By Anissa Lamare
Many must have seen him racing on the road, while others know him from social media. Our weekend story this week features a dedicated road cyclist from Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. As a young man, Mr Sait follows a rather strict course towards reaching his long-term goals as a road cyclist. The ice for the interview melted even faster because of his dynamic personality as a person and cyclist.
It started as a mode of transportation back and forth from home to school, twenty-five kms away. As a young boy, Imaad Sait or Imaadu never acquainted that cycling would be one of the most important parts of his life. Today, looking back at the lone rides followed by unplanned trips around the hills of the Nilgiris, the cyclist and also an avid snooker player realises his tyres have surely treaded uncharted places.
As time passed the daily routine gradually picked its pace and Imaad discovered cycling as a sport. Coimbatore was the portal into the world of racing for Imaadu. “I raced, the adrenaline pumped, and I was hooked for life.” That was it, a race to get the young lad hooked to competing and as he puts it, “chasing that same adrenaline rush” is what paces new averages after every ride.
You can only imagine the hills, the progress and the zeal Imaad had for cycling. For those who have tasted the art of racing, you will have an accurate feeling to that of his. However, for those who haven’t tasted this realm of adrenaline rush, it’s nothing short of immense pain and unconditional joy from every pedal stroke.
If you ask cyclists around the world about their experience with cycling, you will need to clear your cloud space to document everything. It was and still is the same for Imaad as well. “I get a sense of joy and happiness from cycling,” and today “, cycling is as much part of my life as sleeping would be for another person”. Understanding that cycling is an everyday activity for the young cyclist, it has disciplined the twenty-one year old to exceptionally athletic heights. “It has regulated my sleep schedule, my eating habits and has instilled healthier and a more positive outlook in my life”, asserts Imaad while noting that the benefits exceed well beyond his personal goals as well.
Roy Bennett once said, “No one has ever achieved greatness without dreams.” Today, Imaad is already pedalling his way up to his dream of winning a National Level Medal and further representing India “as a professional cyclist.” Understanding the demand of the dream, he is also aware of work and remains optimistic about gradually improving “to higher levels in the sport.”
One’s achievements are celebrated not just by the doer, but by those around as well. Imaad is surrounded by family and friends who have been the constant support system throughout. “My dad, sister and family all accommodate my cycling in a way that will benefit me the most,” says Imaad. Cycling as a sport is an arduous affair, especially in India. However, LBB Racing from Bangalore extends the best “facilities and opportunities” for Imaad as a racer. “I also have an excellent coach, Mr Naveen John,” from Wattbombs Coaching, “who has repeatedly pushed me to my limits,” says Imaad
Every story has its highs and lows, especially in sports. But for cycling in India, we have often heard voices echoing the same problem of lack of infrastructure and professional facilities. Imaad, as a growing athlete in the sport, also faces the same issues. However, on a more luminous side, he feels, “due to the growth of the sport, the current situation appears to be changing.” As for now, the infrastructure present is not enough for a person to choose cycling as a full-time career.
But the issues and the drawbacks are only but a puddle for Imaad who already has big plans up his sleeves. “In the next five years, I want to have trained in Belgium and use my training and cycling forte to help Tamil Nadu get to the podium at the national level,” says Imaad while eagerly anticipating for his plans to unfold in the coming years.
The enthusiastic cyclist ends his note with a message for all athletes, “Train hard, keep moving forward and never ever stop chasing the next goal, for as Guy Gane in the movie Turbo said, no dream is too big, nor any dreamer too small.
Fun Fact: Besides riding, Imaad also spends his time making vlogs for his YouTube channel; Imaad_sait. His channel currently has forty-nine videos of riding, racing and much more.
#mtbmagasia #weekendstory #imaadsait #roadbiking #roadcycling #roadracing #lbbracing #bangalore #india