Deepa Katrodia is a proud home maker. While that in-itself is mammoth task, she manages to make time for her athletic aspirations and has made it through some tough marathons, cyclothons and triathlons. She was the proud winner of 75K Bangalore Ultra 2013 and 100K Bangalore Ultra 2014. She recently participated in the Ironman 70.3 Colombo and the Tour of Nilgiris 2018. Deepa, who just a few years ago wouldn’t walk for a kilometer is now passionate about running and cycling for long distances. Read on to know about her passion for cycling.
What motivated you to start cycling?
I started serious training seriously when I registered for the Pune Sprint Triathlon and Hyderabad Half Triathlon in 2017. I am a runner, and have practice ultra-running also, so it was my transition to triathlons, when I found my love for cycling. I used to train 60-80 km three times a week, and just loved it.
Tour of Nilgiris (TfN) 2018 was surely a tough ride tell us about your experience?
I got to know about TfN through common friends and my husband insisted we participate in it. It was a wonderful experience, out of this world. The route was very scenic and scenery helped me forget the pain of riding over 100kms every day. Also, Mumbai cyclists don’t get good roads to cycle, and the roads through the coffee and tea estates were like riding through heaven. I got a chance to ride for eight days through the tour. I couldn’t complete Kalhatti, one of toughest climbs on the route but I’m determined to complete it next year.
Tell us about any other cycling events that you have participated in?
I have participated in the Mumbai cyclathon apart from TfN 2018 and I’m looking forward to participate in upcoming cycling events.
Who/What has been your backbone throughout your cycling journey?
My husband has been my backbone throughout the practice and training and has always encouraged me to give time to myself apart from my duties of taking care of the family. He is a triathlete coach with Yoska Training Academy.
As a woman cyclist, do you face any stereotypes and how do you tackle them?
I think the approach of people towards women cyclists is changing. Not much of a problem now-a-days, as things are changing for the better. People are aware. But nonetheless, I try to ride with groups. Male riders support if there a is problem, for instance some motorcyclists deliberately rid in close proximity.
Work/family and training – do you have to juggle them all?
I was a mother to a special child and I would take care of her and the family while juggling with training. I would put her to sleep in front of me while I trained. Now-a-days, I make it a point to do prepare things prior to going for my early morning workout. My husband and family members’ support makes it easier.
What is your piece of advice for fellow cyclists who want to pursue it as a way of life?
Invest in a good bike for your own size. Check the size before buying.
Just don’t buy any cycle (used or new) just because it’s a great deal.
Helmet is a must because safety should be your priority. Women riders should ride in a groups to ensure safety.
What’s next in your cycling career?
I’m looking forward to participate in many more cycling events across the country and continue with my triathlon practice. I’m even determined to complete Kalahatti next year during the Tour of Nilgiris.