Cyclist | Dr. Leena Patankar

Hello everyone!

I am Dr. Leena Patankar from Pune. I am a cyclist.

When did your Cycling/Running/Tri journey begin?

My cycling journey began in August 2020,during the lockdown.After getting bored by doing the online,homebound workouts,! started cycling in the lanes around my home. Slowly, I went on to the roads and increasing the distance as well as elevations. So the distance increased from 10km to 25 to 50km and the Katraj Ghats and Sinhgad became the new challenges. All this on MTB which I had bought 10 yrs back. After doing 100km I registered myself for 1 50km brevet(long distance, endurance cycling) in February 2021 ,to give it a try. I was all alone, knowing nothing, absolutely new on the highway . I completed 1 50 km enjoying it thoroughly. And the new journey of brevets began ! Then i got my new Road bike.Since February 2021 I have :
1) 4 SR titles ( SR is Super Randonneur. You become SR when you do 200,300,400 and 600km in one season of Audax India which is from 1st November to 31 sr October next year          

2) one 1 000km{ Nagpur­Hyderabad-N ag pu r, in August 2022)

3) Sela pass cycling ( inArunachal Pradesh at the height of 13000feet).

4) In January 2023, participated in Sahyadri Classic, 4th season,2 ghat challenge and secured 5th position.

How do you make time to pursue your sport.?

Being a gynaecologist ,I am in a very demanding profession with untimely and unpredictable schedules. But I think if you are passionate enough about something and equally enjoying doing it then you definitely find time to pursue it because it gives you immense happiness as well as energy. So discipline, regularity and consistency along with certain aims and targets can make everything possible.

How has cycling changed your health and life style?

I have always followed a healthy lifestyle. Cycling gave me a new confidence, a new perspective of life. With new friends who are fellow riders I expirience lot of goodness, positivity and encouragement.

What is your most memorable Cycling/Running incident/ride?

My first 300km after recovering from my shoulder injury which was from Pune to Mahabaleshwar and back via Satara. All was good till evening when I was Satara and heading towards Pune when it started raining torrentially and there was no sign of stopping. The cut off to reach Pune was fixed so I rode in the heavy rains and darkness adding to it for about 5 hours when it finally stopped when I reached Khed Shivapur. I was happy to make it within the cut-off time.
Another challenge was in Arunachal Pradesh when I had to fight extreme cold,elevations and high altitude.

What's your message to every women out there who want to pursue Cycling/Running/Triathlon?

Beginning is the only inhibition we have ! Once you begin, things start rolling on their own and any outdoor activity does add a different meaning to your life. You come closer to the nature. Your life becomes enriched because you gather real wealth in the form of the friends, expiriences and most importantly health.
Most importantly don't do it to prove yourself just start enjoying what you do!!