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 when, 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.
73-year-old Wayne Ferguson, who completed the 70 kms in just 2 hours, was just as dismissive when asked how Gurdeesh managed to arrive a full 2½ hours after him, “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 he do after cycling 70 km to Clear Lake? He jives to Buddy Holly! In the same shoes!”
So the next time you see Gurdeesh on the Notre Dame campus, ask him about the MS Ride. He’ll probably say something like, “Everyday it’s a-gettin’ closer, Goin’ faster than a rollercoaster“.