Ankleshwar Bicycle Club was founded on 10th April 2016 by Mr. Naresh Pujara with the primary idea to motivate and get the mass into the sport of cycling to enjoy its endless benefits. It is also an initiative to protect the environment, create a community of like-minded people to ride together on weekends and introduce newbies on the road to ride and explore the city.
ABC was started when Mr. Naresh got the idea to make a beginners’ oriented group for newbies and was greatly supported by Mr. Mohmmad Jadliwala, Kiran Modi and a few other friends who initially joined for rides and introduced the new group in town. So, a club starting with 4 members which now boasts 500+ members is a sign of how we have successfully conducted rides throughout the years.
ABC has always cared for the environment and we are proud to be the group promoting zero carbon footprint. We strongly believe in the concept of biking to work, school, colleges, and other such spaces and produce zero carbon footprint. This also contributes towards a positive impact on health as we exercise and burn calories while sweating to work! ABC has also done tree plantation rides in the past wherein we planted tree saplings to promote tree plantation around the city and our riders have taken part in many cyclotrons to increase awareness about the environment and health.
From the last 5 years, ABC has continuously been organizing rides and has come across people who have bodily ailments. Thus, their willingness to join the club after being suggested by their respective doctors to cycle has created positive impacts on their overall health. Cycling plays one of the major roles in improving cardiovascular health along with the joints and ligaments that lead to rehabilitation from injuries.
We have had riders with severe knee pain as well as those with arthritis. Their desire to cycle regularly has helped them to cope up with their knee injuries. Cycling is a technical sport, but when done correctly, it has a lot of health benefits. On the other hand, when the same is done with the wrong posture or technique, it can lead to lifetime injuries. We at ABC ensure right from the first ride that the riding technique of a rider is always correct so that there are no chances of injuries. We give special emphasis on the techniques of a rider including correct seat height, reach from saddle to the handlebar, the height of the handlebar and also the size of the frame. Once everything is correct and to a satisfactory level, we guide the rider towards better pedaling and breathing techniques.
Today, ABC has 1100+ members on board on a voluntary basis. Each member comes with a belief and to have fun. ABC is a big community with members of all age groups (8 to 60 to be precise to date) from different professional backgrounds, like students, business or working-class people and even retired servicemen. Differentiating between riders is against our morality. It gives us immense pleasure to inform you that ABC is among the groups with the most female cyclists in India and we arrange female-specific rides with special arrangements to promote cycling among women.
In 2016, we started with three female-specific rides where we gave special emphasis to female-focused rides. This was the year when we hosted eight female riders on a ride unlike other existing groups in the country who do not host many female-based rides on a regular non-social event basis. The following year, we organized our regular ABC rides and not social rides again, with a special focus on female riders.
ABC is the hub for a host of students coming from schools and colleges of different grades and we are happy to ride with them. The response has been positive so far since 2014 and we appreciate the trust of those parents who send their kids to ride with us early mornings. We also take pride in organizing rides for school kids where they receive the opportunity to gather scores of wisdom from senior riders of the club. The primary advantage is their chance to learn a list of professional skills, in both cycling and other areas. Like for example, we have IIT aspiring kids who get to interact with IIT pass outs on the same ride as well as business-minded kids who gather entrepreneurship skills from big-time businessmen joining us on rides. Thus, the community is remarkably strong and we have grown in every step in the last 6 years… and are growing more at a stronger and faster pace.
ABC has collaborated with a lot of NGOs in the last few years and has done many social-cause rides to support the organizations and people. This includes many cyclotrons, social awareness campaigns and blanket distribution ride during winters to people living on roadsides. Other successful events include traffic awareness campaigns with Ankleshwar Police and Ankleshwar Authority to reduce the accidental cases in the city and make cycling aware among the masses.
ABC has conducted over 100 rides since 2015, including midweek and regular weekend rides. In 2016, we started with public events where riders were presented with official T-shirts and certificates on completion of the rides. This had been a great success as we were able to carry out about 5 such challenges and received positive responses. This basically was an initiative to train beginners and seasoned riders willing to start cycling and develop better stamina respectively through the sport. With 5 admins in the past year who happily conducted the rides, this year we plan to expand the same. Our Facebook page has become a platform for riders of all levels who watch our videos to understand the positivity of the sport and also get motivated to make it a part of their lives. The same year, we also collaborated with many groups and organizations who are in a similar sport and we are more than happy to share the field as we believe in motivating to get more people outdoors to experience a positive, fit and healthy lifestyle.