High On Wheels!

Cycling in Bangalore

by Arvind S, with Image contributions from Chenthil Mohan, Chethan Ram and Sushruta Nadig

This post was originally written by students and alumnus of Mountaineering club, BMS College of Engineering for SUMMIT Magazine. Illustration and Graphics are copyright of their respective owners.

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” – H.G. Wells

Bangalore has a population of 9.6 million, and there are around 46 lakh vehicles on the city  streets. Widening of roads, cutting down of large trees has been the result of the rising population. Hence cycling as a transport is a much required alternative for our city.

Cycling to work has become a new trend in Bangalore, where we can easily witness more & more professionals riding on fancy bicycles to their workplace. It’s also the easiest way to keep ourselves fit and healthy and a sure shot way to go green by reducing the carbon footprint.

With increasing awareness about environment and cycling, more people are stepping forward to take up cycling, as a recreation, sport, stress buster and as a means of transport. A cycle is a great tool for exercise, and an hour of cycling easily beats a workout at any fitness center.

Cycling events in and around Bangalore

Are you a cycling enthusiast and trying to figure out where to head towards after getting on the saddle? Well, here’s a guide that takes you through various cycling events that happen in Namma Bengaluru.

Bangalore Cycle Day

Cycle Day” that happens on the last Sunday of every month is a campaign to make cycling mainstream again, by bringing in dramatic increase in the usage of cycling for commuting and to promote cycling as a green, healthy and safe alternative to motor vehicles. The event is anchored by DULT (Directorate of Urban Land Transport), supported by several government organizations like BMTC, Department of Horticulture, Bangalore Traffic Police and BMRCL. The event is open to everyone. You can also rent cycles at the venue (for free), in case you don’t have one.

Cycling in Bangalore

Go Green Campaign Rides

The GoGreen-GoCycling is a group of cyclists spreading a message of cycling, by going on Sunday morning rides to various locations in and around Bangalore. There is no registration to join the group. One has to just follow the notifications on their group on Facebook to get updates on the rides that happen regularly in the city.

BOTS Night Ride

The night ride, conducted by ‘Bums on the Saddle’(BOTS), happens every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. It is roughly an hour long ride, through the city streets. The ride starts at their specialized concept bike store, Infantry road. Helmets and lights are compulsory for this event.

Bangalore Brevets

Brevet is a long distance bicycle ride, with checkpoints at regular intervals. The ‘Bangalore Brevets’ conduct many such brevets from 200km upto a distance of 1200kms. Riders aim to complete the course within specified time limits, and receive equal recognition regardless of their finishing order. It is surely a test of one’s mental strength and endurance. Dheeraj M Nanda, the youngest rider to complete the ‘200km Saalumarada Brevet’ had to say, “It is a self-supported ride, that requires a lot of preparation. It challenges ones guts.”

Bike store in Bangalore

BBCh and B.A.R Races

These are competitive cycle races, in which a rider can participate as an individual as well as part of a team. The Bangalore Bicycle Championships (BBCh) and Bangalore Amateur Racing (BAR) are two bicycle racing championships for cyclists with a racing spirit, organized by professionals modelled on an international form. Over the last five years, BBCh has consistently set the standards by conducting great races in Bangalore. Along with the quality of the racing, the competition and the participation have been growing too. With BBCh growing in popularity, more teams with state and national level riders are coming up. The different races scheduled for the year has been put up on their website.

This is part-1 of a 4 part series on Cycling in Bangalore published originally in SUMMIT Magazine-2014 issue under the title - High on Wheels.
This post was originally written by students and alumnus of Mountaineering club, BMS College of Engineering for SUMMIT Magazine. Illustration and Graphics are copyright of their respective owners.

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