Kharghar advocate completes tough cycling challenge of 5,000km in 12 days

Published on Aug 13, 2022 08:28 PM IST

Kabir Rachure of Kharghar, an advocate by profession, finished third in the Race Across America – the world’s toughest cycling challenge that tests the riders’ endurance level by cycling 5,000km in 11 days, 11 hours and 25 minutes

Kabir Rachure, a Kharghar advocate, completed the 5,000km cycling challenge of Race Across America in 11 days, 11 hours and 25 minutes. (HT PHOTO)
Kabir Rachure, a Kharghar advocate, completed the 5,000km cycling challenge of Race Across America in 11 days, 11 hours and 25 minutes. (HT PHOTO)
BySameera Kapoor Munshi, Kharghar

Cycling for passion or for keeping oneself fit is very common. But there is an extreme form of this sport, which is cycling for days together through rough terrains, unforeseen climatic conditions and weather.

Kharghar-based Kabir Rachure, an advocate by profession, has finished third in the Race Across America (RAAM) – world’s toughest cycling competition that tests the riders’ endurance level by cycling for 5,000 km in a span of 12 days.

An activity picked up by chance in 2015 has now become a crucial factor in the life of this 31-year-old Rachure. The very first solo long distance cycling attempt by Ruchira was a 180km ride from Palm Beach Road to Lonavala. His inspiration was supermodel Milind Soman, known for competing in the Iron Man challenge in 2000.

“I happened to read about his achievements and was motivated to try cycling at a stretch for 180km. I purchased my first Firefox cycle that cost 27,000. While getting the cycle repaired, I got to know about groups involved in long-distance cycling, known as Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRMs),” said Rachure.

In November 2015, Rachure covered 200km from Sanjay Gandhi National Park to Charoti in 10 hours and 13 minutes, thereby making his official foray into long-distance cycling. His true calling came through another long-distance cycling event known as Deccan Cliffhanger – required to qualify for RAAM.

“I didn’t think that I could endure the stress of riding 600km of Deccan Cliffhanger. The rules and scenarios were totally new. The event required a team to support the rider while cycling through the rough terrains of Mahabaleshwar en-route to Pune. In 2016, in my first attempt, I failed to qualify as the cut out time was 32 hours while I clocked 32 hours and 33 minutes,” he said.

Determined to better his timing, in 2017 Rachure participated again and this time secured third position. He retained his position for 11 consecutive times.

The extensive practice from these events helped him to succeed in RAAM. “To be able to ride for days together, the primary requirement is to keep cycling in all possible situations without losing hope and energy. We are required to forsake sleep and even intake of food is bare minimum. Therefore, participating in extreme cycling events is necessary. I got personal experience about the humongous challenge that RAAM is when I volunteered to be the crew of a rider from India for the event in 2017. I saw the route to be taken, the weather cyclists had to bear, the importance of clocking everything to get the best record,” he said.

Prior to making his first attempt in RAAM in 2019, to enhance his endurance level in harsh climate, the cyclist tested himself by cycling on the hilly high altitude mountainous terrains of Leh. In the same year, he participated in RAAM and became the youngest Asian to cycle through the continent in 11 days, 23 hours and 43 minutes.

“I was not happy with just being the youngest and spent more hours cycling and participating in more complex events. Post-Covid, I participated in RAAM in 2022 and this time I secured third by cycling for 11 days, 11 hours and 25 minutes,” he said.

A significantly expensive sport to follow, Rachure vouches for the sense of contentment he and his family achieves. In the 2022 RAAM event, the family pooled in a sum of 35 lakh as the event called for a crew of 10, four cycles to be ferried to America in addition to the gear and dietary requirements.

“My family, especially my elder sister who is also the crew captain, has always motivated me to pursue my dreams. For my family, money is a means and not the ends, therefore a major portion of our annual earnings is utilised in fulfilling my aspiration to be the best physically enduring cyclist of India,” said Rachure.

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