Mother’s Day Interview with Mommy Cyclist Kavita P-Talib
Q. Introduce yourself and your baby/babies.
A. We Talib’s, are a band of 4; Each as different as can be.
While Yohann(Yo), Reyhann & I are a handful of three kids whilst cycling & hubby Soyuz is the silent, sleeping partner; who has one 30k ride to his credit.
While not cycling, I, Kavita am a mother-daughter-wife, explorer and architect.
Yo is a budding teenager at 13+ now who dabbles between squash, cycling, cubing and whatever impulsively piques his senses. He completed his first 30 at the CYCLING FOR ALL; then 50 k at the next event and 60k at the TABOFA(Take A Breath of Fresh Air) night ride; all when he was just 9.5 years.
While Rey is almost 12 and a wiz at the cycling, cube, tennis and a mind craft buff. His maximum distance at cycling has been 10k, but that was a long time back. He wants to be a baker; but is not ready to commit as yet.
Q. First thing first, how did you fall in love with bicycling?
A. It was way back in December 2012, when we wanted to buy a better cycle for Yohann who was about to turn 9. We went to Firefox and like little children were so taken in by the cycles that we adamantly came back home with 3 cycles instead of one at the tender age of 43.
Q. What role does your bicycle play in your life?
A. Pivotal…! It’s been a crush, a love and a passion. I have passionately spent more time, energy and resources on my cycling and my cycle. I graduated from an Mtb 3700 series to a roadie, Eddie Merck. It was something that I secretly cherished and then got home. And I remember it was so clandestine that it felt like having a new love.
Q. How has your training/racing evolved/changed since becoming a mom?
A. My cycling years came to a nondescript halt with my highly forgettable teenage years. Followed by life’s tryst with giving way to more pressing experiences like career, marriage and mundane domesticity. At 43, what can only be described as a mid-life crisis I fell in need with the idea of owning a cycle. Once I restarted cycling, I discovered a whole new regime-stretching, warming up & Cross training and a whole new band of people to keep the rhythm in place.
Q.What excites you about the growth of women cycling India?
A. The most exciting thing about women cycling in India is that the sport is no longer gender biased. It’s empowering and allows independent movement for women at a low cost. It’s health impact is also heartening and it will have far reaching positive impact on families in general. As the next generation would consider women participation as a norm rather than an exception. With this increase in popularity, the choices and the kind of cycling gear available would improve. When I was searching for a bike in terms of size and design I had to really search high and low and far and wide.
Q. Did you train /ride during your pregnancy?
A. No, I had long days at work and considering my line of work it was a workout in itself.
Q. What’s one thing that could improve your experience as a cyclist? Also, what activities help your cycling?
A. Dedicated cycling lanes, better parking for cyclists. Facilities for changing if you can cycle to work. Road safety & more humane community sense in traffic.
Early to bed and early to rise gets me to cycle…
Q. What motivated (or continues to inspire you) to get on your bike even after becoming a mom?
A. Nothing describes a cycle ride better than to actually experience it. The wind in your hair, the freedom and having your one-on-one time with your bike is such a kick. In addition, if you have good company and you keep bettering your technique and speed it’s highly addictive and motivating.
Also when kids less than half your age look up to you and think “she can..it’s amazing…”
Today, after a few years of cycling I’ve managed to inspire a new set of friends all 45+; all moms, dads and moms-in-law to start cycling. That you can inspire and still motivate others is a huge source of motivation itself.
Q. How do your kids react to you when you’re ready to take on the bike? Any hilarious comments or memorable incident that you’d like to share with us?
A. Mom can I take your bike for a ride, ever since I got a roadie and we are all always vying for the same bike. The kids know if I make a breakfast plan…they are pretty sure it’s not just breakfast but a ride plus breakfast plan. If we are out on vacation and we see a bike shop, they know I’m gone.
Q. Any tips or advice you would have for other moms with goals of getting back in shape and/or riding their bike?
A. Like mutual funds, I think it’s never too late to start!
I think cycling is a hugely underrated activity. It’s not too late to start or restart and you must jump into the sport at the first given chance… it’s a very inclusive sport and given the kind of choices today the cost can be kept as per budget.
Q. Do you think it’s important for parents to ensure their kids have enough playground time?
A. Oh yes..that goes without saying… Mind and body both need a playground to grow, and explore.
Q. Anything else you want to share with the beautiful mommies today?
A. With cycling, I discovered love can be inanimate with an activity…simply because it’s just about you. It’s a fairly easy sport to learn and it can connect you to you in the most engaging way.
It requires no one else but your own commitment and demands as less as 30 minutes to be worthwhile. Cycling has added that play in my life and it’s one sport which keeps your inner child awake. I’ve had some of the most memorable moments whilst cycling.
There was this one time when we went cycling to Bhau cha Dhaka from Navi Mumbai and took a ferry with the cycles to Uran and then cycled home from there… Unplanned trips and simple adventures dot ever ride whether it be your first hill climb or fly over or simply 25k clocked at a better pace.
Once we four went cycling together..till date it’s been one of the fondest memories to look back on.