A tribute to a Great Rider and an Inspiring friend

Lovelish Arora

Lovelish Arora

What do you expect when you hear a man lost 18 kgs over 6 months?

Him to be a hyper active individual who can run marathons and probably scale down mountains in one climb.

Well this one is so not like that.

He is Lovelish Arora. Aged 37, a great husband and a loving father, and an inspiring friend.

Lately I have been riding with a lot of individuals. Ages ranging from 16 to 54. However this man caught attention. Lovelish and I met in a WhatsApp group of riders and planned that we would meet one morning for a ride. I must say that I didn’t like his attitude about safety. When I first came for a ride with him, I didn’t bring my helmet as it was a small ride. I was totally unprepared and was wearing my head band and shorts. It was a cold winter morning but I have decided to go commando on the ride. However he was fully prepared. Safety Lights, proper cycling shorts,  helmet and he even had a bike stand.(Yes our bikes might be worth a lot of money but the OEMs do not give us the Stands or Bells). To top everything, I had been drinking with my girlfriend (from that time) till 4 am and we were riding at around 6.30.

During the ride, Lovelish expressed his concern that I should ride more safely. However I didn’t pay much attention to him.

After the ride, I called up Anuj and started bitching. Anuj and I often bitch about the riders who ride with us, however this was different. Anuj, for the first time agreed with the other party and said that I was a very unsafe rider. I generally move to the middle of the road while riding. Anuj also agreed that  my attitude of not wearing a helmet was actually dangerous and to top it all up even he agreed on that WHISPER SHORTS THINGY.. Ok I had my cycling buddy agreeing with someone I just met. I had to re think my riding styles. Earlier that year, while doing a solo trail I had fallen off my bike and was on the ground for more than half an hour screaming in pain. I was about to get serious now thanks to Lovelish’s line “You should be always prepared for a ride”.

I took Lovelish’s advice and went to a store. WOW Cycling equipment’s are expensive. However I managed to spend a lot of time and money on the stuff Lovelish had recommended.

The next ride was supposed to be a 2 man ride with him and me 25 kms in 45 mins. Like the first time, he had a new complaint. No puncture kits. It would take me a several rides to actually realize how important puncture kits actually are.

It was an awesome morning Lovelish was not on his usual MTB, he had borrowed a road bike from a friend. FUCK, THIS GUY WHO WAS ALWAYS LEFT BEHIND IN ALL THE RIDES WAS LEADING LIKE A CRAZY MAN. He was too fast. He was probably on some kind of steroids that day as he was racing with an Auto on a flat stretch. I was behind wondering how the fuck this guy was doing it? He was superbly fast. If he would have peddled a bit more he could have broken the sound barrier (just exaggerating). He was probably doing about 45-50 kmph. Later when he stopped, at the turn, he asked me if I saw his race. My legs were trembling with fear as I was quite aware that he would be kicking my ass for being an ass hole during all the rides.

Well he did. He was leading throughout the ride and it was quite interesting to see him brake and take pics of me riding and often taunting me for being slow, yet it was a motivating fashion.

We rode on the GFR stretch and did over 20 kms. On our way to the toll, we even met some Harley riders. Thanks to him for the first time I sat on a Harley and switched it on. It was a fun experience but it was about to get nasty.

On our way back, Lovelish was probably leading by 800 meters or more. Since I was not well (lying), I could not keep up with him. But then the inevitable happened. I had a flat. I had to drag my bike all the way to the final turn towards Surajkund. I called up my dad and begged him to pick me up. Lovelish did call and offered to return to me, but I pressed on that he should return back home. Now the fun part. Since he had no baggage(me) and he was confident that I was safe, this guy raced back home about 8-10 kms in no time. He was super fast that day.

Later that evening he called and expressed his thought that I should go and buy the kit asap. Since he had not only become a great riding buddy, but also a mentor, I decided to listen to him.

Lovelish has accompanied me to most of my rides and has often guided me on many things. He even made my year by giving it a great start.

We were stopped by a blind man during one of our rides to help him by becoming a write for his exam. We could not write the exam for him as were above the age. Lovelish went all out to help this guy along with me and after struggling for about an hour we did manage to find a kid who could write the exam for him. We even shared our nutrition bars with kids and had a great time. Lovelish made my year that day. Although we were able to find a writer but he wasn’t able to give the exam as we were a 5 mins late. I could see a disappointment in his eyes as we was unable to help him. But in the end we did exchange numbers and ensured him that we would always be there for him.

Now this is something that most people don’t know about him. Mostly I have seen riders who go all out on Sunday morning doing over 100 kms or may be more. Now this guy doesn’t do that. He is quite a responsible rider. He is not as crazy as Anuj or me but his level of craziness is controlled. He would do everything on a Sunday morning with me. He would do 50 kms, or even go trail hunting, but he would always follow the time and get back home on time as promised to his wife. Now that’s something I haven’t seen most people do. But this guy does it.

He does not let others suffer at the cost of his fun. Unlike me after he returns back home he hangs out with his son, takes out his wife for lunch and sometimes, sits with his relatives for drinks. Now that’s a real responsible rider.

I hope by the time I am of his age, I can be as wonderful, warm, loving and caring individual like him.

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