If you are a cycling enthusiast living in or around Indirapuram, the Indirapuram Cycling Club will not be a new name. Unless you are living under a rock.
Amit Upadhyay, an IT professional and founder of Indirapuram Cycling Club, or ICC, was looking to form the group when he shifted to Niti Khand I, Indirapuram, from Delhi in 2014. He initially had to go it alone, but soon enough inspired others from the neighbourhod to join him on his rides. Today what started with a handful of cyclists has swollen to a buzzing group of more than 600 members over two years.
To the members of the Indirapuram Cycling Club, or ICC, cycling is not just about fitness — it's a fun way of travelling, saving money and reducing pollution.
ICC members get ready for a ride
ICC has about 100 active members, who involve themselves in recreational riding, touring and commuting under the banner of ICC on a regular basis. While in the NCR, one can spot them in complete cycling gear and their official neon green and blue jackets. The cyclists are a motley crew of professionals from various backgrounds and age groups. Along with urban cycling, ICC also promotes mountain biking, social and long-distance rides, and treks.
Are there problems the group faces?
Members of the ICC are not happy about the cycle tracks developed by the government. They say it is a sheer waste of taxpayers' money, as the tracks are mostly encroached upon by vendors, parked vehicles and garbage.
On the bright side, the group sees a steady addition of enthusiasts wanting to join the group every month, despite the condition of the cycle tracks. The club welcomes newbies with open arms and lends them all the support they need. The cyclists are mostly from Indirapuram, Vaishali, Vasundhara and the neighbouring Sector 62, Noida.
Some of them are professional cyclists. Mann Mago has more than 4,500 km to his name; Rishabh Singh has crossed the highest pass in Leh on his Hero MTB; and Sandeep Madan is the first runner-up at the 2016 Hero MTB chamionship. Willing cyclists can join the club via requests on their official Facebook page or referrals on their WhatsApp group.
Amit Upadhyay in neon green and blue cycling gear
Members of ICC also aim at spreading awareness of the benefits of cycling. They participate in environment-awareness drives and events such as the Earth Hour and car-free days. The club also conducts long rides to Chandigarh, Agra and Jaipur and even helps non-members organise trips.
When asked about the best thing about the group, Upadhyay, the founder of the club, says it is definitely the camaraderie that makes it so great.