A large number of cyclists, including women, gathered on the Ring Road on Saturday to participate in the cycle rallies in a bid to play their role to improve the environment through promotion of cycling.
“I, along with my friends, have not come here just to participate in the bicycle rallies as I also want to tell the people that women are lesser beings compared to men in any field,” said a woman cyclist.
“Since such events also promote the soft image of our country, I appreciate all those who organised this wonderful event,” she added.
Organised by the divisional administration, led by Lahore Commissioner retired Cap Muhammad Usman and various cycling clubs and associations of the province, over 400 people, many of them professional cyclists, registered themselves for the rallies divided into 10 categories in terms of distance (4 to 31km) and cyclists — men, women, children, at Ring Road’s interchanges at DHA Rahbar and Lake City.
The participants gathered at the venue in the early morning—the low traffic time period.
“The core objectives of the cycle rallies included promotion of cycling, maintenance of health and fitness, creation of clean and green environment, reduction of traffic load and carbon emission on roads, allocation of dedicated lanes for cyclists on roads and promotion of the country’s soft image in the world,” Abid Saleemi, a spokesman for the Lahore Commissioner, told Dawn.
He said keeping in view successful events, it had been decided to often organise cycle rallies.
“A mega annual cycling championship would also be held on a regular basis in Lahore,” he announced and added that during Ramazan too, a couple of such events would be organised.
The cyclists, who took part in the amateur category race, covered a distance of 30km. Races were also held in the amateur male and women of “18 to 40 years age”. The participants in the professional male and female of all age categories race covered a distance of 30km. Eight women also competed in this category. Children covered a distance of 4km in the under-12 category.
The first position holders in the Professional Men and Women category above 40 years were given a cash prize of Rs100,000 with medals.
The commissioner distributed cash prizes and shields among the winners of all categories. Special prizes were given to the children.
In the professional male race, Syed Aqib stood first while Abid Siddique and Talal Khan remained second and third, respectively.
In the professional women’s competitions, Rabia Garib secured first position followed by the runners-up Naila Jafri and Kinza Malik.
“It was a big day for the cycling community of Lahore and I congratulate all,” the commissioner said while speaking on the occasion.