by Anissa Lamare
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear or read “Nagaland”? Is it the Hornbill festival or the Dzukou Valley or is it mountain biking? If you ask me, Nagaland is “the” hub for mountain biking. The state promotes cycling as a sport every single year and consistency is dialled in their books. So, how did Nagaland get here? Well, here’s a story of someone who fell in love with the sport at first sight and went on to create something better for the biking community.
Meet Atoba Longkumer, a twenty-nine-year-old who works as a Technology Consultant for Smart Cities Mission Kohima for a living but rides bikes whenever he and the boys find the time. But that’s not it, Atoba and the team went on to create a cycling club in Mokokchung Nagaland, called Trail Hounds Cycling Club. The indigenous inspired name started as a non-profit organisation solely meant to “promote and facilitate Mountain Biking in Nagaland”.
Since its inception in 2014, the club has organised downhill races every winter starting from December 4th in Kohima and then extending to December 10 in Mokokchung. Races in Nagaland became what Whistler is to people abroad and winter meant it was time to gear up for the gruelling races in the region for riders in India.
Atoba has always envisioned a healthier lifestyle with cycling and says the THCC team is “dedicated to building camaraderie around the mountain biking community”.
THCC alone have organised many races for the downhill community since 2016 and the hype for the sport is beyond words in this particular region. The Mokokchung Mountain Bike Festival, Nagaland Downhill Race, Tzudir Yimka MTB Race and King of the Hill Series were all organised fully or partly by the club.
But Atoba didn’t stop here. Having a nudge for technology, he knew there was another way to reach other mountain bikers in other regions. So, THCC YouTube Channel was started in 2016 to promote the sport through “a digital medium and to document” the riding scene in Nagaland.
Currently, the channel has received 1,85,799 views for a total of fifty-seven videos.
“We believe that mountain biking can change lives for the better and as we ride along we hope to inspire people to take up this sport as a lifestyle” - Atoba Longkumer.
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