Pune cyclist eyes success at Paris

Sidgonda Patil qualifies for 1,400 km Paris Brest Paris tournament

pune Updated: Feb 08, 2018 15:32 IST
Ashish Phadnis
Ashish Phadnis
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,cyclist eyes,success at Paris
Sidgonda Patil successfully completes 1,000 kms Brevet to take his tally to 11 BRMs in just nine months. (HT PHOTO)

A Nehru Nagar, Pimpri resident Sidgonda Patil (37) working as an engineer in Hyster-Yale Lift Trucks India Pvt Ltd is more known for his passion for adventures in his circle.

Sidgonda is a regular trekker and has visited over 100 forts in Sahyadri. Not just him but even his 9-year-old son Aniruddha has also visited over 50 forts including several medium and difficult grade climbs.

Last year, with the inspiration from his friends Sidgonda bought a cycle and completely shifted his focus to his new passion.

Within a short span he mastered the technique of long-distance endurance rides and in nine months, he finished total 11 brevets, including two 200kms, three 300kms, two 400kms, two 600kms and recently he finished a 1000km on February 6.

Brevets also known as BRMs (Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux) are fixed distance cycle events that are to be completed within specified time limits.

Most cycle riders prefer road bikes for long distance endurance rides, which helps them to save energy and gain more speed due to aerodynamics structure of road bikes.

However, Sidgonda completed all his rides on his hybrid bicycle.

“It wasn’t an easy task, as due to hybrid’s upright posture you lose more energy while facing the headwinds. Also, it requires more efforts to match the speed of road bikes, hence you get less time for breaks and relax compared to other riders.

“But, I had decided to finish my rides at a comfortable pace, rather than going for the time-oriented aggressive mindset. So, I enjoyed my cycling, even though my average speed was little slower than that of the pro riders,” said Patil.

Along with physical fitness, Sidgonda believes that the mental toughness plays a key role in such rides.

“There were some incidents when I felt that I should quit cycling and was almost on the verge of it. But somehow my inner strength pushed me to continue. During a 300 kms brevet, I was down with fever and was not able to pedal further.

Several times I decided to quit the event and reach home for a rest, but just kept going and finished the event well within time.

Then during another 300 brevet, I narrowly missed a fatal accident in Medha ghat, Satara and was so low on morale that I messaged my friends that this is going to be my last ride.

However, within few days, I was ready to take up another challenge,” he added.

Super Randonneur (SR) is a title earned by a cyclist who finishes (200 Km in 13.5 hrs, 300 kms in 20hrs, 400kms in 27hrs and 600kms in 40 hrs) all four brevets in one calendar year.

The Super Randonneur automatically qualifies for the prestigious Paris Brest Paris (PBP), a 1,400-kms endurance cycling event in France.

It is held in every four years and only 5,000 cyclists around the globe can take part in it.

Even though Sidgonda was qualified for the PBP last year when he became an SR, he wasn’t satisfied and this year he tried it again and did all four brevets including a 1,000 km to qualify again for the event.

“Normally the PBP organisers give preference to the riders who have finished the 1,000 kms or 1, 200 kms brevet so I was determined to finish it.

“Last year I had tried but was forced to retire after 385kms due to an injury. This time I was better prepared and finished the event in 69 hours,” said Sidgonda, who is aiming to participate in PBP in August 2019.

When asked what will be the major challenge for PBP, he said, “The most challenging part for me is to get a sponsorship as this is going to be a costly affair. I am mentally and physically prepared but the financial part I am still lacking. Hoping to get it sorted out before next year,” he said.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 15:32 IST