Piyush Chavan: Bringing Awesomeness to Downhill Racing in India
‘Of all the paths you take in life make sure some of them are dirt’ and Piyush has taken this quite literally. Piyush Chavan is that guy who will make your normal life feel a tad bit dull. He has achieved so much at his age that it is almost difficult to not be in awe of him!
Piyush Chavan, the Pro Downhill Racer
PC: Utkarsh Rao Photography
This is a 19-year-old boy who loves Downhill Racing and has been riding for 8 years now, almost since he was 11 years of age! It all started when he did not get selected in the football team of his choice and finally found his calling in Downhill Mountain Biking. This is how he chooses to put it:
“I thought Mount Biking was much more broader than running behind a ball in a field. That gave me the motivation to explore and push on my bike.”
So much in love with the sport that he is, Piyush Chavan has been a part of several national and international competitions.
He started professionally racing in 2011 when he did his first international race in Nepal and secured 19th position. In 2014 he won the Himalayan DH Race, considered one of the most wicked and crazy bike races in India. He also got an opportunity to participate in the British Cycling MTB Downhill Series and has won the Asia Pacific DH challenge in Men’s Open, Bangalore Bicycle Championships (BBCH), Goa International MTB challenge and Asia Pacific DH challenge ELITE.
PC: Utkarsh Rao
Along with pursuing the sport that he loves, Piyush Chavan also trains and holds camps across the city for those interested in Downhill Racing and want to pursue it on a professional level.
An insight into the races he has participated :Bangalore Bicycle Championships
The Bangalore Bicycle Championships (BBCh) are bicycle racing championships for amateurs, organised by professionals modelled on an international format. Each race-day, they have an average of about 80 competitors, semi-pros flying in from Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Mumbai to compete, tons of volunteers and spectators.
British Cycling MTB Downhill Series
British Cycling's National Downhill Mountain Bike Series - The BDS is the most prestigious International Series in the World.
Himalayan DH Race
Called as "The Most Wicked Mountain Bike Race of India”, this race has defined mountain biking in India. It has participants from countries like Nepal, Italy etc. This year they will race in Shimla in April.
Asia Pacific DH challenge
This race is held in Bali, Indonesia. The 2013 and 2014 Asia Pacific Downhill Challenges sent a message to the world that Bali was the place to race and saw many top riders such as Troy Brosnan, Tracey Hannah, Remi Thirion and Wyn Masters make the trek to participate alongside hundreds of local and international riders
Goa International MTB challenge
This is a multi-stage cross country race which comprised a three-stage intensive cycling event in Panaji, Goa.
What is Downhill Mountain Biking
A separate genre in Mountain Biking, this is one crazy sport. Downhill Mountain Biking is done on steep, rough terrain. It features some crazy drops, jumps and many more other obstacles which are either natural or are manmade on the trails.
Downhill Biking requires strength and quick reflexes. This prevents riders from losing control and falling from their downhill mountain bikes. Much practice is needed from easy courses to rougher and crazier ones in order to excel in the sport.
Mountain Biking started during the 1970s in California, USA. Mount Tamalpais, known as Mt. Tam, is widely considered as the origin of Mountain Biking. The first Downhill Race took place in California in the 1970s and since then has evolved by leaps.
Check out Piyush's Video here