Organised by Ride a Cycle Foundation (RACF), a ‘Tour to Nilgiris’ started this Sunday. This organisation is aiming to popularise cycling for commuting and leisure and hopes to bring about social change.
“This is the fifth edition and 85 people are participating in one of the longest cycling tours,” said Sridhar Pabbisetty, co-founder, Tour of Nilgiris, before he pedalled his way to Nilgiris. The whole trip will be covered in eight days.
The participating cyclists are selected on the basis of their previous attempts in other competitions. “It is a merit based selection and also on first come first serve basis,” said Sridhar. Covering a distance of 860 km in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, national and international cyclists including eight women are taking part.
Bjorn Suetens, 42, from Belgium is one of the international bikers taking part. “Bjorn is a professional biker and has been participating predominantly in single and in multi-stage MTB races of UK. He is pretty keen to traverse Nilgiris and is looking forward to riding,” said Sridhar.
Usha, who recently moved to Bangalore, is equally excited and she says, “It is like a dream come true. There is something special about cycling. I met my fiance in a cycling event at Delhi. I will be touring with him to Nilgiris,” she shared.
The RACF foundation also started a ‘Charity riders’ initiative since 2009. “We appreciate the greenery of Nilgiris and the lives of tribals by doing something for them. We have raised around `10 lakh and this year, another `7 lakh through the charity riders,” he concludes.