Lijo Joy is participating in the 1,400 km Indo-Nepal brevet that starts on Friday.
Over the past several months the cycling scene in Kerala has shifted its pedals to high gear with many enthusiasts taking to cycling as a test of their endurance rather than as a form of exercise. The terms randonneuring or brevet once familiar to only hardcore cycling enthusiasts are now gaining popularity. For those unfamiliar with the term, Brevet or Brevet de Randonneur Mondiaux (BRM) is a long-distance cycle ride, where participants follow a designated route with prescribed time limits, checking in at control points along the way. The riders of brevets are known as randonneurs.
It is a testimony to the popularity of cycling that nine people from Thrissur have already qualified for the ‘Super Randonneur’ title bestowed on those who complete four rides of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km. One Super Randonneur — Lijo Joy will be competing in a challenging 1400 km Indo-Nepal brevet starting on Friday. The cut off time allocated to complete the ride is 108 hours. Lijo has just successfully completed the 1,000 km brevet in Coimbatore.
Lijo claims that it is for the first time that a 1,400 km brevet is being conducted in India with 23 participants. Lijo, who is in Delhi from where the brevet kicks off, says, “The challenging part is that in the time allocated we have to take care of our rest period, food, any repairs and maintenance that arise. So completing a ride within the stipulated time is the biggest challenge.”
The Delhi to Nepal ride will take 4 days. Lijo will be cycling day and night. He is also concerned about the severe cold along the route as also the fatigue factor. “Cycling after 50 km needs immense energy levels and cycling 600 km is a real test of endurance and not all the participants complete the brevet,” he informs. Lijo mentions that there is no winner in this sporting event. Anybody who completes the race in the stipulated time is a winner, he says.