Mayank Tripathi, Team Hanberry

Age: 27

City: Thane

 

I have been cycling for more than 3 years now. The reason for taking up cycling is explained next in a more detailed way.

 

Talking about my experiences, I used to be a long-distance runner during my NDA Days. I was an Army Cadet there in 2006-07. I had spent almost 2 years in the Academy, but could not complete my whole training because of a knee injury I got while playing football during training. It was one of the most difficult phases that changed my life drastically. Incidently, I met with the accident exactly 9 years from now on 27th August 2007. There is a note as well that I had written back in 2012 about my past experience, so if anyone wants to read it here is the
link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mayank-tripathi/aspire-perspire-conspire-inspire-and-transpire/10150885033406899

I took about a year to recover from the injury post which I could barely walk properly, so running was out of the question. However, I did try running after sometime, but my knee used to pain a lot after 4-5 km. My doctors had strictly asked me not to run or do any physical exercise for good 2-3 years. I did give it some rest, but even after 3-4 years, I could not run the way I used to run previously wherein I used to easily do a sub 4 min/km for a 10k run.

Post the story in the above note, one fine day day my old bicycle caught my attention. It was a Hero Hawk and was kept in attic punctured and disoriented. I took it to a cycle mechanic and it was brand new again. Next morning I took it for a spin and I did around 25 km very easily,01 without any knee pain. I was very happy, the next day I went for 45 km and again there was no pain. I thought I’ve had a breakthrough and I started researching more about Cycling as a sport. It was not a popular sport in India and had a lot of potential. It was love at first ride for me. From then, I started cycling regularly and that is when my journey began. After around 6 months I managed to buy my present bike, Scott Speedster 50. In 2013, I went on to participate in Road Nationals as well. Although, in this journey of cycling, I’ve had hurdles as well in the form of injuries due to crashes. I have lost the count of the crashes I’ve had in the past 3 years and it is definitely in double figures. Although, the biggest was the one in which I had a concussion and I still don’t remember how it happened. I managed to break both my wrists, one knee, my nose and 3 teeth. I’m alive because of my helmet, emphasizing how important wearing a helmet is. I however, recovered from that in about 3 months and was back on the saddle. This is not to scare away those who want to take up the sport, but just to make everyone cautious of the safety measures one must take while riding. Cycling has now become a way of life and a source of motivation for me. It’s like meditation and has helped me know myself better and test my limits. I am now more into doing long distances and love randonneuring. My ultimate goal is to compete in the Race Across America (RAAM) and become a finisher. Although not sure when will I be able to go but I’m definitely training for it.

As I’ve mentioned, cycling is an integral part of my life now and will continue to be. I love doing long distances and motivating others to take up the sport as well. It’s a wonderful invention by man and this is a way to appreciate it.

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