Bangalore cyclists get a double shot of adrenaline – a ride with biking legend Hans Rey and India’s first bike store-cum-café

On a nippy October morning, a bunch of cyclists in Bangalore roused themselves with an itch to pedal. The occasion was a Hans Rey ride, courtesy Track & Trail.

A legend among mountain biking enthusiasts, the German-born Rey led motley groups of cyclists in three cities, including Pune and Delhi, throwing in enough tricks to wow the crowd and kept them, err, ‘hopping’ long after, as one participant Aman Puri put it, after learning the bunny hop. Another participant, Dhawal Patil says, “I rode the unridable (sic) with Hans Rey. It was truly biking and beyond.”

Han Rey in the lead

Rey closed the rides with a workshop and let the crew in on the tricks of his trade, his experiences as a professional cyclist and how he came to be one. “This was my first visit to India and I had a wonderful time in Roopkund doing downhill mountain biking. My rides with Track & Trail across Delhi, Pune and Bangalore gave me an interesting flavour of India and the evolution of cycling in the country. I was amazed to see the number of serious cyclists, and the kind of cycle stores here – some of the best in the world, including the newly opened café in Bangalore. India has huge potential for cycling, even mountain biking. In Bangalore, I found a perfect granite slab to show some of my skills,” said Rey on his India visit.

Cyclists with Hans Rey (in the centre)

In Bangalore, Rey also unveiled the first concept store of its kind in India, ‘Coffee & Cycles’ by Track & Trail. Track & Trail, owned by TI Cycles (part of the Murugappa Group), showcases performance bikes, sleek and built to thrill. Rajesh Mani, GM – Marketing, TI Cycles of India says, “We are proud to be the first Indian company to launch a brand concept store like Coffee & Cycles in India which will provide a meeting point for cycling enthusiasts and veterans to come together and share their experiences, expertise and explorations over a hot cuppa.”

Talking cycles over coffee

 The store, located in Koramangala, has a range of international brands like GT, Bianchi, Cannondale, Schwinn as well their own brand, Montra, which are hybrid road focussed bikes. You can take your pick from All Terrain Bikes, Mountain Terrain Bikes, Road Bikes and Hybrids, and take them out for a test ride if you please. Hybrids are ideal for commuting on city roads. The spacious store also services bikes, sells accessories, has a bike rental option for corporates and organises cycling rallies. There is coffee and snacks and biking magazines to flip through. “It’s a wonderful environment to wait in while my bike is fixed,” Dinesh Kumar from Chennai said of the place.

Coffee & Cycles

The timing for Coffee & Cycles store could not have been better. Cyclists, once thought to be a dying breed, have made a tentative comeback and are slowly multiplying in numbers. Environmentally aware, or simply for the sheer pleasure of working up a sweat, people are opting for the eco-friendly cycles. In fact, Bangalore can soon look forward to dedicated tracks for cyclists. Elsewhere in the world, specifically in Amsterdam, where cycles outnumber the population, cycle chic is all the rage.

Rey sums it up, “Track & Trail epitomises the cycling lifestyle, unwinding and pursuing the thrills of a ride on some of the world’s best machines and there’s nothing quite like a blend of bicycles, coffee and conversation to rev up and enjoy the ride.” Amen to that!

By Anuradha Prasad/ Raintree Media Features/

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