Indian endurance cycling guru Anil Kadsur dies at 45 from heart attack

Anil Kadsur
(Image credit: Anil Kadsur / Twitter)

A cyclist in the Indian city of Bengaluru who became known worldwide as the Century Rider for his daily 100km bike rides, died suddenly of a heart attack last Friday, aged 45.

Starting his cycling challenge in August 2020, Anil Kadsur had spent the last 42 months riding 100km a day – over 1,250 rides in total.

According to a report by the Times of India, he was hospitalized on the same day he posted his achievement to social media, a move apparently prompted by the fact he had “feelings of uneasiness” and was in discomfort. He suffered a major cardiac arrest.

Known for his humble and supportive demeanor, Anil Kadsur shared his expertise and tips with newcomers, serving as an inspiration to many in the cycling community. He was affectionately known as a ‘Dronacharya’, a major character of the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata, who was a revered preceptor, or teacher guru.

Citizens Movement, East Bengaluru paid tribute to the Century Rider, posting on X (formerly Twitter): “His sudden departure, attributed to a massive cardiac arrest, reminds us of the unpredictability of such events. Anil’s legacy lies in his strength, flexibility, and the inspiration he bestowed upon a generation… Let’s remember Anil’s dedication while reflecting on the importance of heart health.”

National President of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth division Tejasvi Surya added, “Saddened to know about the passing away of cyclist Anil Kadsur. Anil, fondly called the Century Rider for riding 100km daily for the last 1,500 days, was well-known figure in Bengaluru South & a fitness icon for many youngsters like me. Many of us would have even seen him ride around the city. Offer my condolences to his family. Om Shanti.”

However, some tributes raised concerns that the cyclist’s daily endurance feats may not have been as healthy as they seemed.

Dr Sudhir Kumar, a neurologist in Apollo Hospitals of Hyderabad, warned, “He was cycling for about seven hours daily to cover a distance of 100km. As per research, the effect of exercise on mortality is U-shaped: initially there is benefit, but beyond a certain exercise dose, there is detrimental effect on health and there is increased mortality risk.”

Dr Deepak Krishnamurthy, senior interventional cardiologist at Kauvery Hospital, Bengaluru, also shared his views on X, saying, “He was up at 2:30 am daily – LACK OF SLEEP/REST.”

We can't know for sure whether Kadsur’s passion hastened his passing, as no details have been forthcoming from the hospital where he died, but whatever the case, the world has lost an inspiring man whose dedication affected many who knew him.