Endurance runner Deepanti Pal has been appointed as city’s first Bicycle Mayor to accelerate the city’s approach to cycling.
Deepanti has completed double Super Randonneur last year, having completed 200, 300, 400 and 600-km brevets twice. She won the Khasdar bicycle race last year and finished 2nd at the nationals this year. When she is not riding long or racing, she commutes, organizes group rides and other bicycling events.
The task of Deepanti as the Sixth bicycle mayor of India (now there are 12) will be to work across all parts of the community to identify the most pressing issues, and then bring people together to work on implementing practical solutions. Passionate about cycling and creating a more livable city, she takes up the voluntary role besides her cycling business.
The Bicycle Mayor network was established and is coordinated by the Dutch social enterprise BYCS (pronounced Bicycle Space), which works to create and scale breakthrough new solutions for cycling. It has a mission called 50by30, which means they want 50% of all city trips to be taken by bike by 2030. They have this mission because cycling does not just provide active, clean mobility solutions for cities but it also improves public mental and physical health, improves the environment, builds stronger communities and fosters new, sustainable economic opportunities.
Deepanti said: “I am really pleased to be named the first Bicycle Mayor of Nagpur.“This gives me the opportunity to work strongly in an area which is very close to my heart, an area which needs increased attention for greater good of humanity.“In Nagpur, we struggle to see mornings in summer. We struggle to find a shade for our vehicles. We stay indoors from 7 am to 6 pm. We jostle for shade at a traffic light. This is happening because we have forgotten the humble bicycle.”
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