Thoudam Opendro is the first Indian to complete 7000 km long Trans Am Bike Race

Chitaranjan Thoudam *

Thoudam Opendro
Thoudam Opendro

Thoudam Opendro Singh is a software professional from Bangalore and a native of Thoudam, Manipur. He used to cycle to commute to school in Ningombam which was 9 km away from home. Back then, it was a way to commute. Yet, he used to ride this distance in village roads in about 20 minutes. His passion for cycling developed when he became a part of cycling community called Bangalore Bikers Club sometime in 2010. Back then, 100 km ride was considered a long ride.

Things changed when Bangalore Brevet organized rides of distances 200, 300, 400, 600, 1000 and 1200 km within a cut-off time. The riders called themselves randonneurs, He bought a road bike in April 2011 and since then he has done 600 km in 2011, 1000 km in 2012. He was also the lone finisher in a touch 1240 km brevet in 2013 which saw continuous storms .

His hunger for more challenge grew and he was part of a team that crafted a much tougher 1200 km brevet through many mountains in 2014 which came to be known as Bliss In the Hills . He rode the route himself and was one of the 4 finishers out of 76 riders . He repeated the same route in 2015.

He was still hungry for more challenges. He didn't believe himself to be a super human and wanted to prove that ultra distances can be ridden with simple preparations and equipment. In a way, he wanted to remove the fear among many randonneurs of doing really long distance rides. At the same time, he didn't want to spend too much. Trans Am came about just then and it fit his bill.

It is about 7000 km long race along a typical touring route through high mountains, dense forests and country roads connected by bits of highway and small towns, on solo, all on self support, i.e. avail facilities, help and support that is available commercially along the route. One cannot take help from another rider, friends, families, etc.

He set out on the cheapest road bike in the market, which was btwin sport 1, which has been used for 6 years. Every rider is tracked using a unique GPS tracker that would transmit its locations regularly to telecommunication satellites and back to relay towers and trackers running on servers on the ground. Everyone is on his or her own to manage food, water, rest, sleep, clothing, laundry, lights for nights, power sources for electronic equipment, route map, tackling snow, heat, wind and rain and at times road blockades and diversions.

Riders of all kinds from all over the world come and race. Some would come with the aim to do their best and win while some would come to enjoy the beautiful and scenic route. Whatever the aim is, every rider is challenged in so many ways that physical stamina is just a small part of the race. It needs strong will, determination, planning and attitude.

Thoudam Opendro
Thoudam Opendro

Opendro set out with an aim to race hard. But change of climate and food hit him hard. Some illness in the weeks preceding the race made the matters worse. Eating just about a small portion of what he would normally eat in such long rides, he was struggling to pick up pace. Sleeps didn't come easy with the ailing condition. Three to four hours of sleep a day on any surface is a luxury. He would typically sleep on road side grass or gravels, motels, shades outside convenience stores and gas stations, churches, etc. He would skip sleep in some nights altogether.

He would nap standing, leaning on the bike if necessary or just sitting with heads buried between knees. Due to unexpected heat or rain or headwind, running out of water or food still happened in spite of planning. At around 2500 km, he almost quit due to severe stomach upset. But he felt better after about 30 hours of rest and decided to continue. There was no looking back since then. He avoided foods that gave troubles, planned his stops better depending on the distance to the next town and weather conditions. Still recovering from the upset stomach, he took it easy for another 1000 km or so. Then he picked up pace gradually in the second half of the race, finishing the entire 7000 km in 27 days and 7 hours, a week more than his initial target.

"Taking more days, resting in the comforts of motels often, riding at slow pace made me feel like I was on a vacation and it took away some pride from the hard work. But it is any day better than quitting which I was about to at the initial stage. I'm satisfied with the completion". He finished 30th out of 67 as per the live tracking with final results pending.

"I want to dedicate this feat to my mother who taught me perseverance and my wife who had wholeheartedly supported me for this mission. I owe a lot to my family members, friends and strangers around the world, cycling enthusiasts and well wishers alike for encouraging and lending immense moral support through tough times".

He has no further plans of any major ride. He has done proud to the country. "I would be glad if my ride could inspire many common citizens to take up cycling for day today transportation and confidently take up such long endurance rides". He himself claims as a more family man than an athlete. He trained for a mere 20 hours over two months preceding the race, running in parks and a couple of rides with friends. Most of the effort went in gathering information about the race, route, logistics, bike equipment, accessories and expenses.

Now, he just loves to ride with his five year old daughter around parks or in the road in an early Sunday morning.

* Chitaranjan Thoudam wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at chitaranjan(DOT)thoudam(AT)gmail(DoT)com
This article was posted on July 16, 2016.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • What is there in the Framework pact ?
  • Connected catalyst
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Mar 29] #1:: Gallery
  • Tinthyang, Lamkholhai, Yangkholet :: eMing
  • He who gave birth to rock n' roll
  • Study hacks that worked for me
  • Career option in Archaeology
  • NPF stands for inclusiveness for solution
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba celebrate
  • Hindu temples attacked at Moreh
  • 9 rescued from human traffickers in Manipur
  • Six NE minnows ready to wield willow
  • Protest against 'outsider' rages
  • Liezietsu clears air on Naga pact
  • 81 from NE raped in Delhi since 2014
  • Nongmai Kainou Chingsomba #1:: Gallery
  • Governor Cup Polo tournament #2:: Gallery
  • World TB Day @JNIMS :: Gallery
  • Manipur Highway: Lifelines or Death-lines
  • Chanu Creation contribution to skillful India
  • Manipur & democracy of the "others"
  • Extend your support to your Ministers
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • 4th WIM CUP 2016 [rescheduled]
  • Manipur titular king gets guard and escort
  • NSCN-IM silent on Centre's reaction
  • Compelling need to study outside
  • Tragic, but a wake-up call
  • Hangmila Shaiza: First Woman MLA
  • 'The Wishess' @Tanglei Festival :: Gallery
  • Cheiraoba : Great festival of the Meiteis
  • Stop Saying-Manipur not have resources
  • JRF position at Pachhunga Univ, Aizawl
  • Governor Cup Polo Tournament Concluded
  • Solar Lights presented to Longdi Pabram
  • Understand history to resolve issues of NE
  • Rise in crime worries citizens
  • Mary Kom eyes comeback at Asian C'ship
  • Reaching out to the Naga community
  • Towards sustainable self-reliance
  • Mix Media Festival #3:: Gallery
  • Khurumjei eethou eekan :: Radio e-pao
  • Shaheed Manoranjan football :: Gallery
  • Birth Anniversary of Maharani Dhanamnjuri
  • Buddha advised to follow the moderate way
  • A hope of second meeting with dear mum
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Killing Culture in Manipur
  • Lingering allure of lotus after polls
  • 30 mn trafficking victims worldwide: CJ
  • Tough for some to be out of news
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #3 : Ooba
  • Yaoshang Sports #3 (Mar 16) :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Glimpses of Puppets in India
  • NE important part of 2nd World War
  • Strategic place branding of Manipur
  • Non-biodegradable solid wastes mgmt
  • Skill oriented vocational training
  • No pact on integration of Naga areas
  • Nobody is a fool, introduce Lok Ayukta
  • Khoupum Valley Expedition #5:: Gallery
  • 36th World TB day Rally :: Gallery
  • Veteran Cricket Tournament :: Gallery
  • And thus she became a fast learner
  • Coalition Government & its periphery
  • Know your test: Uric acid
  • No compromise on territorial integrity
  • Ten meritorious students sponsored
  • Anti Corruption Cell to be set up
  • Centre, State: Put RIMS back on track
  • Minister promise on Imphal Jiribam road
  • Students for HSLC Exam :: Gallery
  • Governor Cup Polo tournament #1:: Gallery
  • Blast of Md Kora & his shadows
  • A Drunken Dream :: Poem
  • Downfall of Congress party in Manipur
  • Corruption a part and parcel in our society
  • Hangkhanlian, Radheshyam, Nemcha ...
  • Lecture on TS. Eliot's contribution
  • Naga integration via FA: Game of word play
  • Almost perfect team...missing "Lok Ayukta"
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #3 :: Gallery
  • Lanmei Thanbi Re-imagining the Light Spirit
  • Did we glorify the UNC highway blockade?
  • Career penchant in Anthropology
  • The formation of new BJP-led Government
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Nagas safe under Framework : NSCN-IM
  • New fish species discovered in Assam
  • Making Manipur bandh & blockade free: Guv
  • Politicking the politics
  • Photo : Governor with all Elected MLAs
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 3 activities #2 : Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam in Femina Miss India 2017
  • RIST talk 28-Transition in amorphous solid
  • Formation of Gender Champions @RGU
  • Free spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • Naga history of transition stands unique
  • Delhi warn NE against shady land deals
  • Screen kids' films in NE languages
  • Looking at the pre-poll promises of BJP
  • State govt- perceptions & premonitions
  • MLAs took oath of office : Gallery
  • SundarGopal Condolence @Ghy : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #2 :: Gallery
  • What Term of Negotiation btn GoM & UNC?
  • Class 12 marks may decide your college..
  • N. Biren led Govt won the floor test
  • Job @ VK NRL Hospital at Numaligarh
  • Cycling from Jessami to Mantripukhri
  • Lifting the longest ever blockade
  • Hope amid the hesitations
  • Tenwa Chandrasakhi :: Funga wari
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #2: Gallery
  • Day 3: Yaoshang activities #1 : Gallery
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #2 : Gallery
  • Drinking bottled mineral water culture
  • Condolence meeting for friend of Assam
  • Food Outlet at DM Community College
  • APFEJ urges Delhi to be respectful to media
  • TSA Ceremonial Rite to its Former SG
  • Statistics not telling the whole story
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #1 : Gallery
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Activities #4: Gallery
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #2 :: Gallery
  • Insurgency as reflected in Chagi Khuji
  • Yaoshang Meithaba @Uripok: Gallery
  • Women Empowerment
  • Construction as career choice
  • Condolence meeting for Sundar Gopal
  • Manipuri group to stall trains
  • Manipur State Archery Championship
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Halankar celebration : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Nungba #2 :: Gallery
  • Art of Lamangdong's stone bowls & Toupokpi
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #2: Gallery
  • Pabung Sunder Gopal funeral at Mandalay
  • Emotional integration of all communities
  • Training on Traditional Snacks
  • How to take along disparate parties
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #1: Gallery
  • Meetei Pokpi :: Radio e-pao
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #4: Gallery
  • Letter: Manipur Public Service Commission
  • Career as Chef
  • HQ IGAR celebrates 14th Raising Day [upd]
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #1 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #1 :: Gallery
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #1 :: Gallery
  • Nongthombam Biren sworn-in CM, Mar 15
  • Glaucoma Week : March 12 - 18, 2017
  • Annual Yaoshang Thabal 2017 at Pune
  • Course in Butterfly Studies at BNHS
  • Yaoshang- with DJ @Sekmai :: Gallery
  • Kangleipak Football Trophy 2017 :: Gallery
  • Thabal chongbagi Peisa khaiba #2:: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #3: Gallery
  • Cue card for the new Chief Minister
  • International Rivers Day at Tamenglong
  • What kind of Nagaland are we moving..
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #2: Gallery
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #2:: Gallery
  • Holi Pala performance at Raj Bhavan
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: AMWJU Sports : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Bangladesh Meetei leisabi at Sylhet
  • Churchill Brothers vs Shillong Lajong
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #1:: Gallery
  • Mamliba maikeise :: Radio e-pao
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang :: A flash presntation
  • UNC in Manipur Electoral Politics #3
  • The Election Trap :: Poem
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #1 :: Gallery
  • Mountain Division Polo #2 : Gallery
  • Breast Cancer Conference :: Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #2 : Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #1 :: Gallery
  • Exam Centers for HSE 2017 : Download
  • 'Thammoi Tahoure' : Muslims' musical
  • Gita-Govinda- Dance Drama #2: Gallery
  • Rahul Gandhi @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi #3: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • Laisram Birendra Kumar: PadmaShri Award
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Laihui @Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • Wareppa Naba :: Profile of Theatre Actor
  • Meiteilon Folk & Tangkhul duet : Ooba
  • Khunung Eeshei/ Ema Emoinu #3 : Radio