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The history of Cycling in India

The history of Cycling in India dates back to 1938. Cycling as a sport was introduced in India with the efforts of Sh. Janki Das in mid-thirties.

The history of Cycling in India
Written by Editorial

Cycle is a poor man’s transport, rich man’s hobby and an old man’s rescue to a healthier life.

The history of Cycling in India dates back to 1938. Cycling as a sport was introduced in India with the efforts of Sh. Janki Das in mid-thirties. It found its international level when Sh. Janki Das, the lone Indian Cyclist participated in the British Empire Games at Sydney (Australia) in 1938 with Swami Jagan Nath accompanied as Manager.

The Cycling Federation of India takes care of the sport in the country. Cycling is popular as a common recreational sport and it is a good way to stay fit.

A child life starts with a cycle, two wheeled & tri – wheeled irrespective of his/her status of being from a rich or poor.

Indian Cycling was to secure affiliation of National Cycling Federation to the National Cyclists Union of England. A few years later, another stalwart Sh. Sohrab H. Bhoot of Bombay & Sh. Janki Dass joined hands in furtherance of cycling sports & formed the National Cyclists Federation of India in 1946 & secure affiliation of this new body with Union Cyclists International (UCI). The same year, Indian Cycling Team participated in World Cycling Championships held in Switzerland.

Cycling was one of the sports in 1st Asian Games held at National Stadium, New Delhi in 1951. In 1955, the National Cyclists Federation of India ran into certain difficulties with the Govt. of India leading to withdrawal and its recognition & as a result the Indian Teams could not participate in any of the International Competitions/Championships. This stalemate continued for about 6 years.

An Indian Cycling Team consisting of Late Lalbir Singh, Sucha Singh, Late Amar Singh Billing & Late Amar Singh Sokhi & Chetan Singh Hari with Sh. R. K. Mehra as Manager cum Coach, participated in 1964 Tokyo Olympics as a part of Indian Contingent.

In the 1920s and 1930s, 10 Indians, Parsis, all in their 20s, and all belonging from Bombay chose to cycle around the globe in three separate groups. The first group that set off on their bicycles consisted of six members of the Bombay Weightlifting Club. They were Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola, Rustom Bhumgara, Gustad Hathiram, Keki Pochkhanawala and Nariman Kapadia.

According to Rohinton Bhumgara these six youngsters had attended a public lecture in 1920 by a Frenchman who had walked from Europe to India. Hearing him talk had left them very inspired and boosted for their own journey. They journeyed across mountains, forests and plains, sometimes without food and water. Their journey began in October 1923 and meandered through Punjab, Balochistan, the Middle East, Europe, United States, Japan and South East Asia. Eventually, only seven of them completed their odyssey.

India has come a long way since, a lot of people have taken up cycling as a profession, making their country proud in various national and international competition and a lot of people have taken up cycling as recreational hobby for leisure and fitness.

Happy cycling!

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