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It was an emotional moment for the members of Rotary Club of Nagpur Fort, as the first batch of about one hundred cyclists was flagged off from Deekshabhoomi at around 6.45 am on Sunday, February 26th. Months of arduous labour and elaborate preparations were finally seeing fruition. The event was CYCLETHON, an annual signature event organised by Rotary Club of Nagpur Fort and BSA Hercules and eagerly awaited by cycling enthusiasts and adventure-lovers of Nagpur.
The participants belonged to Management Colleges like Shantiniketan Business School, Dept of Business Management, Ambedkar College and from various other schools and colleges. These students The participants had started gathering at the venue from as early as 6 am. Within half an hour, the Deekshabhumi ground was chock-a-bloc with participants. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and anticipation to the rousing music belted out by the Police Band. All the routes were densely manned by volunteers (known as "marshals") to guide and help the participants. All the batches were briefed on the safety precautions and the availability of drinking water/first aid all along the routes. The emphasis was on strictly obeying all traffic signals. For additional safety, 3 fully-equipped ambulances with paramedics on board were doing the rounds of the tracks.
There were 5 different categories for the rally 24Km, 16Km, 8Km, 4Km and 1Km. The 24 Km group was the first to be flagged off amidst loud cheers. But the group that evoked the maximum cheer, as well as smiles and amusement, from the public, was the 1 Km group, for it consisted of tiny tots, the youngest on a tricycle was 3 years old, on their colorful, shiny new bikes, with serious & determined expressions on their faces. Even before the last batch took off, participants from the earlier lots had started returning. They were greeted by the crowd like our cricketing heroes, on the rare occasion they returned victorious from abroad!
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