I had never thought that I will achieve this feat in my wildest dreams. It was just about a year back, when I started cycling just to lose weight and stay fit. I purchased a “Kross K40” with my close friend Akshay Dhawan.
Back then, rides from home to India Gate used to be a big task. And those morning Inderpuri to Todapur laps helped me build my stamina big time. My target was always to cycle as much as I can till the Sun rises – without beating myself up. I increased my speed and distance with time.
On one of my visits to my Cousin Gautam Athan’s place, I saw his “Firefox Target MTB” lying unused. As he was busy giving his board exams and then with his further studies, he was gracious enough to lend me his cycle, which I exploited to the core.
Amandeep Singh, my school friend, a pro in long distance cycling has inspired me to take cycling to a different level – from fun and fitness to serious long distance riding. He invited me to ride along with his brother Lakhwinder Singh (my cycling partner in crime) with Delhi Cyclists, one of the Biggest Cycling Group in Delhi managed by Gaurav Wadhwa.
My first ride was GFR (Gurgaon Faridabad Road) and this experience – as I remember – has helped me getting mentally prepared for long distance rides. I befriended with many like-minded people in DC and cycling fraternity (WDC / NDC / EDR / DEC, etc.) and came to know more about cycling, fitness and events. The focus was on speed and stamina with my partner in Crime in the following routes:
- Pari Chowk – Mahamaya Loop
- GFR (Gurgaon Faridabad Road)
- Murthal (Amrik Sukdev)
- Manesar (Mcdonalds)
- Nehru Park Laps
- Talkatora – Ridge Road Loop
- Delhi – Neemrana – Delhi
If you ask me these are some of my favorite cycling locations in and around Delhi. Then came the Brevet experience. Lakhwinder and I decided to participate in our 1st Brevet of 200km – Delhi-Panipat-Delhi. It was a great experience to compete with pros, & complete it in 13 hrs.
It was during this period I decided to upgrade my cycle from MTB to Road Bike. My father Raghuram Ishwar did not hesitate a minute in making my dream a reality. Thus, Road Bike “Ridley Icarus Tiagra” came into my life.
Delhi International Duathlon in July was another beautiful experience of successfully combining Cycling with Running – Cycling for 27km accompanied by a 10 km run.
It was then when I came in contact with some of my all time favorite buddies Rohit Bhuttan, Harshvardhan and other members of EDR Family, who welcomed me with open hearts.Rest was a history.
August – 400km Brevet (Delhi-Ambala- Delhi) with Lakhwinder / Rohit / Harshvardhan
September – 300km Brevet (Delhi-Mathura- Delhi) with Lakhwinder / Raghav Khattar / Vaibhav
and the final 600 km Brevet (Delhi-Khanna-Delhi) with Lakhwinder / Rohit / Harshvardhan / Amit Goel / Vikas Gupta
I would like to thank EDR Family for organizing Delhi – Chandigarh – Delhi Cycling Trip just one week before the finale brevet, which gave me confidence that I can do 600 kms under 40 hrs. The thing which touched me was the team spirit of EDR during flag off and cake cutting ceremony after successful completion of SR. Thank you Avdesh Goyal, Kamal Bisht, Sourav Arora, Himanshu, Pushpinder, Sundarayal and Arpo.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank my family, especially my father for his unflinching support in my passion for cycling. Without his support, I am not sure if I would have been able to achieve this level.
My next target is to qualify & compete in 2019 “Paris-Brest-Paris” 1230 Kms. Brevet. Hope to compete in SRs every year from now including 1000 and 1200km Rides & prepare for many other cycling events.