A large number of people in Bengaluru have taken to cycling as a mode of transport and as a way to keep fit. The bicycle rentals industry is flourishing because a large number of cyclists prefer renting cycles to buying their own.
Prateek Tambi, co-founder of City Cycling, Bhoganhalli, informed The Observer: “We started two years ago. There is a high demand now. More and more Bengalureans are opting for cycle rentals. We rent out 100-200 cycles in a month. One of the main reasons is that people are a lot more fitness-conscious. Another reason is that cycles are faster in traffic. Weekends bring a large number of clients. We have a lot of working professionals renting bicycles. People can choose from regular and special mountain cycles.”
Sachin Venkateshaiah of Pedals and Wheels, Malleswaram, said: “We started in 2009. Over the years, we have seen a massive increase in business. In a year, we rent out 600 to 700 cycles. The maximum demand comes from people in the 18-30 age group. There is an even higher demand during winter. More and more people are looking to rent cycles suited for rough terrain. But continuity is missing as a lot of them stop cycling after a while. Another obstacle is that if the distance of commute is too great, then the person gets tired before he reaches his destination.”
There has been a big change in the cycle-renting business, said Manjesh Chandrashekharan, MD of ICycles in Nandini Layout.
“Earlier people used to participate (in events) only if they had cycles, but now there are a lot of people offering bicycles on hire. We get demands for big cycling events. We usually rent out 50-60 cycles a month for regular rentals, and 100-120 cycles for these events. Rentals are higher during the weekends. We get the maximum customers in the 30-40 age group who have not cycled since school,” he said.
Srinivas, co-owner of By C Fun in Devanahalli, seems to have cashed in on Bengaluru’s proximity to Nandi Hills. “We entered the business primarily because of the tourism industry. Nandi Hills is a very popular tourist spot so people would go there on Sundays and holidays. They do not always want to carry bicycles from Bengaluru, and instead wanted to rent it from somewhere nearby. That is how By C Fun started,” he informed The Observer.
Shreya Bhawana Toppo, a student of Christ University, said: “I do not cycle every day. So it does not make sense for me to buy one. I rent out cycles during weekends. It is a great way to keep oneself fit, and I also feel I am doing my bit for the environment.”
Adhip Ashak, a mechanical engineer, shared: “The option to rent out mountain cycles is really great. A lot of people are passionate about it, but these cycles can be very expensive. Moreover, you cannot go on a cycling trip every other day.”