A band of 50 bikers wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the Responsible Riders insignia and protective gear hummed through the streets of north Calcutta on Saturday, spreading the message of safe biking.
Launched by Calcutta police and Calcutta Walks in association with The Telegraph and Friends FM, the third edition of the rally began at 10am after the selected participants took the Responsible Riders pledge at the Calcutta police museum on APC Road. Gaurav Sharma, the divisional commissioner of police (north division), flagged off the event.
With sergeant Krishnendu Mazumdar in the lead on his gleaming red Royal Enfield Bullet — a ritual he has been performing since the inaugural edition — the bikers rode at a steady pace in formations of three.
They rode through APC Road, Gas Street in Rajabazar, Raja Dinendra Street, Vivekananda Road, the Shyambazar five-point crossing to Chiriamore and took a U-turn to move along Bhupen Bose Avenue, Central Avenue and BB Ganguly Street to Lalbazar.
Once the entire clutch trooped in at the police HQ, exchanging high-fives on the way and celebratory whoops, senior police officers and actor Soham gave away the certificates.
“I learnt about the Responsible Riders rally in The Telegraph… wanted to be part of this mission so that I too could spread the message of safe biking. Wanted to make a difference in my own small way,” said Soumoujit Ghosh, a graphic designer riding his Bajaj Pulser.
The Responsible Riders concept has caught on with the young and old alike as hundreds of applications were pouring in every day.
In the second edition on January 11, 60 bikers were chosen — four more than the first — to ride through pockets of south Calcutta. Biker groups such as Eastern Bulls and Harley Owners Group participated in the first edition.