i am totally blown by my kids.... their enthusiasm, their energy and their endurance!!
Pankaj (12yrs) has been cycling with me regularly (100-150 kms weekly) in the last 4 months, but hadn't done more than 50 kms in a day. Rohit (14 yrs) hasn't cycled for 5-6 months and also hasn't done more than 50 before this. both have been riding with me for many yrs and started long country rides about 4-5 yrs back. apart from slowly building up their physical ability, which is tangible, their mental strength (an intangible quality) had also been growing and i for one believe that endurance is in the head.
last week they cycled 80 kms to kamshet and back with me. the ride to Kamshet was literally a breeze. we left early to avoid riding back in the heat. both were faster than me and had to be told over and over not to get right out of my sight. Kamshet is at exactly 40 kms, we stopped for some b'fast and headed back. Pankaj decided he was headed home and no need to wait for me and i did not see him again till i got home! I was worried sick all the way back, for all practical purposes he was riding alone, and i was really mad at him. It was only closer to home, that it struck me that this was an intrinsic quality of cycling.... the feeling of independence and confidence that comes from riding! and i endorse it heartily, scary though it was for me as his mom. Ironically i was forced to recognize that i still freak my mom out when i go off riding to goa etc on my own! He was of course given a lecture about safety etc and let off. Anyhow they both returned quite unfazed by the ride, grabbed their TT rackets and left.
Their sights were now turned to bigger things... triple digits!! they were keen to get on the other side of 100!! our plan to go to Lonavala and back last Sunday had to be postponed because of me and that really did not sit well with them. so finally i figured let's get this out of the way.... and planned it for yesterday, a Tuesday, cancelled a couple of classes they had and set off... Lonavala or bust!! we left late unfortunately, past 7:30, and had to stop often for small issues with the cycles. the boys were tiring by the time we reached. after b'fast we turned back... it at almost noon!! both times i told them they had a choice of cycling thru kamshet village to avoid the ghat and both times they chose to do the uphill so they could enjoy the downhill. we bore the searing heat all the way back, stopping often for "panch rupaya ka nimboo paani". This time Rohit took it upon himself to disappear from my sights. Finally at Talegaon i told him to carry on alone and be safe! 112kms DONE!!
Now they've set their sights on the 200 km BRM!!