Randonneuring in Goa comes of age as Goan bikers complete BRM1200 ride

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~ 10 Goan cyclists clocked 1,200 km from Goa to Kanyakumari in 90 hours braving dehydration, blazing sun, harsh winds to complete the ride ~

~ 10 Goan cyclists now qualify to participate in the PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) event held annually in Europe, wherein over 6,000 riders from all over the world take part ~

 

 

Goa Khabar: Braving strong headwinds, a blazing hot sun and perils of dehydration, 10 Goan randonneurs cycled from Goa to Kanyakumari – a distance of 1,200 km – in the stipulated 90 hours, as part of the ‘BRM1200’, a globally recognised endurance ride organised by the TriGoa Foundation, which kicked off on January 24.

 

The randonneurs, who are essentially cyclists who have officially completed any BRM (Brevet de Randonneur Mondeaux) ride with a minimum distance of 200 km, reached their destination in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on January 28 at 3am, within the time stipulated by the international rules of ACP (Audax Club Parisien).

 

This was the first attempt by each of the riders to pedal a distance of 1,200 km. Their longest ride prior to the BRM1200, was a 600 km Brevet de Randonneur Mondeaux (BRM) which they had completed as part of the Super Randonneur (SR) series.

 

Explained organiser Rajesh Malhotra, “An SR, in cycling terminology is used to describe any cyclist who has successfully completed a 200, 300, 400 and 600 km BRM (Brevet de Randonneur Mondeaux) in one calendar year. Every BRM ride has control points that the riders need to achieve, within stipulated time periods. Every SR is entitled to participate in the PBP (Paris-Brest-Paris) event held annually in Europe, wherein over 6,000 riders from all over the world take part. 10 Goan cyclists have now qualified for this prestigious race this year”.

 

The riders from Goa, who participated in the BRM1200, are Glenn Desilva, Dr. Vishwajit Faldesai, Sukumar Shetty, Jaganath Hede, Vivek Ferrao, Lazarus Noronha, Kunaal Malhotra, Sunil Kumar Verma, Venu Reddy and Daegal Godinho – all of whom have other full time professions, but still enjoy cycling as a passion. Their ages vary from around 25 to 60 years.

 

The cycles used in the BRM1200 were primarily road bikes, though one rider, Vivek, rode on a standard single-speed BSA Hercules cycle. The riders are part of various Goan cycling clubs.

 

 

During their BRM 1200 ride, the randonneurs passed through the roads in Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and were tested by forces of nature like very strong headwinds, heat, among other challenges. The endurance and skills of the riders, as well as the machines they

 

used, were also pushed to the limit with tyre punctures, dehydration, minimal sleep, highway hazards, etc.

 

Keeping time is essential in a BRM ride, because the riders need to accomplish the distance, taking support only from themselves and other co-riders. The 90-hour time-limit includes water, food and short sleeping breaks. But despite the strain and stress, the riders came away with tons of experiences and memories along the way.

 

Randonneuring as an endurance sport, has become increasingly popular in India and AIR (Audax India Randonneurs) – the official governing body for India, conducts BRMs across all states through affiliated clubs.

 

Organiser Rajesh Malhotra monitored the ride at various points and ensured relief to the riders at designated control points. For the ever growing cycling community in Goa, this event and the achievement has marked the rise and growth of randonneuring as a sport and a great mode for maintaining health and fitness. Hopefully in the time ahead, one would hope to see more riders from Goa participating in national and international cycling events.