“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” – John F Kennedy
The habit of cycling has made Debarghya Chakrabarti a passionate cyclist over the time, starting from the age of ten. The passion has also made him the co-founder of the largest cycling group of Kolkata – Cycle Network Grow – along with Ashish Bajaj. This Pandemic situation has made many of us capable of doing things, we have never tried before. One quick instance is that people are nowadays choosing a cycle ride for their daily conveyance to maintain social distancing.
The Optimist followed Debarghya’s odyssey as a cyclist.
The passion to stay fit, enjoy life on absolutely different terms, in an adventurous way makes a cyclist unique from every side. Debarghya started from a very basic bicycle of fifteen thousand, and used to participate in stunt riding. Things were hard, as parents were not supporting his stunt riding initially. Eventually he left stunt riding and joined proper cycling where he would wear a helmet, a proper cycling jersey and everything.
“The passion, the potentiality, the hard work make a professional a perfectionist. From a ten-thousand-rupee cycle to three proper professional cycles that I own today, I have come a long way and also launched the group Cycle Network Grow, where we take part in various events. Now I am a ran-denier, one who has done a private event and completed it successfully, the event I would like to mention is the “Tour De Golden Triangle”. Under this event I had to cover 750 kms, starting from Delhi to Agra, then Agra to Jaipur and finally Jaipur to Delhi,” shared the cycle enthusiast.
With Cycle Network Grow, Debarghya wants to bring an entire network of cyclists under one roof and convey the message – “cycling is not a waste of time. People should come out of their homes and enthusiastically participate in it.”
Cycling plays a pivotal role in rural areas for their daily conveyance, but it’s hardly gained limelight as a sport. Like other two wheelers, cycling needs to be marketed in order to be promoted as a well-established sport. “I believe for that to happen, sport education is very important. Educate the people about its advantages and once the government starts to work on this, people will start taking up cycling as an important mode of transportation. This will eventually make the Cycle Brands aware of the growing popularity and cycling as a sport, which is an Olympic sport too, will gain the necessary limelight,” he adds.
Networking in a group with fellow cyclists always brings an air of positivity. The energy, the warmth of people with common interest always makes a sport more passionate, that’s where the magic lies. “Obviously one can enjoy solo cycle trips, but after completing so many years in cycling I would rather say that a group cycle trip would be more cherishing. The little giggling, adventurous stunts will create lifelong memories. So instead of going on a solo trip and sharing it with the world over social media, cycling with a large network of people is always more fun and satisfying,” shares Debarghya.
The global pandemic has restricted many of us from following our passion, we were obligated to stay within the four walls and it is really difficult for a passionate cyclist like Debarghya to stop himself from exploring the world with his cycle. However, he completely restricted himself at home during the lockdown, made productive videos about cycling and published it in social media to educate more and more people about cycling. Once the lockdown was eased, he took onto the roads to continue his exploration with cycle. “We do not wear masks while cycling but maintain a safe physical distance of about six feet in order to ensure safety in this pandemic situation. Obviously, we keep sanitizer and masks handy, in case we need them,” notifies Debarghya.
Every passion demands some sacrifices from the person who is pursuing it, and Cyclist Debarghya says, “Most of the time I run out of money and one good thing about it is, you can’t afford any other addiction as you don’t have the money. Also, one becomes an early riser as cycling in the morning is a whole-body exercise which will always keep you fit. Most importantly, it helps you make good friends and that’s why I always say networking is important for cycling.”
For Debarghya, cycling is a way of life. His day begins with a superb journey on his two-wheeler that keeps him positively charged throughout.