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My Ride Story - Parth Datta

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My Ride Story - Parth Datta

I spent most of my childhood in a small town in Orissa named Koraput which is surrounded by hills. To be independent and have a little flexible time, I started riding to school when I was in class 3. Being in a colony we used to have a big group, riding 40Km to a guava farm often during the weekend, that's how I started riding long distances on my BSA Mach 3 and Hero Ranger. I never stopped peddling until I graduated from college.

I ventured into randonneuring (long distance cycling) in year 2011, and became the first randonneur from Chennai by completing 350Km in 15 hours in Chamunda Hills, Bangalore. That was the first ever long distance ride of my life.

In June 18th 2011, I started a club named Madras Randonneurs’ in Chennai under the umbrella of AUDAX club Paris which is one of the oldest cycling club of the world. The vision was to promote cycling and open up opportunity for cyclists in Chennai to participate in international cycling events. On December 18th 2011, Madras Randonneurs conducted our first ever brevet (long distance cycling) of 200Km, a loop ride between Uthandi toll plaza to the Pondicherry tool plaza on the east coast road, which was named as ‘ECR classic’. I could complete the ride in 8 hours, it was an awesome experience of riding the 200 km along the coast facing the head wind and pushing hard to catch the time.

Apart from participating in long distance races, I also started commuting to office from Ponmar to Mylapore which was 70Km in total, 5 days in a week. This helped me to gain lot of confidence for my races. In the brevet calendar year 2012, I finished the 200, 300, 400 & 600 Km to be earn the first ever 'Super Randonneurs' status from Chennai.

It never stopped with that, I always wanted to ride back to the place where I used to ride during my childhood. So last year, I did a solo ride of 220km from Vishakapatnam to Koraput which was mostly uphill, starting from coast and climbing up to 3050 ft above sea level, passing between the cloud and mountains, enjoying the scenic view. It was a life time experience.

I was aiming at competing in the 2015 PBP (Paris Brest Paris), a 1200 km race which takes place once in every four years. I participated and completed it in the initial qualifying rounds. Next was the 1000km race in 72 hours in March 2014 conducted by Madras Randonneurs. A loop ride between Chennai-Vijayawada -Chennai. It was really a happy moment for me as I broke my own record.

I always believed that if I ever worried about falling off my cycle while riding, I would never try. Happy Cycling!


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