Noida: ‘Since my friend’s accident, I have stopped cycling’
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Noida: ‘Since my friend’s accident, I have stopped cycling’

A few months back, a cyclist went missing for 6 days

Noida: ‘Since my friend’s accident, I have stopped cycling’

Noida: Riding a cycle is certainly safe for the environment but is it safe for the rider? Deepender Sehajpal (49), a cyclist from Noida, says, “Since my friend’s Manish Jayal's accident, I have not been cycling because of the fear that incident instilled in the minds of my family. Manish barely survived but the trauma remains.”

Manish (49) and Deepender have known each other for quite a long time. They  were both passionate cyclists. However, what happened to Manish a few months ago really shook them and their families. Says Deepender, “Manish was hit by an overspeeding car while he was riding his bicycle and was later admitted to the ICU. I stopped cycling after that. Nowadays I only ride my motorcycle but I do it with full protective gear. The families of cyclists are worried and that discourages riders from taking up road riding. The alternative is to use a smart trainer at home and if possible, ride in trails with MTB bikes where the risk of road accidents is reduced”.

In another incident involving a cyclist, reported a few months back, a cyclist went missing for 6 days. A young Sikh boy, Arshpreet's body was found after a week floating in the Yamuna near Faridabad while the search had been on since he went missing. He was cycling solo near the Yamuna Bank- Akshardham area around 5:30 am. Such incidents not only discourage enthusiasts from taking up cycling as a sport but also point out the dangers involved in the ostensibly simple act of cycling.
40 years old Amrita Ranjan, a rider from Lucknow was killed in a road accident on November 16, 2021. Amrita, was out on an awareness ride on the Jaipur-Ajmer Highway with her husband and fellow riders. She was riding to spread the message of ‘Beti Bachao- Save the girl child'. However, a truck hit her from behind, her helmet was crushed and she died on the spot. Various cycling communities expressed their grief over this demise. Some riders also raised their concerns on social media asking how safe is it for cyclists to ride in this country?

Neha Raizada (39), a cyclist from Dwarka, Delhi who recently achieved the Super Randonneur title in cycling, says, “This unforeseen accident has shaken the cycling fraternity. Amrita was an inspiration for all the women cyclists. The loss is irreparable for everyone. As a cyclist, we can take precautions by wearing helmets, headlights, taillights, reflective vests, and riding in the leftmost lanes. However, people on the road have to be more sensible for us as even a small push is a big accident as cyclists are exposed to open sky while cycling. We still need to work out how to avoid these mishappenings. Still, a long way to go”.

Anup Sharma, 41, a resident of Mahavir Enclave, near Dwarka, who has been cycling for more than two years, raised his concerns over this accident. Says he, “It's not just about the cyclists, even if she would have been in the seat of a sedan with all safety, a truck coming from extreme right to left of the road would have killed anyone. She was just at the wrong place, it was her bad luck. She was a cyclist so the community is just spreading the news as a loss of a community member. However, the real issue is these drunk truck drivers in the wee hours on the highway. Don't know about other cities but I don't think that here, in Delhi NCR, we can ever feel safe riding a cycle”.

“Deaths of cyclists continue on roads. We have been trying to promote cycling for better health, fit India & better environment. Cycles are one of the most popular modes of transport for industry workers. Lack of proper cycling tracks and lanes has become a bane”, said Rajiva Singh, a cyclist from Noida.