Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pune Cycle Prathistan in TFN

One of the objectives of TFN is to create a network of cyclists. In order to do so, RAC-F (Ride-a-cycle Foundation) has tried to include people from different backgrounds and cities into the TFN08. Three riders from Pune have joined us on the tour - Ulhas, Nachiket and Shantanu. They represent the PCP - Pune Cycle Pratisthan. It is an organization, much like our RAC-F. Like most cycling organizations their charter puts promoting bicycle use as their main mission.

[Left <= Nachiket & Shantanu]
The obvious way to get people into cycling is to make them feel that it is fun. Ulhas & his friend Dileep started to go on small rides (get-aways outside the city). The first week only two turned up for the start even though more than 20 had enrolled. Ulhas simply described how wonderful he felt on the ride to those who missed. Next week, there were 6 guys... the numbers started growing and growing... 8, 10, 20... now, after two years, they have a strong contingent of about 120 people who ride on 20Km get-aways every first week-end of the month.

For the more adventurous, the longer version of the ride also happens on the third week-end. That has an average attendance of 60 to 80. Pune Rocks. Apart from local rides the PCP also organizes expeditions that are carried out on no-profit-no-loss basis. There is a Ladakh expedition that happens in July-August every year. As Ulhas says, Ladakh is best explored on a bicycle. The monasteries, the white deserts, the never ending inclines, the pristine air, visibility up to infinity are all very easy to be missed on a motorized transport. To give you a few stats, the Ladakh expedition has 7 stages and covers 480 Kms. The entire tour has altitude of 10000+ feet. The highest point on the tour is 18385 feet. The entire stretch is on very rough road and tough conditions. Road bikers, please excuse them - this tour is only for MTBs.

[Right ==> Ulhas]
If you thought such expeditions are for adrenaline junkies with costly high end bikes, the PCP has a different solution for you. The Konkan expedition involves riding country roads along the Konkan coast line. It is for the normal people. It aims at getting even the house-wives on the bike. It happens in January and has 30 ladies and 30 men enrolled. Most of them beginners. Hence they pedal only 50Km a day for 4 days. It is a joy ride with short climbs of steep gradient. The message is clear - if beginners can do such a tour "cycling as a mode of transport is feasible and safe"

Good job guys!! Long live Pune Cycling Pratisthan.


shashank said...

My name is shashank rele and i like doing cycling myself i would like to joint ur group.Is it a cycle club? pls contact me at shashank_rele@hotmail.com

abhinav singh said...

friend i m kumar abhinav singh i m presently the student of symbiosis i want to join the pune cycle prathistan plz tell me how to join ur group........
my email ids are
i m interested in long tour of cycling
and also in the activities in pune.....
plz plz plz mail me
you can also check my blog kumarabhinavsingh on blogspot

sanas group said...


My name is Aniket Patne and i like cycling.I would like to joint ur group.Pls contact me at aniket.kk@gmail.com.