Today is World Cycling Day: Super cyclers from Kollam bag top honours
Kollam: Do you opt for cycling when you get fat? Then you should definitely meet these three men from Kollam. You want to know why? Because they took to cycling as part of their exercise and conquered distance.
An organization named Audax having headquarters in France conducts brevets in cycling every year. And this year there were three men from Kollam – R Raghuram, Jayan Jerome, Bonny Panicker. They completed this year’s 200, 300, 400, 600 and eventually won the Super Randonneur (SR). They are the only ones to win this title in the district.
Just like marathon is for runners, brevets are for cyclers. The Super Randonneur title is given to those who complete the four rides in one year. They opted for cycling as part of their exercise. Slowly it changed to a rush towards competition.
Raghuram, a native of Anandavalleswaram, has also completed 1400 kms ride. The route started from Delhi via Lamahi in Nepal and back to Delhi. He completed the route in 108 hours. The 1400 kms competition was hosted by the Delhi Randonneurs. The travel included Chitwan National Park in Nepal, Valmiki Tiger Reserve and Bardia National Park. A 1400 kms Brevet des Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) was organized in India for the first time then.
Raghuram came out as one of the four Indians who successfully completed the ride within the specified timing. There were 30 participants in the ride.
Jayan Jerome, a native of Kanjiracode in Kundara completed the 1000 km ride (MTB) in 75 hours. Bonny Panicker, a photographer by profession, also belongs to Kundara.
Better Understand Brevet
The Audax Club in France started Brevet in 1956. The time limit of each kilometre brevet has been decided by the club. 13.5 hours for 200 kms, 20 hours for 300 kms, 27 hours for 400 kms and 40 hours for 600 kms. The cycler can have food or take rest within this timing, if he/she wants.
A cycler will be disqualified if she/he takes more time for food or rest. Every check point is supervised by separate officials. Hybrid Cycle or Road Bike is usually used for the rides. In Kerala, the Cochin Bikers Club, Calicut Pedallers and Trivandrum Bikers Club has been accredited for conducting the brevets.