The third Firefox Mountain Biking Race witnessed a keen competition with active participation of the local populace

In the days to come cycling is the way to go. We often hear complaints about traffic snarls and road rage incidents and not to forget the polluted air we are breathing in particularly during traffic jams. The solution it seems lies in cycling.

The two-wheel contraption is not only winning over new converts but also bringing out their competitive spirit. It was proved in no uncertain manner at the 3rd edition of the Firefox Mountain Biking Race, Firestorm held at Gurgaon recently. Covering a distance of 29 and 35 kilometres for the male and female categories, respectively, the race attracted more than 150 participants, mostly Indians, thus proving that they are taking to cycling all over again.

Interestingly, while there were foreign competitors in the men’s section, there were none in female section. Here Anita Groser of Gurgaon attracted attention, even though she came second to Monica, a student of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Anita, mother of two children and a housewife had won the same race last year but was satisfied coming second this time. Says Anita, “I think Monica is much fitter than me. Though I had some cramped muscles and felt like vomiting I completed the race and feel that there is no harm in losing to a better competitor.”

However, it does not mean that Anita has thrown in the towel. She will prepare for future races by cycling, swimming and running to build her endurance and stamina. She is grooming her two sons, aged five and seven, to be professional cyclists. “I swim and run apart from cycling to keep myself fit. I wake up at 4 every morning and ready the kids for school and after dropping them to school I go out for practice. My kids are passionate about sports and I encourage them in every possible way. In fact the whole family goes out for cycling on weekends,” said Anita. She uses a Scott Scale bike with 29 inch wheels which according to her helps in climbing up and coming down the rocky terrain and added, “I am happy to see that the Indian middle class is showing a lot of interest in the sport.”

In the men’s section Barrett Paul of England residing in Delhi won the race followed by K. Kiran Kumar Raju from Bangalore while Douglas Smith, another foreigner, took the third spot. The winner got a cash prize of Rs.50,000, the runner-up got Rs.30,000 and the second runner-up took away Rs.20,000. In the women’s section Monica won a prize money of Rs.30,000 and Anita Groser took home Rs.20,000..

At the conclusion of the event, Shiv Inder Singh, Managing Director, Firefox Bikes, expressed happiness at the active participation of the locals and revealed that they were happy with the current number of participants as an increase could make the event unmanageable, “We want happy people, not people with broken bones.”.