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Team Maruti Bikes For Dharma In Support Of Veterans

K. Arvind
06/04/2015

Team Maruti Bikes for Dharma in Support of Veterans

 
बुद्धिर्बलं यशोधैर्यं निर्भयत्वमरोगता |
अजाढ्यं वाक्पटु:त्वंच हनुमत् स्मरणात्भवेत् ||

buddhirbalam yashodhairyam nirbhayatvamarogataa |
ajaadyam vaakpatutvamcha hanumat smaranaatbhavet ||

Dwelling on Hanuman endows one with his qualities of
wisdom, strength, fame, courage, fearlessness, health, briskness, and eloquence

(a shloka)

Volunteers from Bharathi Vidyashram and the Hindu Temple of New Hampshire rallied to “Bike for Dharma”, and helped raise over $1300 in support of the nation’s injured veterans, as they participated in the first “Honor Ride New Hampshire”, a bicycle ride around Nashua, NH on May 30, 2015.

The Rally

The weather was warm and sunny, and there was great excitement and love in the air as about 600 cyclists of all ages waited behind the start line at the historic Holman Stadium at 67 Amherst St, Nashua to be flagged off to begin the “Ride 2 Recovery”, a novel bicycle ride program that aims to save lives by restoring hope and purpose. After band performances, introductory speeches, a moment of silence to show respect for the veterans, and singing of the national anthem, the swarm of waiting bicyclists eagerly pedaled away on their chosen 10 mile, 30 mile, or 50 mile routes covering Nashua, Amherst, Milford and Brookline.

The “Maruti”s

Team Maruti had 17 bicyclists (about 3% of the rally participants) including volunteers and supporters of the Bharathi Vidyashram and the Hindu Temple of New Hampshire, and their friends, with bicycling experience levels ranging from beginner to that of bicyclists with hundreds of miles behind their belts. The youngest rider in the team was 9-year old Maitreyi Rayasam whose excitement was written on her face. However, nobody would come forward to be recognized as the oldest rider, since the sport made everybody feel very young. Even though some members of the team were new to bicycling, and some of them actually rented their bicycles, they were not new to active outdoor sports, and had done walking, trekking or running before. Based on their experience, time constraints, and quality of their bicycles, the team separated into three groups along the way. The Nirbhaya (fearless) Marutis did 10 miles, which took them through a relatively flat route up to the first rest stop and back along the same route. The Nirbhaya Marutis included Suresh Annamalai, Srinivas Bodapati, Usha Dwarak, Srinivas Gopalan, Vinod Pujari, Veeramani Ranganathan, Maitreyi Rayasam, and Raidu Rayasam. The Dhairyavaan Marutis (courageous) did 30 miles, which took them through a route with several gradient challenges. The dhairyavaans included K Arvind, Durga Choudhury, Seshadri Dwarakanath, Chris Friedberg, Mike Friedberg, Ganesh Kaundinya, PremAnand Rao, and Rajesh Venugopal. The Balavaan (strong) Maruti Ravi Shankar completed the most challenging route and covered 50 miles. The average speed was clocked by a 30-miler to be 11 miles per hour, and the calories burnt to be 470 calories for every 10 miles. The Nirbhaya Marutis burnt close to an impressive 500 calories, the Dhairyavaans Marutis burnt close to an amazing 1500 calories, and the Balavaan Maruti burnt close to an incredible 2500 calories, all while having fun riding through beautiful traffic-free paths, with inspiring views on a warm and sunny day. Every member of the team successfully completed their chosen route, and was greeted and honored with a “Honor Ride” medal by Ride 2 Recovery at the finish line, and received a free T-Shirt. The ride was covered on WMUR TV (click here for video news report). Photos from the event may be viewed here.

The Rewards

The Honor Ride in Nashua, NH on May 30th, in honor of Sgt. Jack Nash, a Vietnam veteran and bike industry legend, gave bicyclists an opportunity to ride with healing heroes and enlisted military on a non-competitive, fun ride. It provided an opportunity for devotees of the Hindu Temple of New Hampshire to show camaraderie, support, and love for and solidarity with their brethren of the Hindu faith as well as other faiths serving in or retired from the Armed Forces, true to the Hindu dictum that the whole world is one family (“vasudhaiva kutumbakam” – वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्), and in line with “E Pluribus Unum”, the motto on the seal of the United States. Members of Team Maruti, who participated with an attitude of selfless service, raised over $1300 (about 2% of the total amount raised) in support of the veterans just through registration fees. In addition to tangible rewards like medals, T-shirts, and calories burnt, the “Bike for Dharma” riders of Team Maruti felt blessed with the unmatchable gift of the joy of accomplishment, and the satisfaction of having supported the healing of heroes, who have sacrificed much in order to uphold their Dharma of protecting the high ideals that this nation stands for. Team “Maruti” was named after Lord Hanuman, who symbolizes not only speed and strength, but also healing. In the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman lifted and brought a mountain bearing the healing herb Sanjeevani to revive Sri Lakshmana who was fighting with Sri Rama to uphold Dharma.

LINKS: WMUR report and video, Photo Albums



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