Saturday, May 21

Cycling from Kanyakumari to Kolkata to promote sustainable means of travel

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The ‘Pedalbums’ have arrived in Visakhapatnam, covering a distance of in 3,717 km. Wondering who they are? They are Milind Tambe and Shriram Kondhwekar, who have pedalled all the way from Goa as part of their Indian Coastal Cycling Expedition.

Setting out on their expedition from Mumbai in November last year, they reached Goa, completing their first leg of the tour. They successfully completed second leg from Goa to Kanyakumari and they plan to complete the third leg from Kanyakumari – Kolkata in 42 days.

They reached Visakhapatnam on Sunday on their way Kolkata.

Milind, 56, is a naval veteran and a practising Marine Consultant and Shriram, 49, is a professional photographer. Early last year, when they were travelling by train, it suddenly struck them that they should undertake a cycle expedition. Two others, who were part of the team, could not participate in this tour as they could not get leave from their office.

“We made trial run from Mumbai to Goa in February, 2021, and from March, we began planning for the coastal India cycle expedition. It needs rigorous training to undertake the 6,849 km expedition. FITTR sponsored our training from June for the endurance ride and they have even promised remote medical assistance, in case of need. We are fortunate that we did not need any medical assistance, so far,” says Mr. Milind.

“We cry about rising fuel prices and lack of cycle lanes. We tend to forget that cycling provides sustainable travel apart from helping us burn unnecessary fat but we do not use it. One can’t expect cycling tracks for 20/30 cycles in a city,” they say.

Apart from promotion of the fitness mantra among the younger generation, they are propagating sustainable means of travel, which they say means burn fat, not fuel and educate the younger generation on the hazards of plastic pollution.

“We had put up at hotels from Mumbai to Goa but decided to camp in tents as our expenses shot up. We were hosted by strangers at many places and we haven’t faced any problems, so far. When they understand the purpose of our tour, they went out of their way to help us,” they recall with gratitude.

Source: Telegraph

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