April welcomes the arrival of summer in the Indian sub-continent. I was in La Pondicherry – the french colony of India a few days ago where an Indian flag flying at full mast tied to the rear end of a bicycle caught my attention. By the time i could capture them riding they were out of range. As luck would have it, they emerged -two cyclists riding back to where I was standing, turns out they were scouting for a place to crash for the night. Inspired by their looks and a short tete-a-tete , I referred them and managed to get them checked-in at the same place I was staying.
A short break later we regrouped for some drinks and food. Turns out these two fellas are attempting to cycle their way across India touching the border of every State . Bravo I said and dug a little deeper- whats different about you two, i queried, most do a Kashmir to Kanyakumari (no offence, its a mean feat), sure, but whats the one thing that makes you stand out.
A look at their ride map will give you a glimpse of the enormity of the feat undertaken. Riding from the southern state of Telangana which is the starting point covering Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Itanagar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and to the end point of Telangana . They are traversing from East- West covering 22,000km in 180 days.
Check Route Map Here: India Ride – Guinness Book of World Records
They will ride through 29 states, 3 Union territories conquering some of the toughest terrains and the altitude of Himachal, Uttarakhand and Leh. This 13,670 Miles or 22,000 km route around India will take them through treacherous Passes, Lakes, Valleys and off course beautiful landscapes, all this by pedal power, a bicycle and sheer WILL. With facts and numbers like that staring you in the face, you cant help but be awed. Get the picture! , i sure did.
Gear and live challenges
Sandeep and Krishna have covered 2533 Kms as of Sunday – 16th April 2017. They have left Mysore for Bangalore , arriving in Bangalore on the 17th April , late evening. From Bangalore they will continue to ride forward to Hassan and so on (India Ride). On a average day they ride for 8-10 hours depending on weather and road conditions. 15-20 kms per hour is the approximate distance covered per hour while carrying 15 kilos of essential gear and backpack with the Indian flag flying at full mast. Slopes or descents are a welcome change as they help build and maintain speeds upto 35-40 KMPH an hour. With descents come ascents which means there will steep drop, the average speed tumbles from 35-40 KMPH to a mere 7-10 KMPH.
Head winds are another challenge they encounter. Sometimes these reach speeds of 20-30 KMPH demanding more power more pedal from the cyclists. While on the phone with them i enquired whats been your most difficult run until now, they shot back saying it took us 9 hours to complete 29.08 kms on the OOTY stretch. Well i sure hope this stretch is a one off.
Funding The Campaign
The total cost of the ride is approximate 7.5 – 8 lacs, out of which approx 1 lac was self funded and most of the money was spent on acquiring basic gear.Both riders had tried to fund their expedition by approaching various corporates like but little was done. Sandeep is a former employee of Decathlon and Krishna from Wipro, both had to quit their day job’s for the expedition.
Undeterred Krishna and Sandeep travelled from Hyderabad to Pondicherry, where i met them. Being a part of the Hyderabad Cycling club, few of their friends managed to support in this endeavour. With limited resources they purchased two reused bicycles- Schewn Searcher and Schnell for INR20k, two go pros and minimal gear to help them cover their journey.
Support the Cause
Inspired by their humility and the purpose, I pitched in to help wherever i can. From popularising their event to helping them with accommodations, I am proud to be a part of this journey. This article is a tool to help them in their purpose. If this inspires you, please check their itinerary, contact and bank account details (mentioned in this blog) and support them. After all, their success will further strengthen the position of our country on the map of Guinness Book of World Records – in category of longest distance travelled in a single country. The previous guinness record win in the same category is held by an Indian- Mr. Prasad Erande who rode for 14,576 Km or 9058 Miles from 22 June 2014 to 9 November 2014.
These are ordinary people trying to do something extraordinary. Though this might not appeal to everyones sense of purpose please remember they will inspire a generation to think act and build character in the face of odds as these cyclists have put on display. Hence we appeal with all our heart to contribute to these bloomers.
Thanks to all the cyclists in Nellore, Kochi, Madurai, KadanKulam. Members of Hyderabad Cycling Club, Surat Cycling Club who have reached out to support them on the road by escorting the cyclists for a few miles. Shoutout to Chandigarh cycling club to host and support them however they can!
PS: Even if you can contribute as less as INR 500/- please do support them.
Account details for voluntary deposits:
Name: Krishna Koundinya. V, Bank : Axis Bank-Jubilee Hills , Account Number:915010034372821, IFSC Code- UTIB0000030
PayTm Numbers: 8099796191 / 8143025409
A note to say Thank You,
A big Thank you to the sponsors and supporters of this campaign.
Sponsors- Health Science , Exemplary, Hyderabad Cycling Club, Caliber Technologies , Decathlon.
Supported By- FHPL, Facebook/Cyclists all over India,
Web Support: Crazy Designers, Hyderabad.
Anticipating your support and as always please leave your comments and feedback.