After being reintroduced to cycling by his daughter Shivani and son-in-law, Naresh, after a gap of 42 years, he took to cycling like fish to water. Dr Sunil Kumar a 64-year-old commerce professor in Dayal Singh College in Delhi University became the senior most individual in India to have completed a double super randonneur series in cycling.
“I was into trekking, I have already done my Everest base camp. My children wanted me to cycle and I consider it as a very good habit”, says Sunil who since completing his first hundred kilometers hasn’t looked back once. Sunil finished the Golden quadrangle, a 740 km journey in three days’ time which included cycling from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur and then back to Delhi December last year.
As cycling takes most of his time these days it has allowed him to let go of his occasional drinking habit as well. Naresh who previously enjoyed alcohol in family get-togethers has now completely stopped consuming it. “When you like something, you prioritize it ahead of everything. I leave early from parties these days because I must get some sleep before the morning ride.”
While his passion for cycling makes him special, his daughter Shivani, a cyclist herself mentioned about her father’s determination. “He has always been a strong-willed man. I remember last year he was the only person who finished the Dehradun to Dhanaulti, a 70 km uphill cycling in his first attempt. When he decides on something he gives his every inch of effort to finish it.”
Sunil is now preparing for a BRM to be organized by Noida Randonneurs which is a 1200 km ride from Noida to Pathankot later this month. He also has his eyes set on a rather interesting milestone known as G to G in the cycling fraternity in which he wants to ride a staggering 1400 km from India Gate in Delhi to Gateway of India in Mumbai. “The distance has never mattered to me. When I am on the bike, all I think is about my lakshya and how to achieve it.”
Married for more than thirty years, his wife gets a little concerned about his health when Sunil is on one of his long rides but she understands what it means to him. “Initially, I was very worried, I ask him to keep calling me from the journey. But I am proud of his achievements.”
“If you get a chance then walk for 10 km or if you can, then cycle for 20. That itself will keep you fit”, says Sunil who has his eyes set on a rather unusual feat after he retires as a professor next year. “If my body permits I want to travel all over India on my cycle. I just want to challenge myself if I can do it or not. This is to prove that it is not just about the youth who can achieve such feat. The senior citizen can do much better”