Born and brought up at Thoudam, Thoubal District Manipur, he used to cycle 18 km (to & fro) every day as a means of commuting to school. His real passion for cycling developed when he joined a cycling community called Bangalore Bikers Club sometime in 2010. Since then he has competed in 200, 300, 400, 600, 1000 and 1200 KM cycle bike races organized by Bangalore Brevet. The riders called themselves randonneurs. He was also the lone finisher in a touch 1240 km brevet in 2013 which saw continuous storms. His hunger for more challenge led to crafting a much tougher 1200 km brevet through many mountains in 2014 which came to be known as Bliss In the Hills. He rode the route himself and was one of the 4 finishers out of 76 riders.
Describing his recent feat as a fantastic experience, the 38-year-old technical professional says, “Trans AM is a 7000KM long, annual self-supported, ultra-distance cycling race across the US that follows a specific trail, covering 10 states”. “I rode from the north-west coast to south-east coast of the country with a group of bikers. The race started at Astoria in Oregon and went on to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming in the north, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri in the central part and Illinois, Kentucky and Virginia in the east. Yorktown in Virginia was the finish point.”
From idyllic countryside to hilly terrains as high as 11,500 feet from the sea level, this race packs quite an adventurous trip, according to Opendro. “During the initial days of the journey, we either camped at a particular location or tucked ourselves into sleeping bags outside petrol pumps or other public places. But later, when the weather started becoming colder at high altitudes, we halted at motels overnight and then hit the road in the morning,” he adds.
NOT AN EASY RIDE:
Though set out with an aim to race hard, but change of climate and food hit him hard. Some illness in the weeks preceding the race made the matters worse. At around 2500 km, he almost quit due to severe stomach upset.
After resting 30 hours, he decided to give one last try and there was no looking back since then. He took it easy for another 1000 km or so. Then he picked up pace gradually in the second half of the race, finishing the entire 7000 km in 27 days and 7 hours, a week more than his initial target.
He has no further plans of any major ride. He has done proud to his people back home. “I would be glad if my ride could inspire many common citizens to take up cycling for day today transportation and confidently take up such long endurance rides”.
Now, he just loves to ride with his five year old daughter around parks or in the road in an early Sunday morning.