Bangalore Girls Start Life on Trails…

Vaijayanthi, from Bangalore, fell in love with mountain bikes and trails last year. As with any new found love, you always want to share it. And she decided to help other women experience this love for dirt!

She, along with Goodwave and Crankmeister, put together an introductory camp for girls in Bangalore. This was the first edition and we hope she can help the tribe grow in the days to come.

Here’s what she has to say about growing the passion for the sport…

Trail riding happened to me last year. 2020 was a stressful year for most people, it was no different for me, and I thought blazing down the hill on a bicycle along with my 8-year-old would be a brilliant way of dealing with stress! I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t right either. It didn’t just end up helping me deal with the stress, it ended up being much more than that. I would come back from the trails feeling alive, euphoric and calm, all at the same time.

However, while I was having a ton of fun on the trails, in these 6 odd months I hadn’t seen any other woman or girl riding the trails. Walking – yeah, plenty; riding – nada, zilch!

That’s where the idea of conducting a women’s only trail riding workshop came from. I ran the idea by Manik from Goodwave Adventures, who had been patiently teaching me for the last few months. He was onboard the second he heard about it, and he roped in Crankmeister Bicycle Works, a very well-known and well-established brand in the cycling world. In two short weeks we had gone from an idea to an actual workshop.

March 13th, Saturday, early morning we had a bunch of young girls and a couple of adventurous women trooping in dot on time for the class. Once Ajay from Crankmeister did a health check on all the bikes to make sure they were all safe for a ride, helmets firmly in place we all rode into the forest to kick off the session. After a quick round of introductions, Manik and all the participants enthusiastically launched into what turned out to be a very informative, productive and fun session for everyone involved.

Bangalore Girls on Trails
The bright eyed and busy tailed participants
Manik Taneja, Goodwave Adventure
Manik keeping it fun and informative

Manik took the participants through the basics of trail riding, from tuning your bike for the trails to the correct hand, feet and body position. After which everyone rode a little deeper into the forest, to learn a key skill in trail riding – Cornering. All techniques were first demonstrated and then practiced multiple times by the participants. Each participant was given personal feedback in what needed to be corrected and checked.

Shefali – a seasoned road biker and Tina who hadn’t done trail or road biking, were the two women who were part of the group (please note ladies – AGE NO BAR!). Both of them eased into the class effortlessly, absorbing the skills being taught.

Bangalore girls cycling on trails
Shefali getting everything right with ease and a big smile
Tina acing all the skills

And then there was the kid brigade between the range of 8 and 11. Let’s just say this is parenting done right! If you introduce these sports to kids at this age they will take to it like ducks to water. Kids these days have way too much structure in all the sports they participate in. When in reality if you just let them be outdoors they will learn and pick up athletic skills naturally. Because that’s how they are wired at that age – girl or boy irrespective! And that’s exactly what these girls showed us.

Mia cornering like a pro
Meher – feet so level!
Children in Bangalore cycling on trails
Ankita – Obstacles ain’t a problem
Nishka – holding the meerkat position
Rimi – sailing down

The session was concluded with a trail ride into the forest so that all the skills that they had just learnt could be tied together. How did that go? A picture is worth a thousand words and the ones below says it all I think!

Needless to say, after this very encouraging response to the workshop we will be conducting more of these, so please keep an eye open for announcements on dates for the next session.

A big thank you to Manik Taneja – GoodWave Adventures and Crankmeister Bicycle Works!

Text: Vaijayanthi Bhat
Photos: Praveen Jayakaran

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