Bengaluru: The 11th edition of Tour of Nilgiris (TfN), the annual flagship event of RideACycle Foundation (RAC-F), will witness cyclists pedal 950+ kms around the pristine Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve across Western Ghats, winding through the three states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu. TfN 2018 has attracted 110 cyclists to pedal the epic tour, including 29 international riders from 13 countries (23 men & 6 women) and 17 women riders.
Starting from Mysuru, the cyclists will pedal through Hassan, Kushalanagar, Sultan Bathery, Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Kalpetta and return to Mysuru to complete the tour. On Day 4, while pedalling from Sultan Bathery to Ooty, the cyclists will climb the mighty Kalhatti Ghat which is among the toughest cycling climbs in the world.
The eight-day cycling tour (December 9 to 16, 2018) will take cyclists through breath taking terrain, offering a myriad of natural sightings across different topography including plains, coffee & tea plantations, three wild life sanctuaries and mountains. The cyclists will get to taste the unique regional cuisines each region has to offer and capture in their lens the beauty of Nilgiris Biosphere as they pedal across the rolling terrain.
Tour of Nilgiris epitomises ‘Experiencing Nature through Cycle’ and TfN 2018 will be no different, commented Deepak Majipatil, Co-Founder, RAC-F. Every edition of TfN has etched a memory in riders’ mind and they crave to come back to experience nature. Besides Indian cyclists, more and more of overseas cyclists are keen to visit India to pedal in this grand tour. There are 7 cyclists from Denmark, while 4 from the US, 3 each from Australia, Germany & UK, 2 each from Belgium & Canada and one each from Austria, Greece, Malaysia, Philippines and Poland complete the international representation. This year the tour has attracted not only record international riders, but also 17 women cyclists both from India and abroad, he added.
From a humble beginning TfN has come a long way and has emerged as the largest & most loved bike tours in India that has put India on the global cycling map. Also over the years, TfN has triggered passion amongst enthusiasts to pursue cycling as an extreme sport with an adventure quotient. In tune with eminence of the tour, celebrity cyclists including Kiran Kumar Raju, current India MTB Champion and Naveen John, current India Road champion will pedal TfN 2018. Alexi Grewal – an Indian American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in road cycling in 1984 – enamoured having pedalled TfN 2017, is volunteering in this edition to mentor young talented riders who are using TfN as a platform to achieve bigger goals cycling has to offer globally.
Another dimension of TfN is that few riders are keen to make their pedals count by giving something back to the society and they ride TfN for a cause as charity riders. This year ‘Charity Riders’ will be pedalling for the following organizations – Kenneth Anderson Nature Society; Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital; Iksha Foundation and Vidyodaya School, among others – to support their respective social cause.