This re-post from RRC’s 2012 Wellness blog features now-retired Gurdeesh Ghuman, whom many of us will remember from the Notre Dame campus. Your editor thought this bit of college history might bring a smile.
On September 9, 2012, the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th anniversary of the Red River Rebel Riders (rrrr…), Gurdeesh Ghuman from NDC Security stunned supporters. In his very first year with the team, he became the youngest Sikh in history to place last in the MS Riding Mountain Challenge, arguably Manitoba’s most prestigious cycling event. His time? 4½ Hours.
Team captain Guy Dugas was quick to waive off allegations that the 34-year veteran of the Indian infantry had taken banned substances to reduce his performance. “Absolutely not! In fact, if it hadn’t been for a large coffee at the last rest stop, he might have taken even longer to come in.” For his part, Gurdeesh attributes his success to a strict training regime—he used to cycle daily to and from school in India—and a healthy bladder.
“He doesn’t need steroids. The guy’s 14 years younger than I am!”
73-year-old Wayne Ferguson, who completed the 70 km ride in a mere two hours, was just as dismissive. “Give me a break! He doesn’t need steroids. The guy’s 14 years younger than I am!”
Other Rebel Riders rallied to Gurdeesh’s defense, including this year’s other first-timer Dayna Grayme. “He’s one of those natural athletes who affects every member of the team. He’s so easy going, personable, and very chatty. Gurdeesh certainly slowed me down!”
Mike Poitras and Roxanne Hildebrant nodded in agreement, “He’s an inspiration. That 10-speed of his has to be older than we are. And what does Ghurdeesh do after cycling 70 km to Clear Lake? He jives to Buddy Holly! In the same shoes!”
So the next time you see Gurdeesh, ask him about the MS Ride. He’ll probably say something like, “Everyday it’s a-gettin’ closer, Goin’ faster than a rollercoaster“.
Editor’s note: This is the fifth post in our “Celebration of (Retired) Life“ series. Yes, the quotes are tongue in cheek, but the particulars are true: Ghurdeesh—a wonderful sport—really is a veteran of the Indian infantry, he did ride his bike to school, he did finish the MS Ride in 4-1/2 hours on his old 10-speed, and he did jive with Roxanne to Buddy Holly at Clear Lake. We welcome any uplifting, funny, inspiring, or otherwise simply interesting story, profile, or bit of whimsy. To share with our other retirees, simply email your 500- to 1,000-word piece to HG-Editor@RRC.CA.