Guwahati Sees Surge in Number of Cyclists | Guwahati News

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Dealers Run Out of Stocks as Guwahati Witnesses Cycle Buying Spree

Kareng Engtipee Phukan | August 15, 2020 22:44 hrs

The current worldwide pandemic has impacted equally the mental and physical health of all. And ever since the nationwide lockdown was implemented from 24th March, people have been unable to hit the gyms either. 



After the initial months of complete isolation, Guwahatians have now taken to cycling to keep themselves healthy. The once-popular activity of cycling that was disappearing in a rapidly developing metropolis is now returning. People are choosing to invest in a manual two-wheeler bicycle over the latest motorized automatic vehicles. Many are being seen roaming around the ‘deserted’ city in newly acquired cycles even during the curfew hours.  

Arshel Akhter, who was appointed as the ‘Bicycle Mayor’ of Guwahati by BYCS (pronounced as ‘bikes’), an NGO based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the cycling capital of the world, speaking to G Plus said, “Bicycle sales in Guwahati have increased by 50 percent during this lockdown. As per my information, most bicycle stores have sold out their stocks. Earlier, there were very few people of Guwahati who were seen cycling. Even on holidays or any regular day, when the roads were empty, nobody thought of cycling around. But with these months of lockdown people have taken this up with new enthusiasm and have developed it into a regular habit to stay healthy. Others are also getting inspired.”  

“There are around 25 cycling clubs in different parts of Assam. During the lockdown, the members of this club have come out to inspire all. As for us, in order to encourage the people of Guwahati to take up cycling, we have started online campaigns and other programs. We have also given a petition to minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya to support the cause,” added Akhter.

While the sales of other two-wheelers like scooties, bikes, etc, and the ever desirable four-wheelers have comparatively receded, the sales of bicycles are at an all-time high. Demand is at such a high that many companies are not being able to meet the demands. 

Bikash Doley, the proprietor of a bicycle store in Guwahati, told G Plus, “Our sales have increased quite a lot compared to the pre-pandemic market. We have placed a lot of more orders with the companies we procure our products from. However, there is no increase in prices. We are selling at the old prices or as per online price tags. With this sudden surge in love for cycling worldwide, companies aren’t able to keep up with demands. After all, even they are struck by the lockdown.”  

Reportedly, 20 million cycles are manufactured in India every year. It is a Rs. 7000 crore industry. 

Some popular spots of Guwahati like Belle Vue Point till Uzan Bazar Ghat, Fancy Bazar riverside, Chandmari, and others are often seen full of cyclists these days. Many such groups have also been newly formed and people are seen cycling with families and friends. Cycling has apparently become the new normal.
 

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