A whopping 5,500 Chennaiites showed up for Sunday morning’s cycling event, the largest in the region. Hercules Roadeo Chennai Cycling 2013 kicked off at 5 am along Marina beach, with actor Karthi flagging off the Kids’ ride. Sporting cycling helmets and protective gear, 1,650 children rode the 4-kilometre stretch, a majority of them from Chennai schools. The youngest participants were eight-years-old.
The massive cycling rally was organised to propagate a healthy, active lifestyle as well as encourage more people take up the bicycle as a mode of ‘green transport’. A significant part of the proceeds from the rally were given to non-profit organisation United Way of Chennai that takes up community service projects to improve primary health, enhance education opportunities and employment skills for the under privileged.
With six different ride categories, the event offered something for everybody, including rental cycles for those who did not have their own. “The professional ride drew 53 participants, the amateur 8 km ride had another 800, and there were another 2000 opting for the green ride. The celebrity ride of around 40 riders was led by Sylendra Babu, IPS and drew the CEOs of corporates and officers from the Coast Guard. Everybody seemed to have a good time,” said Radhakrishnan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu cycling Association.