If you are bicycle lover and ever felt that you have tried all kinds of bicycles in the world than you probably missed out on this one. This is Asia’s Tallest Bicycle made by Rajiv Kumar from Chandigarh, India.
Born on 10th September 1978, Rajiv runs a small business of air condition sales, service and rentals at sector 41 in Chandigarh. A metriculate passed, Rajiv has designed the tallest bicycle of Asia and entered into Limca Book of Records, World Unique Records and India Book of Records.
Key Features of Rajiv Kumar’s Bicycle : (2013 edition)
- 2 Adjustable handles
- 3 Chains for directional purpose
- 6 Cranks
- Weight: 70 kgs
- Length: 9 feet
- Height: 6.3 feet – seat can be raised upto 7.6 feet ; Total height is 10 feet (including rider’s height)
- Tyres: Kenda
- Frame: Stainless Steel
- Single Speed
- Open hand logo of Chandigarh city
Rajiv’s love for bicycles started at a tender age of 15 years when he was in class ten. He use to be a topper and did a lot of cycling since early childhood and aspired to achieve something big in life. Knowing about Rajiv’s go-getter attitude, his school friends once advised him to decrease the seat height as his feet could not reach the pedals. In response, he had a counter view “I would rather raise the pedal height.”
A statement made by chance triggered a novel thought and one day he went to his uncle’s garage and began experimenting with his bicycle. A year later in 1995, he managed to modify the seat position of his old Hero cycle and raised it up to 4 feet height. By doing this he felt he will be more visible on the road.
At first, Rajiv’s parents didn’t want him to take the bicycle on road but later got convinced looking at his enthusiasm. Rajiv named the bicycle ‘Johny’ after his nick name.
“I always wanted to catch attention of people through my work and promote Chandigarh city which is why i have used the city logo – The Upper Thumb in the bicycle frame design.”
Back in the initial days, Rajiv’s parents discouraged him and didn’t like his experiments with the bicycle. They felt his actions were comical and drawing embarrassment to the family. His Father in particular was against his ideas and even broke his bicycle twice. But Rajiv was determined to prove himself and went ahead with his plans.
However, his family’s perception towards him changed when a local news newspaper carried his story. Relatives and friends visited his house and congratulated his father acknowledging Rajiv’s efforts and advised him to motivate the little boy. Thereafter, the talented Rajiv was given complete support by his parents – something he deserved.
“People recognize me because of this bicycle. A man approached me outside a restaurant and said that they had last met 12 years ago and he was delighted to see him again”
“In 1999, Rajiv had built a 13 feet tall bicycle however the transport authorities did not permit him to ride and banned his bicycle on city roads so he had to dismantle it.”
- 1995 – Modified an old cycle and increased the seat height to 4 feet.
- 1996 – Completed a road trip from Chandigarh to Delhi on his modified bicycle in 26 hrs.
- 1999 – Made a 13 feet high bicycle with 2 support tyres
- 2000 – Featured in Limca book of records
- 2003 – Increased the seat height to 5.5 feet with a fully designed iron frame
- 2004 – Road trip from Chandigarh to Ludhiana
- 2005 to 2012 – Road trips, more awards and minor modifications continued in this period
- 2013 – Increased seat height to 6.3 feet which can be extended to 7.6 feet
- 2019 – Road trip from Chandigarh to Mumbai
Rajiv had envisioned to do a road trip from Chandigarh to Mumbai on his bicycle ever since he started with his experiments. In 2018, he began to upgrade his bicycle for this trip and made few design modifications. And in February 2019, he embarked on a journey from Chandigarh to Mumbai covering a distance of 5100 kms in 50 days (Even though the total distance is about 1900 km, Rajiv visited many other cities like Delhi, Surat etc. along the route and took multiple halts to engage with the locals). On one of the days, Rajiv managed to cover a distance of 142 kms – which was his personal best in this trip.
The next big target for the 40 year old cyclist is to ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari – a distance of approximately 3400 kms. He plans to complete this trip in 30 days – “Tallest Bicycle, Longest Ride in Shortest Time” and is aiming to enter into Guinness World Records.
“When am cycling in Chandigarh, i am able to maintain an eye-level interaction with the Bus drivers and Truck drivers.”
To make this journey less stressful, he has plans to completely redesign a new bicycle using carbon fibre and aluminium frame which would bring down the weight of the bicycle to less than 30 kilograms. Estimated cost is approximately 5 lakh rupees (€6,500 / $7,500) to build a new lightweight bicycle and Rajiv is open for partnerships with sponsors to complete this challenge and make his country proud.
Rajiv wants people to start cycling more often, take up cycle2work and help save environment from harmful emissions. He is encouraging kids in particular and says “Kids get attracted when they see me riding a tall bike and this makes my task easier to convert them into cycling.”
Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai