by Asmita Kothari
‘Pedal for Joy – Relive the joy of Cycling’ began as Sanket Subhedar’s project in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program in August of 2014. Subhedar took up this project with the intention to promote cycling by organizing cycle rallies on different occasions.
Pedal for Joy’s first ride was called Eco Friendly Diwali, wherein instead of setting off firecrackers during the festival, Sanket thought why not cycle around to meet our friends and family. As a child, whenever Sanket would ride his bike in the long city lanes, he would receive immense joy and happiness. He wanted to share this experience with everyone else and that’s how the name of the whole project was born. Also, he used to ride a bicycle as a boy but as time passed that vehicle drifted out of his life – he wanted to get the cycle back in people’s lives and that’s why project carries the tag line ‘Relive the joy of cycling’. Initially just his friends and family participated in the cycle rally, but as time passed people of all ages and from different parts of Mumbai joined. He now has more than 100 cycling friends as a part of this Landmark project.
During the first ride he had many people questioning his ideas. Eventually people not only showed up but also appreciated this innovative way of celebrating Diwali. Pedal for joy has organized 6 cycle rides so far:
–Eco Friendly rides on the first day of Diwali. They come together for cycling instead of burning firecrackers
–Pedal for Peace, held on the 6th anniversary of November 26th Mumbai terror attacks. They visited the places of the attacks and paid tribute to the lives lost, with the motto ‘standing united against terrorism’.
–Pedal for the nation, Freedom Ride 2015; to celebrate 69th Independence Day by visiting places having historic importance during the freedom struggle. This included a long night drive in the night.
–Ganesh darshan on cycles- they rode to visit Ganesh mandals and spread the message of a pollution free world.
–Cup of smile, wherein volunteers of Pedal for Joy distributed tea to on duty policemen on New Year’s Eve.
Pedal for Joy has been covered by the leading newspapers like DNA, Loksatta, Maharashra Times, as well as local television stations.
The Pedal for Joy team has a set of goals for the future:
–Cycle tourism – organizing cycle rides for tourists to enjoying siteseeing in the city in a creative manner.
–Cycle donation campaign – bicycles can be donated to the needy.
–Cycling for all – to help differently able people to ride a cycle around the city.
–Cycle renting stations – to form various stations in different parts of the city.
–Cycle learning workshops – learn how to ride a cycle in 10 days.
–Cycling through college/school events – riding to spread awareness about the importance of cycling through college festivals.
–Creating Pedal for Joy as a global brand.
Lastly Sanket mentioned that Landmark has contributed a lot in his life and in the project. He discovered his passion for cycling which has now opened new avenues for his development.
For further information, check out Pedal for Joy on Facebook.