When we set out to plan a day for MTB riders at Big Rock DirtPark in Kolar, we did not imagine that on the day, over 25 people would turn up… at 7.30am (which, a famous Bangalore MTB person tells us, was “brutal”) We know that Bangalore has gluttons for punishment who travel insane distances at insane hours to get their cardio fix. Despite that, we did not expect folks turn up at Kolar just to watch the fun.
The diversity of riders: The first thing that we noticed was how there were all kinds of riders… experienced enduro junkies, out of practice XC hacks, newbies with their shiny, relatively untried rigs, one lone girl, out of breath but experienced 40-odd year olds, and guys who needed parental consent forms.
Once out on the trail, all these differences melted away, and we were all riders. The sense of camaraderie was great to see.
Let’s hope more girls start riding MTB. It’s good for the sport. The good news is, when one person starts, it usually inspires others to find courage and go out there and give it a shot.
The guys at Big Rock really pulled out all the stops, and gave us a day to remember. We would certainly be remiss if we did not call out the amazing Bheema on site, all the coordination from Arjun. Goes without saying, without Preetam’s idea about doing this, and support from him and Uday, the idea that germinated this event would have remained an idea. They opened their fabulous dirt park to us, and this group of 20-odd people rode and splashed around on their motocross ( XC) track, forest single track, and enduro sections.
It was great to see that motorcycles and bicycles could share the same real estate, with some coordination and goodwill. A KTM group landed up while we were there, and it was interesting to see the two lots of riders surreptitiously check out one another’s rigs.
We clearly heard one motorcyclist say, while Manik was demonstrating how to pop manuals, “f#@%, that guy’s got some skills.”
For us at Crankmeister, this served as a much needed reminder about why we love bicycles and the sport. We realised, if we needed a reminder, that we need to see the sport away from the sometimes restricting confines of the store, deadlines, and customers, and see cycling in it’s purest, most enjoyable form.
We’re looking forward to doing this again. On on!
All photos, courtesy Ajay Aren, Baba Fakruddin, Chinta Sidharthan, Mihir Sule, Rahul Bisht and Hugo De Souza