The ‘Bicycle Mayor of Bengaluru’ has no airs! A passionate proponent of bicycling and environment-friendly transport systems in cities, he has been actively promoting the idea amongst school students. The title made him the third Bicycle Mayor in India (Baroda and Guwahati have the other two) in May this year and the first such mayor of Bengaluru. Supported by Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF), Amsterdam-based social enterprise, BYCS, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and a global network of Bicycle Mayors, he has been entrusted with putting in motion the realisation of the ’50 by 30′ vision – have 50% of all city trips be on bicycles by year 2030.
In this interview with RJ Shruti Sharada and RJ Beula, he retraces his personal bicycling journey and the vision he has for his 2-year tenure. “Mostly because my health was really bad, you know,” he recalls the point he started cycling. “I was in the IT sector for so long and I kept driving cars and all. You’d get lower back pain because you are always sitting and I’d see all these Europeans and Americans who were in the same company but they were so fit. They’d run around or they would take a swim in the English Channel, something or the other they would keep doing. I thought, I work so hard there yet I am not enjoying my life. So I started all these outdoor activities because I like to be outdoors and then I started running one day and then I started swimming the next and I learnt swimming, then I started cycling a lot and it gave me a different kind of freedom and it gave me the freedom to go to work.”
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