Forever young: 78-year-old cycling veteran shares secrets

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Jose's dream is to conduct a long distance bicycle ride from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram to promote healthy lifestyle among youth.
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For some people age is just a number. This is absolutely true in the case of 78-year-old Jose fondly called Josettan in his close circles. He brims with incredible energy of an 18-year-old as he speeds past in a super chic bicycle. For Josettan who shares a special bond with cycles, cycling has always been his favorite activity.

50 kilometers in 1 hour 40 minutes

It only took 1 hour and 40 minutes for Josettan to cover a distance of 50 kilometers between Chavakkad and Azhikode, on a cycle. Though he slowed down a bit on the return trip due to muscle cramps, he managed to complete the entire feat in five hours and 33 minutes. Josettan covered the first phase of the ride at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour on his cycle. He says he would have completed the race, clocking a better timing, had he not lost some extra time due to his muscle cramps.

Waves of fun

The Chavakkad cycling club had conducted a ‘CBRM – the 100 Waves of Fun’ cycling event as part of the Father’s Day celebrations. Josettan was the senior most participant in the race while 11 year old Neena Annapurna was the youngest. Neena, a class seven student of the Pukunnam Harisree Vidyanidhi School participated in the race along with his parents Gokul and Lekha Lakshmi who are the founding members of the Thrissur on Wheels community. The participants had to cover 100 kilometers from Chavakad to Azhikode and back within 7 hours. All those who took part in the event successfully completed the race.

Inspiration for all

Jose would turn 78 years old in September and he is only happy to share his secret of youthful energy. “I am perfectly healthy and take no medicine,” says Josettan with a smile. He quit smoking and alcohol consumption at the age of 41 and has been taking good care of his health ever since. Josettan, hailing from Varapuzha in Kochi, Kerala, had reached Athani in Thrisuur as a plumber in the medical college. His love for cycling had already begun then. Even after retiring, Jose would set out on his cycle, every morning, from Athani to Thrissur town. After resting for a while in the town he loves to enjoy a cup of hot and refreshing coffee from the Indian Coffee House, before returning. Josettan is also a veteran champion who won 3 gold medals in the 10,000 meters, 5000 meters and 1500 meters races respectively in the Master’s Athletic Meet held in Dehradun. There is hardly any cycling championship in the country in which Jose hasn’t participated. Josettan had stunned everyone when he took part in the triathlon which includes cycling, running and swimming held at Vallivattam in Thrissur district.

Dream

Age doesn’t restrict Jose from having an adventurous dream that he had been nourishing for some time. He envisages conducting a long distance cycle ride from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram. He says that the aim of the race would be to promote healthy lifestyle among the youth and to create awareness against drugs and alcohol consumption. Though Josettan’s ideal is lofty, finding fund is the only hindrance on his path. He wouldn’t wait too long to pedal towards his dream if someone offers to sponsor the ride. To those who worry about getting old, Josettan has just one thing to ask, “Isn’t age just a number?”

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