On January 24th, 2014 more than 1000 people woke up early from their warm beds on the weekend just to celebrate Bike Friday, arguably the most popular event of BDcyclists. This was the 100th Bike Friday. Starting at 8 AM, the ride went to Ghater Char Primary school, around 15 kms away from the starting point, Manik Mia Avenue.
What makes a Bike Friday so special? Well, if you ever go on one, you will find people of all ages amassing in front of Manik Mia Avenue from as early as 5:30 AM, just to escape from of the jam-packed city roads and get a dose of fun and healthy activity in the outskirts of Dhaka, sometimes in Rupganj Shalbon, the unpaved roads of Bossila, Birulia riversides and even Mawa docks. Making new friends, discussing bikes, safety in numbers, stunning pictures taken by adept photographers, enjoying breakfast with fellow enthusiasts -- these are the elements that make Bike Fridays special. They are held on the first three Fridays of every month.
A few of us had to start the day even earlier: some had to go to Ghater Char Primary School to make arrangements, a couple went to get the two massive cakes, another team was busy gathering the pre-ordered food and the rest had to stay with the main group of cyclists and guide them to the venue safely. I was busy at the venue when I got a text saying, “There is no end of cycles” and moments after that I saw hundreds of cyclists proudly wearing the blue BDCyclists hoodie entering the venue. Within minutes the school field turned into a cycling fiesta. The food came on time and thanks to excellent planning and the cooperation of the volunteers nearly 530 packets of food were distributed flawlessly, with hundreds of cameras capturing the moment.
There was a surprise games competition as well, and lastly the eventful day finished with the cakes -- some swallowed while some unfortunate ones had it on their face. I earnestly thank Ghatar Char Primary School on behalf of everyone for letting us use the field.
Bike Fridays, which started in mid-July, 2011 with 21 people, are meant to be fun. They not only let you to socialise but also enable amateur cyclists gain confidence riding on the roads. That is why the 100th BF marks the milestone of the success of Bdcyclists on how to enjoy the weekend with a healthy activity.
Raiyeem Farhan is a member of BDcyclists.