In a unique Republic Day celebration, Nagpur Randonneurs organised 200-, 300-, 400- and 1000-km brevets over the weekend. Brevets are timed long-distance check point rides held under the aegis of Audax India Randonneurs affiliated to Audax Paris.
The three-day cycling jamboree began at 5.30 am at Zero Mile with the 1000. The lone participant, V S Raju of Bangalore, went to Chandrapur, then to Narsingpur-Sagar over bridge beyond Seoni and last to Amravati to complete the brevet in 66 hours, 15 minutes. The allotted time for completion was 75 hours.
Raju braved heavy rain and high cold, strong headwinds, fought sleep and hunger to ride 1000 km.
Twenty riders registered for the 200-, 300- and 400-km brevets which began at 5.30 am on Saturday. While one rider did not start, another did not finish. Nine riders completed the 200 brevet, all five the 300 and four completed 400. All three brevets were held on Jabalpur Road with check points in Mansar, Turiya and Seoni. The time allotted for 200 was 13.5 hours, that for 300 was 20 hours and for 400, it was 27 hours.
The highlight of the 200 was the return of Sneha Barve to randonneuring. Sneha completed the brevet with ease, as if she never stayed away from bicycling. The others who completed the 200 are: Jyoti Patel, Sachin Shirbavikar, Bhushan Vaswani, Anand Mundhada, Sanjay Murthy, Ameya Mahajani, Mahendra Suru and Alok Pusadkar.
The 300 riders included India’s oldest active randonneur Bhupendra Arya and Ankit Agrawal of Arvi, while Dr Atul Tayade of Sewagram brought the 400 alive. Apart from Bhupendra and Ankit, Yogesh Dapurkar, Rajesh Chansoriya and Aniruddha completed the 300. The 400 was completed by Ashwin Mokashi, Abhishek Anne and Pranjal Vyas. Mandar Kulkarni dropped out midway unable to cope with strong headwinds. The 400 ended Sunday morning.
Dr Pravin Pant volunteered to support the brevets in Chandrapur, Dr Amit Kabimandan in Amravati. Other volunteers include Mangesh Pahade, Aniruddha Kulkarni, Vikas Patra, Sudarshan K Varma, Urmila Dhanke and Rakesh Naidu.
The next brevets will be held on February 24 on Bhandara Road. Registration for the 200- and 300-km brevets is already open. The route is Zero Mile to Outer Ring Road to Lakhni to Hajrat Mohammad Shah Ali Baba dargah and back to end point Airport South Metro station on Wardha Road. Good quality cycling helmets, front and rear light on bicycles and reflective vests are compulsory for brevet participants.