Inspired by the International Fellowship of Cycling Rotarians (FCS, that is, Fellowship for Cycling to Serve), RC Delhi Manthan, RID 3011, took the lead in forming the Indian International Fellowship of Cycling Rotarians and it has hosted two major events in April this year. Last year when the club organised the Ride to End Polio in Delhi and raised $10,000, the then club president came up with a plan to institutionalise the cycling activities in this part of the Rotary world. “Fellowship of Cycling Rotarians goes beyond pedalling, grand flag-offs and closing events. It is all about fitness, fellowship and aims to raise funds for good causes,” says Narinder Kumar Lamba, club president.
While the first rally felicitated a cyclist Mahesh Kumar, who completed a 6,000km solo ride across India to promote peace, the second rally was a promotional event where members of the fellowship participated in a Cyclist Reunion, an annual event conducted by cycling enthusiasts in the national capital region.
Jean Luc Berger, president, International FCS, RID 1700, congratulated Lamba on the formation of the cycling fellowship in Delhi. “They had organised a great ride in line with promoting Rotary’s public image as recommended by the fellowship,” he says and adds that FCS Germany organised a couple of virtual rallies through an app. “First, we had Eschborn-Frankfurt Velotour, through which we raised €27,000 along with the grant from the Gates Foundation for End Polio; this was followed by the climbing of the Pordoi Pass.” He praised the efforts of RID 3190 in organising a Cycling to Serve rally last July where the fellowship members helped 95 families by distributing food and ration kits. “The fellowship is not just about grinding away with perspiration while crossing the finish line to the cheers of supporters; the objective is to develop and promote worldwide friendship through cycling competitively and recreationally,” says James Morrison, vice-president, International FCS, RID 5340, US/Canada.
DG Sanjiv Rai Mehra, RID 3011, appreciated the idea of a cycling fellowship for Indian Rotarians and Rotaractors. He named it the Delhi NCR Fellowship for Cycling to Serve. International FCS was formed 33 years ago by Rotarians in Belgium and France, says Lamba. With the support of local Rotary clubs and sponsors, a number of Rotary projects were implemented and millions of dollars were raised since its formation and through the Ride to End Polio. The Delhi NCR FCS plans to host an annual End Polio Now cycle rally on World Polio Day to create awareness and raise funds. People of all ages are discovering the health and mental benefits of cycling.
“Health, fellowship and service are accomplished with pedalling by Rotarians and Rotaractors. What better way to stay in shape?” smiles Lamba.