Caught in a vicious cycle? Faisal Thakur and Zubair Lodi can make it meaner.
Bicycle technician and designer respectively, these wheel whisperers recently set up a studio called Pro9 in Bandra, where they spend all day modifying cycles, selling regular bikes and creating new ones from scratch. Nights are reserved for group rides around the neighbourhood. Law a-riding citizens!
The main aim of Pro9 – “besides making cycling fun” – is to help you find a bicycle that fits. In that sense, visiting this secret space, even for a regular, non-tripped out ride, is like going to a tailor. Your weight and height will first be measured (no waist, so quit sucking your stomach in), age chronicled, and finally, a shiny new bike (they sell varied brands) presented. Also, they recommend that your budget start at Rs 10,000 to ensure quality control and reduce frequent trips to the mechanic.
Besides initiating people into the world of cycling, Faisal and Zubair also build machines from scratch. They recently did an art cycle that came with a detachable canvas as a back rest, a pull out palette and graffiti ladder strap-on. Space cadets can ask for the Alien - an extra long silver bike with attached telescope. “Our most recent creation is a bicycle that looks like a Harley. The only thing missing is an engine,” says Faisal. This kind of overhaul requires deep pockets (starting at Rs 40,000), but simpler modifications like changing grips, pedals, handlebars are also offered.
With Your Laptop Riding Pillion
Spend some time at this canary yellow studio and you’ll realise that Faisal and ir treat Pro9 less like a business and more like a civic goal. They often talk of spreading cycling awareness, working with NGOs and changing government policy. Besides running the Carter Road Cyclists group that meets every day at 9.30 pm for abovementioned night rides, they also encourage people to cycle to work – they can add iPad, laptop carriers to your bike – and provide special corporate maintenance packages. “The high you get when you overtake peak traffic is something else,” smiles Faisal.
Pro9 also shares trade secrets on bike maintenance on three conditions: “hang around long enough at the studio, bring us a good cup of tea and indulge our guru-like sermons,” says Zubair.
Tour de Four with Faisal and Zubair
If we could build you anything: An adventure bike tricked out with tent space, GPS, music system, mobile charger and mini barbeque set. We’ve done this before!
If we could take you anywhere in Mumbai: We’d go along the Western Express Highway for a long, uninterrupted ride. Or the picturesque Manori-Gorai stretch reached by the Versova jetty.
If we could tell you anything: An NGO is planning a cycle-only path at BKC and trying to map out one along Santacruz, Khar and Bandra. Also, did you know that Salman Khan has 12 super cycles?
If we could get the government to implement one thing: Allow folding bikes on BEST buses.
Getting there: Pro9 Bicycle Studio, Shirley Rajan Road, off Carter Road, lane next to Cinnabon, Bandra (W), call 9833964439.