The smiling cyclists wearing safety helmets not only surprised their street fellows in vehicles but also inspired them to take up cycling as a sports, recreational pastime, and everyday mode of mobility to peddle towards a healthier future. Participants, including students, professionals, and foreigners, called cycling a “great pastime as well as a healthy activity.”
“We want to revive cycling as a communal sport to promote it as a sport and mode of transportation” which not only saves energy (fuel), but also promotes physical fitness, said Rana Atif Rehman, one of the founding members of CMI.
Critical Mass Islamabad (CMI) was formed back in 2009 after the Lahore and Karachi group to encourage more people to take up cycling and promote it as a safer and enjoyable sport.
Apart from benefits, the cycle-friendly citizens also pointed concerns of the bicyclists. “Bicyclists and pedestrians are as much equal citizens as the car divers but the policies and street designs have never reflected our needs and presence” grumbled the participants. “We respect the law, and stop at each signal” said Rafia Qasim, a cyclist. “But we also need fair treatment by the authorities like the dashed yellow lines and dedicated cycle path.” The signage can only be seen on Margallah Road.