This 86-Yr-Old Grandpa in Bengaluru Has Cycled 4 Lakh km in 22 Yrs

This 86-Yr-Old Grandpa in Bengaluru Has Cycled 4 Lakh km in 22 Yrs

Flex 'em

Once he started cycling at the age of 64 years, Bylahalli Raghunath Janardan has not looked back. Proud of having covered nearly four lakh kilometres in the last 22 years, the 86-year-old grandfather is an inspiration to younger marathoners.

His home in JP Nagar, south Bengaluru is a sight to behold, as his many awards, mementos and medals dominate the room, highlighting his many achievements. Claiming that his passion was fueled only by a desire to reclaim his “lost boyhood” days, the former Railways employee is spending his retirement travelling across the country, and even to places like Dubai and Sydney to get an adrenaline rush.

Apart from being an expert cyclist, Janardan is also a runner, marathoner, trekker and endurance athlete.
Apart from being an expert cyclist, Janardan is also a runner, marathoner, trekker and endurance athlete.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)
“I took to cycling at the age of 64. Now its been 265 months, I have covered almost 4,00,000 km, a distance between the earth to the other side of the moon. After gaining confidence and stamina, I took to trekking at the age of 68. I have done Himalayan trekking about 20 times, including Mt Kailash.”
Bylahalli Janardan

Initially dissuaded from participating in the pilgrimage trek, considered to be one of the most challenging climbs in the country, Janardan was the eldest person in his batch in 2008, and did so without the help of a porter or pony - a fact that he prides himself on.

A special feather in his cap remains the prestigious Kempegowda Award handed out by the Karnataka government to deserving citizens, that he received two years ago. He also had a special commemorative stamp bearing his image, released by the Jayanagar post office, a few years ago.

A special commemorative released in his honour, for his age-defying activities.
A special commemorative released in his honour, for his age-defying activities.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

Ain’t no Mountain High Enough, or Building

Janardan also takes a special interest in stair-racing competitions, in which participants must scale multi-storey buildings in record time.

He has done several such vertical runs: 32 floors four times, 52 floors once and his personal best: 64 floors in Dubai.

“I want to do some new things, people think I’m old. 60 years, crossing 60 years, I’m old. I don’t think there is any old age at all. I also don’t think there is any disease also.”
Bylahalli Janardan

So, What Does Someone With This Type of Infinite Energy eat?

Janardan insists he’s a frugal eater. Not one to eat bulky meals, he prefers to eat dates, nuts and consume several litres of water per day to keep himself in tip-top shape.

He cycles everywhere he goes in Bengaluru, even to visit family and friends, as he doesn’t want anybody to use fueled vehicles and pollute the environment.

“I can also boast. I am really green in the sense. I commute inside the city on a bicycle, and from city to city. Any place I commute on the bicycle only. And on an average I am able to maintain 55km/day.”       
Bylahalli Janardan

Janardan is confident, that he can survive for the rest of his life, without prescription medicines or going to a doctor. His healthy and active lifestyle is enough to keep him in the best shape. His garden of organic vegetables and herbs is another passion of his, as he loves living off the earth.

“I never want to trouble anybody for something i can do on my own. I want to be independent. I have not visited a doctor or taken any medicines for the last 23 years, and I’m sure I can continue.”

Janardan lives alone and happily independent in Bengaluru.
Janardan lives alone and happily independent in Bengaluru.
(Photo: The Quint/Arpita Raj)

(FIT is now available on Telegram and WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our Telegram and WhatsApp channels.)

Follow our Flex 'em section for more stories.

Flex 'em

    Also Watch