We’ve all heard of that now famous acronym for all those middle aged men in lycra’s, MAMIL’s, zippin around on their gleaming expensive bikes, fit as hell with washboard abs, low BMI’s, superhuman endurance, giving even the fittest of the college youngsters a run for their greasy hamburger and beer. Meet the growing crowd of riders in their midlife aiming for that fit at fifty goal!
When life came calling, most of the now 40 something’s, embraced it with enthusiasm and commitment and dived head first into fulfilling their aspirations. Life was much simpler back then in 80’s everything had an order, the choices were limited and opportunities were mostly measured. As the generation grew to its forties, and the country as a whole moved from Chetaks, Ambassadors and Fiats to Beemers, Porches and Ferraris, a new wave of thoughts and ideas impacted the lives of the people. Soon, fortywas the new thirty for most and the men and women alike and they were no more doing the same thing as their parents did at a similar phase of life. The concepts of Work-Life balance and living one’s own life and following ones passion to the fullest had really gone viral. CRANK caught up with four such young at heart cycling enthusiasts who have converted their childhood memories of cycling into their current life passion and a way to break the mundane
Ram Sajeewan Anuragi
A native of Hamirpur, Bundelkhand, UP and an engineer from IIT Kanpur working with GAIL (India) Limited had the typical life till an incident at work changed the way he commuted. He was denied a lift to work and it hurt him immensely. To get independent he bought himself a bicycle and there started his journey of a new life. Then he followed it up with running and was soon into the groove. In all he has completed about 28 races that includes 11 Full marathons with a best timing of 4:38:36 and 4 Ultra Marathons of 50-75-80kms apart from 7 half Marathons and about 6 Triathlons of various categories.
He is currently based in Bangalore and enjoys cycling as part of his training and also riding to Nandi is always his favorite activity. While he does all these to keep himself fit his wife plays a huge role in all his achievements. He even borrowed money to buy his Scott Speedster 40 from his wife, which he plans to return with interest.
“Cycling is a very good cross-training for my long running events and it allows me to burn fast and I can eat good food when I know I will be burning calories during cycling. He insists that all the youngsters should engage in some physical activity. I do not see any special effort required for maintaining good balance between my work and fitness schedule”, he adds.
N. Anil Kumar
A Business Unit Head with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a multinational pharmaceutical company has the regular corporate job with all its benefits and bane. “There are pressures and challenges we tend to believe are unsurmountable. At times, we forget, or it never occurs to us that we are capable of doing more than we ever did, that we have facets of ourselves we never explored, that we don’t know who we are or what our real limits are. I am fortunate to have a lifestyle built around endurance sports of which cycling is an integral part. At 45,I began nursing a dream to do an Ironman Triathlon race which led to my second phase of cycling in life, the first being all the cycling I did in my teenage for commuting with the basic gearless cycles.”
Cycling for Anil is like meditation and a way to get off his stress. He loves the challenges of the distances,duration, geography and speed. It gives him immense mental strength and helps him prepare for the unexpected. “One of the precious advantages of cycling and endurance sports is the ability one develops to manage the mind over body”
He has completed 1 marathon, 9 half marathons, 1 hill half marathon,1 duathlon and 2 Olympic distance triathlons and is right now completely consumed by his dream of doing an Ironman race someday which he knows is not easy, but as they say ‘one day at a time’ is his mantra. He has been lucky to have found great support system in his family. While they don’t complain at times Anil feels a bit guilty but then endurance sports has also made him a master of multitasking and he is able to successfully juggle between his work, family and his passion. He believes “One of the best decisions I took in my life is to take up endurance sports. It has made me a “better me”.”
J. John Moses
A father of two lovely kids and a sport enthusiasts is now settled in Australia and is living up his life with his passion. “I am a sports enthusiast who grew up playing soccer in my childhood and have great passion about sports. I had never rode a road bike when I was in India. I came to Australia on early 2010 and was focusing much on work though I was very inspired by the sporting culture in Melbourne and it pushed me to get into the active lifestyle especially cycling which I was missing for the last few years.” What started with a casual 100km ride ended up in making John an aspiring Triathlete.
Till now he has completed several cycling events and triathlon of various distance with the highlight of completing Full Ironman (3.8 kms Swim in the ocean + 180 kms cycling + 42.2 kms run) in December 2015. He plans to do the WSTC Altona – Race 6 – Sprint Triathlon distance in april apart fromChallenge Melbourne – Half Ironman distance triathlon (1.9 kms swim + 90 kms + 21.1 running) with a Sub 6 hours finish, Ironman Australia – Port Macquire in May 2017 or Ironman Cairns in June 2017 and also plans to Train for Crit races around Melbourne next summer.
Hisstory began with the The First Vodafone Cycling Marathon in Bangalore in Oct 014. Working in Vodafone & being a part of the event team, it was only a matter of time before the bug bit him. He picked up his first cycle, a Hercules Rodeo and like they say, there has nolooking back. He then upgraded to an MTB and then to his favorite, road bike – SCOTT Speedster 40, both of them purchased from ProCycle, his favorite destination for all his bike needs. He is even known as Sir Scott in the local cycling circles for his love of the brand.“My wife, Priya, initially was not very convinced and given the traffic scenario in Bangalore, she thought I was being very irrational. But today, far from being a cynic,she has become one of my strongest supporters in my cycling journey. I feel really lucky”
He recalls himself, pre his cycling days as someone who loved to eat, sleep, watch TV & just laze around. Cycling changed it all. His day now starts at 4.30 am and he is in bed by 10 pm” Cycling has instilled a lot of discipline and managing time has been his learning that helps him even at his workplace. As the saying goes “To gain something you need to lose something, I lost 6 inches around my waist, reduced 10 kgs, gave up on my extra sleep, stopped watching some of my favorite TV serials”
Apart from the health angle, SK, as he is popularly known, it has bought him new friends who come from all walks of life and not just his regular friends from work and acquaintances. He loves touring and has done many an interesting routes in and around Bangalore with night halts and non-stop riding hours.
2016 has been an exceptionally peak-cycling year forhim, he has not only completed his SR Title he also successfully completed the Tour of Nilgiris (TFN) and is on the on the cusp of completing 20,000 Kms ( 194 Kms more to go) on the saddle in less than two years. “The family joke is I have done more kms on the cycle than on my SUV.”
So, Ladies and Gentlemen in your forties. Fit at Fifty is not a distant dream but an achievable reality on your cycle…CRANK hopes your tribe increases …