After serving the Tamil Nadu police as an SI for the past 32 years, John Kennedy decided to quit his profession to become a cyclist. Soon, he became the first rider in the country to complete 1,200 km BRM with a Fat Boy, a bike that weighs more than 25 kg with all accessories. An articulate person, John shares the reason to quit his police service and how he developed an interest in cycling.
“My last posting was at Raj Bhavan and to be honest, I had an eventful journey in my police career. But somewhere in between, I had a strong feeling to quit the profession and do something else. Like any other individual, I too wasn’t sure what exactly to pursue. During that time, I came across one of my friend’s cycle — I took it for a ride on ECR and the rest is history!” says John.
He quit his profession and decided to become a cyclist representing the country in international tournaments. There is no dearth of cycling groups/clubs in namma ooru and John joined one of the groups, where he started his training. His first cycle was a normal MTB cycle. “I came across this cycle called Fat Boy that weighs more than 25 kg. Usually, cyclists prefer cycles that are lighter in weight for a smooth ride. But I wanted to experience an adrenaline rush and moreover, it was love at first sight when I saw Fat Boy,” he explains.
John participated in the BRM (Brevet des Randonneurs Mondiaux) cycling event and became the first Indian to complete 1,200 km with a 6853 m elevation within 90 hours on a Fat Boy. “Brevet is a long-distance, free-paced cycling event, where the rider can ride at his/her own pace. Before this, I had participated in an audax event (in which participants attempt to cycle long distances, 200 km-500 within a pre-defined time limit) and became the winner,” the former policeman says.
At present, John is prepping up for an event in Paris where he has to cycle 1,250 km to become the winner. “Like in other cities, there is a growing awareness about cycling here in Chennai too. During my free time, I wanted to encourage cycling among youngsters and adults,” remarks John.