The spirit of exploration

The spirit of exploration

Cycling enthusiasts

To avoid the messy traffic and do their bit for the environment, some Bangaloreans have opted for a healthy way out.

Cycling is the newest obsession of health-conscious Bangaloreans. The number of cyclists in the City is one of the highest in the country. Cycling is pursued for fun as well as a serious competitive sport by people. Competitions are conducted on a monthly basis for people who want to cycle  professionally while long rides are organised for recreation.

Metrolife met with some of the cyclists in the City and asked them what got them hooked to it. Shankar Shastri, a chartered accountant, daily rides to his office covering 36 kms.

 “I have been riding a bicycle since February 2010. I am mainly into endurance and mountain biking. When I drive my car to office, I spend around Rs 300 per day and have to be on the road for three hours. If I want to save an hour, all I have to do is ride my bike for free! The choice is obvious!”

Shankar is an active member of the Bangalore Bikers Club (BBC), the single largest cycling club in the City with around 2,000 members. The BBC has different events for people with varying cycling pursuits. Every month, ideally on the first Sunday, long rides are organised for people pursuing cycling for the spirit of exploration. They also have the Bangalore Bicycle Championships where races are conducted every month and points are allotted to the winners.

At the end of the year, the participant with the maximum number of points wins the overall championship. The newest and the most exciting event is the Bangalore Brevets. Bangalore Brevets are the eligibility rounds for the ‘1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris’ cycling event that is held once in four years in Paris! A cyclist needs to complete a 200, 300, 400 and 600 kms endurance ride to be eligible to apply to the Paris event.

Anand Srinivasa and Priya Ravindranath began cycling last year to beat the traffic. “We both cycle together to work; it takes us half an hour, the same amount of time it takes in a car. It is also keeps us fit and gives us time with each other.”

Gurudeep Ramakrishna, another cycling enthusiast says, “We are a group of eight friends who have recently taken to cycling as a means to travel outside the hustle and bustle of the City to the countryside – basically places surrounded by nature. We currently travel around Bangalore in the radius of 200 kms.

I ride a mountain bike built to endure bad bumpy roads (which is often the state of roads that are off the beaten track) to yield comfortable rides. I currently rent my cycle (Trek 3700) and plan to buy one once I determine the kind of cycling I wish to do.”  Bicycles can be rented out for as low as Rs 350-400 from cycling outfits in the City.