My earliest interest in cycling started not by looking a Tour de France champion or those BMX Hollywood movies. It’s a 70+ old man in my village, a very wealthy landlord, who would cycle many kilometers to his farm daily. My dad would always praise him and somehow it stuck to me that cycling is the route to success!!
During schooling, must like the rest of the kids, I rode to school everyday. It was the traditional postman cycle. Strangely, there was no style war and no one showed off by getting expensive cycles.
It changed big time when I joined college. While I did have a cycle, it was no match to the Yamahas and Ind Suzukis. You can’t really take your girlfriend ‘doubles’ on your cycle for a date, can you?! So, mostly it was dumped under the staircase of my hostel to rust away.
Things began to change majorly after I started working. I started taking keen interest in sports, sparked of by our rowing successes at the Madras Boat Club. To keep fit, I would cycle to the club every day and after rowing, I would cycle to office. Cumulatively, I was cycling 22 kilometers a day and did this for many years.
Unlike in College, I actually prided coming to office everyday in a cycle. People would actually look up to me and that would give me the kicks.
I underwent a few long distance rides and things were looking up until I turned an entrepreneur and set up an office a stone’s throw from my home. My daily commute to office, which was my only source of cycling and exercise, turned into a hop-skip away to my office.
After many years, I’m taking an active interest to getting back to fitness and cycling is back!