Chennai: Forty-five-year-old Sibi Mathew’s 3,000-km long standing bike ride to create awareness about protecting the environment and women culminated in Saidapet in Chennai Wednesday. Sibi went on an eight-day bike ride through 33 districts in Tamil Nadu, starting from Avinashi in Coimbatore district and planting a sapling in each and pleading with the women and children to ensure its health.
Sibi, a tailor and wife of a farmer, learnt to ride a bike as a child but was discouraged as it was “only for boys.” Her love for the bike was reborn when her husband bought a bike for their son, who helped her learn how to ride it and also accompanied her on the journey.
When asked about the aim of her mission, Sibi says it was to show that women are also brave. “When a woman marries a man, she comes alone to his house. Isn’t that brave? She only needs the support of a man to nurture her courage,” she said to a cheering crowd. She narrated her world record attempt adventure to a gathering in Saidapet organised by the ex-Mayor and DMK legislator Ma Subramanian, who himself is an active athlete.
Ma Subramanian met with a near-fatal accident in 2004 after which he was bedridden for months. Doctors even said it would be difficult for him to walk after recovery as his right leg had been broken in six places.
“I practised yoga for two years after the accident, and then I decided to run,” he said. In two years' time, he completed 24 marathons and entered the India Book of records. In February he completed 75 marathons and aims to run his 100th soon....