BMF and Indian National DH Champs 2020

Every year, January, the Bangalore Mountain Festival gets buzzing on the calendar. The 4th BMF was put together in Bengaluru by Sunil Nanjappa and his team on Avathi Hills. Trail running, cross country mountain biking and downhill races were on the weekend menu. For 2020, the boulder laden descent on Avathi hills was marked. This downhill trail was the 2016 BMF course too.

A long drive from Pune with India’s winningest Downhill racer Gautam Taode (GT), our goal was to have a great time with our machaas from Bengaluru. Come race day, after the trail runners and XC folks completed their races, it was time for our swift DH race. With hot runs down the rim munching trail on Avathi, I landed a 2nd place finish for Sunday while Gautam took the top spot and bragging rights!

Every race day is followed by a pinned party evening… and parteyh we did! The next day it was time to drive back to Pune with a hangover keeping us awake!

A few weeks after the Bangalore Mountain Festival, it was the 16th Indian National MTB Championship in Uttarakhand. The Cycling Federation of India agreed to flag off the first official DH National Championship! The CFI appointed our team (Gautam Taode, Shashank CK and I) to build the downhill course as well as assist on the Nationals XC route.

Gautam and I, packed our bikes again in his “Saber Tooth” (his truck) and with a tank full of Shell gas, cruised to Haldwani, Uttarakhand. With only a week at our disposal to build the DH course and prep the XC trail, Gautam, Shashank and I along with our visiting buddies pushed dirt to craft a fun descent on available terrain.

Here’s a feature on Freeridermag about the 1st Indian National Downhill Championship 2020.

Fun times on a 26″ wheeled enduro rig, landing a 5th place finish for the weekend!

Along with the Nats wrapping up, March 2020 has surprised everyone with the Covid-19 wave, shaking up the entire flow of gatherings and events.