International Women’s Day, 8th March 2020, was being celebrated all around the globe in various ways…and right in the heart of Lahore enthusiasts and supporters from different cycling groups came together for a ride! Yesss, wheels began to roll forward after a lively assembly in front of the Model Town Park at 8 o’ clock in the morning, where Fresher Juice and Aquafina had set up their booths, and Ponds, Unilver being the title sponsor gave away beautiful white T-shirts to participants with a dash of pink and a female cyclist in their lovely logo! Ponds has since long been a pillar of strength for women and supporting the cycling community on this particular day spoke volumes.

The gathering point gave an opportunity to the participants to greet each other, get to know one another, enjoy taking pictures and talk to the media. The cool Spring morning was buzzing with energy and the flowers were not the only colour around!

Organized by Cycling Defence Lahore, Faisal Shabbir, Yusuf Nazar and Harris Sheikh led the large group onwards towards the culminating point which was Bahria University, a project by our Navy. Bahria University bus chaperoned the crowd. Adeel Shahid and his truck that had been filled with bicycles in the morning, was not far behind.

At the University, guest speakers Dr. Sarah Qureshi, Dr. Saman Yazdani and Pond’s representative Kaukab Sarwar captivated the audience with their success stories and the importance of cycling and women empowerment in our society. BU honoured pioneers of cycling clubs with their shields, and our Captain welcomed and thanked everyone on behalf of CDL as well as BU.

The outdoor breakfast which followed was absolutely scrumptious and a generously laid out menu became the pivitol point of hearty chit chat. Ponds handed over 200 pink gift bags with their products and water bottles, and BU not only hosted the event by opening their doors, but also by contributing official BU desktop calendars to the give aways.

Of course Rao Mueed’s speaker had been mounted on his bike and played notes to which the wheels danced on. And along with the news reporters, Furqan Dogar played quite the paparazzi! People from different age groups cycled, connected with one another and carved the path to even better tomorrows. My ten year old son found friends of his age, as did my teenage girls, and my mother’s presence completed the trio package of three generations riding together! Another grandfather was out there with three grand children too! Anwer Sahab and my mom Yasmin Ajmal stood out as the senior most riders.

Applause, photography and appreciation went hand in hand with fun, laughter and cheer… Women’s Day was celebrated in the spirit of sport and support for women, making today momentous and memorable.

By Ambereen Khurram