The 55-mile ride across the landscapes of Cambridgeshire marked a milestone for Shabir Jagani as he cycled his longest distance, just 16 months after he got back into the cycling game. The bike ride was a joint event between the SJ cycling team and the Peterborough branch of a national Sunni organisation called “Brothers on Bikes,” thereby exemplifying the true essence of interfaith activity.
The occasion was momentous as when he had started, riding 6 miles was a daunting and cumbersome task, yet in Peterborough, his months of hard work, rigorous training and determination were rewarded through the completion of his biggest challenge yet. As well as this, Shabir uncle managed to raise a staggering £1,480 which was a commendable effort.
Yet at 62, the cyclist’s ambitions have only grown bigger, truly proving age is only a number. He plans to take part in the 46 mile bike ride across London this Sunday raising money for Cancer Research. His training has also commenced for the household 54-mile ride from London to Brighton, where he will raise money for WF Aid. This included a 35-mile cycle last week where he cycled from Northwick Park to Regents Park and back.
For Shabir uncle, his determination to get fit preceded cycling after Dr Mahmood Mawjee had encouraged him to start running again. He says that a huge amount of gratitude is owed to Dr Mahmood for allowing him to improve his fitness and realise his physical potential, which many people his age are reluctant to discover. Yet after some injuries, his desire to stay fit allowed him to rediscover his passion for his bike, a sport which he had not partaken in for over 15 years. Due to cycling being less strenuous on his knees, it was the perfect mechanism for him to continue keeping fit.
However, for Shabir Uncle cycling is so much more than maintaining his fitness. Courtesy of the awesome SJ Cycling lead, Mo Ladha and his team, the cycling community has managed to expand over the last few months. It provides an incredible platform for socialising and networking as it breaks the traditional barriers of age due to a common shared passion. This coupled with Mo’s motto of “We do not leave anyone behind,” ensures that the community is inclusive and welcoming for newcomers.
When asked to give advice for those considering joining the cycling family, Shabir uncle mentioned that at first, the experience is daunting, especially being surrounded by such accomplished riders. Yet through training, starting from inner streets, then building up to road cycling you can build up your stamina and improve quickly. The hardest part of cycling, like with any other sport is taking the first step. Shabir uncle also wished to pay tribute to the tremendous encouragement he had received from Mo Ladha and Samir Chandoo along his journey.
This Saturday 3rd August is an opportunity for families to get together in London and get a taste for cycling at the Prudential Free Ride event. For more information please visit https://www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk/events/freecycle/
For his upcoming ride this Sunday, he will be raising money for cancer research in memory of his wife, brother and other close friends. If you would like to donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shabir-jagani1
For those who wish to get involved in SJ cycling please contact Mo Ladha at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mohammad Mahdi Karim