3 years back, when a flyover started building on the route to my office, it almost doubled my commute time for mere distance of 4 kms. I was mostly stuck in traffic when I was on scooty, auto-rickshaw or car. I then decided to try cycling to work. I was able to sneak past traffic easily; I was not guilty of less physical activity in the sedentary job life; I was eating all I liked without resisting myself and most importantly I was enjoying my commute as the pace was all in my control now.
The construction of the flyover got over in 2 years, but so much has changed in my life because of taking that one step of choosing healthy and smart commute mode. Read my interesting journey till now.
It is an exciting opportunity to share my work in the field of promoting cycling in Indian cities with the cycling advocates from different cities of the world and learn from their experiences.
The total cost for the visit is close to 3000 euros. CycleSpace has managed to provide me a ticket to Velo-City, where I will have the opportunity to gather new skills, learn more about cycling infrastructure in Europe and share my experiences from India. Unfortunately, they don’t have the funds to provide me with an airline ticket to The Netherlands, accommodation, traveling inside and other expenses during the conference. As it will be difficult to make this happen with personal savings alone, I still need to raise around 2000 euros (including the fundraising platform charges), for which I'm asking support.
What is the Bicycle Mayor Network?
A Dutch organisation CycleSpace with the goal of promoting cycling and sustainable mobility by developing innovative ideas, using the Dutch expertise in this field has launched a project, the Bicycle Mayor Network where they are building a network of cycling representatives worldwide called Bicycle Mayors for 2 years, here is an introduction video. Amsterdam elected the first Bicycle Mayor in June last year and Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Mexico-City followed.
In Vadodara (Baroda) they have already found a Bicycle Mayor. Ms. Nikita Lalwani has been promoting cycling in a positive way through various initiatives and partnering with local organizations. She also got endorsed by the mayor of Baroda, Mr. Bharat Dangar and many local cycling and mobility experts.
Why Bicycle Mayor Summit ?
On June 10th and 11th 2017 the very first Bicycle Mayor Summit will take place in Amsterdam organised by CycleSpace. During this event all Bicycle Mayors will meet, share experiences and attend workshops and trainings. The event is planned in the weekend before the biggest cycling conference, Velo-City, which will take place in Arnhem & Nijmegen. It brings together specialists involved in policy, promotion and provision of bicycle facilities and programmes.
Since Nikita is the first Indian Bicycle Mayor and therefore an example for the entire country, her attendance will be indispensable during the Summit. Nikita’s attendance will also contribute to strengthen the relationship between the Netherlands and India.
Why support Nikita ?
Her vision started with making cycles more acceptable in the society and on the roads, not just for leisure and exercise but also for the short distances commutes. She is the founder of Cycling Cities, a unique online and offline cycling ecosystem which has the vision to make cities in India cycling-friendly with at least 1/3 of the population preferring cycling as a commute option and also as a part of lifestyle. She herself is an avid cyclist and cycling to work champion. She started cycle for the commute in the year 2014 and that inspired many of her colleagues to opt for cycling. She is widely covered in leading media outlets which include Times of India, The Better India, Divya Bhaskar, DNA newspapers, World Resource Institute (WRI) for various initiatives in Baroda city.
Cycling Cities is reintroducing cycling for fun, adventure and ultimately as a sustainable commute choice for shorter trips by organizing regular cycling events around health, heritage and fun in Vadodara City. Committed and dedicated to bringing cycling culture in the cities in India, the upcoming online platform will address the needs of cyclists from across the country.
She believes that in making city safer for cyclists, it is very important to put effort in building the critical mass for transforming the transport choices. A public supported and driven initiative will make it more sustainable and appealing to make the cities smart, livable and cycle-friendly as well.
How can you support her?
You can simply contribute by clicking the Donate now button on the top of this page. You can also share your suggestions for representing the Indian cities in the summit.
Visa Fees - €105
Velo-City Ticket - €550
Internal Travel - €350
Accommodation & Daily Expenses (9 days) - €675
Emergency Fund - €300
Personal savings : €400
Velo-City Ticket (sponsored by CycleSpace) - €550
Crowd-Funding : €1870 + 8% (platform fees)