On 16th December of 2021, BD Cyclist hosted ‘Bijoy Rally 2021’, a bicycle rally event to celebrate Victory Day and 50 years of Bangladesh. The rally was a bicycle only event which was open for anyone to join on the early morning of Victory Day. Announced on BD Cyclist’s official Facebook group, the meeting point for the beginning of the rally was Hatirjheel where around 6000 cyclists showed up on the day of the event.
The rally started at exactly 7:30am and every cyclist who wanted to be a part of this event had to be present at the starting point by then. Every type of cycle was allowed for the rally and cyclists of all ages and gender were allowed to participate in this event. Helmets and facemasks were a must though. The rally, led by the founding members of BD Cyclists, headed from Hatirjheel to Gulshan 1 from where the cyclists took a U Turn from the Gulshan 1 circle and headed back towards the meeting spot at Hatirjheel. The total distance covered during this 1.5 hour long rally was around 10 kilometres.
This isn’t the first time BD Cyclists have held such a bicycle rally event in Bangladesh. In fact, such rally events in the name of ‘Bijoy Rally’ are held by the cycle group annually to celebrate the nation’s Victory Day. Besides, on 16th December 2016, BD Cyclist was also able to achieve the Guiness World Record of the single longest chain of cyclists in the world with exactly 1186 cyclists.
Participation of active female bicycle riders and even senior citizens are also a norm in this event. The recent trend points towards a rise in the number of female bikers across the country. Although, the number of male riders remains the highest. However, there were many youth cyclists participating in the event as well who had shown up with their parents or siblings. It was surely a delightful sight to see so many passionate cyclists all at one place.
With currently over 78,000 members in their official Facebook group, BD Cyclists is actively working to promote cycling in Bangladesh for everyone. Rising gridlocks all across the country during office hours and especially in the capital, commuting to work using a bicycle can now seem the most feasible option. There’s probably no other medium of transport or personal vehicle available in the country which can ensure a lower maintenance cost, ease of riding, ride safety (due to lower speeds attained) and also a relatively low cost of purchase other than a cycle. Besides, commuting to work using a cycle can also ensure a routine daily workout without the need to go to a gym. This is what BD Cyclists aim to promote among more people to increase the number of cyclists countrywise. In fact, the group also hosts free weekly training sessions to teach people to ride cycles in order to promote the riding of two wheelers.
Writer’s Opinion: Being a member of BD Cyclists ever since 2015, it was a delightful and refreshing experience to be a part of Bijoy Rally after missing out on the event last year due to covid. The event never fails to bring back memories of my initial days of cycling and amazes me at the same time when I see a noticeable growth in the number of cyclists every consecutive year.