Bhubaneswar: In order to spread awareness about the catastrophic devastation in Odisha after Cyclone FANI’s landfall last month, Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club (BCAC) organized its flagship summer adventure “Cycling under the Stars” on Saturday.
About 50 riders with all their night riding apparel and serviced bikes assembled at BCAC Club House. The youngest rider, who joined the group was Achintya (Ram) aged 11 years and a single lady rider Twinkle too joined the night-crawlers.
After mandatory bike check for helmets, front and rear lights and reflective clothing, riders assembled for a group snap cheering BCAC and the theme of ride – #RebuildOdisha. By 6:30PM, the fourth edition of Cycling Under the Stars was flagged off by Lalit Das, ADG along with the president of BCAC Sanjeeb Panda, ADG.
With bright front lights, reflective vests and flashing red tail-lamps the riders dressed in Neon-Green were creating an illusion of a green wave on the busy roads of Bhubaneswar. The peloton moved through AG Square, Raj Mahal, Kalpana Square, Ravi Talkies, Lingipur to touch the highway near Daya Bridge. All riders were riding in groups with cheering voices which was quite an eye-catcher for the public.
After a brief halt, the peloton moved forward towards Sakhi Gopal. The disciplined riders rode in a single file along with the National Highway creating a well-organized group ride of this year. Drenched in sweat, all riders enjoyed thoroughly the roads while guarding the youngest rider for oncoming traffic and other road conditions.
Soon after, the group headed to Shri Jagannath Temple. Rolling over the Bada Danda (Grand Road), all riders were filled with joy of having a Grand Darshan of Shri Jagannath Temple. After offering prayers, the riders took an oath to Rebuild Odisha while inspiring people to take care of nature and save the natural habitats.
After dinner and taking rest for some time, all riders are recharged for the most demanding stretch of the ride on the world famous Marine Drive Road from Puri to Konark. After almost 10Kms from Puri, the group got divided into two. Around 30-35 riders stayed in the leading peloton and others stayed in the back supporting the newbies.
After reaching Chandrabhaga Sea Beach safely around 2:30AM, the riders stopped for an hour for a quick nap on the sandy sea-bed. This part was the real “Cycling Under the Stars” part of the ride with absolutely no electricity, pitch dark roads and the growl of wild foxes, jackals and dogs.
By 4 am, all riders geared up for ride through Konark Sun Temple, Gop (Village) and Nimapada. With the pleasant morning winds and soothing greens of villages, they rode back to Pipili for a breakfast at road-side location. By 9:30 am, all riders reached back at Bhubaneswar after covering over 160 kms distance and a bag full of memories.
“This is by far the most disciplined ride and BCAC complements all the participants. The group bonding was at its best. Weather was the best with minimal head wind and no rain, and a pleasant summer night,” said Sanjeeb Panda.