Is Cycling a Sport or a Hobby in India? – Explained

Ever since I rediscovered cycling post-Covid-19, I’ve observed an intriguing trend on the bustling streets of India. A growing wave of enthusiasts now proudly pedal their way across towns and cities. But one question lingers: in India, is cycling predominantly a sport or a hobby?

A hobby is a pastime one indulges in to achieve relaxation and happiness. Undoubtedly, cycling as a hobby fits this description.

However, cycling as a sport in India stands tall, much like cricket or hockey. Regrettably, despite bicycles being eco-friendly and cost-effective, only a limited segment of the Indian population has adopted this hobby. Few states like Karnataka and Kerala are proactively pushing bike riding. These states also birthed many of India’s professional cyclists.

Have you marked World Bicycle Day on your calendar? Annually celebrated on June 3rd, the 2022 theme paid tribute to the bike for its unique nature, diversity, and over two centuries of history.

Let’s delve into cycling as a hobby vs. sport in India, addressing both its merits and demerits.

Cycling As A Hobby

The term “Hobby” denotes an activity pursued for sheer enjoyment during leisure, encompassing various realms from collecting items, artistic endeavors, to sports or hobbies.

Hence, cycling as a hobby stands out. As an outdoor activity, it’s a great way to achieve both mental and physical fitness. Opting for biking ensures a combination of physical activity, health benefits, and sheer enjoyment.

cycling as hobby

Therefore, Cycling can also be one of the best hobbies for enjoyment because it is an outdoor activity that can lead to mental and physical fitness. So, You can opt for Cycling as a hobby to maintain physical fitness, health, and enjoyment.

Cycling: My Hobbyist’s Perspective

When I was young, my bicycle was my prized possession. It was a way to escape, explore, and, more than anything, enjoy the fresh morning breeze. A hobby, by definition, is something you do for pleasure, and cycling certainly checks that box.

However, India’s embrace of cycling has been tepid, despite its environmental and economic benefits. Sure, some regions like Karnataka and Kerala have started to promote the culture, but we’re just scratching the surface. Do you know about World Bicycle Day celebrated on June 3rd? The theme in 2022 was a heartfelt tribute to the bicycle’s enduring legacy. A day I, like many others, marked with a long ride.

Benefits Of Cycling

On my daily rides, I feel the harmony of muscles working, heart pumping, and mind relaxing. Cycling is not just physical – it’s therapeutic. Some of the benefits include:

  • Engages your entire body, from legs that peddle, core for balance, to arms gripping the handlebars.
  • Amplifies immune system efficiency by enhancing protein production and white blood cell activity.
  • Economical and accessible to everyone.
  • Bicycles curtail pollution as they’re emission-free.
  • Aids weight loss by burning calories.
  • Stimulates endorphin release, uplifting your mood.
  • Acts as a shield against grave health issues like heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, and more.

Promoting cycling could lead India towards eco-friendly development. By adopting this hobby, we contribute positively to national progress and health

Challenges of Embracing Cycling as a Hobby in India:

But, it’s not always smooth sailing. While cycling in India, I’ve faced challenges:

  • Pollution exposure: Cyclists face risks of inhaling harmful agents like carbon monoxide.
  • Inadequate cycling paths: A demand for more bike lanes, especially for beginners.
  • Time-consuming for long distances.
  • Weather constraints: Rain can make roads slippery and riskier for riders.
  • Escalating accidents due to reckless driving.
  • Bicycle thefts in the absence of stringent security.
  • Deteriorating road conditions.
  • Limited governmental backup and need for cyclist-centric laws.

Is Taking Up Cycling in India a Wise Choice?

Riding a bicycle in India can be daunting due to frequently reported mishaps. With the absence of dedicated bike lanes and overcrowded roads, safety is a concern. However, a passionate community of cyclists is pushing boundaries and promoting this hobby. If you’re pondering whether to start, step out and explore India from your bicycle.

Cycling: The Sportive Pursuit

But here’s the twist: cycling in India is not just a leisurely pursuit. It’s competitive, challenging, and every bit a sport. I’ve witnessed local cycling races, where participants train as hard as any professional athlete in other sports. Recognized by the Indian Olympic Association, Indian cyclists like Mahitha Mohan have carved a niche for themselves. Associations like the Cycling Federation of India have been tirelessly working since 1989 to promote this sport.

cycling as sport

Essential Gear for Pursuing Cycling as a Sport

Over the years, my gear collection has grown. Some essentials are:

  • Helmet: A non-negotiable for safety.
  • Cycling shoes: Ergonomic design to minimize fatigue.
  • Gloves: Enhance handlebar grip.
  • Weather-appropriate attire.
  • Professional cycling clothes for speed optimization.
  • Bamboo socks: Anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking.

Promoting Cycling in India

With escalating air and noise pollution, it’s imperative to motivate more people to ride bikes. Initiatives like short-distance bike rides, school-based competitions, and eco-camps can amplify awareness. Governmental intervention, through policy formulation and infrastructure development, can bolster this movement.

Conclusion: Cycling – Sport or Pastime?

To sport or to hobby? I’d say, why not both? Weigh the pros and cons before embarking on your cycling journey. Depending on your inclination, cycling can be both a competitive sport and a relaxing hobby in India. If you lean towards cycling as a sport, it demands investment in training, diet, and equipment. However, as a hobby, it’s more about enjoyment and exploration. The ball is in your court! And if you ask me, there’s no better way to experience India’s diverse landscapes than on two wheels.


Who came up with the idea for the Bicycle?

Karol von Drains, known as the bike’s dad, made the first big step when he built a thing with two wheels that could be steered in 1817. Want to learn more?

What should you do when riding a bike in India?

You should always follow the rules of the road and pay attention. Use your hands to show when you’re turning and ride one behind the other in the same direction as cars.

Can I lose weight if I ride a bike?

Yes, you can. But eating right is also essential to lose weight from biking. So, you should eat good food and bike often for the best results.

Why do people wear tiny hats when they bike?

The tiny hats for biking are used to keep the sun out of your eyes. When biking, you should always wear something on your head, like a little hat or a helmet.

Who shouldn’t ride a bike?

People who have hurt their knees or back. Also, people with asthma shouldn’t bike because they will breathe more air, which can make their heart beat faster and cause an asthma attack. You should talk to your doctor if you have a severe health problem like this.


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