“I was cycling my way towards the hill but nothing was on my head, I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t just think of anything, everything was blind, I felt like quitting, but I did it, I killed it and I pedalled for 1400km in just 110 hours”. This is my story. This is the story of Pushkar Kumar Shrivastva. This is the story of the Super Randonnuer.
The Audax Club Parisen recently organised the 1400 km inland brevet in India and it was the first inland 1200 plus km brevet in India. 112 hours were given to each participant to complete the 1400 km ride on a bicycle. Yes, I know it does not seem realistic, but in this story we meet Pushkar, who shares his experience of completing this ride in 110 hours.
The route of the ride involved travelling through 6 states, Delhi, UP, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh. Pushkar adds, that this was the hardest task of his life, there were no winds all in the way, the entire route they travelled, there were no winds and the afternoons used be very hot and the nights used be very chilly, that at one point he broke and couldn’t pedal further, this was when he was crossing Amritsar, there were no lights on the entire road and it was midnight, the next control point was about a 100km away and the weather was too cold to bike in and on top of that he was riding solo, thus as a result he stopped and started shivering and with some motivation he pedalled again towards the destination. While he recites the instance, he also adds that this ride is a big mental game and you need to be mentally very well prepared to do this ride, and if you are not mentally game for it, you have lost the battle already. He also compares the ride to a battlefield, where just like a soldier has to protect his empire while also protecting himself, in the ride you have to pedal and pedal and pedal and just cross it out. He tells us, that after 200 km of riding, there is just nothing you can even think of while riding, because those first 200 km soak everything in and from that point on you just ride with a blank mind.
After explaining a bit of the story, Pushkar tells about his most difficult time in the ride, which was the Dalhousie climb in Himachal Pradesh, which is a 56km climb with a 4% gradient of the hill. He started riding on this hill at 8pm and finally reached the top at 2:30am, just half an hour before he would be eliminated from the ride. He also tells us about his scary breakdown nearby Ludhiana in Punjab, where his tyre got punctured and his pump to fill up the tyre with air won’t work. At this point, there was no way he could revive, but luckily he was nearby a market in the town and it took him nearly 3.5 hours to get the tyre repaired.
While completing the last 100km of the ride, Pushkar encountered another problem when some internal damage happens to his knee and he could not move it, this is the point where the game changed for Pushkar and he pedalled the last 37 km with his left leg, while managing to complete the ride just few hours before the elapsed time. Hearing this left us astounded and as we sit with Pushkar, enjoying a cup of tea, he shows us his swollen fingers and knees, he adds that he enjoys this life and this is what gives him happiness, he also tells us that now he is preparing for a 1200km bike ride in Paris called Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Race. He also adds about the financial side of doing all of this and tells us how he manages his finances and lives a contended life, where he rides his bike every morning with his cycling club, where people share the same passion as his.