- Category: Events
- Published on Friday, 10 February 2012 10:51
- Written by Tejas Joseph
- Hits: 1429
An e-Cyclothon for the cause of clean mobility
Janice Valdez drove up to our doorstep a week after Auroville (where Evfuture is located) and the Pondicherry region had taken a hurricane beating on the night of 29th December 2011. The fallen trees, power lines and relief work on the roads didn't dampen her spirits. She spent a few days here and spoke to people about her journey,which had taken about three months, spanned two continents, crossed three Indian states and clocked in around 1000 kilometers of e-cycle distance.
Janice is an artist with a background in theater. Her family is of Filipino descent who came to British Columbia more than 30 years ago. She moved to Vancouver in 2001 and started 'Humanergy Coop' (HUM) in 2011 to promote the mass acceptance of clean mobility powered by human (humane!) and electrical energy. She is deeply concerned about the deteriorating quality of the environment (particularly in the developing world) due to pollution and feels that a quick transition to sustainable technologies and applications is urgent. The electric cycle for her is the perfect symbol of this synthesis between human need and environmental responsibility.
Janice set out from Vancouver in November 2011 on a historic journey on her STROMER electric cycle on a trip dramatically and tellingly named “Mumbai to Manila”. It was both a journey to promote and accomplish sustainable travel using an electric cycle as much as it was one of discovering her ancestral roots in the Phillippines. She flew into Mumbai and to her first taste of all things Indian – from crazy traffic and curious onlookers to high urban noise (and pollution) levels and spicy food. She made a lot of friends and found supporters of her cause in the most unlikely places. She then flew to Bangalore in the south from where her 'cyclothon' would formally start. Her STROMER eCycle got packed and accompanied her like a faithful pet during these transits (between pedaling) by plane and train.
From Bangalore (where she met a lot of bicycle enthusiasts) she cycled to Mysore in Karnataka before going off to Ooty in the Nilagiri hills via the scenic wildlife parks of Mudumalai and Masinagudi. The climb up to Ooty was quite a tough one, she confesses, and placed considerable stress on her STROMER ( a leading Swiss e -cycle brand), with the sharp inclines and devilish hair pins of the Nilagiri hills extracting harsh dues for the experience of climbing them. But this was amply compensated for by the beauty of the mountainscapes she pedaled through and the warm people she got to meet.
From Ooty it was on to Aleppey in Kerala via the bustling towns of Trichur and Kochi. She got to ride in a canoe in this 'Venice of south India" and met (again!) kind souls (who helped find a box for her cycle) and an air conditioning expert who was an avid cyclist.He gave up his car temporarily to show his solidarity for the cause of sustainable transportation by joining her on his bicycle for a few miles.
She packed her STROMER into The Allepey-Chennai express train and landed in Chennai for the last but one leg of her historic e-cycle trip in India in the Christmas week of 2011. Her trip to Pondicherry was delayed by a few days due to Hurricane (cyclone to us) 'Thane',amongst the strongest to have visited these parts in more than fifty years.
For us it was both wonderful and a relief to be able to talk about things (other than the cyclone and its ravages) with Janice,particularly about electric mobility and the next transportation era. We salute the spirit of individuals like her who are spearheading campaigns of awareness solely driven by personal motivation and concern. EVFuture was happy to host her for the few days she was here and has agreed to being part of the 'humanergy' network to find ways to bring clean mobility into the public domain through events and other platforms. We look forward to seeing her again soon on her next eCycle saga.
To know more about Janice Valedez,the Mumbai to Manila eCycle trip and the coming dawn of electric mobility, visit her website www.janicevaldez.com .Also visit www.humanergycoop.com to know about the policy and planning initiatives pro-green cities like Vancouver (which is aspiring to become the world's 'greenest city') take to become people and cycle friendly.
Janice invites you to join her facebook group called "humanergy- cycle our light". Become part of a new cycle in the making!