Diary Of A Super Randonneur – Dr Gururaj Krishnamurthy
While challenges build character, discomfort leads to evolution and this is exactly what a RANDONNEUR experiences in one way or the other during a BRM.
Welcome to this world of RANDONNEURING, a long-distance, non-competitive & self-sufficient, endurance cycling with rides of 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km and 1000 km called Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRMs) or popularly known as BREVETS. Participation in randonneuring events is part of a long tradition that goes back to the beginning of the sport of cycling in the early 19th century in France and Italy. Friendly camaraderie and perseverance are the hallmarks of RANDONNEURING.
While Audax Club Parisien (ACP) is the international governing body for randonneuring that administers and oversees the conduct of BRMs worldwide, in India it is done under the banner of AUDAX India Randonneur (AIR).
Team WE R Cycling in association with both ACP & AIR is bringing the world’s oldest cycling event into this coastal city, through BRMs, each month. Team, WE R Cycling president Sarvesha Samaga, speaking to our correspondents said “until the beginning of this season, Mangalore has seen 16 riders fighting through all the odds to earn the coveted title, the SUPER RANDONNEUR!! Well, the season 2020-21 is seeing a major shift to endurance riding with more and more riders taking a shot at the titles of RANDONNEUR & SUPER RANDONNEUR”.
Team mangalorean.com caught up with all the 5 riders who accomplished SUPER RANDONNEUR title in the season 2020-21. We bring down a short memoir of each riders cycling adventure, as part of our online web series, dedicated to these superhumans.
Dr Gururaj Krishnamurthy: Journey towards SR (super Randonneur) title – 200, 300, 400 and 600 km Brevets in a season
Though I was doing a lot of cycling during my student life, I literally stopped all sorts of physical exercises in 2003 due to a freak accident while playing cricket, which prevented me from bending. But the year 2015 (2nd half) – 2016- 17 changed me completely. Lack of exercise created a heavy toll on my body, both physically and mentally.
I started my cycling again with an MTB with motivation from My close friend Allen Lewis of Bike Farm of Kallianpur. At that time, I was not aware of Strava as well, which I came to know in the 2nd half of 2017. By then, I was riding solo, covering about 100kms on weekends.
I then joined UCC under the guidance of Regan D’Silva and was doing group rides on Sunday’s. I met most of our stalwart riders in my 1st group ride from Manipal to Panambur but never tried night rides. Dr Ramaraj sir was the 1st one who advised me to take up Roadbiking for endurance, and Mr Mubeen added the flavour.
Dr Tilak sir propelled me to do the brevets, starting with a 200 brevet in 2018. Dr Rajesh Bhaktha and Narayan Nayak sir guided me with correcting my flaws. Rajesh Nayak sir was always ready with his most practical tips, making all the difference in my ride.
To err is humane, I neglected a few niggles in my body and went for 600 brevets. I made major mistakes in those brevets, which I realised later, but after that, turmoil started as I couldn’t ride nor do any exercises for a year, where I put on a hell of a lot of weight till 140kg.
*There is never a wrong time to do the right things. Once I recovered, though not fully, at the beginning of 2020, I set my goals clear that spending quality time on the saddle is the only medicine for everything.
Never let anyone define your limits – Practice is the key…
But came the blockade – lockdown.. which I utilised for strengthening my body. Later I increased the intensity of pedalling. When the season 2020 – 21 started with the 300 brevet I was skeptical, as I never did 300 but rather was hoping to start with the 200. If we focus on what we left behind, we will never see what lies ahead.
I got a nice friend Naveen Kotian sir, in the form of a mentor, who guided me all through the brevets, due to which my overall performance excelled. Big salute with huge gratitude to you, sir. My fellow riders – Joseph Periera sir – whom I admire a lot – showed me what perseverance and Mental strength means. Dr Ramaraj sir helped me to adopt the “Never Say Quit attitude.” Sarvesh sir, always with his cool and friendly demeanour – inspired me a lot. Rajesh Nayak sir was there, always motivating me. I Never forget the fun-filled Shemjaaz and Shreekanth. How can I forget Anees, Ajay Singh, Amit Maliye, Dr Syed, Ravichandra Udupa sir, Ravindra Rao sir – who were my Corridors during the present brevets. With these stalwarts, I was enjoying the rides thoroughly, which made the task easier.
With these stalwarts, I was enjoying the rides thoroughly, which made the task easier. I remain grateful to Shyam sir, Harivijay, Dheeraj Cosmos Sir, Brijesh sir, Dr Prakash Kumsi and a whole bunch of Udupi & Mangalore riders with whom I did my previous seasons’ brevets. Huge Thanks to Nithin & Dhanraj Sir for helping me out at the crucial moment.
More than anything else, I am deeply indebted to my wife Anupama & daughters Srishti & Sthuthi, who tolerated me with my Cycling. In fact, we all did riding during the lockdown period around our home.
A person who never makes a mistake will never try anything new – I learnt most after committing a few mistakes but was firmly resolved to achieve my goal. With huge respect and gratitude, I salute all my fellow riders at Udupi and Mangalore, with whom I learnt a lot & could complete the SR series comfortably.
Kudos to all my fellow Riders of this season who attained the SR title. SR title is just a namesake, and the Most satisfying achievement is when I dropped to sub 90kg from 140kg. Still, a lot to learn. Now onus has increased. Let’s Enjoy and Continue Riding Safely.
- Diary Of A Super Randonneur – Dr Shemjaz Arakkal Maniyat
- Diary of a Super Randonneur – Dr Ramraj
- Riders Brace Through Heat, Humidity And Strong Winds To Finish 300km & 200km AUDAX BRMs