Looking for Parsi Cyclists and their Stories


I am currently based in London, pursuing a postgraduate degree in Critical Writing for Art and Design at Royal College of Art. For one of my research projects, I have chosen to write about With Cyclists Round the World. As you may know, this travelogue narrates the experiences of Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola, and Rustom Bhumgara – three Parsis who travelled the globe on push bikes from 1923 to 1928. Your website provided some articles that proved helpful to my enquiry. Amongst them, one mentioned a Sports scholarship, named after the trio and awarded by the Parsi Panchayat of Vadodara. And another was Mr. Ervad Marzban Hathiram’s article for the Times of India (2002).

Here are the links for your reference:

https://zoroastrians.net/2017/06/15/scholarships-from-parsi-panchayat-vadodara/

https://zoroastrians.net/2014/12/16/around-the-world-in-53-months/

I have been studying the said travel account at the British Library, where a copy of the first edition is available. Additionally, I have ploughed through the archives of The Times of India to get relevant material. In the newspaper, the journey received much attention but surprisingly the book finds little mention. So, I would be grateful if you could connect me with their families or any other knowledgeable source that can provide further information about these men and the publishing history of the book.

To me, their accomplishment deserves to be studied, celebrated, and brought to the attention of global audiences. And I hope you will extend a helping hand in my humble effort to do so.

Here is further information on the expedition and the book, including individuals and institutions that link to this topic in some way –
About the expedition
Cyclists: Adi Hakim, Jal Bapasola, Rustom Bhumgara*, Gustad Hathiram, Nariman Kapadia, Keki Pochkhanawala
The expedition was undertaken from 1923 to 1928
The cyclists were Bombay Pioneers (of the British Indian Army).
They were members of the Bombay Weightlifting Club, Bombay YMCA Cycling Touring Club, and the Cyclists Touring Club of London
Amongst others, Mr. G K Nariman, Sir Hormusji Adenwalla, Sir Hormusji Wadia greatly helped the enterprise
And lastly, upon their return, they were given grand receptions by Messrs, Little and Co., Bombay Students Brotherhood, Bombay Boy Scouts Association, and the Young Men’s Parsi Association to name a few
In these years, the Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League was an important organisation for sporting endeavours in general. And as of 2017, the Parsi Panchayat of Baroda has announced a Sports scholarship in their honour.
*Rustom became a political activist after returning and served two terms in prison.
About the book
With Cyclists Round the World was first published in 1931
Authored by: Adi Hakim, Gal Bapasola, Rustom Bhumgara
Printed by: Rustomji Dossabhoy Shroff, at J N Petit Parsi Orphanage, Captain Printing Works, Lalbaug, Bombay
Published by: Adi B Hakim, Shera House, Parsi Colony, Dadar
The book was republished in 2008 by Roli Books as With Cyclists Around the World
Copyrights for this are owned by Darayous Adi Hakim and Roda Darayous Hakim (Adi Hakim’s son and daughter-in-law)
Historian Esther David has contributed to this edition
I have intentionally outlined an extensive list because any kind of input on any of these sources will be helpful.
In particular, I am looking for biographical information about the cyclists and the book’s publishing history.
I can be contacted through email or phone –

 

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your consideration.

Warm Regards,

Niyoshi Shah

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One thought on “Looking for Parsi Cyclists and their Stories

  1. ASPI BAMANJI AMBAPARDIWALA says:

    There are 3-4 Parsi cyclists in Navsari. One of them Mr Bomi Jagirdar who is a school principal had gathered too many records. I think you will get a good story as well as a best person

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