ISSUE 1 VOL 2 FEBRUARY 15TH 2014
CYCLING WITHOUT BORDERS MONTRA TOUR OF THE NILGIRIS COBBLESTONE CRUISER: RIDLEY FENIX
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IN THIS ISSUE 03 Bike Review:
Cobblestone Cruiser Ridley Fenix
The Tour of the Nilgiris
13 Bikers’ Lair:
Roopali Restaurant by Divya Tate
16 Around the Corner 17 Cycling without borders 21 Boys’ Toys 23 Gear Review:
Buzz Rack Beetle
21 17 23
HEYA! The CRANK with ProCycle Team Publisher and Managing Editor Vikram Limsay Editor
Rahul K Thomas Technical Editor
West Zone Bureau Divya Tate
Ajay Kamble Contributions by
Thanamaya B P, Chatura Padaki, Stalin S M,
Deepthi Indukuri, Goutham Reddy, Manali Bhide, Vinoo Chari, Aditya Kaul, Esmeralda Walbridge, Aniruddha Panchanadikar Registered to
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Hello Readers, A Happy New Year indeed it is! CRANK with ProCycle is now into its ‘terrible two’s’ and we are ringing things in in style. This first issue of the new year we ride along with inarguably the most wellknown road cycling event in the country - the Tour of the Nilgiris. We join riders as they battle inner demons and inclines in their bid to conquer the blue mountains.We then kick off our bike reviews with one of the hottest endurance road bikes in the world - the Ridley Fenix Classic. We also take a look at the new rack in town - the Buzz Rack Beetle, a versatile little thing which’ll fit on just about any car around. Dr Unni Karunakara stopped by in Bangalore on his 5,000 km ride to increase awareness of Doctors without Borders and the causes they are fighting for. We dig his ride and his spirit too. Check out cycling events in the offing in our new section ‘Around the Corner’ and join us on road and trail. Turn the page and read. Then get out and ride!
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Riders take on the blue mountains in the Montra Tour of the Nilgiris by Stalin S M Rear Cover
The ProCycle car leads Dr Unni Karunakara’s group for Doctors without Borders by Rahul Thomas Printed by
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CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
An endurance bike which stands up in a sprint!
THE COBBLESTONE CRUISER: RIDLEY FENIX CLASSIC Images by Rahul K Thomas So we got our (greedy) hands on the 2013 Ridley Fenix Classic frame a few months ago and keen on hitting the (broken) streets to put it through its paces, we quickly built it up with a kit which we like and thought would suit the bike. So, we threw on a Shimano Ultegra 6750 10-speed groupset with a mid-cage derailleur, Shimano RS11 wheels and a mix of light finishing kit favoured by our roadie Ajay. Its been a few months now and we’ve tested this bike over many hundreds of kilometers in all manner of conditions. Roads being what they are in Bangalore, the Fenix has certainly been put through paces worthy of its pedigree. But we get ahead of ourselves. Lets start from the very beginning - how it looks. Specced in an elegant white, the Ridley Fenix is a clear product of northern
CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
Europe. She is elegant and graceful while still clearly having the stomach for a sprint. The decals are subtle as befits a product of Belgium. The grey cobblestone stickers are a tribute to the terrain for which she was designed. Internal cable routing completes the package. The Ridley Fenix frame takes inspiration from two of its most successful carbon frames - the Damocles and the Excalibur. As the legend ‘tested on pave’ attests, it had one thing in mind and one thing only - the cobbled streets of the ‘Hell of the North’, more commonly known as the Paris Roubaix. This is the frame ridden by Team Lotto Belisol through the ‘cobbled Classics’ season. And ridden with a fair degree of success as demonstrated by Jurgen Roelandts finishing third in the Tour of Flanders. The Fenix Classic frame uses a diamond-section tube to give it extra stiffness. The phat bottom bracket and the tapered head- tube (pioneered by Ridley) are also nods to its racing pedigree. The squared, flattened seatstays are supposed to provide a degree of cushioning. 24-ton
Internal cable routing 4ZA Team Replica saddle - 158 grams
Ultegra medium cage rear derailleur with Aerozine jockey wheels
high-modulus carbon fibre is a lower grade than the 60, 40 and 30 blend used in the Helium. This makes it a heavier frame but with more cushioning than its ultralight sibling the Helium SL. Thus, the Fenix balances the cushioning provided by the frame material and seat stays with the ultra-stiff design of its frame. While this results in a relatively heavy (for this level of bike) 1.2 kilos, it is the right mix of qualities for the Lotto Belisol team. The frame comes with the new standard BB30 pressfit bottom bracket. While this is supposed to give you added stiffness and greater protection for your bearings, it is still a very new standard and one which Shimano has not recognised. Now we love our Shimano drivetrains so we picked up an adaptor for the BB and voila, we were in business. Shifting on the Ultegra drivetrain is as expected sweeet! The svelte carbon shifters need barely a nudge and the chain slips to the next cog like silk. We ran a 53/39 crankset with a 12-30 cassette at the back to aid climbing. The beautiful crankset delivers precise power transfer to the BB, making this one lively bike. The medium-cage rear derailleur we specced helps in climbing too. While we donâ€™t live in the mountains, we do love our Sunday climbing TTs at Nandi Hill so this is certainly something we had to have on our bike. We Squared, flattened seat stays
Superb Shimano RS11 wheelset
swapped the jockey wheel with an Aerozine to give it a little bling too. The brakes are outstanding and provide excellent modulation but this comes as no surprise on this tried, tested and loved package. We chose to put Shimano RS11 wheels on the Fenix. Relatively light and uber strong, they are the perfect training wheels for this bike. We have bashed and thrashed them and they simply laugh their way through it all. Angular contact bearings in the hub give superior strength and durability in any conditions while the low friction keeps you whizzing by. We paired them with Vredestein Fiammante Duocomp tyres. The finishing kit was a mixed bag. We used a Ness carbon seatpost with a 20mm layback. On it was a truly hot 4ZA team replica saddle. With hollow titanium rails, this baby weighed in at just 158 grams. A racing saddle with little padding, this is one for the true-blue roadie. For the cockpit, we specced an alloy ITM Wing Alcor bar to give added comfort to go with the bike’s character. An FSA headset completed the package. The ride As we thrashed it along the rutted roads of Bangalore, the Fenix’ cobbled-road character began to show. The Fenix soaks up much of the road buzz while still delivering an impressive amount performance. This is a sportive bike that isn’t shy of a sprint. Power transfer is excellent thanks to the fat BB and stays and it responds quickly. Now keep in mind that the Fenix is somewhat low on technology in the way it has been designed to deal with road buzz. With 24-ton carbon absorbs buzz
The UCI legend ‘tested on pave’ attests to its pedigree
Shimano Ultegra 6750 10-speed drivetrain
excellent lateral stiffness combined with vertical compliance, this is one bike that will also keep you in the competitive peloton on most club rides. Stomp on the pedals and she gears up for a serious fight. The verdict This is an endurance bike with an aggressive streak. The Ridley Fenix is an all-day bike which wonâ€™t beat you up on bad roads (as are so common in these parts) but will still let you get your sprint on when you feel like it. In India, the frameset retails for about one and a half lakhs. Now, while this may seem like a lot, it is actually a pretty amazing deal for a frameset that does duty in the pro peloton. The bottom line? If you are looking for an all-round performance bike on which you can spend hours in the saddle and also race on weekends, look no further. The Ridley Fenix Classic is your bike. Ultegra carbon shifters
Flagoff at Movennpik hotel by P Manivannan, Special Officer, State Highways (holding the flag on the right) and Rajesh Mani of TI Cycles (holding the flag on the left). Image courtesy Deepthi Indukuri
TOUR OF THE NILGIRIS 104 riders began their adventure from Movenpick hotel on a cool December morning. They rushed through the city trying to beat the traffic in their bid to hit NICE road as fast as possible. Flagged off by P Manivannan, Special Officer, State Highways, the Montra Tour of the Nilgiris (TfN) had begun. The TfN is an eight-day long cycling event, organised by the Ridea-Cycle Foundation, spanning nearly a 1000 KMS, covering the expanse of the famed and beautiful Nilgiris with cyclists from all over India and the world. The event has many firsts to its name - the first of its kind cycling event in India, the first multi- day cycling event, the first to connect cycling tourism with charitable projects and the first to promote ecotourism through cycling. We added another first of sorts when CRANK with ProCycle, the first cycling magazine in India, became the event’s media partner.
- three Danish riders who ride at the club level back home in Denmark. In superb shape with droolworthy equipment and a full strategy, they came fully prepared to tear up the tarmac in their quest to win the event. Others were less ambitious and had more personal goals - to test their bodies and their minds which had grown used to the tedium of years behind a corporate desk. In their case, survival itself would be victory. Thanmaya Bekkalale was one such rider. A commuter cyclist rather than endurance rider, he signed up for the TfN and soon realised he might have bitten off more than he could chew. In the last 3 months he rode 3 consecutive days a week while juggling his day job. Thanmaya rode the TfN wearing a yellow ribbon to raise awareness for his charity - Iksha, which supports children with eye cancer.
EXCERPTS FROM THANMAYA’S LOG This year, in its 6th edition, the TfN saw more than a 100 cyclists take on the 800+ kms of the Tour of Nilgiris. Each day threw up a different challenge and tested a different kind of riding - endurance, climbing, descending, sprinting, etc. Most of the ride would be non-competitive but, each day, one section would be competitive in which riders raced in a Time Trial format. There were 3 categories - Men’s, Women’s and Master’s, the last of which comprised riders over the age of 35. And there was a special, much-coveted crown for the King and Queen of the dreaded Kalhatty climb. Some of them were seasoned riders, such as the ‘Dane Train’
CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
Day 1 Route: Bangalore to Mysore Distance: 166 kms Elevation Gain: +1414m / -1558m A cold December Bangalore morning. The mood - festive with lots of riders, colorful attire, people doing checks on the bicycles, stretches. Grabbed a big breakfast with plenty of carbs. The first support station was after Kanakapura, which was 70 kms from the start. Managed to stuff in few cereal bars into my already packed
Killer Kalhatty! Image courtesy Stalin S M
wedgie. The first part of the ride was the worst, going through Bengaluru Monday traffic, but as we started to hit the outer ring road and then NICE road, it got better. Then on to Kanakapura main and towards Mysore. Took a break at 40kms and snuck in a cereal bar and Gatorade. The ride got a bit bumpy after Malavalli. Then 26 kms to the finish. Was an easy climb into Mysore, and downhill thereafter. Day 1 completed with 163 kms in 9 hours and 30 minutes with breaks. Still standing and walking... Competitive Section (CS): 15.3 km Individual Time Trial. • Men’s Winner: Nils Eigil Bradtberg - 21:03 • Women’s: Vicki Nicholson - 24:35 • Master’s: Bjorn Suetens - 24:12 Known as ‘The Wall’, in modern Indian cycling lore the Kalhatty climb is the stuff of legend. No amount of reading and training could prepare riders for it - an increase of 1200m in elevation in about 12kms giving an average elevation gain of around 10% with a few stretches going up to 15% or more. The climb is considered an ‘Hors category’ climb, among the toughest in the world. In comparison, the Alpe d’Huez, one of the most famous and gruelling climbs in the Tour de France, is 13.8 km with 21 hairpin bends and a gradient of 8.1% on average and 13% at maximum. And the climb to Kalhatty begins after 103 kms of cycling from Mysore!
Gasping for breath.Image courtesy Deepthi Indukuri
Riders make their way through Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary. Image courtesy Stalin S M
Day 2 Route: Mysore to Ooty Distance: 136 kms Elevation Gain: +3115m / -1629m Tough ride! 136 kms with a 12 km uphill, gaining 1400 mts at the end of the climb. The route took us through beautiful Bandipur forest reserve. I lost a lot of time at the support station as the rule was to group people and send them through the Bandipur forest. So had to wait for a while before a group of 15 riders was put together, and this was the last group. The cue sheet for Day 2 had the dreaded Kalahatty ‘Wall” on it. There were quite a few uphill’s through Bandipur and on the way to Masinagudi. The group of 15 through Bandipur had long split up and it was 3 of us riding way ahead. We reached Masinagudi pit stop at 3.30 p.m and the Kalahatty climb awaited. Had some refreshments and 3 of us took off. The climb was more daunting than I could imagine. Sweat was pouring down impairing vision, distance was being counted in meters not kilometers. I was told by the mobile support station that I had till sundown but sundown happened faster than expected and was picked up by the sweep van with 9 other riders in it. I managed just 6 of the 12 kms. Riding in the sweep van I realized that I would have needed another hour and half to finish the climb, and then 1 more hour to reach the hotel. There were many others pushing their cycles up the hill, and some wanted to get swept. But the sweep van was full and had to make another trip. The organisers did a fantastic job of ensuring everybody was at the hotel by 0800 PM. Out of the 103 riders only 37 made it all the way up the hill and to the hotel. The spectre of Kalahatty will haunt me always.
CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
Competitive Section: Day 2 had two competitive segments – a 21kms section, just after Nanjangud, and then the Kalhatty (King/ Queen of Kalhatty) climb. The winners at the end of ‘The Wall’: • Men’s Winner: Harry Wiltshire - 1hr 10min • Women’s: Linda Evans - 1hr 35 min • Master’s: Christopher Hay - 1hr 36 min
Riders tagging along before the climb to Ooty. Image courtesy Stalin
One of the highlights of the day was a visit to the Vidyodaya School, near Gudalur - a school for tribal kids in the region. One the charity riders on the tour raised Rs. 1,50,000 for this school.
Thanmaya ready to wander around Ooty on Day 3
Emerald Lake and a picturesque village. Image courtesy Goutham Reddy
Route: An easy ride in the beautiful hills of Ooty Distance: 65 kms Elevation Gain: +5178m / -5177m
Starting in bright sunshine at 9.30 a.m we rode downhill for 32 kms losing 2000 mts in altitude. FUN!! I was worried that my fingers would freeze during the downhill. But they were warm with all the work on the brakes! After that it was the climb back of the 2000 mts. The uphill climb was tough with sweat pouring down even in the cold and me looking for the elusive easy gear that didn’t exist.
Bike love time - spent 3 hours cleaning, dusting, wiping, degreasing and lubing. It was nice to see so many people working on the bikes, exchanging notes and tips, borrowing rags, offering tools, sharing lube, giving and taking solicited and unsolicited advice and assistance. Tomorrow is another day! Today I shall eat, hydrate and sleep.
Day 5 • Men’s Winner: Mark Bruce - 21:48 • Women’s: Vicki Nicholson- 27:53 • Master’s: Christopher Hay - 24:52
The view from Kodanadu. Image courtesy Deepthi Indukuri
Route: Ooty to Kodanadu and back Distance: 97kms Elevation Gain: +4975m / -5017m
Hair pin bend coming down Kalahatty. Image courtesy Goutham Reddy.
Going to Kodanadu was mostly downhill with a few rolling uphill. The downhill was super fun and the only time where the hybrids and mountain bikes were passing the road bikes!! The stop at Kodanadu viewpoint was just fabulous - a cliff overlooking a hill and the Western Ghats looming in the horizon. The ride back up to Ooty was slow but a good steady climb. Inspiration song from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - Zinda. The best line in the song ‘dard banjayege geet’ – ‘pain will become poetry’ never fails to inspire me to get through those last painful miles.
Competitive Section: 8.5km climb, with 282m elevation gain. • Men’s Winner: Mark Bruce -18:31 • Women’s: Vicki Nicholson - 25:08 • Master’s: Christopher Hay - 21:16
Day 6 Route: Ooty to Sultan Bathery Distance: 102 kms Elevation Gain: +3001m / -4352m Woke up feeling fatigued and generally tired. Back down Kalahatty. All I could hear was the wind, and the wheeze of the brakes. Had to be really careful negotiating the 36 bends. Made it to the base safely. On through Mudumalai forest and I saw lots of elephant dung on the road. 4 kms after the pit stop I was riding uphill and I heard a very shrill TRUMPET! I look only left and there was this elephant 50 feet away. Adrenalin kicked in and I pedaled away faster. No sooner had I passed the elephant it crossed the road right behind me. I think (the elephant knows what it was thinking) it was trying to cross the road and I came in its path and hence the trumpet. I stopped checked to make sure I was not running into a herd and there was none. Just this one guy. With quivering legs and pumping heart I pressed on! Rest of the ride to Sulthan Bathery I stopped to help couple of riders with their punctures. I figured today’s ride was about man and machine - which comes apart first. As for me body is screaming. Mind is willing. Bike is starting to squeak but nothing major with all three.
Day 7 Route: Sulthan Bathery to Madikeri Distance: 149kms Elevation Gain: +2577m / -2348m When we start off it is always quiet. 100 cycles just rolling out in a quiet orderly fashion. Beautiful! The elevation in the cue sheet for Day 7 was like an ECG of a guy with hiccups! Up and down up and down up and down for the entire stretch of 149 KM ending Strong headwinds on the way to Mysore. Image courtesy Goutham Reddy CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
1YEAR ` 720 12 ISSUES at 40% OFF the cover price DELIVERED TO YOUR DOORSTEP PLUS some surprise goodies along the way To subscribe, mail a cheque in favour of ‘PROCYCLE AND SPORTS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED’ to our corporate office (address below) along with your details or drop by one of the ProCycle showrooms (adresses below) and pay cash. Email us with your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org Showroom: l Indiranagar, 37, 11th Cross, 1st Stage, Bangalore- 560038 Tel: +91 80 25202004 +91 98802 16064 l Koramangala / HSR Layout, New #12, Old #75, Service Road, Jakkasandra Extension, Koramangala 1st Block, Near HSR 5th Sector, Bangalore - 560034 Tel: +91 80 2550 1967 Corporate Office: Indiranagar, 889, First Floor, 7th Main, 4th Cross, HAL II stage, Bangalore - 560008. Tel: +91 80 41161902
Team Aarohi - charity riders and the boys they supported who rode an amazing Tour. Image courtesy Deepthi Indukuri
day. I thanked the marshal profusely for letting me finish. I was very emotional. I rolled into the hotel to the applause of all those who had finished and those who hadn’t. Competitive Section: 16.5 kms - the last competitive section on the tour • Men’s Winner: Nils Eigil Bradtberg - 23:52 • Women’s: Vicki Nicholson - 30:51 • Master’s: Christopher Hay - 27:27
Day 8 Route: Madikeri to Mysore Distance: 120kms Elevation Gain: +1442m / -1760m
with an UP. When I reached pit stop 1 my knee was hurting and bike was clinking and clanking. After due attention from the physio and mechanic, bike and I were ready for the next 120 KM. If yesterday was a test for man and machine, today was purely for the man. I just kept trucking at my pace and picked up speed where I could and went easy on the uphill. When I reached the last support station it was wind-up time and I was just 45 mins ahead of the sweep truck. I had another 25 KM to go and had already been on the saddle for 10 hours. With a quick drink and refill I left the station. I had another 5 KM to go and the sun was setting real fast (or so it seemed). I was speeding up not wanting to get swept with just 5 KM to go. Then a marshal car pulled up and they checked how I was doing. I was doing great. They told me I could continue and they stayed ahead escorting me. Before I knew it the sun went down and it was dark. The marshal car let me pass and followed me with lights on so that I could see. I had to keep pushing because if I stopped they’d have asked me to wind up. The 4 KM was the fastest and most of it uphill. I reached the hotel at 0630 PM after 11 hrs 45 min of riding - my longest and most enduring
Team TfN 2013. Image courtesy Stalin S M
It was supposed to be an easy ride starting with Madikeri on a hill and then going all the way downhill to Mysore. Steady and long uphills and easy short downhills. In a few places I managed to get a good rhythm going. There was a strong headwind all the way to Mysore going up to 13 km/h. The sun was out in full form on a clear blue sky the headwind helped keep cool. I couldn’t figure if the headwind helped or hurt. Got past the last pit stop which was at 90th km and had another 30bto go. The marshal had set the cut off time for 0300 PM. At 104 I was stopped and put on the sweep van. My cycling for 2013 ended with me in the van and cycle on the carrier. I have unfinished business from this tour to deal with...... In 2014! There was no competitive section for the day, but the organisers planned a Team Time Trial. Teams of 3-5 raced on a 10 KM stretch and the timing of the third rider would be considered as the team’s time. It was a spontaneous, fun element added to the event, with teams like Barefoot Riders, Meatballs and so on.
Written with the contribution of Chatura Padaki
ROOPALI RESTAURANT Text & Images by Divya Tate
For decades now, Pune has enjoyed the reputation of being the ‘Oxford of the East’. Certainly Ferguson College road has a certain ‘University Town’ air about it. Over the years, students have helped create a thriving culture around a few eateries on that street. Vaishali and Roopali restaurants employ waiters who have now served 2 generations of the same family, as they skipped class to grab a steaming plate of idlis. Some of the students left college years ago, but continued the routine of meeting friends and classmates at these establishments. Roopali which has a coffee with a formidable reputation, has a dedicated clientele who have fixed timings and fixed tables that they have been occupying for decades. When cycling, picked up in the city some years ago, Roopali was a natural choice for riders ending their morning ride. I met with one such group that started 4 yrs back and calls itself ‘Roopali Cycd’! About 12-14 riders, they are given a special spot on the edge of the restaurant, between the tables and the pavement
CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
where they park their bikes. Some of them have been riding since childhood, they gather daily at 7:30 am. Some like Mandar Gadre, Sanjay Joshi, Prashant Tidke and Arun Thipsay, have been riding brevets. While all have been involved in sports since their youth, a couple are national level athletes like Satish Apte a former pro cyclist. Manoj Erande, a swimmer who swam the English Channel in 1989, is a swimming coach. Danny Paranjpe and Rahul Sancheti also take part in Motorsports, but the common thread that gets them together is their love of cycling and the Roopali coffee. Another group at a table, consists of a mix of cyclists, hikers and runners who also gather here daily, after their morning workout. When I expressed surprise that they met every day, one of them laughed and said that they came here even if they did not go for their morning workout! Knowing that Roopali is a cycling adda, some months ago, Pune Randonneurs ended a night brevet at Roopali in the wee hours of the morning. It was great place to exchange stories of the ride while meeting others from the community.
AROUND THE CORNER
A CYCLING MARATHON COMES TO TOWN! Once upon a time, not so very long ago, cycling was something of a fringe sport in which only kids in the ‘system’ could compete. Then there came the community-based racing scene which brought it to the regular working Joe. Along with this came the occasional cyclothon. Now it looks like cycling really is hitting the mainstream. What happened for running a few years ago is now happening with cycling - corporates are throwing their weight behind it and the winner is the cycling enthusiast. This time, its Vodafone’s turn and they’ve decided to make it big in Bangalore. Consider this - 10,000 cyclists, 150 elite riders, 4 categories, 10 lakhs in prize money, campaigns, workshops, demos, stunt shows and much more. Its a carnival all right. And its called the ‘Vodafone Cycling Marathon 2014’. Vodafone has tied up with the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) to make this an officially recognised cycling competition which will be recognised on the international cycling calendar. The four categories are called the Champion Ride (60 kms), Passion Ride (40 kms), Green Ride (20 kms) and Fun Ride (10 kms). Only CFI-licensed riders are allowed to compete in the Champion Ride category and they will be vying for 10 lakhs in prize money - first place will take 2.5 lakhs, second 1.75 lakhs, third 1.25 lakhs and fourth 1.00 lakh. The remaining amount will be divided among 16 consolation winners. All participants in all 4 categories will receive certificate of
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merit and a goodie bag. Of course, an event of this scale wouldn’t be possible without the active support of the Bengaluru City Traffic Police and we here can look forward to some safe, cycling- friendly streets during that time. Bhuvanesh Pratap Singh, Operation Director – West, Vodafone India said, “As a responsible corporate, we’ve championed several projects and initiatives that have helped improved lives and created a positive impact in the community. Vodafone Cycling Marathon 2014 is an attempt to promote the cycling culture in the city and at the same time help the community to lead a healthy life in a greener environment.” Participation is open to all cycling enthusiasts from the age group of 5 years onwards. Champion Ride is only for elite licensed cyclists and to participate in this category, cyclists will have to contact CFI (www. cyclingfederationofindia.org). The registration fee for the Passion Ride (40 km) is Rs. 500, Green Ride (20 km) is Rs. 400 and Fun Ride (10 km) is Rs. 300. Forms for registration are available at all Vodafone Stores across the city and registration can also be done online at www. vodafone.in/cycling and at ProCycle showrooms in Indranagar and Koramangala/HSR Layout. For more information visit the official website www.vodafone.in/cycling.
At the finish of PBCh 3. Image courtesy Vinoo Chari
SINHAGAD CALLING! You may well ask how a short 12 km race grew over a short span of 3 years into a race that attracts riders from around the country. Riders from as far away as Manipur in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South have headed to Pune, Maharashtra twice a year to race each other. But more than that, they come to pit themselves against the mighty mountains on which this race is run.
and hiking there regularly. With only 2 months to train, the slopes of Sinhagad are already seeing many hopefuls training hard on weekends.
Conducted twice a year at 2 different venues- Sinhagad Fort and Lavasa, if ever a race took full advantage of the terrain in which it is set, it is the Pune Bicycle Championship. The Lavasa climb is 1700 ft of elevation gain, on a smooth road that overlooks a lake and includes a Road bike category. The elevation gain for Sinhagad is 2000 ft with bad road conditions that only MTBs and Hybrids can manage. As the racers line up at start, they look up to see how far they have to climb to the finish. A couple of short miles of flat and rolling terrain, till you reach the base of the mountain, and the relentless climbing begins. The previous 5 editions have been completed successfully, attracting a huge diversity of participants who range in age from 15 to 61. Participants are of diverse backgrounds, from amateur leisure cyclists to state and national level athletes. Participants come from Hyderabad, Sangli, Bangalore, Mumbai, Nashik, Kolhapur, Ahmedabad and Chennai. The race takes on an international flavor with riders from Russia, Israel, Germany, America, Norway, Holland and Scotland also participating. Previous editions are well known for being hard fought, with amateurs and pros both battling it out for the podium. Actively backed by Giant Sprint, participants vie for some mouthwatering prizes ranging from premium bikes to racks for transporting them. The next edition of PBCh is slated for the 9th of March 2014 and participants can not only look forward to some fun and games, but wide recognition as CRANK with ProCycle will cover every step of the way to Sinhagad - a Pune icon which sees a lot of folk trekking
Lavasa climb at PBCh 5. Image courtesy Manali Bhide Pravin Patil, MD of Giant Sprint, presents a roadbike to a winner. Image courtesy Aniruddha Panchanadikar
Dr Unni Karunakara cycles on the beach at Dandi, Gujarat, 23 November 2013. ÂŠ Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
CYCLING WITHOUT BORDERS
On Sunday the 12th of January, all roads in Bangalore led to Freedom Park. This time, people were campaigning for freedom from disease, malnutrition and conflict. All of which was being championed by Dr Unni Karunakara - the former International President of Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who or what that is, MSF is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare in around 70 countries. More importantly, MSF has been working in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare to the people most in need in the states of Bihar, Manipur, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland. Dr Karunakara is hardly your average cyclist (or your average doctor for that matter). He is currently on a 5,000km cycling odyssey from the icy peaks of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir to the coastline of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on what he calls the ‘Unnicycles’ tour. Along the way Dr. Unni he has (and is) stopping in 65 cities, towns and villages, speaking at ten medical colleges, holding Q&As at ten film screenings hosted by Alliance Française, and meeting cycling enthusiasts and clubs. The ‘Unnicycles’ journey realises Dr. Unni’s long-held dream of cycling the length of the country. The dream was born back in 1988 when he cycled from Delhi to Leh to Srinagar and back to Delhi. All on a single speed roadster! When riders in this day and age, of superb technology, suspension, comparatively excellent roads and support, struggle to do the same route, we can only imagine what it took back then. Which makes Dr Unni rather the rockstar in our book. Ending his three-year term as International President MSF on October 1st, 2013, he decided to embark on his journey. But before pushing off from Srinagar, Dr. Karunakara stopped off in Berlin where the young men of Schindelhauer Bikes had gotten together with Brooks, ABUS, Gates Carbon Drive, Rohloff, SON Schmidt Maschinenbau and Tubus to create the ‘Unnicycles Tourer’ - his custom bike for the tour based on the Schindelhauer Ludwig XIV model. An exercise in classic, minimalist design, it’s virtually bristling with features. The triple butted aluminium aero frame is equipped with a Gates Carbon Drive centre track belt and a 14-speed Rohloff Speedhub. For his tour, its been fitted with Tubus high-strength stainless steel tube carriers, and a SON dynamo from Wilfried Schmidt Maschinenbau powering head and rear lights as well as a USB port for charging his phone whilst in the saddle. The tyres (Cycle X-King 32x700C) and tubes are from Continental. Brooks saddles (B17 & Team Pro Titanium) and waterproof panniers (Land’s End and John O’Groats) in which Dr. Unni carries his other gear (Challenge large tool bag, Cornwall handlebar bag, Oxford roll-up cape, and slender grips) complete the classic package. Dr. Unni’s other bike is a Schindelhauer Siegfried with a flip-flop hub.
Dr Karunakara talks about his cycling exploits over the years
We dig! When we heard he was going to be stopping in Bangalore, we naturally felt we had to do our little bit too. So, ProCycle and CRANK with ProCycle pitched in to help support his worthy cause. The Bangalore cycling clan turned up in droves to join him in an 18.9 km ride from Freedom Park to Koramangala and back. Dr Unni showed no signs of fatigue at all despite being 80 days through this 100-day journey of personal discovery to better understand health in his homeland. Accompanied by Canadian Olympic silver medalist, Helen Upperton he led the enthusiastic crowd at an easy pace and took time to shoot pictures with just about everyone who lined up after it. Then, as riders settled down for a bite of breakfast, he took the stage to tell people about his mission. “So far the journey has been fascinating. After working in international health for nearly 20 years, it has been a completely new learning experience for me to hear what people in India think about health,” said Dr. Unni. “I am excited to cycle with fellow riders in India, and hope to collect their thoughts on health too. I hope by sharing my experiences working in places like the Congo, South Sudan, and Ethiopia and hearing from medical students that dialogues can turn into action.” As people headed off after a Sunday morning well spent, Dr Unni trained his sights on completing the Unnicycles tour in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 31 January 2014. If you would like to support the work of Doctors Without Borders by donating to the Cycle for MSF/Unnicycles project, please visit www.cycleforMSF.com. To follow Dr. Karunakara’s journey, please visit www.facebook.com/cycleforMSF and https://twitter.com/ cycleforMSF.￼
CRANK with ProCycle FEBRUARY 15TH, 2014
Dr Unni Karunakara and Irish-Punjabi filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray cycle to Gateway of India, Mumbai. © Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
Day 60 of Unnicycles - Dr Unni Karunakara rides from Murud Beach to Velneshwar, Maharashtra. © Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
Dr Unni Karunakara and economist Dr Jyotsna Puri meet Mangal the camel and his family while cycling to Alwar in Rajasthan. © Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
Dr Unni Karunakara, Chhavi Rajawat, Sarpanch of Soda Village and economist Dr Jyotsna Puri, pictured cycling from Soda Village to Pachewar in Rajasthan. © Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
Hiromu Jimbo, adventure cyclist, and Dr Unni Karunakara, ride from Ratnagiri to Jamsande in Maharashtra. © Esmerelda Jelbart Wallbridge/MSF
MUC OFF FOAM FRESH +
Part of their ‘rider care’ series, Muc Off’s Foam Fresh Plus is a great way to keep those stinky helmets clean. Simply spray it on the liner, leave it to soak for a bit and then simply wipe off the excess with a dry cloth. It’ll clean it like magic and give it a breezy citrus smell. You can also use this on grubby gloves, shoes and body armour.
CASTELLI SHOE COVERS
Is the winter chill leaving your feet numb on rides? Does it annoy you to see muck and scratches all over your hot red shoes? If so, Castelli shoe covers might just be the right thing for you. Made from neoprene, they slip right over your shoes keeping them clean while simultaneously warming your toes. For more details drop us a line at email@example.com
BUZZ RACK BEETLE A new rack has hit our shores and, naturally, we had to give it a whirl. The oddly-named Beetle by ‘Buzz Rack’ looks pretty much like any other rack in its ‘straps only’ category. However, this little baby packs a pretty mean punch.
and secure them to the main arms so not a thing can so much as wiggle. Now all this isn’t even the best part. The real USP of this rack is that it gives you all this while still being versatile enough to be fitted to a hatchback, sedan or SUV!
Firstly, this rack is light. REALLY light. Its a good deal lighter than the BnB rack, which has been our favourite all-round affordable rack thus far. Now while you might not think this is a big deal, IT IS! Why? Simply because when you’re trying to mount a rack alone and you have straps dangling all over the place, every little gram of weight makes life increasingly difficult and annoying.
The Buzz Rack Beetle retails for Rs 6740. So, if you’re on a budget, and you need a rack which can handle more than one kind of car, this is where the buck stops.
Holding the Beetle in place while setting up the straps is a breeze. The hooks are of pretty good quality, comparable with any of the international racks we’ve seen from Thule and Saris. The straps are very solid and confidence-inspiring. We particularly like the buckles which are nice, heavy-duty and grippy. Foam ‘bumpers’ ensure that the arms grip the boot properly without even a hint of a scratch. At the joint of the two arms, Buzz Rack has its own proprietary cam-based mechanism for locking it in place. Knobs on the rear allow you to tighten it well. We find it very effective indeed. The bikes sit on soft cradles with rubber straps. The straps feel a tad less premium in finish than the Thule racks, but seem solid enough and hold the bike securely in place. The cradle is nice and soft and will be kind to your paintjob. When installed, the rack is rock solid and your bikes are going nowhere in a hurry. Buzz Rack has even thrown in two extra straps with those awesome buckles, so you can tie all your bikes together
RNI No. KARENG04437
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