Self-support cycling in vogue in city

Neha Basudkar
Sunday, 7 April 2019

Self-supported cycling is rapidly catching up with the cyclist fraternity, especially among experienced and senior cyclists. A city-based cyclist said there is a risk in self-support cycling or cycling race, but the feeling of achievement triumphs over other fears. 

Pune: Self-supported cycling is rapidly catching up with the cyclist fraternity, especially among experienced and senior cyclists. A city-based cyclist said there is a risk in self-support cycling or cycling race, but the feeling of achievement triumphs over other fears. 

Giving self-supported cycling a boost, MangoTrans, a private venture, has organised India’s first self-supported multi-day bike race, which will be held on April 15 from Alibaug to Querim Beach, Goa, a distance of 500 km.

MangoTrans was started by two partners: Neeraja Kandala of Curious Wheels, a city-based private venture organising cycle tours and Pushkar Kashalikar of Sawantwadi-based Duchaki, a bike shop.

Kandala said, “These days cyclists all over the world are pedalling alone with all their accessories and slowly it is gaining popularity. This is the first of its kind self-supported multi-day bike race in India, in which cyclists have to register with us and have to ride alone without any support.”

“The race of 500 km will be flagged off from Alibaug and the route undertaken would be along the Western Coast crossing four designated checkpoints to reach the finish point at Querim Beach, Goa in 120 hours. To determine their safety, log books will be kept at the four checkpoints starting from Alibaug. The cyclists have to take four ferries, which will be a sort of unmanned checkpoint, after which there will be two manned checkpoints and thus tracking would take place. This self-supported adventure race tests the cyclist’s physical and mental toughness. It will also give an opportunity to fortify the cyclist’s self-belief,” Kandala added.

Thumbs up for self-support cycling Gajanan Khaire, a cyclist and President of Indo Cyclist Club, said, “Often I pedal for more than 2,000 km without any support vehicle because no major issue or risk is associated with self-support cycling or race. But the cyclist must  use a helmet, lights and all safety gear, should follow the traffic rules and regulations and should pedal in one corner of the road. 

Experienced cyclists are not afraid to cycle without support as they know how carefully they should cycle even in difficult terrain and traffic conditions.”

Prashant Jog, a cyclist and representative of Pune Rendezvous, a cycling club, said, “The risk is always there but the joy of completing long distance without any support is higher. Self-support cycling should be encouraged, as earlier the cycle was the only mode of transport. Every time a person will not get support to cycle long distance. Therefore self-support cycling should be taken up aggressively and awareness be spread.”

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