Flatland in India - Gear BMX Shop

imageWhere is the shop located?

Rahul: Our shop is located in Mumbai, India. We are in Bandra, a very happening place in Mumbai.

Dipak: Bandra is an awesome place for a shop.

Your opening hours?

Dipak: 11am till 8m, Monday - Saturday.

Since when does the shop exist?

Rahul: Since 3 months now.

And how many people work there?

Rahul: Just the two of us! We do have a few others, who look after the bank work.

When did you decide to open a BMX shop and how were the developments from that point on?

Rahul: Wanting to open a shop has been a thought in my minds for many years now. It was difficult to get bike co´s to understand that we are just starting out, and that there are no other brands for bmx available, and that we would need to test the market with a few bikes, rather than buy a huge quantity. Fortunately, Eastern Bikes and WETHEPEOPLE understood us, and we are now representing them in India.

imageWhat is your range of products?

Rahul: We have Eastern Bikes and WETHEPEOPLE bmx. Serfas accessories, 661 protection.

Can you make a living of the shop or do you have to work something else besides the shop?

Rahul: As of now, i am financing the shop from my other business.

What kind of customers do you have?

Rahul: We get kids and youngsters eager to ride bmx, with a gleam in their eyes, and hope in their minds that someday they will ride these bikes. We also get older guys, looking for a bike to ride around town or to the store , to stay in shape. Some bmxers do come in for parts, but more people who rode bmx in the good old days!

Dipak: Ah! The best part. I meet riders and customers from all ages, people who were the first riders ever from TEAM RADICOOL (Rahul´s gang back in the late 80´s and 90´s). Then people who knew about the sport, but didn´t know where to get the right bike from. Some really talented youngsters. The customers that we come across are not necessarily people who ride a bmx, it´s everyone. From people who need replacment detangler cables, to the people who don´t know what bmx stands for, but always wanted to ride a bmx and were paused because of no proper guidance.
When did you guys started to ride bmx/flatland?

Rahul: Circa 1987.

Dipak: I started riding a bmx in 1998.

What was the first time you heard from bmx/flatland?

Rahul: Freestyling Mag in June 1986.

How big is the flatland scene in your city?

Rahul: It was huge when i rode seriously, back in 1990. We were a group of 10-15, and there was a rival group the other side of town.

Dipak: It´s not all that big here, handful of people take flatland real serious. We´re doing the stuff what you guys were doing back in the 80´s and 90´s. But some of us are in the newschool gig. We are like say 10 riders.

What kind of spots do you have?

Rahul: No spots really, we just ride in public places, at odd times like early in the morning.

Dipak: I dont have a proper spot anywhere. I ride at Mumbai´s two most popular waterfronts, marine drive and worli seaface. Where every now and then i get kicked out by the people who come for jogging, or the cops on patrol.

imageHow do people react when they see you riding?

Rahul: They used to have mixed reactions back in the day ... either amazement that we could do that stuff on a bike, or they poked fun at us, called us circus acts.

Dipak: Well ... it´s different from everyone´s point of view, some people really really admire what i do. They stop every time they see me riding. And even sometimes help me deal with cops, if the situation gets out of the hand. And then there are people who make fun of me, they even come up to me asking if i´m from the circus or something. I have my music along so i don´t actually hear what some stupid people have to say.

Where did you buy your bmx parts before you opened the shop?

Rahul: Online, at Albe´s and Dan´s.

Dipak: I used to and still buy parts from Rahul, not buying exactly, he kind of sponsors me most of the stuff.

How do you think will the flatland scene in your city and country develop in the future?

Rahul: We are aiming to change all that. We will hold contests, shows, training camps, that will help promote the sport. There are more people into bmx than ever before in India. We need a central body or association to streamline contests. Just more awareness about the sport would help.

Dipak: We at Gear are always committed on making Mumbai a better place for BMX. Since the shop has opened i have seen a heck lot of new people coming in and asking about the sport. AWARENESS is the key to the "CHANGE". We are and have been promoting BMX flatland by doing street performances, small jams, freestyle contests and plain riding sessions at the waterfront, exhibitions, commercials, films and a lot of corporate events.

2008-09-27 - Lisa