The age-old kindergarten rhyme, “rain, rain go away”, came true this weekend, but with a twist; here little Candis wanted to race; race a bicycle it was. Little legs spun into action, bells started clinging, pedals started churning for the premier edition of the Rewheelution Students Cycling Fest, a district level cycling completion was held in Codissia Trade Fair Complex on 5th Nov’17. The prayers of anxious parents whose kids had been practising for the race were answered with a bright Sunday morning.
The action started early on Sunday, with the showers relenting. The youngsters competed in two courses of lengths 400m and 1 km in circuit racing format, where the winner is the first rider to cross the line after the completion of the specified number of laps.
A methodical approach was practiced, where the riders had to check-in with the rider numbers, post which they were briefed about the design of the course and safety guidelines to be adhered to on the track. This was followed by a warm up and stretching session led by the Physiotherapy team from Ortho One. Participants were guided through basic dynamic stretches needed before cycling and educated on the role warm up and stretching play in performance enhancement and injury prevention.
The feel around the start line was electrifying and getting the enthusiastic bunch to wait for the start countdown was a real challenge for the volunteers. The kids were led through the course for a trail lap when they could assess the track, and then regrouped at the start line for the countdown to start. The bikes spanned all shapes and sizes, with the serious amateurs riding their nimble road bikes and the amateur school children, handling their rugged mountain bikes, hybrids and city bikes
The event started with the races for the 14 and 15-year-olds at 06:00 am. This category saw the participation of the kids training with the Coimbatore District Cycling Association battle it out as teams. “The kids have immense potential and we just need to give them adequate exposure and opportunities to exhibit their skills. The event being run in a closed and secure environment greatly benefits the riders by avoiding road distractions and hazards”, states Krishnamoorthy, Secretary CDCA, who was heading the results and timing team.
The highlight of the day was the race for kids aged between 4 and 5, which attracted participation of close to 75 boys and girls riding in two categories. The tricycles and trainer wheels did not dampen the energy and enthusiasm levels and it was a spectacular feat to witness the kids racing for glory. The 800-meter race saw almost all the contestants finish with wide smiles without any fuss. “I was at the Bandana Station at the track exit, where we were receiving the finishers and rewarding them by donning the bandana, looking at the kids ride out beaming with joy upon completion was a fulfilling experience. It was a sea of smiles that hit us in waves every 45 mins”, quips Sowmi who was volunteering for the event.
Recounting her experience from the event,” This is good motivation for my son, who has been taking part in cycling competitions. Over the years I had been concerned about safety of kids riding in groups. From what I see, things could not have been any better. He has been riding for couple of years now and is keen on pursuing cycling as a sport”, states Ellameshwari, parent of Shiv Vainav who participated in the 8-9 boys category.
“We are team of a dozen adults that who catch up for cycling in the mornings, we have been exploring options for our kids to enjoy in the same manner on their bikes. We came, we rode, had fun and in the process won a couple of prizes too. A weekend well invested it was”, states Robert, one of the ride leaders for the Western Valley Cycling Club, that rides the tracks and trails on the fringes of the city.
The Rewheeltution Students Cycling Fest, aims to be a catalyst for a healthy future, by promoting cycling among kids. With close to 440 kids participating over the weekend for a sporting event, a move in the right direction; a leaner, greener and healthier future is just a pedal stroke away…!!
Photo Credits – Studio KCT