Bangalore. Inebriated by skills of bikers who are driving on footpaths, IOA president is in thoughts of including footpath biking in the forthcoming Olympics. During his recent visit to Bangalore, he had a chance to closely watch footpath bikers while stuck in the traffic. Later in the day he described what he witnessed in his twitter feed. To quote his exact words “It was exhilarating to watch those deft bikers, even for a biker like me, their skills are just unmatched.”
Robert walker, himself a passionate biker, learned more about the footpath biking from Indian delegacy. Which started as a resort to escape perpetual traffic in Bangalore, now grown into something more than that. There are bikers who haven’t driven on the actual road for more than a year. These anecdotes moved Mr. Walker so much that, he inclined towards including the footpath biking in next Olympics.
After learning about these recent developments, footpath bikers celebrated by rallying on the footpaths of Bangalore. When we asked for the reactions of some bikers they are indeed happy about the news, and satisfied that they have finally got the credit and recognition which is long due. Some even found on that day with placards, which read “Govt. should abolish the rule and make footpath biking legal.”
Mr.Anjarajan, Author of famous cult novels “1000 miles on a footpath” and “Road vs Footpaths”, also the co-founder of bikers group AIFB (All India footpath bikers) felt elated after knowing about the news. He demands that Govt. should spend fines collected from bikers in bettering the footpath and making them available in all areas.
AIFB, which been advocating for rights of footpath bikers for last 2 years, went a step ahead and started an online petition for awarding primary right for footpath biking. There were hundreds requests, both written and online reached Indian sports ministry office to make footpath biking national sport, considering the fact that it requires more skill to control a wheel than that of a ball or its lateral movement.
Dr.Pranaveshwara shastry, independent researcher based out of Bangalore, who spent last 6 years researching about footpath biking and skills involved, was also seen in the rally. In his recent publication about footpath biking, he explains the skill and precision involved in driving on a footpath. “It’s not the child play, it requires lot of skill and patience to drive on a footpath, sometimes you are surrounded by many pedestrians and sometimes by current poles,” he mentions in one of his papers.
He thinks starting 10k and 21k footpath biking would encourage more bikers to drive on footpaths. “Who knows soon we might produce world champions and Olympic medalists in the sport,” he adds.