Mangaluru, Dec 21, 2015 : It struck midnight and actor Raksha Shenoy and model Vardhana Pai launched the midnight ride by riding bicycles from the city corporation office building in Lal Bagh towards Kulur. Following them were the cyclists from all age groups, girls, boys, teens, professionals, students and more.
65-year-old Ashoka Vardhana, everyone was waiting for the clock to strike midnight on Dec 19, Saturday. For 70 odd cyclists from Mangaluru, it was entirely a new experience—riding through the city at mid night.
The ride was organised by Mangalore Bicycle Club to enjoy cycling with an objective of leading a healthier lifestyle. The riders went to Kulur on NH 66, took a u-turn after crossing the Kulur Bridge to come back to the city. The group went along Mannagudda, Mahatma Gandhi Road, PVS Junction before moving towards Kadri Hills. Pedalling a few hundred metres again on NH 66, they again entered the city via Kadri Park and regrouped near Bejai Market.
The next destination was Hampanakatte and then Fr. Muller Hospital where they regrouped again. By then it was 1.45 a.m.; time for the last leg of the ride.
On Fr. Muller Road, they took a narrow road in Babugudda to join the Attavar Main Road and wound up the ride at the starting point by 2.30 a.m., riding about 32 km in all.
A treat awaited cyclists at the end, where ace cyclist Donald Menezes cut a cake and distributed cake, cutlets on clocking 10,000 km cycling on fitness app Strava. It was also his wedding anniversary.
MBC members Ganesh Nayak, Kishan Bangera, Shyamprasad Nayak, Prashanth Marla, Anand Prabhu, Vernon Saldanha, Nishant Chand, Chintan Shah, Smitha Rao, Nitya Bhat, Zahir Manippady and others guided fellow riders.
It was not just the grown ups who pedalled more than 30 km during the first ever midnight ride in Mangaluru. There were many children, aged between 12 and 16 who thoroughly enjoyed the ride throughout. For 12 year-old Ashur Khader, it was the first experience, though he had been accompanying his father Panambur Abdul Khader. Both father-son use conventional bicycles (without gears) and the senior Khader registers average 25 kmph speed during his morning rides.
On the other hand, there was Amogha Vikrama from Kasaragod, who is studying in class 10 in Mangaluru.
He had cycled from Kasaragod to Mangaluru (about 52 km) alone to participate in the night ride. Of the 70-odd cyclists in the midnight ride, more than 25 were children.