Come Independence Day, people tend to find unique ways to celebrate. In the same spirit, a group of bicyclists have brought out their adventurous sides and planned a bike ride across the capital on Wednesday (today).
Titled “Tour de Shakarparian Park”, the ride is meant to pay homage to the lush green beauty of the capital. Members of Critical Mass Islamabad (CMI), a cycling group, will be donning green and white colour-coded clothes to express solidarity. They will also hoist the national flags on their bicycles.
The group will gather at Shah Faisal Mosque at around 8am and leave for the scenic Shakarparian Park, crossing paved roads and taking in the landscape’s beauty along the way. According to the group, the park provides an ideal setting for such recreational and public activities. The route is approximately 18 kilometres long on mostly paved roads, with about 30 per cent roughness.
“What better a way to spend Independence Day than to get proactive,” said the ride coordinator, Haroon General. “Normally, people don’t really celebrate the day but it would be fun and refreshing to experience the outdoors on bicycles and the more, the merrier,” he added.
Although rainy weather is forecast, some of the members were still very enthusiastic to participate, said General. “Cycling in the rain has its own charm,” he added, with a grin.
Aimed at reviving the culture of riding bicycles as a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation, CMI explores the Islamabad’s roads as well as off-road sites on the countryside to promote tourism and healthy sports activities in the capital.
The group also works to promote cycling as a communal sport by involving different age and socioeconomic groups. This will be their 11th ride in the capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2013.