dedicated lanes should be created for the safety of riders.”
Namma Cycle along with the Tourism Department has also introduced packaged cycle tours and heritage rides. “Along with cycle sightseeing, we also do package tours outside the city, where we take them on a private bus and later they can explore places on cycles,” said Shakar S., a representative of Namma Cycle.