14th Dec, 2017
THANE: While the foggy and cool mornings over the past few days have slowed down traffic due to the low visibility, it seems to have also attracted a new section of cyclists to the city roads and makeshift cycling tracks.
Armed with their helmets, knee and elbow pads, reflecting vests and blinkers-equipped bicycles, dozens of children, youth and adults have been waking up in the wee hours of the morning to experience the joy of cycling in this rare climate.
"I usually like cycling in the winter because this is the only season where we don't sweat as much and get tired very fast because of the cool weather. While I usually start my cycling rounds with my friends in January, we couldn't resist the temptation of cycling in the cool foggy climate which started a couple of days ago. It felt like we were amidst clouds and reminded us of our cycling trips in Igatpuri," said Rehan Kerawalla (27), a Hiranandani Meadows resident.
Agreeing with Kerawalla 32-year-old Upvan area resident Sayli Shete said, "I go cycling with my society friends on every weekday in any weather. And these past few days have been extremely picturesque as we could actually see the haze rising over the Yeoor forest as the sun rose higher."
While the number of cyclists attracted by this scenic climate has been on a rise, professional cyclists assert that these cyclists need to up the ante when it comes to their safety gear as the low visibility could cause accidents.
"As there are no designated cycling tracks in the city, most enthusiasts take to the streets, which have a high vehicular density. This foggy weather has been a new experience for cyclists and riding through the haze feels extremely pleasant, we need to ensure that the low visibility does not result in vehicles crashing into us. All cyclists need to wear reflectors over their bright cloths, which reflects off any vehicles headlights. We should also ensure that the cycles have adequate blinkers which will let other vehicles know where we are in the haze," said Dighambar Chaudhari, founder of city-based cycling group Zero Emission.
Medicos here, meanwhile, urge cyclists to avoid staying in the foggy air for long hours and take health precautions during their rides.
"There is a fine line between foggy air and smog or polluted fog and in cities like Mumbai and Thane there is bound to be pollution in the air even at those early hours, which on breathing in can cause respiratory ailments and flus and even worsen asthma. Cyclists should ideally cover their nose and mouth with the mask and minimalize the time they spend cycling in fog," said SS Joshi, a general physician who has her clinic in Mumbai.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com