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Ready, steady, pedal!

Ready, steady, pedal!
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While India's Biryani capital's youngsters were caught up racing bikes on streets and computers, one guy decided to make a difference. He preferred...

While India's Biryani capital's youngsters were caught up racing bikes on streets and computers, one guy decided to make a difference. He preferred his stamina over a 150 cc engine and an option that our 'lazy generation' would love to conveniently ignore. Meet Kedar Patwary, a budding cyclist in the city.

ped2Bhavneet Singh

How did that thought of cycling even creep into you? Like every other person, I wanted a fancy cycle and my mother wanted me to lose some weight. That's how I got my first cycle. Later, I joined the local bicycle club and I met people who literally live on their bicycle. I got inspired by them and then I started enjoying long distance rides. And eventually, here I am!

Has it helped you in anyway? It has helped me in many ways, but the most significant effect is on my lifestyle and the way I look at life now. It has made me active and fit. I've lost weight; I save a lot of time commuting on a cycle. I owe it all to cycling.

What's your longest ride? My longest successful ride was a 210 Km Brevet ride in last November organised by the Hyderabad Cycling Club. These rides are totally unsupported, which means you are on your own, no one can offer you any help. They give us time limit of 13.5 hours.

How many kilometres do you ride per day? I commute to college on my bicycle and the total mileage per day reaches 50 Kms. Apart from that, I love going around for rides. Necklace road is one hell of a place to ride.

Which cycle do you have? Do you have a connect with it, like others have with their bike? I own a Trek road bike and yes, we do have a lot of connect with the cycle. We even have names for them and I've christened my bike 'Khartoum'. The bike stays in my bedroom when I'm not riding! I believe that explains all the connect. I totally love my cycle!

What was your craziest experience with your cycle? The craziest experience would be my ride to Yadagirigutta, which was about a year ago. I joined the ride with my club and I wanted to ride for 100 kms but I got carried away and ended up riding 189 kilometres enduring a lot of heat. It was my longest ride at that time. And that experience is going to stick with me for a very long time.

Is there scope in Hyderabad for people who like cycling? There is a lot of scope for people who like cycling. There are two great cycling clubs for anyone who wants guidance and a group to ride with. Also, the Bike Station at Necklace Road which was started about a year ago by Hyderabad Bicycling Club is helping many who don't own a bicycle to explore the activity.

Where do you see yourself going from here as a cyclist? I just want to keep riding for as long as possible. I also want to complete all the Brevet rides (200,300,400,600KM). Right now, I am terrified to even think of riding so long. I still have a long way to go. One thing I would never stop is my daily bicycle commute.

And for everyone else, why cycle over bike? There are innumerable reasons; a cycle beats a bike in every aspect. Its eco-friendly, noise free, it keeps you fit, it saves you money-you don't spend on fuel and no other motor vehicle can compete with a cycle. As they say "a bicycle is a simple solution to some of the world's toughest problems." And I am sure everyone will agree that there is a simple pleasure you get from a bicycle that no other vehicle can give you.

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