'It's been an exciting ride'

'It's been an exciting ride'

Cycling days

'It's been an exciting ride'

Aditya Kaul has always been interested in sports for as long as he can remember. However, things took a drastic turn for him when he was advised by the doctors to ‘take it easy’ for a couple of months.

“When I was a kid, not a day would go by when I’d sit idle. I would always be occupied with sports. I played cricket on a regular basis and was a fast bowler. I never thought things would change so fast,” says Aditya.

“One moment I was perfectly fine, and the next, I was blinded by the pain in my ankle and heel. I had hurt myself severely. I knew what was coming next, but I was afraid to hear it. Doctors are nobody’s best friend!” he remarks. He adds that it was quite frustrating for him since it was for the first time in his life that he had no sport to expend all his excess
energy on.

But Aditya did not give up. He didn’t want to allow an accident to scar him for the rest of his life.

He hated whiling away his time, not doing what he loved. In order to pursue what he was passionate about, he knew he had to get back on his feet soon again.

“Around that time, I stumbled upon Lance Armstrong’s autobiography and was absolutely enamoured by the sport (cycling) and of course, the man. I finished the entire book in one night. The next morning, I borrowed a friend’s old bicycle, got it serviced — free servicing since I was really excited about riding — and started cycling wherever I could. This was in 2010 around the time of Lance’s last tour of France. Gradually, I bought a decent bicycle, a ‘Btwin’ from Decathlon, and started doing longer rides. I also rode solo to the airport and back which was approximately 100 km. People would often stare at me incredulously,” he says adding, “The sheer pleasure I received out of riding such long distances was inexplicable.”

In 2011, while he was browsing the internet for information on various cycles, he came across a page titled ‘Tour of Nilgiris’. The title itself was enough to charm him. Being the adventurous young man that he is, he knew he’d be willing to give up anything to do it and decided to go.

“It was a transformative experience. We rode an average of 120 to 130 km for 8 days through the most beautiful terrain in South India and I got to meet many more seasoned riders and learnt a lot from them. I learnt about the BBCh (Bangalore Bicycling Championship), the best amateur racing in India, luckily that happens in Bengaluru itself. That was it and for the next 2 years, all my free time was spent training and racing. Running marathons too has been a major interest,” Aditya states.

The young enthusiast has met a lot of obstacles along the way, but he has always managed to overcome them and get back on his feet. In late 2014, he was a victim of yet another accident.

And this one was more serious. A car hit him from behind, hospitalising him for a week and putting him off cycling for a year.

“Only this year was I able to restart, having almost completely healed from some pretty bad injuries. But it has all been worth the risk. Some of my life’s best moments have been on the road with just me on the saddle, and it’s been an exciting ride.”

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