Anupa Sekhar - Featured Rider

March 8th is women's day. We would like to celebrate our women riders and feature one of them this week. 
Anupa Sekhar is a martial arts trainer, transitioning from teaching karate to kalarippayattu over the past few years. She has an overall experience of over 3 decades in different forms of movement and fitness. Started cycling and triathlons for a fair duration of time and currently into climbing/mountaineering. Proud mother of Agasthi,12 yrs, Race BMXer and Adya, 8 yrs, Rock Climber. Thankful to a very supportive spouse Chandra, a CA by profession. Pursues her childhood love of having pets; Julie and Neela – amazing dogs and few fishes to complete our family.
When & how you did you get into cycling?
My memories of cycling are from my first tri cycle. When I look back I realise that cycling has always been part of my life and I enjoy the time I spend on my cycle. During childhood and early adult hood I have used the cycle extensively for commute as well. When I moved to Hyderabad in 2013, I opened up to a different world in cycling. My son was 5 and daughter 9 months old then. I had my daughter on a sling and rode loops around our apartment. One of these days I bumped into Gokul and Chitti from Bike Affair. They were picking bikes to be serviced and my bike needed to be tuned and serviced.
My first ride with bike affair which was more of a mile stone was to Golkonda Fort.
From there I moved on to upgrading my bike to a Trek 7.1. This bike is still one of my most favourite ones. I have upgraded rather use the Astr ( a fixie ) for the purpose of training today and also have a Specialized Roubaix ( Road Bike). My collection incudes a Race BMX too. I would like to get an MTB some time soon.


What is your most memorable cycling incident?

My first memorable cycling event is the TAF Independence Day ride in 2014. It’s the first time I was riding in a cycling event. But what is even more special is the fact that my son Agasthi did his first biggest ride of 67 kms at the age of 5. This is still remains fresh as a most pleasant surprise to me and all of us at home as to how he managed this distance and super cheerfully. This day paved way to his cycling career. From endurance rides of 100-150 kms to triathlons to mountain biking to a BMXer representing the country today this ride has lot of credits and memories to it. 

From that ride to date I did put in a lot of miles on the bike both recreational and little more serious efforts as well. I did the 200 kms brevet and half iron man on the different bikes I use. Of these what I enjoy most are the long rides on the fixie and trail riding on MTBs. As we are completing 9 years in Hyderabad I have moved from only biking to climbing/ mountaineering these days of which biking is  a very important component of my endurance training.

Of course both my kids have grown up now and taken to competitive sports , my son in Race BMX and daughter into rock climbing. I’m very glad with their choices of sport and career. Which also means that I have to spend a lot more time in coordinating their training component, travel, competitions, coach management, nutrition and logisitics. With this schedule I am not able to particularly join group rides or events but I finish my biking and other endurance and strength training either early in the morning or during mid day based on both my kids’s training blocks. I don’t foresee myself being off the bike over the next few decades. 

I would urge /suggest all women to step out on bikes because the cycle definitely kindles loads of child hood memories. There is a lot of joy and satisfaction that we sense after finishing every ride irrespective of the distance you’ve covered. Forget all the numbers, just pedal away for the joy of it. If you want to look at it as a form of fitness, your have no looking back. Biking goes a long way in building your endurance. Beyond all of these, women usually build the family’s health and fitness. The moment you are on your feet the rest of the family follows, kids will get the benefit of movement and fitness that we all were gifted with naturally as children.