Mountain Biking in India: A New Definition to Adventure Sport

By Tanwar, Shweta | Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends, January 2009 | Go to article overview

Mountain Biking in India: A New Definition to Adventure Sport


Tanwar, Shweta, Journal of Tourism Challenges and Trends


Introduction

India is a land of diversity. This diversity is on grounds of both culture as well as geography. We can have many forms of tourism or it will be more appropriate to say we have a package that will suit to the aspirations of everyone. Among them there is one category of adventure tourism. This comprises of so many extreme sports like mountain rafting, tracking, climbing and biking to name a few. Nowadays, a great stress is given on mountain biking expeditions in India. People from far off are coming to satisfy their hunger for challenging ones own self in extreme conditions.

In this paper, we are trying to deal with mountain biking tourism in India and at the same time how it is different from other countries. But first of all, we look in the details adventure tourism.

Adventure tourism

Adventure as Oxford dictionary says is "unusual, exciting or dangerous experience or undertaking". It is the feeling of excitement associated with danger, risk taking. To sum up, it is testing one's own self in extreme adversity.

And when it is associated with tourism, which as per oxford dictionary is a stay in journey for pleasure. So when these two are combined, we come to know about a new race of people who seeks pleasure in testing them in adversity that is having a passion to face danger. Adventure sport is meant for those who have confidence in themselves and at the same time are willing to take any risk in order to have the ultimate happiness and a feeling of satisfaction.

Origin and development of bicycle

Human beings have made use of wheel since ancient times. The invention of wheel not only brought about a revolution in the realm of transportation but also gave rise to a number of sporting activities. Through the centuries, the wheel remained a faithful companion of man.

Three and four-wheeled horse drawn carriages became popular mode of transport during the medieval period. Though horse-drawn carriages could transport a number of people from one place to another, there was a need to create a vehicle, which could be powered by human muscle and was easy to handle. The first "bicycle" was invented in the early years of the 19th century; but it was not so sophisticated. This strange-looking two wheeler was also referred to as celeriferes and velociferes. The rider has to push his feet backward along the ground to push the vehicle forward. Along with this, the rider has to maintain his balance. In 1817, Baron Karl von Drais built a model with a handlebar attached to the front wheel. The handlebar helped the rider to maintain the balance.

Between 1817 and 1900 a number of development like steel tubes, ball bearings, stable handlebars, pedals, chain, wire spokes, pneumatic tires, etc., improved the bike. At the beginning of the 20th century, bicycles became lighter, faster, comfortable and easier to handle. The low cost of maintenance made bicycle the most popular means of transport in the world. In the mean time, bicycles are also started using for sport activity. Better and lighter models of bicycles were made for traversing hilly countryside and steep mountain roads. The sport of mountain biking has gained a lot of popularity among adventure seekers in countries having hilly tracts and mountain ranges.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a land based adventure sport. It is one of the most challenging and physically demanding adventure sport. Even the fittest have trouble in bigging their bikes up the hill. They have to ride amid hilly regions which are very rough and uneven. Sometimes it results in many ailments like muscular pain, cramps etc but the most common is aching backs. But despite of this fact, one truth which motivates everyone is seeing the natural beauty in its full glory. They are on the way which is very less toddled and can enjoy the calm serenity away from hustle and bustle. This serve two purpose, one fulfilling their desire to do something very wild and extreme. …

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