Life & Style

The year of the cycle

Come June, and a grand annual ‘birthday celebration’ in the heart of Mannheim, Germany, marks the city’s biggest festival. This year calls for something special: celebrating 200 years of the bicycle’s creation by Karl von Drais, the city has a big bag of cultural events lined up. Be it the international cycling conference, folding bike race, or an open-air theatrical spectacle, there’s a lot in store for cycling enthusiasts. Similar events across the world include a ride by The League of Ordinary Riders, UK, and bike parties across Australia by Bicycle Network. Back home, we have our own share of festivities underway.

Track your ride,

Strava and Endomondo

The year of the cycle

Devanshu Shivnani, who set a new Guinness World Record by covering the Golden Quadrilateral in 19 days and 22.5 hours in March, says the apps, Strava and Endomondo, help record progress. “Strava has an accurate GPS tracker and it also allows one to compare performances with fellow cyclists,” he says. His top five cycling trails: the Niligiris, MTB Shimla, Manali-Leh, Delhi–Chandigarh, and Bengaluru-Chennai.

Vintage love, Puducherry

French couple, Idriss and Fiona, along with Fleur Soumer, manager at SITA Cultural Center, are the names behind the Pondy Cycle Tour.

The year of the cycle

Their love for Indian brands — Hero, Hercules and Avon — led them to craft authentic and relaxed cycle tours with second-hand bikes that they refurbished. “We designed the cycles to make them fit into the local landscape,” says Fiona. Join their cycle tour of Puducherry, from 7 am to 9 am on June 11. Details: 0413 4200718.

Hop on, hop off, Mysuru

Next time you’re in Mysuru and you want to beat traffic, borrow a bicycle, courtesy the country’s first Public Bicycle Sharing (PBS) initiative, Trin Trin, launched last week by Karnataka’s Directorate of Urban Land Transport.

The year of the cycle

With a smartcard, you can access the 48 docking stations in the city. Sagar SM of Green Wheel Ride, appointed as the third party vendor for operations, says over 500 people are signing up online every day to participate in the initiative that may be adopted by Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and other cities. Details: 9972961973.

Pedal for a cause, Puducherry

Nomad Walks, led by Gobinath, has now teamed up with PondyCAN to tour nearly 600 km on cycle, visiting four schools following alternative teaching practices – Sristi Village, near Thiruvakkarai, Marudam Farm School, Tiruvannamalai, Cuckoo Forest School at Singarapettai, and Puvidham Nursery and Primary School, Nagarkoodal.

The journey begins on June 24, and Gobinath and his fellow bikers will be armed with seed packs from Puducherry that they will sow in every school. Details: 0413 2335233

Heritage trails, Chennai

Founder of Cycling Yogis, Ramanujar Moulana, who considers the group’s love for heritage and cycling to be two sides of the same coin, is also working on a booklet, Madras by Cycle, which lists cycling trails in and around the city. “I have personally visited all the places. Not everything is on Google, and all the trails highlighted will be of use to cyclists, city planners and tourists,” says Moulana about the 40 trails covered. On August 20. Details: facebook.com/groups/cyclingyogis/.

ABC of cycle maintenance, Lavanya K and Shamala Kittane

To mark the celebrations and promote cycling among children, Ecologise Hyderabad, and Ride A Cycle, Bengaluru, have published a book, You and Your Bicycle: A Guide to Maintaining your Cycle.

The year of the cycle

Authored by Lavanya K and Shamala Kittane, it is a keepsake for cycling enthusiasts. “The bicycle is an extension of you and there is nothing like the joy of riding a well-maintained bicycle. Equally frustrating is the experience of a badly maintained one,” says Lavanya. The chapters illustrate different components of the bicycle and tips on choosing the right-sized one. It’s priced at ₹50. Details: 73822 97430.

Highway route, Chennai

Their upcoming WCCG MASS100K ride is also to celebrate their fifth anniversary. The 100-km ride scheduled for June 11 will have three starting points: Anna Nagar, Tambaram and Velachery. WCCG follows a unique HEX badge model for all their major events, and a rider who collects all seven badges can form the hexagon badge.

The year of the cycle

The ride starts at 5 am simultaneously from all three venues and participants follow the route via ECR up to the Pallava Resort at Vadanemili and take the same route back. The events is open to beginners who wish to try their hand at long-distance rides. Register for the WCCG MASS100K at eventjini.com/wccg-mass100, or contact Anil Jain, 98400 59830.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 8:19:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/200-years-of-the-bicycle/article18918652.ece

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