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Bring Your Race Face With Our Picks Of City-Wide Cycling Events


    You are in the mecca of cycle racing in the entire subcontinent. Of all agglomerations of humans in urban settlements, our town with its KR Puram and Silk Board junction traffic snarls is still the place to be at. So, if you’re a pedal pusher, rejoice! Bangalore has a strong culture of bicycle races, and these span the entire year. There are all kinds of races you can do: these differ by racing surface, and in consequence, bicycle type.

    You can do long distance, endurance races — 100km, 140km etc. The best bicycles are those super lightweight bicycles with thin tyres — the ones you see on TV when they’re telecasting le Tour de France. They’re called road bikes, BTW. People riding these bikes tend to be specialists on the tarmac and routinely average 35-40kmph during these races. On the road surface, another much loved format is the Time Trial. This is a race against yourself, really. Here your only competitor is the clock. The distances covered are shorter {about 30km} and the speeds, higher. Then, there are the climbing specials. Being in close proximity to Nandi Hills, riders head out there at the drop of a hat, to train and race.

    Then, there are off-road and cross-country races you can do on mountain bikes. These are rough terrain conditions, and the bicycles used are analogous to SUVs.  And just when you thought we were done, there are the exclusive downhill rides. You wear full face helmets and all sorts of protective gear, and come tearing downhill, on a track that’s specifically with jumps and obstacles,  on a bicycle.

     The best news of all: racing season is just about starting — and it goes on till December. The cool thing about the Bangalore racing scene is that these are all races planned and organised by riders, themselves. All the rides are for pride and glory: there are often no prizes, no cash money, no certificates. You race, you banter, you learn a lot about the craft, you have the time of your life, you go home. Interested? Let’s be off to the races, then.

    Bangalore Bicycling Championships

    The oldest bicycle races in Bangalore, and the most consistent in the country, these are organized by a committee. Their tagline is “Live to race” and during these events, cyclists really do take that to heart. The racing events are split between tarmac and dirt races. With ten races in a year, across many formats, there is a world of racing to experience! In case you aren’t sure about your racing spurs yet, sign up to volunteer. You can volunteer for each race, and you get to learn loads! That, in addition to being hauled up and felicitated by a happy bunch of riders, post race.

     Find out more here.

    Check out the race calendar here.

    Bangalore Amateur Racing (BAR)

    Raising the bar for racing is this relatively more intimate series of races, with a club like camaraderie. The organisers are keen racers who also enjoy the BBCh races, so they make sure there aren’t any calendar clashes. The level of ferocity and competition is the same, though. There are not only a lot of races to train in, across various formats of dirt and tarmac (the ITT alone has five races this calendar year, that too, in the first four months), there are also special jerseys to be won at the end of the season.

     Find out more about them here.  

    Bangalore Mountain Festival

    This one takes place once a year in February. Also organised by enthusiastic cyclists, this format is for all off-roading mountain bikers. The races are cross country and downhill formats, and this race also has an added component of prize money, to add to pride.

    Find out more here.

    The Bangalore bicycle racing community is quite tight knit, warm and welcoming of amateur riders. People are happy to give advice, or share recommendations on bikes, componentry, gear and maintenance, bike handling skills; share contacts for coaching; trade tips on nutrition & hydration and what not.

    So, just sign up, turn up, and be prepared to be assimilated {the community’s quite like the Borg, that way, only, far sweeter}.