A digital marketing executive, a basketball enthusiast and someone who picked cycling seriously during the lockdown lined up at the starting line-up of the West Bengal State Cycling Championship opposite Ecospace in New Town on Sunday morning.
Around 170 cycling enthusiasts took part in the championship that had nine categories for the participants.
I am Kolkata, the CSR arm of Merlin Group, organised the 41st edition of the cycling championship, in association with Argo, CNG and Kolkata Society For Cultural Heritage. The championship was held under the aegis of Cycling Federation of India, the national cycling regulatory body.
The competitors were classified into different categories based on their age and included sections for junior boys and girls and senior men and women.
Some categories were based on types of bicycles used by the participants, which included mountain bikes, road racing bicycles and humble non-geared bicycles.
The categories included both time and non-timed events, said an organiser.
The race was flagged off by New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) chairman Debashis Sen from Ecospace.
Participants of the timed races had to pedal on a 10-km circuit.
Entally resident Premanjali Lahiri who finished first in the women’s timed event as well as the non-timed events said that route was properly sanitised and she could set her best time as there were no cars or pedestrians to worry about.
“The conditions were perfect as it was cold in the morning and even the track was well demarcated. The only issue was the presence of speed breakers; that is understandable as the event was organised on a stretch of public road,” said Lahiri, who also plays basketball. She said she took to the pedal sport seriously once the Covid-induced lockdown started a couple of years back.
Sukriti Dam, who stays in Jadavpur in south Kolkata and works for a digital marketing company, finished second in the women’s timed competition. She said she could not believe herself when she finished second.
“Cycling is a hobby and I generally practise every alternate day. It is still hard for me to believe that I was able pedal this fast during the competition,” said Dam.