|Bikers at the Responsible Riders rally on January 4. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
A band of 60 bikers — four more than the first edition — will participate in Responsible Riders part two, a campaign for safe riding lau- nched by Calcutta police and Calcutta Walks in association with The Telegraph and Friends FM.
The riders will congregate at Vivekananda Park in south Calcutta an hour before the 1pm flag-off on January 11.
They will ride through Southern Avenue, Golpark, Gariahat Road, Lords Bakery on Prince Anwar Shah Road, Chetla Central Road, Alipore Road, Judges Court Road, Hazra Road, JL Nehru Road and Old Court House Street to reach Lalbazar, the police HQ where certificates will be given to them.
The participants will wear specially-designed Responsible Riders T-shirts and protective gear. They will take the Responsible Riders pledge before flag-off.
The first edition on January 4 saw 56 bikers from groups such as Eastern Bulls and Harley Owners Group spread the message of safe biking in the eastern parts of the city. Calcutta police chief Surajit Kar Purkayastha flagged off the inaugural rally.
Though the event was meant for 50 riders, the organisers had to accommodate six more participants last Saturday because “many people were keen to join the campaign”. For this weekend, 60 bikers have been handpicked after screening a flush of applications.
“The response reflects the positive impact the Responsible Riders campaign has had… that we have been able to carry the message across to our target group. We hope such rallies will help us make the roads and streets of Calcutta safer for its citizens,” special commissioner of police Soumen Mitra said.
“Applications poured in within one-two days of the first edition. There were more than 200 but we had to restrict the number of participants to 60,” said Iftekhar Ahsan of Calcutta Walks.
Those who failed to make the cut this time could apply again because the rally would continue every Saturday afternoon for the next two months. The aim is to bring as many bikers as possible into the Responsible Riders fold.
Applying for the rally is easier than negotiating city traffic: go to www.facebook.com/calcuttawalks, fill in a form available there and click submit. The applicant will be called for screening. Pass that and take part. Simple.
Alternatively, two references from successful participants could propel a wannabe to the Responsible Riders saddle.