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First of its kind vintage cycle exhibit soon in city
Popular cycling group from the city, Cycling Yogis, has taken up an innovative project to spread awareness on the history of cycling as a sport and activity, and more significantly, the importance of the vehicle itself over the decades.
From Second World War artefacts and Raleigh Choppers (1970 children’s bikes) to the present-day models, a first of its kind exhibit will be held at the Seafarers Club in George Town next week, during which a booklet will be released.
“The purpose of this initiative is to create awareness among the public, especially the cycling community, on how cycles evolved and came to us in the present form. Cycling is not only about fitness, racing or commuting, one also needs to look into the past glories of this excellent machine to enhance our love towards it,” says M Ramanujar, founder of Cycling Yogis.
The booklet titled ‘George Town Bicycle Trails’ is a tribute to the area and envisages potential to promoting bicycling as a way of life in the historic core areas of India.
“George Town today is an amalgamation of diverse cultures like the legacy of colonial India, vestiges of old Madras and a flourishing trade zone. The booklet documents the layers of history still living in the thriving businesses in the locality. It also contains a brief study on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. The booklet believes that George Town, can be on a par with those cities which have been declared Heritage Quarters and Regions. The booklet importantly also has QR Codes for easy access and navigation of each of the 20 Trails. One needs to scan the codes using their smartphones to access the info,” Ramanujar added. The vintage cycles have been collected through the years by several enthusiasts.
“Venkatraman Prabakaran, a collector of vintage items, is helping us in a grand scale to organise this exhibition,” he says and gives us an idea of the display to be expected: The Humber, Rudge, Hercules, Phillips, Robinhood brand Roadsters, Second World War Period Paratrooper Bicycle, Japanese Bicycle, Raleigh Chopper, and other old artefacts and bicycle parts that have played their role in the evolution of the machine.
As the city’s cycling scene is truly on a high, Ramanujar adds, “Chennai actually is a premier city that has documented over 100 years of cycling. Several towns in Tamil Nadu and across India also now have an opportunity to work upon their region in context with cycling and creating trails.”