The Tour de Manipal
In this world of fast evolving technology, we manage to stay connected in the simplest of ways. Amazing internet services like ION, efficient transport systems like the Indian Railways and high flying flight services keep us connected to every corner of India. Now, for the first time ever, the various campuses of Manipal University will be connected by a wonderful new space-age technology – bicycles! In a brilliant effort to promote cycling, The Manipal Cyclists, now under the club Human Powered Endeavours, has planned a cycling journey of a whopping 3000 kms in 30 days. They will bike to Manipal University campuses in Manipal, Mangalore, Bangalore and Jaipur.
Led by Mr. SSS Shameem, assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Computer Applications, this team of 7 riders, comprising of students, teachers and alumni, is training hard for this event. They will need that training in this ultimate test of endurance and strength – both physical and mental. In the period September to December of 2016, these cycling enthusiasts will do what has never been done by any college in the country, with a total cycling time of 30 days. With their tour, they aim to promote this eco-friendly and healthy way of transport among students, staff and just about everyone they meet along the way.
Cycling is not just a form of exercise. Ask any enthusiast and they will tell you their own story behind the reason they grew fond of cycling. It is a form of meditation to many, one with the added benefit of strengthening your body as well. Cycling, as an exercise, is like fertiliser for the body and brain, which also removes stress. As part of an intensive training programme, the riders have made trips to Kudremukh, Agumbe, Karkala, Mangalore and many other places. Mr. Shameem has made two very ambitious rides, one from Bangalore to Odisha, and one from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Aditya Narayan, an alumni of the department of mechanical engineering, has earned the title of ‘Super Randonneur’ in only 4 months, by completing multiple long distance rides. Each and every member of the team has completed many brevets, individually, as well as with the team. The HPE club also organises fun rides on weekends and holidays which are much awaited by those who train with these cyclists.
Manipal University has a diverse populace, with enthusiasts for almost anything you can think of. Someone, somewhere in the campus, is always doing something that piques their interest. Among this crowd, The Manipal Cyclists have created a niche for themselves. The Tour de Manipal, their biggest event yet, is their way of bringing their love of cycling to others. They can surely expect massive cheering and support as they connect all the Manipal campuses. Having been flagged off on October 1st, 2016 at the Manipal University Building, by the Vice Chancellor, Dr. H Vinod Bhat, the cyclists are to be put to the ultimate test in the coming weeks!