Kochi: RideACycle Foundation (RAC-F), a not-for-profit advocacy organization pioneering an initiative to popularize cycling for commuting, leisure, as an agent of social change and importantly nurturing cycling talent nationally, has said that 128 cyclists from across the globe will pedal Tour of Nilgiris ( TfN ) 2017.
The 10th edition of the tour coincides with 200th year of the invention of the cycle and has drawn talented cyclists who will test their endurance and grit in the most demanding terrains across the three states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
TfN 2017 is scheduled between December 10 and 17, 2017 and the cyclists will begin the tour from Bengaluru and pedal through Mysuru, Madikeri, Sultan Bathery, Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and finish by pedaling back to Mysore. The cyclists will cover around 1,000 km across seven stages through curves, speedways, amazing terrains including plains, mountains, coffee & tea plantations and three wild life sanctuaries. In-addition through the seven stages there will be competitive segment, wherein the cyclists could display their craft and grit.
Of the 128 cyclists set to pedal TfN 2017, 120 are men, while 8 are women. Further, 110 cyclists are from different parts of India, while 18 are from overseas and hail from The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, the US and Russia.
The profile of the cyclists pedaling TfN 2017, reveal that 65 per cent of the cyclists are senior and middle management professionals from different industry domains. TfN 2017 will also witness achievers pedal and this only reflects the popularity TfN enjoys as a premier cycling tour of the country.
The achievers include Alexi Grewal – an Indian American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in road cycling in 1984; Lt. Col. Dr. Srinivas Gokulnath, India’s first RAAM finisher (Race Across America – 5000 kms in 11 days 18 hours); Naveen John, with 3x National ITT Championships and a national Road Race championship under his belt, he is probably the finest cyclist coming out of India; and Namma Bengaluru Kiran Kumar Raju, National MTB Championship Winner – 2015 & 2016. Cyclists from Karnataka State Reserve Police will also be participating at TfN 2017, said a TfN statement.
While adventure, nature, tourism, endurance are factors that lure cyclists to pedal TfN, there is another element that is often ignored that draws cyclists to ride this grand tour. This unknown element is giving something back to the society and TfN 2017 will witness 3 charity riders riding to support the social initiatives dear to them.
While, Rajanikanth Puttabuddi will be the charity rider for Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (This organization focusses on wildlife conservation in the Melagiri forest region spanning the Hosur and Dharmapuri Forest Divisions of Tamil Nadu); Shankar Jayaraman will raise funds for Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital (the aim is to make spine surgery affordable and accessible to everyone especially the underprivileged); and Vivek Radhakrishnan & Rajkumar Knot will pedal for Iksha Foundation (a charitable trust focusing on Retinoblastoma (eye cancer), it added.
Deepak Majipatil, Co-Founder, RAC-F, said, “From a humble beginning Tour of Nilgiris has come a long way and emerged as the largest and most loved bike tours in India that has put India on the global cycling map. The participation of elite cyclists from across the globe speaks volume about TfN and increased interest from budding Indian cycling talent is a testimony to the fact that TfN’s ambitious program to nurture cycling talent is paying off.” We at RAC-F are keen to make TfN 2017 a memorable event as it also coincides with the 200th year of cycle invention, he added.