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