AUDAX Centenary 200km BRM Marks 100 Glorious Years of RANDONNEURING!
Mangaluru: AUDAX event, popularly known as ‘Brevet de Randonneurs’ (BRMs) was first held by Audax Club Parisien on 1921, September 11. To celebrate this centenary brevet, a special 200km BRM ride was organised across the world, by the AUDAX affiliated clubs.
Team, WE R Cycling, an affiliate of AUDAX INDIA and authorised to organise BRMs under the banner of Audax Club Parisien, organised a 200km ride on Saturday 11 Septmber, on the picturesque coastal route.
It was a high drama until late Thursday evening, as the starting of the event itself was doubtful, due to lockdowns & curfews. Whether happening or not, should we register or wait, how do we travel on short notice, what are the protocols to follow, check with the minister’s PA, speak to administration, speak to media or someone to get some clarity, and all these uncertainties ended when the government and district administration officially announced late on Thursday evening, to end the weekend curfew and set clear guidelines for outsiders to enter the city.
After a quick briefing by team WERC Secretary Harnish Raj and a quick photography session coordinated by Violet Pereira of Mangalorean.com, the ride was flagged off by our role model for cycling & senior rider Super Randonneur, hat-trick winner of Trek India Century Challenge, Joseph Pereira and the star of Ultra Races, Dhanraj Karkera, following all the COVID protocols.
A cyclist’s attitude is never say never die and with a hope to ride a BRM after a gap of 6 months, 41 riders had registered for the ride. The startup line included the finest riders of Mangalore, Joseph sir, Shyam sir, Navin, Dheeraj, Ashok, Harivijay, Dr Ramraj, Anees, Muqthar, Dr Gururaj, Sreekanth, Shivananda, Gautham, riders from Kasaragod and Bangalore.
Interestingly, the event also saw 16-year-olds and gen-next in Arnav and Tejas, who were riding their first-ever BRM with their parents!! and young guns in Bhargav, Rajat and Sandeep, who kick-started their BRM journey, with the centenary BRM.
While 40 riders set off from the start, a couple of riders opted out of the ride due to personal emergencies and helped the team in organising the event at the start point.
Whatever is the season, a BREVET ride in the coastal region, is always filled with surprises, challenges and this one was no different!! Indeed it was tough on riders in terms of last-minute preparation, handling of harsh weather conditions of scorching heat, humidity, headwind and rains too, unusual traffic from Kulur to Kankanady, demanding that extra effort to manoeuvre!!
To commemorate this event, specially designed medals are being brought from Audax Club Parisien France and would be distributed to all those riders who have finished the ride in time and have opted for it.
Let’s hear out from the riders themselves about their thrilling experiences.
Shyamprasad Nayak – “Congratulations to all the riders. On AUDAX record, you guys now are all part of the history!! What a momentous day for cycling”
Sreekanth VN – “Hats off to team WERC for conducting the event so smooth and rider-friendly. Even though the route was pretty familiar to most of the riders, things change when we are facing with some additional garnishings. Headwind, Rain, Heat, City traffic.. an incredible cocktail. The ride went on smooth for the first half but the second half was a bit challenging due to these factors. But I am pretty sure every rider enjoyed every moment in this ride.. especially the maiden randonneurs. Big helmets off to them. For our group of 8 riders from Kasargod, it was truly memorable.”
Rajath Shenoy – “It’s a privilege for me to ride with such experienced riders. Met so many people”.
Navin Kotian – Congratulations to all BRM riders. I am sure all of us have gone back with a rich experience that will help us improve as a cyclist. I personally had many lessons today, how one can complete a BRM even if I was riding for the 1st time after 6 months, almost as a fresh cyclist and how much it is important to have saddle time on a regular basis even for most seasoned cyclists. Many thanks to my co-riders and event organizers”.
Muqthar – “I totally dedicate this brevet ride to my co-rider, Dhiraj Venkat aka Cosmos. It was he who kept me moving till the end, as we were racing against time and all those harsh conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and would like to thank WeRC for organising this historic event and giving us a chance to participate. Thanks to @Dr. Tilak Chandra Pal maam for the support. My wishes to all the finishers of the centenary ride.”
And finally ARNAV VIJETH, the boy who completed the 200km ride, despite all the challenges. – “Being my first BRM ride, I was pretty excited and scared as well, right from the previous night. But, I put aside all those and went to the starting point. There I met all the seasoned cyclists of Mangalore. I was excited to know that me and Tejas Rao, were the youngest one to do this ride!! Until Udupi the ride was amazing I was riding with Bhargav K and talking about cars, YouTube and many other stuff. After 11 am, I was riding alone at my own pace and saw Joseph Pereira sir, returning back, I was wondering ‘does he have legs of steel’! I was constantly getting support from my fellow cyclists, my fans and followers like “come on bro 100more to go you can do it”.
“My return journey was all the more challenging. I tried joining the trains of seasoned cyclists but couldn’t follow through, as my energy was dipping. I started taking breaks every 10kms. After crossing Udupi I saw a few fellow riders outside a restaurant and checked in to have something. I absolutely destroyed my pav bhaji and then left for the final assault”.
“On my way, few riders encouraged me and said ‘your pace is really good man see you at Taj. When I reached near Surathkal one of my spoke broke and I was devastated and unknowingly tears started rolling down my eyes!! So near, yet so far, I was just 20km away from the finish. My mom came to console me, but my dad who was riding behind me gave me his bike and said ‘son, get on to my bike and complete your ride, you deserve this more than me’, damn, this is some serious action movie stuff!! I rode to the finish point along with Muqthar to complete my first ever 200km ride. Huge thanks to everyone for motivating me and pushing me to the finish”
Final words from the father, Dhiraj Venkat himself – “Awesome Magana, Your 1st BRM @ 16 years of age! What a way to finish. I am sure this ride is etched in your memory and of course, it was like some action movie stuff. You are building wonderful childhood memories.”
Team WERC along with AIR & ACP congratulates all RANDONNEURs for taking part and completing the 200km Centenary BRM. Our sincere gratitude to all the volunteers for quick legwork to make this event rolling, Violet Pereira from mangalorean.com for never-ending backup and media coverage, Mubeen and his battalion from Taj Cycles for event support and the entire WERC management team, in getting involved in this centenary ride.
BREVETS DE RANDONNEUR MONDIAUX (BRMs) are rides of fixed distances that are to be completed within specified time limits, having successfully passed through pre-determined time controls. The recognition is equal regardless of finishing order! Each rider, who finishes the event within the cut-off time is awarded a certificate and a medal directly from ACP. Moreover, the rider will get a step closer to become a Super Randonneur and an opportunity to take part in one of the oldest and most coveted cycling events in the world, the Paris Brest Paris event, held in France once every 4 years.
WERC invites all cycling enthusiasts to visit the club page at www.wercycling.com, for more information on membership, various events, rides, technical details/tips etc.