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The Power Of Pedalling: How Rajeev Ranjan Became an Ardent Lover of Cycling The chief of McDonald's India North & East credits his childhood friends for his love of cycling and calls the aerobic activity a treasure for life

By Paromita Gupta

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Entrepreneur India
Rajeev Ranjan, Managing Director, McDonald’s India North & East

Cycling is one of those things that, once you learn it, your body won't let you forget. And Rajeev Ranjan, Managing Director, McDonald's India North & East will forever is grateful to his body for it. With big plans to lead the fast-food giant into the future, he knows it's important to find peace within before changing the trajectory of the company for good.

At what age did you begin cycling?

My cycling journey began at the age of sixteen, quite by happenstance. I had outdoorsy friends and we often embarked on long escapades after school hours. As they regaled me with their cycling tales, a sense of FOMO kicked in that I could not ignore for long. Suddenly, I was no longer a listener but an active participant in the cycling tours. With time, cycling has evolved into a bona fide passion that I treasure.

What has been your fondest memory so far of cycling?

While I have had many amazing experiences, one that holds a special place in my heart is when we covered 170 kilometers stretch from Delhi to Alwar. It was a tedious journey filled with gorgeous sceneries, bubbling excitement, and a sense of accomplishment after a challenging riding experience. At one point, the tiredness kicked in and I could feel my legs burning with exertion. We stopped for a break in a small village and struck up a conversation with residents who showed us around. To our surprise, there was a secluded swimming hole in a serene silent landscape. After a quick dip, we continued with the journey. The journey reminded me of the simple pleasures life has to offer and the importance of taking a break from the tight routine to explore the unknown in rural India.

A track or route you have on your bucket list to tick…

The Leh-Manali highway is truly an incredible feat topping my bucket list for 2023. Hopefully, I will be there to complete the route this July! The rugged Himalayan terrains, remotest valleys encircled by snow-capped peaks, and hairpin turns make this one of the most thrilling and challenging routes in the world.

How often do you cycle? Did the frequency increase in and post-Pandemic?

Before the pandemic, I used to cycle 2-3 times a week. However, I have increased my cycling frequency to five times a week after Covid-19 hit our lives. Sometimes, it gets tough to maintain the routine, but I try my best.

A favourite course or place of yours to cycle is…

On any routine day, the Gurgaon- Faridabad expressway is absolutely my favourite course during the early morning hours to pedal on. Despite being so close to the megacity, the route is such a peaceful and serene one, a sure shot way to uplift your spirits, especially if you are an early riser. From the hustle of the city to the calm of Aravalis, from the high-rise view to the dense tracks of forest, you find everything here right in the heart of Delhi NCR. I would recommend this route to every cycling enthusiast.

What does your fitness regime look like?

My fitness routine consists of 45 minutes every day and 2 hours on weekends. I make sure to take one day for recovery each week, and that is also my "cheat day". I do not just stick to cycling though, I like to switch routines with Yoga, running, and weight training in the gym. The variety breaks the monotony, and it keeps me engaged and interested in my fitness routine.

What type of cycling gear do you use?

3 (front)*6(back) Shimano.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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