The love, Camaraderie, Grit, Courage & Resilience Packed Wheel-O-Coast, WERC’s 600km BRM

Spread the love

The love, Camaraderie, Grit, Courage & Resilience Packed Wheel-O-Coast, WERC’s 600km BRM

BREVETS DE RANDONNEUR MONDIAUX (BRMs) are the most popular endurance cycling event worldwide. Team WERC, affiliated to the most coveted cycling bodies in the world for long-distance cycling, Audax Club Parisien (ACP) & Audax India Randonneurs (AIR), organized a 600km BRM on 22/23 January 2021.

Aptly named Wheel-O-Coast, the route took the riders all along the coast connecting the towns of Mangalore Udupi & Kundapura. The riders had to complete the 600km distance within 40hrs, after passing through various checkpoints en-route.

Hearing about a 600km ride on a bicycle, most would brush off. But the 10 daredevils, with their minds set on the Super Randonneure title, set off for a gruelling ride on the sultry Friday evening. The mix included veterans, rookies and novice riders too. The route was set up in such a way that riders had ample options for food, quick recovery & rest.

Flagging off the event at Mangala Stadium, our own Super Randonneure and the most coveted cyclist of Mangalore, Mr Shyamprasad Nayak, briefed the riders about safety, rules & few tips to survive beyond 600!!! Packed with all the essentials, right tips, good wishes and loads of energy, the riders set off down the road on their bikes.

Being a long weekend, Mangalore and the surrounding places witnessed some unusual traffic, never seen before. The first 50 km was all negotiating through the traffic. Though next 200 km to U-turn point at Shastri Circle, Kundapura and back was all through the night, the headwind and unusual humid conditions kept the riders challenging.

Joseph Pereira

Joseph Pereira, another veteran of cycling in Mangalore and a machine in human cover, who has been riding 100km on a daily basis for the past 21 days, couldn’t be seen after the flag off. He was riding on his own and covering distances without much botheration. The rest 9, were riding in groups all through the first stretch. While 2 of the riders discontinued the ride due to sleep and humid conditions, rest continued their ordeal. With time, the energy level of each rider started varying, and the group started splitting with each one finding solace in another matching his speed and temper or solo.

Rajesh

Koushik Boloor

Dr Ramaraj

Dr Ramaraj, a die-hard cyclist, who never says quit, was giving his first shot at 600. He was in such a top form and so much of ease that it appeared as if he was riding like a walk in the park!! Dr Gururaj, another passionate rider and a veteran of many BRMs was all prepared and pumped up for this 600. Navin Kotian, a speedster and a martial arts specialist, had his goals clearly set, an SR in 2021, the centenary year of BRM’s!! Sreekanth, from Kasargod, who had completed 300, 400 km rides with WERC & 200 with Calicut Pedallers, was riding for his SR title. He was so much used to the terrain that even in his sleep, he would be able to figure out the checkpoints & tea stalls. Gautham Baliga, an ultramarathoner and a techie from Bangalore, who is now stuck up in Mangalore due to WFH, wanted to test his luck at 600, as he had never attempted any ride beyond 200km. For Shemzaz, the youngest chap in the group, it was all about managing situations, whether at home, at the institution or at cycling. Despite his mother getting hospitalized, he took a chance to test his luck at 600, but not before making all arrangements at the hospital and ensuring that all is safe.

Finally, with all the ordeal, 8 riders completed the 600 km ride well within the time.

Sharing his experience, 61-year-old Cyclist, Joseph Pereira said, “Just out of my passion I have been riding 100 km on a daily basis from January 1, 2021. Of late, I had developed saddle sores and attempting a 600km BRM was a big challenge for me. Luckily, my wife Violet Pereira helped me solve the problem with homemade medicine and few consultations with Dr Eshwar Keerthi of KMC Hospital”.

Joseph, who started the ride at 5:30 pm on day 1 completed 600km and reached the finish point at 00.30 midnight on day 3. After completing the ride, the humble human being Joseph says “I dedicate this most memorable ride to my wife Violet, who made it possible. So far, this is my longest ride. I also had tremendous support from fellow riders in lifting my spirit and encouraging me to ride. I also thank Anil Shet for all the tips for long-distance rides and Vinayaka Bhatt, who had accompanied me during my second round of 180 km and helped me maintain a steady pace. Soon after Udupi on my third round, I met another rider who continued riding with me till Kota. Thanks to the organizers, Team WERC, MbC and MACC cycling clubs and all those who have directly or indirectly helped me reach this stage in cycling”.

Joseph Pereira with Team MbC at Cyclist Madhukar’s House for Breakfast

Joseph Pereira with Team MACC

Congratulating all the finishers, Koushik Boloor exclaimed, “Great show of Heart and Courage. Real inspiration all of you. I was just worried about riding in the Sun. That’s the hardest part for me … U all were awesome”.

Navin Kotian completing his ride by 5:40 am on day 3, congratulating all riders said, “some rode with passion, some with surgical precision and some absolutely for the fun sake. For me, it was all about how I could make it before 6 am and board my family car to Calicut, and here I am almost nearing Calicut. I could have as well continued with Calicut riders. Tough luck, Kaushik sir. There is always a next and wiser time. Rajesh sir – you should buy a good alarm clock next time??”.

Navin Kotian

Rajesh Nayak & Dr Gururaj

Dr Gururaj completing the ride at 6:50 am on day 3, said, “it’s a great relief and a wonderful feeling. I’m truly happy that unlike last time, this time, I could finish the ride well before time. Eventually, it’s your preparation that makes all the difference”.

Gautham Baliga

Rookie rider, but a seasoned veteran of many ultra marathons Gautham Baliga completed the ride in perfect style at 7:15 am on day 3. His preparations at the ultra marathons came handy here too. He said, “I never imagined I could complete the 600 km ride, as I have never ridden more than 200km ride in my life. This is a great experience, and I thank team WERC for organizing such a nice event”.

Sarvesh Samaga and Dr Ramaraj P N

Dr Ramaraj P N after completing his ride around 8:30 am on day 3 said, “congratulations and thank you all of you for the wonderful company, it was a great experience watching, riding, talking, cursing sore bums ?, with all of you. Thankfully, except saddle soreness, didn’t feel any other discomfort, the company took the attention away from body!! When we saw 40 hours, I thought it’s lavish, no KPT climb too, familiar highway. But when you start riding, time simply flew off ? Last round was like a race against time, from 10:30 pm Saturday onwards, super fun when you look back now…

Shyamprasad Nayak, Dhanraj Karkera, Sarvesh, Dr Ramraj & Harivajay

It was simply amazing to see the pair of Sreekanth & Shemjaz riding together, right from the flag-off until crossing over the finish line. Both Shreekanth & Shemjaz, managing their timing perfectly, reached the finish point at 9:20 am on day 3.

Shemjaz and Sreekanth

Sreekanth was ecstatic and overjoyed for having achieved the Super Randonneure title. Best wishes to Sreekanth from team WERC on this wonderful achievement. We wish you more accolades in the future.

Commenting on the pair, Dr Tilak said “Shemjaz and Sreekanth your pair fought all odds and made it in style and Sreekanth showed how a seasoned rider can motivate a fellow rider when his partner wants to quit. That’s the beauty of endurance riding wherein it teaches us to come out strong out of adversities celebrate your moments of glory”.

After the ride, Shemjaz said “Yesterday night I was riding with an angel (Sreekanth). Thank you Tilak sir, for all the arrangements, and I was so happy to see you stopping at us on the way back to Mangaluru (round 2) … From nowhere you came on your scooter and encouraged us and gave an assurance that IMA Udupi is there waiting for us if anything required. Thank you, Richie, for coming at the odd time spoiling your night so that we all could do things at ease for the round 3 Mangaluru – Kundapura – Mangaluru trip”.

Dr Tilak, a Super Randonneure, a passionate cyclist and always a go-getter man, was not only helping riders from Mangalore, but he was busy taking care of riders from Team Calicut too, who were also on the 600 km BRM mission. He summed up, “The coastal highway was buzzing with riders from Goa Calicut and WERC having their BRMs truly a positive message about cycling to the people at large”. Our sincere gratitude and we at team WERC are always grateful to your help and support.

Commenting on the event, coach Gratian Govias said, “Love the comments and the camaraderie, appears that all of you had a wonderful time. Cheers and keep the riding in high gear. Guys next is 1000 and 1200 km. Congratulations to all the participants and a huge salute to the organizers and volunteers”.

Endurance events are all about grit, courage & resilience. You will get 100 reasons to say ‘NO’, but then, what’s important is to find that one reason to say YES, that will eventually take you across the finish line. 2020 was all about a year when thousands refused to give up and emerged stronger. If there’s one lesson 2020 taught us to carry forward to 2021 – It is GRATITUDE !!

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.

Team WERC along with AIR & ACP congratulates all RANDONNEURs for taking part and completing the 600km BRM and all the volunteers and especially Dr Tilak for their wholehearted support and media for the event coverage.

WERC invites all cycling enthusiasts to visit club page at www.wercycling.com, for more information on membership, various events, rides, technical details/tips etc.


Spread the love