I first stumbled across BUMSONTHESADDLE when I brought in my road bike for service. Back then they used to do the Sunday 50k rides and these were usually around South Bangalore.

I joined the first ride about 2 years back. Until this point, I had only done smallish breakfast rides, max of about 30k.

The ride was lead by a Ride Lead on his Single Speed (!!) and the route was the famed Pipeline Road – blistering pace and nutty climbs for me! I almost got dropped but somehow held on by the skin of my teeth. I remember going home and not being able to move my legs. Painful but I enjoyed the ride thoroughly and was glad to make new friends. It also made me want to ride a lot more.

I continued to show up for these Sunday rides, and soon this became a ritual with a small group of regular riders enjoying some fantastic routes that the ride leads had discovered in this part of Bangalore.

By then, the Sunday Rides had progressed into having one century challenge event once a month to help grow endurance riding and I decided to attempt my first 100km ride!

The route was the “Magadi Roller Coaster”; it was STUNNING. It was a foggy morning and the route had lush green farms, beautiful lakes and miles, and miles of open country road. The route was not beginner friendly – lung busting climbs, sketchy roads, and crazy Banglore traffic on the way back. I was exhausted by the end of the ride, but I felt a sense of accomplishment hit triple digits.

Distance was just a number after that.

I soon joined the BUMSONTHESADDLE Ride Leadership Program and I’ve met a lot of amazing people who joined me on these rides. Like-minded fellow cyclists who share the same passion and enthusiasm for the sport. Since then we have explored new routes around Bangalore and worked together to make the rides more exciting and challenging. We have also organized events and workshops to grow this small cycling community across Bangalore.

But all this was not without its challenges, as a Ride Lead, it’s not just your job to navigate the route but also to educate the fellow riders, maintain a pace that would be comfortable for everyone and most importantly, make sure everyone is having fun on the rides. As Ride Leads we have to plan out the routes and be well prepared for the ride. Often times we have to deal with mechanical issues in the middle of nowhere and crashes which require medical attention, but that is just a part and parcel of cycling.

I must say, it has helped me grow a lot, as a cyclist and as a human being and I’m thankful for that!

So in a nutshell, what is the BUMSONTHESADDLE Ride Leadership Program? It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about cycling, meet some amazing people along the way and a platform to challenge yourself. It’s a great way to adopt cycling as a lifestyle and help others do the same and help our local cycling community grow. Most importantly, it’s a way to get your #bumsonthesaddle, explore new places, make friends for life and have fun!

Chintan Dhandha
Ride Lead, Randonneur, Amateur Racer

Local riding opportunities are the best way to create a culture and lifestyle of cycling in our cities. We’ve experimented with this for over a decade and have put together a simple Ride Leadership program to help grow cycling in Bangalore.

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About the Author

Shaun George

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I'm an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often. Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time. DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010

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