London/Ludhiana: Cycling has come full circle or so it seems as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spotted riding a made-in-India bike designed in the United Kingdom by Ludhiana-based Hero Cycles.
Johnson, 56, a cycling enthusiast, was seen riding a Hero Viking Pro bike to Canalside Heritage Centre at Beeston in Nottingham, central England, on Tuesday as he launched a £2 billion (Rs 19,392 crore) cycling and walking drive, which is part of the UK government’s anti-obesity strategy to combat Covid-19.
TIME TO SHIFT GEARS
A Covid-19 survivor, Johnson unveiled plans for thousands of miles of new protected bike lanes, cycle training for everyone and bikes available on prescription as part of a new fitness strategy.
“From helping people get fit and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play. Now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans to boost active travel — so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling,” he said.
The Viking Pro bike used by the UK prime minister is a part of India’s Hero Motors Company owned Insync brand, designed in Manchester and made in India by parent company Hero Cycles. Hero Cycles took over the brands Viking, Riddick and Ryedale and redesigned the range under the brand name Insync.
The company said its Insync range consists of 75 bikes and is the first to be designed at Hero Cycles Global Design Centre (HGD) in Manchester.
DELIGHT IN LUDHIANA
“Insync is delighted that the Prime Minister rode one of our Viking bikes after announcing what will be a landmark moment for cycling in the UK,” said Pankaj M Munjal, chairman and managing director of Hero Motors Company, which includes Hero Cycles, Insync, the Viking and Lectro brands.
“We strongly back all measures announced in the strategy, a move we hope will see many more thousands of people taking to the roads on two wheels. Providing safer cycle routes, funding towards e-bikes and a bike repairs scheme will encourage even more riders to return to cycling or take it up for the first time, building on the stand-out success the industry has seen during the pandemic,” he said.
Last month, Hero Cycles had snapped up a Rs 900-crore deal with China in a major step towards indigenous production.
Cycling sure has a long way to go.