While most of us are just out of school at the age of 18 and are figuring out life, there are a few who have already achieved a mammoth of medals and accolades. One of them happens to be Mumbai’s most talented cyclist Madura Waykar. At the age of 19, this Rockstar has already represented India at the Junior Asian Track Cycling Championship.
If that wasn’t enough, Madhura is also the National Road Cycling Champion 2017 (Time Trial and Mass Start), National Road Cycling Champion 2016 and the list goes on. While these are some of her cycling achievements at the National level, there are a dozen others at the state and district level. We will save them for some other time 😉
To bring you more insights about her already massive cycling career we invited Madura Waykar to join us at the 5th Zero Emission Night Ride.
Quietly on her bicycle, she rode with us, speaking only when required and as much required. However, there was one thing that was constant, her smile. As we seated ourselves by the sea with the full moon shining bright, the stage was set for her interview.
VeloCrush: How did you get into cycling?
Madhura Waykar: As a child, my parents always wanted me to be an athlete. So they ensured that I play as many sports as I can during my younger days. But as I grew up, I had to make a choice between cycling, swimming and other sports. That’s when I decided to go ahead with Cycling.
VeloCrush: What were the obstacles you faced when you got into cycling?
Madhura Waykar: I’m very happy that I have both my parents supporting me when it comes to cycling. They are my biggest strength and have always made sure that I don’t have any obstacles.
VeloCrush: As a woman cyclist, how do people react when you go out to train?
Madhura Waykar: When I go out to train, I only have one mindset; to do better than what I did yesterday. It doesn’t really matter to me as what people have to say or react as I’m focused on my goal.
VeloCrush: What is your diet like during the racing season?
Madhura Waykar: Honestly, my diet is not about things that you shouldn’t eat. It’s about all the things that I should be eating to perform better and recover well. I consume more of protein and less of carbs. I also take vitamin and protein supplements to meet my requirements.
VeloCrush: Tell us something about your training?
Madhura Waykar: Well, I train alone and my father comes with me to support. During off seasons, I work on endurance and during the season I do a lot of intervals.
VeloCrush: What bikes do you own and which is your favourite? Why?
I have 3 bikes! The one I use for the time trial is Trek speed concept 9.9, then my road bike is Pinarello Prince and track bike is Fuji Elite. There is no personal favourite bike as I love them all. I can’t compare them with each other. It’s like asking a parent who your favourite child is.
VeloCrush: Tell us something about your coach?
Madhura Waykar: Honestly speaking, my coach has never seen me cycling. He lives in Pune and sends me the training plan which I ritually follow. He is the most respected and the best coach in India. His name is Kerman Framna! Under him, I’ve won the maximum number of national medals.
VeloCrush: What are your off seasons like?
Madhura Waykar: I don’t believe in offseasons. I feel when you go on a break, it takes a very long time for you to get back when the racing season arrives. However, I make sure that I focus on my endurance during this period of the year, which makes it way easier for me to get back to my peak training just before the racing season.
VeloCrush: Would you suggest us some ways to recover from sprint training?
Madhura Waykar: I feel we should not exert ourselves at all after a long training day. We should eat well and keep off your feet. Make sure you take care of your lower back too as is important when it comes to training. Also, get as much as sleep as possible.
VeloCrush: Would you like to share some expert tips for cyclists looking to achieve bigger goals?
Madhura Waykar: I would want them to work very hard and stay focused on their goal.
VeloCrush: Any role model? Tell us a reason why?
Madhura Waykar: No, none as of yet!
VeloCrush: What is your opinion on cycling in India? What are your goals for the future?
Madhura Waykar: I believe in the next 10 years, the future of Indian cycling is very bright. India surely will make it to the Olympics and hopefully, I’ll be representing our country.
VeloCrush: Would you be interested in promoting cycling among women in India?
Madhura Waykar: Yes, I like the concept of velocrush and would like to help promote cycling.
VeloCrush: What keeps you motivated?
Madhura Waykar: My medals and my performance at the National’s keep me motivated and the efforts that my parents take for me. Any time when I feel like giving up, one look at my parents and I am ready to do it all over again.
VeloCrush: What’s your favourite part of the race?
Madhura Waykar: The part where your body has given up and there are just 100 meters left between you and the finish line. That’s my favourite part! I like to suffer and push myself mentally beyond my limit.
VeloCrush: What do you think about while you’re training?
Madhura Waykar: When I’m training I only think about doing better than what I was yesterday. For instance, if I covered a certain distance and a certain period of time, I would defiantly want to make it better than what it was.
VeloCrush: Tell us something that endurance racing has taught you in life?
Madhura Waykar: Cycling has only taught me to keep going. You just have to keep pedalling, whether climbs, flats or any terrain. You keep pedalling and you will reach your destination.
Special Thanks to Madhura Waykar and Shreyas Sawant