Back in 1994 four friends from Pune, who decided to meet one day and take their love of riding bicycles to the next level. Sami Makki , Sameer Dharmadhikari, Praveen P. and Abhijit N. can very well be called the Pioneers of Mountain Biking in India.
Riding steel hardtails with 50 mm front travel and cantilever brakes wasn’t the best of the experiences but it was the world for them that time. Getting out on unchartered terrain around the hills and valleys of Pune, was a thrill that could not be compared to any other at that time for them.
Doing a sport which was unknown to their friends, families or fellow trail walkers was a rush in it’s own for them. Typical rides would last from 2 -6 hours depending on their school and college schedules, and most of the time on their rides was spent talking about how the Marin county riders started the sport rider and how Greg Herbold and Hans Rey are the most coolest people on this planet.
They would also wonder, speculate and debate on when Mountain Biking and BMX would become main stream sports in India, and when our cricket crazy nation would start riding bicycles more for recreation than just using them as a mode of transport for the underprivileged.
Many years passed by and the enthusiasm to spread the word about this wonderful experience of mountain biking to others started to develop. A group had to be formed, a name had to be given. Fantastic 4 Cyclists, India Mountain Cycle Riders, etc, etc.. A lot of suggestions came up, and then came XS – The Xtreme Sports Club: Mtb and BMX.
With a lot of time on hand Sami Makki started doing all that was in his reach as a 15 year old back then, making copies of a dot matrix computer printout which read : FREE MOUNTAIN BIKING CAMP and illegally sticking it all across town at Conducting Mt.Bike Clinics at Children’s Summer Camps in Pune night to writing to bicycle companies such as Hero and TI Cycles to start producing aluminum frame mountain bikes. He did it all. It was a vision in the distant horizon that top international bicycles brands would once come to India, and bicycling in it’s whole would be the best activity to do.
A riding trip in Nepal followed in 1998, which gave first exposure to Sami about the international mountain biking scene and helped broaden his vision as to where he wanted to take the sport to in India.
Year 2000, enter Rahul Mulani. Rahul Mulani is the big daddy of BMX in India, and has been in the scene since there was ever a scene. He was a part of early BMX jams and comps that happened in India in the 90’s. Yes, you read that right. BMX came to India before mountain biking and there was a movement in Mumbai known as the ‘Radicools’
Rahul and Sami shared the same broad minded views on the future of the sports in India, and worked perfectly in sync with each one being a master of their own game. Thus ‘Ride 2026′ was born. 20″ for the BMX Wheel size and 26″ for mountain bikes. Mumbai – the birthplace of BMX in India once again became the hub for riders wanting to learn how to pull those neat tricks from the big daddy. And all those with a lust for dust found Pune to be their home. Many boys came and went and learned a thing or two from these 2 Maestros and became what they are now.
Blah blah blah blah.. Who wants to read an old history book anyways, skip to cut 2. The year is 2012. A dozen international bike brands are here, pop cycling is the new mantra, 28″ and 29″ bicycles are the new norm. The government hasn’t done much for BMX and Mountain Biking still. In fact it has worsened the situation by raising the basic import customs duty on bicycle to 30%. So your total import duty on bicycles is currently at 47% as of August 2012. The good news is that there are thousands of people cycling now, and hundreds of people doing mountain biking and bmx. Those figures are still low given the population of India as of August 2012 being 1.2 Billion People.
Ride With Us
We ride every other weekend on some of the best trails in and around Pune! So you can ride with us anytime you like!
Join Our Team
Our Team takes part in many biking events through out the year. So if you feel you got it and would like to ride with some enthuasiastic competitive riders; come and join our team!
What is Mountain Biking ?
Mountain biking began in the mid 70’s when a group of guys decided to ride their Bicycles down the hill slopes in California, USA. The average Bicycle at that time needed some adjustments to make it go off-road. Thus the need for better braking and more traction on loose soil was fulfilled by putting fatter tires and better cantilever brakes on the bikes. they were called ” fat tire bike” Slowly the sport started catching on and many bicycle manufacturers noticed the sport and began building bicycles to cater to this trend, and thus MOUNTAIN BIKING was born.
What is BMX ?
BMX stands for “Bicycle moto Cross”. BMX racing is a sport which originated in the early 70s, when kids began racing their bicycles on moto cross tracks. BMX-freestyle is a sport where the rider does any kind of tricks or stunts on the bike, be it on the ground, or on ramp. The credit of introducing freestyle to the world or vice versa would go to Bob Haro, who built the first freestyle bike. A BMX bike essentially has 20″ wheels, with a low frame, which is built to withstand serious pounding that a rider dishes out. The frame is low so as to increase the maneuverability factor. Where can I do Mountain Biking in and around PUNE ? You can do Mountain Biking in and around in PUNE, in many different places, such as Pashan Hills, Taljai Hill, Parvati Hill, Sus / Baner Hills, Katraj Ghat, Baapdev Ghat, Sinhagad, Lonavala and Khandala. Designated TRAILS for WALKING are present here, so please ride carefully without hurting or scaring anyone. Respect fellow Trail users, rights too. Check out the Rides section of our site for more details.
What is Ride 2026 Club ?
We are a group of people, who are involved in these sports, for the past two decades. As no organization or sports authority, recognized these two wonderful sports, We decided to start our own . Our main aim is to popularize these two Sports in INDIA. We teach people how to do Mountain Biking and BMX. We organize rides every weekends suited for beginners to experts. Other than this we also have our own Mountain Bike and Road Racing Teams.
What other activities do you do ?
We are mainly involved in promoting these sports in India. We are also sometimes involved in Trail maintenance as well as doingprograms for charitable trusts.
Which type of Bicycle should I start with, if I want to do Mountain Biking ?
One can start Mountain Bike riding with any basic bicycle which as minimum 18 gears, front suspension and ‘V’ brakes.
What type of Bicycle should I start with, if I want to do BMX ?
One can start riding BMX on an Indian BMX bicycle, which is also available with ease in the market.
Can I get hurt, while riding ?
Every sport has an injury rate. Why do cricketer’s wear helmets?? you can prevent yourself from getting hurt, by taking proper and basic precautions. Always ride with a helmet and safety gear. Never attempt rides / tricks beyond your own capability. Wear reflective or bright clothing in poor visibility conditions so that you are visible to other people/vehicles, when on the road.
I am coming to India, can I ride with y’all ?
Yes ! Individuals / Group can come riding with us, and are most welcome anytime.