Tube Investments of India
 
Tube Investments of India
Tube Investments of India Ltd.
Formerly TI Financial Holdings Ltd.
The biking trail
 

IDEA: MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK

INCEPTION: 2009

 

KENNY ROGER MOISE

The Biking Trail

 

A first-of-its-kind mountain bike park, located within the TI Cycles facility at Ambattur, is making strides in a city that is starting to take cycling seriously

The TI Cycles of the Muruguppa Group, one of India's leading manufacturers of bicycles since 1949, has been a pioneer in several fronts. One of its biggest and perhaps, most unique idea is the creation of a mountain bike park within its Ambattur premises in 2009. The idea is a reflection of a conscious decision by the company’s management to stray away from the usual, when it realised that the company wasn’t entirely different from other bicycle manufacturers.

Rajesh Mani, General Manager, TI Cycles and BSA Motors, says, "Around the mid-90s, we began to closely analyse our brand image. We realised that we weren’t doing much apart from promoting our bicycles, which any bicycle manufacturer usually does. This is when the idea of promoting bicycling as an activity struck us. And so, under the leadership of D Raghuram, President of TI Cycles of India and Arun Alagappan, Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, we began to associate ourselves with various cycle clubs and associations at all our locations in the country. This is how we conducted our first cyclathon in 2009, a result of the positive response we received from various cycling clubs like Chain Reaction and the Tamil Nadu Cycling Club. Such activities have, to an extent, revived cycling as a recreational activity in the city."

Even though the company organised several such events until then, it was only in 2009 that its idea of promoting bicycling took real shape. Under the stewardship of Arun Alagappan, TI Cycles of India decided to construct a mountain bike park within its facility. "We noticed that we were organising several mountain biking events in a calendar year, and more importantly, that the response was great to these events, especially from children between the ages of 11 and 15. We realised that the construction of a mountain bike park was the inevitable logical continuation of our good work,” Rajesh says, “And so, we brought in experts from Europe, in addition to seasoned mountain bikers from all over India, for advice before setting up this track.”

A year has passed since the creation of the park, and TI Cycles, within this period, has already added another track to the existing one at its premises. In association with the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), the company also constructed a bike park at Ooty, close to the Ooty Boat Club, last year. Rajesh adds, "We are now actively involved in sprucing up the facilities available at these tracks. We also have plans to add more tracks to our mountain bike park in the future." T K Vibhaker, President of the Tamil Nadu Cycling Club, feels that the bike park has, in one year of its completion, already done much for the promotion of cycling in the city. “This is definitely a step in the positive direction,” he says, “Hopefully, with such initiatives, we will see more people returning to cycling.”