If you are in Bangalore and are looking to get started with cycling, there are many ways to do so. If you are an adult but haven’t yet learned to ride a cycle, there is the Bangalore Bicycling School that is run by a few members of the Bangalore Bicycling community. You can reach out to them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/learncycling/.
However, if you already know cycling and just want to pick up a bike and get started, the first thing to do is to reach out to one of the many bike shops in Bangalore to get yourself a nice bike. Many newcomers tend to start with Decathlon as they have very reasonably priced beginner bikes. However, it is worth reaching out to bike shops like,
- Wheelsports @Chamarajpet/HSR – https://www.facebook.com/dhanush.venkatesh.96,
- Bums on the Saddle (BOTS) @Jayanagar – https://www.facebook.com/BumsOnTheSaddle/,
- CycleStation @Marathalli – https://www.facebook.com/cyclestation.CS/,
- Cadence90 @Jayanagar – https://www.facebook.com/Cadence90/?ref=br_rs,
- Crankmeister Bicycle Works @ Frazer Town https://www.facebook.com/crankmeisterbicycleworks/,
- Cycling Boutique @Indiranagar – https://www.facebook.com/CyclingBoutiqueExperienceCenter/, among others.
These shops tend to guide you to pick up the right bike based on your requirements. It is important that you pick up a bike that fits you.
So, you picked up your bike and want to get started. What next?
You can just pick relatively traffic free roads around where you live and start riding. You can start with 10-20 km round trips, to begin with, and gradually build the distances (in 10-20% increments) over days and weeks. That way, you build your stamina gradually and get used to being on the saddle for longer over a period of time.
You have ridden around your place and are now bored of riding the same routes and riding alone. You need company and want to ride newer, more beautiful routes. What do you do?
Some of the bike shops organize beginner and advanced rides. Bums on the Saddle (BOTS) has weekly and monthly supported rides that you can be part of. Cadence90 organizes similar supported and unsupported rides every week. So, do check out some of the shops that I mentioned above. It is a great place to get started to find some company and also to get used to riding in groups.
For women, you have group rides organized by women. So, that is something you could join along with joining the shop rides that I mentioned above. A travel company run by a woman cyclist, Vidya Chandran, The Handle Bars, organizes group rides for women (and men) regularly. You can reach out to them on their FB page- https://www.facebook.com/TheHandleBarAdventures/.
We also have many cycling groups in various parts of town that tend to form WhatsApp and Telegram Groups to coordinate and organize group rides. If you find a rider on a cycle in your area, don’t hesitate to stop them and ask them if they are part of a group that you can join.
- Yelahanka – https://www.facebook.com/Velohanka-265952713567909/,
- South-West Bangalore riders – https://www.facebook.com/SouthWestBangaloreRiders/,
- Whitefield riders’ group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/whitefieldcycling/,
- Bangalore Roadsters Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/BangaloreRoadsters/ are a few groups and pages on Facebook that you can join for rides if you are from these areas.
Or you could also join a more generic group like Bangalore Cycling FB Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/BangaloreCycling and try to find riders in your area.
I’m part of a weekend riding group that has a couple of standard weekend rides. We tend to ride to Nandi Hills every Saturday starting from Hebbal opposite to Esteem mall at 6 AM (and 6:30 AM during winter months). Another standard group ride starts at 6:30 AM from Decathlon on Old Madras Road (Bidigere Cross) and ride about a 100km.
Group rides aside, there are a few racing platforms in Bangalore that you could consider to be part of. They tend to act as great motivation for you to keep riding consistently and keep improving your endurance and speed. Bangalore Amateur Racing- https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreAmateurRacing/?ref=br_rs and Bangalore Bicycling Championships – https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreBicycleChampionships/?ref=br_rs are two of the best in Bangalore and India.
If you are more into riding long distances than speed, you can consider taking part in endurance events and brevets. You can learn more by following – https://www.facebook.com/BangaloreRandonneurs/
There are events like Tour of Nilgiris, Tour of Glory, etc., which act as great motivators for you to keep your riding on the track and keep growing as a cyclist.
At whatever level you are, there is something for you to do and someone to give you company. Cycling can be a great stress reliever apart from being a great exercise for your body. So, pick up a bike and get going! The Bangalore Cycling community welcomes you and supports you in various ways!