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      Meet 15-year-old Reuben from Shillong, Meghalaya.
      When he isn’t flying on his bicycle he is setting the trails on fire. In the photo, quite literally! Okay, we’re joking, he was riding so fast, that the trails got LIT! Okay, we’re joking again…
      But Reuben Nicol Kharchandy all of 15, makes his bike fly on trails, at an age, when we were happy to make paper planes fly in classrooms!
      Drawing inspiration from his elder brother who introduced him to the world of downhill riding, Reuben took to the sport like duck to water. He spends almost 25 hours a week on the trails riding and practicing. Testament to his tenacity and love for the sport.
      That love which resulted in him standing on the podium at the Assam Downhill Championship, where he was also the youngest to podium.
      Incredible, considering DH is not as popular in Shillong as XC. There are just a handful of riders who practice the sport. And Reuben trains on the trails built by the local lads, who have been around for longer. It is completely community driven.
      Here’s what he says about his first DH race, “It was an exhilarating experience. I was also very nervous as it was my first DH race. It has taught me a lot. Now I am more aware of how races are conducted. I felt extremely proud to be the youngest winner to bag the 3rd position at the championship.”
      Not having DH races in Meghalaya is another challenge to improve, “One can always practice regularly but, yes competitive events would have helped one to excel even more by racing against other riders and improving one’s skills by watching others. Competitive events would also instil sportsmanship and the ability of facing challenges in racing DH.”
      Lastly and surely not the least, a 15-year-old can only get up to such mischief with familial support. His parents encourage him to be serious about his passion.
      We look up and thank parents like Reuben’s. They are the ones who allow fearless sportsmen and women to thrive in our country…
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