The Take-Off | This Amazing Book Tells True Stories by Indian Cyclists

More and more people are getting on cycles, especially during the Covid pandemic, as a cycle not only gives you a workout to stay fit but throws in adventures, all the while maintaining a safe social distance from others.

But not everyone knows about the experiences of cyclists, the challenges they face and the stories that unfold on the road.

For the first time, one has a chance to relive these experiences with ‘The Take-Off’ India’s first collection of true cycling stories created by India’s largest cycling community Cyclop and edited by Neera Jain. It has 37 stories by cyclists from all over India: Kashmir, Chennai, Assam, Karnal, Bhuj, Cuttack and so on.

the take off story page

Photographer: Chenthil Mohan

The cyclists come from various backgrounds, one being the National Road Cycling Champion of India, another an IT engineer; one a retired army-man and another a graphic designer.

One of the stories that stands out is that of three friends that go from Kerala to Himachal, and cycle through snow-laden paths until the path disappears, darkness begins to fall and they start feeling unsure if they are going to survive the adventure at all.In another true story, a cyclist from Noida goes to ride in a prestigious and challenging event in Paris, and deals with conditions in the foreign land, unexpected temperature of 4 degrees Celsius remembering his mother’s words – “Himmat mat haarna!”

the take off contents page and cover

In yet another story, a cyclist participating in perhaps the toughest race in India has to jump into an impromptu rescue operation. And the most heartwarming story is about a young boy, the son of a dhaba owner in Himachal makes it to Hero’s race team with his persistence and talent. It is also intriguing to read how a local cyclist manages to train for a major cycling event during the shutdown of Kashmir, and make it out of the city to reach the race venue in Ladakh at the last minute.

If you want to overcome challenges and pursue your goals, or do things you never thought you were capable of doing, this is the book to read, to draw inspiration from ordinary individuals and see the extraordinary stuff champions are made of.

You can purchase ‘The Take-Off’ on and also on Amazon.

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