‘West Coast Riders’ an avid cycling group in Mumbai concluded its 1st anniversary by celebrating the colorful festival of Holi. In a multi-cycling club ride, cyclists from all corners of the city gathered near the famous R.K. Laxman Statue at Worli Sea-face in Mumbai, sharing festive greetings and conversations over tea, coffee and breakfast.
Founded on 10th March 2019, it all started with two friends who casually met up on a Sunday morning and created a what’s app group. Gradually, many more riders were added and the count of cyclists has grown to 235 members as on today.
In quick time, this cycling club has become popular in the city and typically follows a ‘TTS’ ride schedule (Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday) with occasional participation in marque events.
Men and Women in light blue and black stripped jerseys are often seen hitting the roads before sunrise and zipping pass sections of the street with red blinkers and flash lights.
The group emphasizes on disciplined cycling and adheres to fixed timing at dedicated meeting points where cyclists from different parts of the city converge and pedal to explore the iconic places in Mumbai.
From heritage landmarks to beaches, birthday rides to national festivals, rides for causes and jersey distribution to new members; West Coast Riders organizes a wide range of theme rides every week.
Holi ride being the latest, the club members have met in the past for Christmas ride, Diwali light ride in the night, adventure rides to national parks, lakes etc., and have celebrated ‘Makar Sankranti’ the festival of kites together.
The club takes pride in respecting one another, acknowledges small achievements, cares for newbies and compliments new cyclists. And those who upgrade to new bikes receive a loud cheer from fellow cyclists.
At times, the group serves as a testing platform for all types of cycles – Road bikes, MTB’s, Tandems, Trikes, Foldies, Fat tyre bikes, Commuter bikes and Hybrid models. Most of the owners are open to swap bikes allowing a new experience to their friends. And there are opportunities to seek advice and help if someone is looking for technical support or wanting to upgrade to a new bike.
This enthusiastic group of cyclists has members aged 7 to 70 years some of whom are doctors, engineers, lawyers, businessmen, techies, artists, students, photographers, house-wife’s and writers. Ideas and their expertise very much reflects in the planning and executing new themes.
West Coast Riders is a very accommodating group and open for local cyclists and foreigners. Expats who come to work in Mumbai for limited weeks or months, have done rides with this group in the past. Currently, Marcus Shultz from Russia often cycles with this group.
To cycle with West Coast team, connect on facebook or instagram and start cycling in South Mumbai and other parts of the city.
Cover image: West Coast Riders.
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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai