60 cyclists from across the nation took part in the month long Summer Sungram cycling challenge, that was organised by the Bindaas Group at Udaipur. Bindaas is a cycling club in Udaipur, whose members are passionate about the sport of cycling intermingled with adventure. in and around Udaipur, and over the last few years has garnered an attractive fan following.
Govind Kharol, Udaipur's BRUT celebirty is the founder of the Bindaas Group and is at the helm of activities undertaken by the group across the year. This year's Summer Suungram was held from May 1-31, and entertained 60 cyclists of all age groups from across the country, of course, the larger part being from Udaipur.
A compounded total of 29000 kms was covered by all cyclists in these 31 days. The rules of the Summer Sungram was to cycle for a minimum of 20 days, covering at least 500 kms in total for each participant.
The highlight of the Summer Sungram was the performance handed out by Shivani Thakur and Shubham Kothari, both from Udaipur. Subham topped the Summer Sungram with a total of 3,559 kms across 31 days achieving a compunded altitude of 27,358 kms. Alongside him in the tally table was Udaipur's Shivani, who cycled an overwhelming 3,335 kms, achieving a compunded altitude of 22,222 meters in the 31 day challenge. Deepak Arya from Jodhpur ranked third in the challenge, attempting a total of 3,100 kms. Hence each of the top three averaged 100+ kms each day for 31 days. Shubham, however averaged the most with 30 days of consecutive cycling, which is a record in itself.
Shubham, who is well known for his speed, endurance and toughness among his co-riders, runs a real estate business in Udaipur. During the Summer Sungram, Shubham began his cycling routine between 4am - 5am every morning. He rode a minimum 100 kms each day, when he used to cover the town and upcountry locations such as Menar, Jaisamand, Nathdwara, Jaswantgarh, Rishabhdeo and other smaller villages of Udaipur. The total distance of 3,559 kms ridden by Shubham is the roughly equivalent to the distance between Srinagar in Kashmir to Kanyakumari on the southern tip of India. Hence if Shubham had started from Srinagar on 1 May, he would have reached Kanyakumari on 31 May, cycling a minimum of 100 km each day.
He took up cycling while he was still in junior grade. Shubham stopped cycling in Class 6 and then took to fitnesst training, gymming and Basketball. His high adrenaline gym workouts were heavy and this led to Grade 2ACL Injuries, after which he was advised not to continue with heavy workouts. Being a fitness enthusiast, this restriction came as a dampner, but his physiotherapist handed him a ray of hope when he told him to turn back to cycling as a routine to maintain his fitness. This is where the journey resumed and like Shubham says, his fitness regime with cycling over the last two years of the COVID lockdown, led him to many achievements.
Shubham, who has several feathers in his cycling cap, has done multiple half century, century, double century and triple century rides in the last two years. Recently he did the double and triple century BRM as well and is looking at performing the 400km BRM in Septemebr 2022.
He says that initially, even doing the 10.5km ride around the Fatehsagar perimeter felt like an achievement. However, after joining the Bindaas group through Instagram, he has toned his body and honed his cycling skills. According to Govind Kharol, Shubham is a benchmark for young cycling enthusiasts and is a probable for the Ironman challenge in the near future. He roughly takes 4 hrs to complete 100kms, on either a MTB, Hybrid or a road bike; be it summer, monsoon or winters.
Shivani, who works for a large multinational IT service provider in Udaipur, began her tryst with cycling in 2017, in the form of daily commute - to studies and then to work. Her passion for cycling as a sport developed after she joined the Bindaas group. Cycling became her fitness mantra. A regular swimmer at Fatehsagar, Shivani joined the Bindaas Group in 2020.
"Though I was keen to ride long distances but was not confident enough to do so. Team Bindaas and Govind helped and pushed me so much that now riding 100 kms daily feels quite easy, comfortable and doable. Now I feel so confident that I am able to ride 100+ kms solo also. Apart from helping me increase my cycling limit, this challenge made me realize that anything is possible if you are determined and it also taught me time management, setting priorities and how to remain mentally strong and push yourself when you feel like giving up. It has also helped me overcome my fear and to stay calm in any situation." - Shivani
Shivani clocked 3,335 kms in the 31 day Summer Sungram, completing a compounded altitude of 22,222 meters. Shivani told UT that she used to wake up at 3:20am every day during the challenge and was in her saddle at 4am. She used to cover her daily ride by 10:30-11am every day, so as not to compromise on her professional obligations. She used to report to work on time each day. She cycled for 28 consecutive days. Shivani aims to complete a double century ride in the near future, which is not a distant possibility. Cycling is a part of Shivani's daily journey - as commute between Monday till Friday and as a recreational activity and city exploration on weekends.
Shubham, Shivani, Govind and members of the Bindaas Group do Udaipur proud. More achievements to be recorded and written about.