Tuesday 23 December 2014
Dream to Reality of Ultra Cycling
(Subhajyoti Sen Sharma is the co-founder of Discover on Wheels, the first cycling club in Kolkata. In this short piece, he comes up with his thoughts after completing 600 km brevet on December 21, 2014)
At last, one dream has come true, but it was not easy to realise either.
When i started cycling at a very tender age, it was a dream to be a good cyclist. With time, i changed my focus to make myself a better and better cyclist. Earlier, i used to ride in the morning but without any aim — just like a bird on wings. Later, i realised that i should change it to build on stamina and endurance that would make me a better long-distance cyclist in the future.
Besides the on-track practice, i started getting in touch with international and national-level riders. I used to get tips on hydration, on-saddle nutrition, riding skills, building stamina and endurance among others.
Since i've already passed my prime, it might be difficult for me to join any pro-racing team but that did not deter me from dreaming! When i completed my first 200 km brevet in Hyderabad in July, my conviction of being an ultra cyclist rooted deep in me. Coming back to Kolkata from Hyderabad, i started focusing on endurance training.
I learned that ultra cycling is not only a game on saddle and pedals — it's all about mental strength and unlimited recovering capacity to boost yourself, motivate yourself, gain over ache all over the body. And, all this is enough to distract yourself from the right track and make one a normal person. But i had one goal: ultra cyclist. How can i give up when my bike dusted hundreds of kilometres already? No, there's no second option but to pedal on!
On a chilly winter night, I participated in 600km brevet in Kolkata. I started pedalling at 00.30am from City Centre, Kolkata to Soro in Odisha. And, obviously, there was the return loop also. I pedalled on for the whole night with Sudipto Pal and Rahul Pasari.
After 240km, I was very tired thinking to quit also. But i motivated myself that i have to cover more than 300km. That's what an ultra cyclist does! At the end of 39 hours, when i came back to Kolkata again, i thought that i would die of sleep deprivation! But the thought of death germinated the birth of a new being: ultra cyclist.
But it was just a beginning, as i hope to be Super Randonneur soon and later crack the RAAM one day.