Rian Kumar is not your average six-year-old. He set a record by covering 108.09 km at a speed of 20.8 km/hr in five hours and 17 minutes. His feat was monitored and recorded by the World Book of Records, London this July. What is remarkable is that he achieved this landmark without any professional training.
He began cycling about a year ago. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown allowed him the time to cycle for long hours and the roads also remained free. His inspiration is his mother Commander Gauri
"His two pedals are equal to one pedal on my bike," Gauri told The Hindu. Gauri is a Madras Randonneur who has completed a 200-kilometer brevet. Her love of cycling has rubbed off on Rian, just as it has on her mother. Her mother Prabha Mishra, was a national-level biker.
She emphasises that Rian's accomplishment is unique as it came after a pretty rudimentary cycle. "In the age of social media, we do not see many people, especially, children, active in sports and fitness. After I stepped out, Rian also joined me and it slowly became an everyday thing. We start off at 3 am and he would cycle along the OMR route up to Mahabalipuram with me. Though we are new to Chennai and have come here from Delhi, people along the cycling routes helped us and the infrastructure is also to be appreciated," she added.
The family resides in Island Grounds' staff quarters on Flagstaff Road. The geography supports leisure cycling because of its quiet, but it cannot support the intensity of the mother-son duo's cycling involvement, which needs a large terrain.
"On October 10, Rian and I attempted a 150-kilometer ride down East Coast Road from Chennai to Puducherry, but turned back at Kalpakkam because the road beyond that is perilous for any biker, let alone a six-year-old. Rian's rides are documented on a GPS-driven cycling app, with which he has been registered as "Rian the Lion," Gauri explained.
She added that Rian's rides are recorded on a GPS-driven cycling app, with which he has been registered as "Rian the Lion," and this ride was also an exception. As a parent Gauri has proved that you just need to support your child to achieve something big and just keep pushing them to do whatever they desire.