Kochi: Sumangala Pai was 42 years old when she learned to ride a bicycle. She was inspired by a collective of bicycle riders in Kochi who came together to pedal their ways out of the busy streets of the city.
Pai started a women’s wing of the Cochin Bikers' Club two years ago. The women riders make it a point to meet up every Saturday and Sunday morning and pedal to some of the villages around the city. "We take it easy. We chat along the way, sip tea from roadside shops and laugh all the way," Pai said.
The group has professionals and housewives. All of them agree that the morning cycle trips recharge their batteries to new levels. They leave at 6 am and get back home by 9 am.
"Bicycle rides are total packages including the joy of companionship, health of the body and the pleasures of travel," Pai said.
The women riders said that they are taunted by men shocked by the unexpected declaration of freedom. "That’s just part of the game. Not all of them have a problem with our trips. There are people who want to learn more about our group and cycling as such. We try to create awareness about the health benefits of cycling," Pai said.
The Cochin Bikers' Club Pink members are happy about the interest they have generated in their own families. "Even the children are into cycling. We hope the interest catches up with society."