Showing posts with label Cycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cycling. Show all posts

Saturday, April 07, 2012

'OMG! You're fat' [97/365]

Visiting my Mom and family is always tricky.
The first thing she will exclaim is
'OMG! You have put on lots of weight! You have to do something'  
Gee, thanks ma. I know.  No matter how many times they would've seen you, they still expect you to loose that weight before you meet them the next time.
Normally, mothers pester their sons to get better jobs, earn more, marry and to procreate. But no. My mom wants me to go to a gym and loose weight.

A quick BMI calculation will show that I am only slightly overweight.
Source: Wikipedia
But given the amazing food that my lovely Wife serves me with oodles of love and the sedentary work that I do, can I be blamed? But yes. I need to do something about this. Unfortunately, I've doomed myself since one of my minor resolutions for this year was to loose weight.

While I won't defend obesity, I can't understand why there is a certain obsession with being thin. I used to be sickly thin until a decade ago. Those were the days I lived in a PG. Mr Rao's food used to be bland yet never let me put on weight. I wonder what he put into his food.

So, when you are a person who was formerly a size 0 and then a size kaboom, like me, you'd be the recipient of many 'fat questions' and curious stares at your midriff. Hello, the face is up here.

I remember I put on weight just as I met my first girlfriend. My exes were obsessed with having me loose my weight. What began as harmless jibes on my 'round shape' soon became insensitive remarks about how huge I am.
While I was never conscious of how I looked until then, these remarks made me sit up and take notice.
Thankfully, I did drop the extra weight. We broke up.

No, I don't hate my body but I don't want to embrace it either. Cliched as it sounds, I hate it when people judge you on how much you weigh rather than how you are inside.
I don't have an eating disorder nor do I eat junk and drink plenty of water. I neither smoke nor drink, I don't have cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure. I handle stress pretty well and make sure I eat several hours before I sleep. I have a wonderful relationship with my wife, my Mom and love the job that I do. I am quick on my feet and love yoga and cycling long distances. But I am still looked upon as a freak who is fat.

But like the Asian obsession with color, the Indian obsession with being tall and thin continues.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cycle Ahoy!

So what does a cyclist in the Sub-Continent do around December every year?

No, not do the carol. 
But do the Tour Of Nilgiris.

I've been associated with TfN for 3 out of the 4 years it's been around. As a 'newb', a volunteer, as part of the Support staff, and as the editor for a tour that is widely touted as India's answer to the Tour de France, I've been able to experience and marvel how so many people come together to pull off a logistical trick up their sleeve. Some of them barely rest as the dates approach.

As a cyclist, TfN has come to symbolize what you must be a part of. 
It may not have a Lance Armstrong or an ESPN trailing it's every rider, but it has definitely built up a reputation, much of it word of mouth, of being the only day tour in Asia that is as well planned with even the tiniest detail looked into and fine tuned until the last minute. 

Though participation isn't free , what is impressive is how all of the proceeds go towards the cause of the organizing NGO- RideACycle Foundation, a not for profit organisation that advocates use of cycles as a viable and nature friendly mode of daily transportation, apart from the many many benefits cycling on a daily basis has on the human body.

Supported by cycle manufacturer- TI Cycles (makers of the BSA brand of cycles), TfN has grown by leaps and bounds and is a brand of itself. Like long lost sons and daughters, cyclists across the world converge to to the southern city of Bangalore. Judging by the many 'centuries' of prep rides, camaraderie and the frenzied conversations that happen within the official google group, all the riders begin to know each other so well even before the first mile has been pedalled. 

The 'kick-off' is a thoroughly intoxicating event. 
So here's 70 odd cyclists, with many hundred miles on their cyclo computer, who have lived and breathed nothing but TfN for the better part of this year, some of whom would have flown half way across the world to ride through idyllic villages and nature reserves and forests.
Some of them are excited just being a part of the tour, some of them are here because they want to prove they can do this but most of them are here simply because TfN gives them something that most other tours can only wish - Nature so pristine, memories that will last a lifetime, experience that will you'll brag about for life and friends that will outlast your cycle. 

While a tour this size cannot expect to have riders coming back every year and while some of them may not come back, as 'alumni', every rider, participant and organiser take pride in being a part of the greatest tour in India. 

The BSA TfN. I did it!

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