Mangalore Riders Bid Adieu to their Team Member Top Cop Shashi Kumar IPS
- The Mangalore Rider’s schedule of cycling at 4 in the morning came to an end today, and the riders bid an emotional farewell to their favourite cyclist friend with tears in their eyes. Although the commissioner cycled with the Mangalore riders for only 50 days, the memories they created will be cherished for a lifetime. To outsiders, the riders’ intense passion for cycling, coupled with the commissioner’s eccentric cycling attitude, might have seemed bizarre, but the commissioner’s accomplishments in the past 50 days are no small feat. He inspired the riders with his “never say die” attitude, even cycling all the way to Shivamogga one night. What started as a 50 km ride often turned into a 100 or 200 km journey, fuelled by their shared passion.
- As the captain of the cycling ship moves to greater heights, being transferred to Bangalore, we wish him all the best for his professional stint at the railways. Although the young cyclists in Mangalore will miss their dear captain, they hope to see him return as IG in the near future.
Mangaluru: Quoting Albert Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ever since Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar who has a great passion for cycling and has been enjoying this hobby of pedalling for fun and glory, this sport has kept him moving for a better life, and after he had met a group of enthusiastic Cyclists in Mangaluru, the ‘Mangalore Riders’, a few months ago his interest in Cycling grew much stronger, and his relationship with ‘Mangalore Riders’ teammates also became intimate, and the Cycling spirit continued in full swing.
One should know that IPS officer and smart and energetic N Shashi Kumar never lets any reason or excuse stop him from doing something that he finds productive. So when he decided to pick up his bicycle and ride around the City, neither the long distance nor the scorching heat of the sun could stop him from doing so. Mostly, all of us ignore healthy daily regimes by simply making an excuse for our “busy schedules”, stating that we don’t have the time to take care of our own health because of the amount of work piled for us to complete. But such was not the case with our Top Cop who rode his bicycle along with a bunch of members of ‘Mangalore Riders’ every day in the morning despite having a genuinely busy and hectic schedule ahead of his cycling spree. And his main inspiration, as he says, was Pro-Cyclist 63-year-old Joseph Pereira who motivated and convinced him to take up this sport seriously, which he never regrets.
The Police Commissioner did not just cycle his way for the sake of being fit and healthy, but he actually enjoyed it. Whenever he got a little dollop of free time in his hands, he simply put on his helmet, picked up his bicycle and went cycling and exploring the city of Mangaluru. Having met the ‘Mangalore Riders’ team and continuing with that adventurous sport, this is what Shashi Kumar had to say, “Learning to ride a bike is one of childhood’s rites of passage. And they say that once you learn, you never forget. But just because you knew how to steer an Atlas or Fieldstar in grade school doesn’t mean you’re going to be entirely comfortable hitting the road as an adult cyclist, particularly if it means riding in city traffic. I am happy that I took up this sport so seriously which has brought many changes in my lifestyle, and I am happy that I met the ‘Mangalore Riders’ team to make a difference”.
Now that the time has come for Shashi Kumar to leave this City to take up a new post in Bengaluru, it is very hard to believe that the fun-loving, jovial, easy-going and very keen on cycling will be leaving the company of his Cycling team. A very friendly, easily approachable and down-to-earth person who has been transferred to Bengaluru as DIG of Railways, and the Cyclists who were peddling with him every day at 4 am will miss him very dearly. So in order to bid “Adieu”, “Sayonara”, and “Goodbye” to a great friend, a felicitation programme was held at the Commissioner’s residence on Saturday, 25 February.
A group of dedicated cyclists, who met each day on weekdays to ride together, gathered at the residence of Shashi Kumar to bid him farewell with a heavy heart and reminisce about their experiences cycling with him.
Dr Santhosh Rai, a fellow cyclist, welcomed the gathering and shared his thoughts on Shashi Kumar, saying, “Despite his tough exterior, it is clear from his eyes that he is a kind-hearted and gentle human being. He was not only a great leader but also a wonderful friend to all of us.”
The citation on behalf of Mangalore Riders was read by Gleonnangel, while the citation on behalf of Mangalorean.com was read by Alfie D’Souza. Shashi Kumar was felicitated by Violet Pereira, Anil Shet, Dr Santhosh Rai, Joseph Pereira and other cyclists.
During the felicitation ceremony, Hemasagar, a cyclist from Mysuru, shared his experience of meeting Shashi Kumar. He recounted, “Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Shashi Kumar during my early morning ride from Tannirbavi. I greeted him and asked for his name, to which he replied ‘Shashi Kumar’. When I inquired about his occupation, he humbly stated that he worked for the government in the police department. I then asked about his position, to which he responded that he was the Police Commissioner of Mangaluru. He then asked me where I was from and when I replied ‘Mysuru’, he said with a smile, ‘That’s why you don’t know much about me’. I was impressed by his modesty. It was a pleasure to meet such a humble and down-to-earth person, and I am here today to wish him all the success in his future endeavours.”
Anil Shet, the President of Mangalore Cycling Club (MACC), expressed his heartfelt appreciation for Shashi Kumar, saying that he was always ready to provide valuable advice and suggestions whenever he was approached. He went on to say that Shashi Kumar’s departure will be greatly felt by the cycling community and that he wished him nothing but the best for his future endeavours.
During the event, Cyclist Sambhav shared his heartfelt thoughts and memories about his experience with Shashi Kumar. He began by mentioning that he had never interacted with any government officials or high-ranking officers during his childhood. Shashi Kumar was the first Police commissioner he had met and spent time with for the past 50 days. Sambhav expressed that he had a great time and learned a lot from Shashi Kumar’s cycling attitude and dedication. The experience was so inspiring that it transformed his sleeping schedule. Previously, he used to sleep at 5 am and wake up at noon, but after meeting Shashi Kumar, he started waking up at 3 am and going to bed at 9 pm. Sambhav concluded by saying that this experience with Shashi Kumar would always be cherished and remembered for the rest of his life.
In his felicitation speech, Shashi Kumar expressed his gratitude to the cycling enthusiasts of Mangalore city. He shared that he had bought a cycle two years back to ride around in Bengaluru during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he stopped cycling after only two months and had not found the time to cycle in Mangalore until two months ago. He thanked Joseph Pereira for motivating him to join the Mangalore Riders and acknowledged the commitment and dedication of Gleonna, who came from Kuloor, and Sambhav, who came from Bejai, to join him at his residence at 4 am every day to start their ride. “A couple of times I sent them back after they waited for me for an hour, but that didn’t stop them, that is the spirit of Mangalore Riders,” he said.
Shashi Kumar continued, “Cycling is not just a physical activity, it’s a mental activity as well. In two months, I have peddled 200 km twice. Every day we cycle around 60 km which is not a short distance. I should say something about Joseph Pereira being one of the fastest cyclists in Mangalore; his speciality is that he peddles behind the slowest cyclists, which is literally impossible. My sister also started cycling and cycles around 60 km daily. In the beginning, she was struggling but now cycles confidently. Many were saying that there are very good cycling clubs in Bengaluru, but I can bet that such a cycling team like Mangalore Riders is nowhere in the state. Once again, I want to thank you all for the wonderful memories and experiences.”
Shashi Kumar further said, “I firmly believe that the strength of a chain is decided by its weakest link, so the weakest link should be strengthened. I appreciate all the members of Mangalore Riders, and I urge all cyclists to unite and make cycling successful. Women are going for night rides, and the women cyclists are very confident because their co-riders are taking good care of them. Our IGP is also interested in cycling, and I want the Mangalore Riders to accompany him. We cycled to most of the places in Mangaluru, and I have shown many places to the cyclists. Joseph Pereira is a man of few words, and every day, when we start cycling, I ask him where we should go. His answer is always, “wherever you say.” Cycling has helped me a lot; I lost 5 kgs in 2 months. So, I wish all the riders the very best and thank them for the love they have showered upon me. I will always cherish these moments.”