Age is just a number and 57-year-old Jaipur-based cyclist Renu Singhi proved it yet again, as she recently became the only Indian woman to complete the 1540km London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) 2022 event in 124.32 hours. London-Edinburgh-London is considered as one of the most difficult and challenging cycling events in the world. In this, the participants have to make an elevation gain of 14,300 meters. Around 1900 cyclists from all over the world participated in this ride. Sharing her experience, Renu says, “I am feeling on top of the world. When I reached the closing point after cycling for 1540 kilometres for six days, the happiness of completing the race in time was immense. Though my entire body was aching, and my fingers are still numb even after a week, I am glad that I could do it. It’s like a dream come true for me.”
She has achieved the status of Super Randonneur (SR) five times by cycling continuously for 600 kms (100km, 200 km and 300 km). During Paris-Brest-Paris, another challenging international cycling ride held in August 2019, she cycled 1220 km in 92 hours. She had also completed about 420km of cycling from Srinagar to Leh in October last year.
Elaborating about the event, she adds, “After Britain, India had the highest participation of 172 participants. In this ride, the participants had to reach London after cycling 1540 kilometres across the United Kingdom, starting from the capital of England, through Edinburgh (the capital of Scotland).” Singhi completed this journey in 124 hours and 32 minutes with her strong will, proving her mental and physical fitness. With this, she became the only female participant from India to complete it on time. Asked about what motivates her to take up these challenging races, she tells us, “It was about six years ago, when Sunil Sharma, president of Jaipur Cycling Community, motivated me to take up cycling. After participating in some local competitions, I started participating in national and international events as well. Thankfully, my entire family has always encouraged me. There are people who still say, ‘Ab toh cycling rehne do, tumhari umra kaafi ho gayi hai.’ However, they don’t know that these words have the opposite effect on me!”