Meet Sameera Auluck from Ludhiana, a fashion designer and mother of three, who went cycling from Delhi to Mumbai in December 2020. Through the freezing cold winter of the north!
With the pandemic raging on, Sameera along with a group of cyclists rode from India Gate in Delhi to Gateway of India in Mumbai. From 3 degrees of North Indian winter to 30 degrees of Mumbai’s coastal spring.
Sameera’s cycling journey started sometime back in 2015, when she would go out for rides with her girl gang, where they would go exploring neighbourhoods with lush green fields of Punjab and end it with breakfast at a dhaba.
As time passed, new members joined their cycling group. With time the cycling distance and seriousness also increased. Giving a boost to the lady cyclists of the city, more and more cycling events also popped up.
Participating in a local race in Ludhiana further fanned the passion of cycling, as she finished 2nd.
After a bunch of races and cycling events under her belt, she started riding brevets. Completing her first 200 km brevet from Ludhiana to Chandigarh and back.
Seeing her growing passion for the sport, her father-in-law gifted her a road bike, so that she could enjoy her endurance rides even more.
By 2020, 5 years since she first took up cycling, she had ridden 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevets and earned herself a Super Randonneur title.
But that wasn’t enough, as she believes, ‘life is a work in progress’!
And in December 2020, she took up the challenge of riding from Delhi to Mumbai in winter.
Sameera saw the opportunity of doing this ride with a group of cyclists and grabbed it with both hands. She feels Indian roads are still not safe enough for solo female cyclists. We still have some way to go before we can say that.
She didn’t just sign up for the ride and land up at the start line. 4 months prior to the ride she started training. Racking up the century rides, first only on weekends, and then 2-3 a week. She also took up strength training and running as well. The latter she feels, helped her keep her heart rate low while riding.
Which helped her during the ride where the group was clocking upwards of 200 km a day. She never suffered from excessive fatigue and was consistent through out the ride. Eating properly also helped during the ride. The hours of hard work before the ride helps during the ride.
The Delhi-Mumbai ride consisted of 43 riders who started on the 19th of December 2020 at 6 AM from India Gate.
Sameera says, the ride organised by Delhi Randonneurs was superbly executed. Every rider irrespective of speed and capability was taken care of by the organisers. Food stops were maintained along the way, and riders could focus on just enjoying the ride and not worrying about anything else.
It was the biggest group that Sameera had ever ridden in and she was delighted to meet cyclists from around the country. You always get to learn from each other.
The thrilling ride is summed up by her, “A once in a lifetime epic roller coaster ride…”
The ride in 5 nights, 6 days:
Day 1. DELHI TO JAIPUR 280 kms
Day 2. JAIPUR TO BHILWARA 232 KMS
Day 3. BHILWARA TO RATTANPUR 282 KMS
Day 4. RATTANPUR TO VADODRA 228KMS
Day 5. VADODRA TO VAPI 244 KMS
Day 6. VAPI TO MUMBAI 190 KMS
Photos Courtesy: Sameera Auluck