The aim of the event, a first for the country, was to popularize mountain biking, especially among white-collar workers in big cities, Mohit Sood, president of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) which organized the event said.

Sood said that the training session involved audio-video sessions, theory sessions and practical demonstrations. The riders were guided on to some jeep tracks and single tracks around Kufri, a picturesque resort, located 13 km away from the state capital, he said.

The Shimla-based HASTPA every year also organizes the Hercules MTB Himachal Expedition, considered one of toughest in the world. This year, it is holding the ninth edition of the off-road event from Sep 27 to Oct 3. Sood said in the mountain biking training camp, the bikers were told about safety tips, use of machines and maintenance of their cycles during the expedition".

Portuguese rider Luis Canto Moniz, who is the Ferrari India general manager and local riders Devender Thakur and Gurman Reen gave tips to the bikers about the sport. "I am happy that such events are picking up speed in India. It's quite popular in Europe, North America and Canada. Himachal's terrain offers the most challenging environment in the Himalayas," Moniz said.

(Agencies)

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