And He took No Shortcuts

A rainy Wednesday afternoon, I drove to Gurgaon to meet one of the most respected cyclists in Delhi-NCR, Mr. Vikas Gupta, owner and founder of Pedal Up Studio. As I entered his store, beyond the stairs and the fresh smell of paint, I could see him sitting on his chair, leaning back with a warm thoughtful smile on his face. It was as if there was nothing in the world that could take that smile and happiness away from him. As I opened the door, like any respectable man, he stood up and shook my hand. I have always felt nice meeting him, but today was different. He looked younger, and smarter. A man in his late 40s generally doesn’t really have that look, unless he has given up on all the materialist things in life. We sat and as usual he ordered for my favorite black coffee without sugar.

Let’s go back to 2014, Vikas and I met in an online community of cyclists, discussing cycle service centers in Delhi and NCR. Despite being a store owner, I could sense that he wasn’t there to make a quick buck, instead was happy to provide information and knowledge about bike-servicing. The honesty that seeped through his comments, made me send him a friend request. We connected and we started chatting about cycling. In 2015, I met him for the first time, and in 2016, I bought my first Road bike from him. Years passed, and after 3 years of knowing him, I finally understood what keeps him going and his journey through life.

 Karma  does not mean that we are punished for our errors. It means that we can learn from our mistakes

Behind those long runs, and those adventurous cycle rides to various parts of the country lies a story. A story of a man’s journey to find himself.
His day generally starts at 5 in the morning and ends around 10.30 while watching Arnab Goswami. But what he does in-between is what is truly inspiring. If you happen to follow him on Instagram or maybe just like his biking store page, you might get a glimpse of the 16-17 hour of his day that he spends awake.

The man is an unstoppable machine!

His usual day might seem mundane to someone. Every morning, Vikas goes for a run or for a ride. When he comes back home, he spends about an hour on social media, adding the pictures of his adventures of the day. At 10 am, after taking care of household chores, he takes off for his store, a shop that deals in paints. In the basement of his store, he has opened the Pedal Up Studio, your one stop shop for all your cycling needs. By 7 PM, he is off work and usually spends time with his family before calling it a night. But what’s interesting is that throughout his day, he has already planned for his next ride or run.

 

Since 2012, Vikas has biked over 36,000+ Kms and ran of over 2,450+ Kms. It just goes on to show that nothing is impossible, if you have your heart set to it.

Vikas had a much-disciplined childhood, something that my father always wanted to give me. At the age of 22, he opened his own business of domestic paints in a small shop in Gurgaon. Soon it was followed by marriage, and then kids. It was all about simple things in life. Food, clothing, shelter and a happy family are the basics that a man desires, but only a few, including him, can be content with it. But then came a big loss that would leave a lot of us broken, shattered and depressed for life. Vikas lost his 12-year-old daughter.

But Vikas chose to find freedom and liberation from all his pain in a hobby that he took up at the age of 42, proving to most of us that age is just a number. He re-introduced himself to cycling, and no distance ever felt long. Cycling  gave him the sense of freedom and happiness that helped him overcome the trauma, that no other sport could.

His family and friends have always been supportive of his endeavours and have often joined him for this commitment to health. He is frequently accompanied by his daughter and you could make out from the pictures the fun they have.

Life had been hard on Vikas, but he found peace in the words of the man above. He has always had a theory that if one works with his full energy, then the universe shall reward with what you deserve.His life has been a living example of the same. He made everyone proud, his family, his friends, and his daughter who’s watching him from above.

At the end of narrating his story, Vikas adds,

“There are people who can’t even talk, see, hear, walk, and we who have all these are privileged and blessed by the man above, who have taken life for granted and run after contentment. The contentment is within you.”

I have tried my best to write about a man with a larger than life persona, but words are not enough to describe him. All I’d say is that when you learn to segregate between essentials and desirable you become Vikas Gupta, and trust me when I say this, you would need to meet him in person to learn the true essence of life.

If you are in Gurgaon go for a ride with him, you won’t be disappointed. Also drop by his store for some coffee, and check out the bikes 😀

 

Pedal Up Studio : https://www.facebook.com/Pedalup-Studio-719392691421260/

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