By Saloni N

Krishna, HBC's chief mechanic assembling the bikes at the Gachibowli bike station

Krishna, HBC’s chief mechanic assembling the bikes 
Image courtesy: HBC

While rising prices and cost of fuel are the bane of everyone’s existence, some people have managed to find a great solution that is environmentally safe, good for one’s health and cost-effective. Cycling is the name of this eco-friendly solution. And the common sight in a few days would be to see people decked with bicycling gear (helmets etc.) around the Cyberabad area.

To promote cycling, Hyderabad Bicycling Club (HBC) founded in the year 2007, launched a bike station at Gachibowli, in a tie up with GHMC in September. The HBC’s Gachibowli Bike Station, opposite Bio Diversity Complex, has been built by GHMC and the Hyderabad Metro Rail has contributed 300 bicycles to be positioned at this bike station.

Hyderabad Bicycling Club which has more than 4,000 members, of whom several are achiever members, not only does regular meet-ups but promotes cycling as well. Earlier in 2012, they launched their first bike station at Necklace Road in a tie-up with GHMC.

Arvind Chenji, General Secretary of HBC, states that this (the bike station at Gachibowli) move is heartening and shows the government’s commitment.  “The GHMC and APIIC also plan to set up 50 km bicycling tracks around the Cyberabad area by next year,” he adds. Currently, there is one cycling track from the Gachibowli bike station to Mindspace.

The response so far has been good though, feels Mr. Arvind and thinks that the station would take off fully within the next months.

Lifetime membership fee on registration – Rs. 100; Daily rental for recreational cycling – Rs. 40; Monthly charge for everyday commuters – Rs. 600; Payment plan for ‘Cycle to Work’  is underway

Fully fitted cycles at Gachibowli bike station

Fully fitted cycles at Gachibowli bike station 
Image courtesy: HBC

They have a renting system at the station which works in four hour long shifts. For people who are fitness freaks and like riding recreationally they allow renting from 5am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm. After 9am their effort is to target ‘Cycle to Work’ commuters. “We want to target people who use buses and rickshaws to travel to work,” says Satish Appasani, in charge of the bike station at Gachibowli. The bike station closes at 8pm and rented bikes have to be returned by 7:30pm.

Describing the facilities, he says, “We have a restroom, a pantry and we also plan to open a cafeteria where we can provide people with cold-drinks etc.”

The demand for the bicycles goes up during the weekend when over 100 cycles are rented out. Mr. Satish says that plans are at work for a third bike station in Hi-Tech city near the MMTS railway station.