Vedangi Kulkarni from Pune Becomes Fastest Asian to Cycle Across the Globe

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Image Source: Twitter

In an incredible achievement, 20-year-old Vedangi Kulkarni from Pune has become the fastest Asian to cycle across the globe. Vedangi cycled into Kolkata in the wee hours of Sunday, completing the 29,000 km distance required to qualify.

She started off from Perth in July and will now be flying back to Australia to complete the record.

Vedangi said that 159 days spent peddling upto 300 km a day in 14 countries has shown her the best and worst of both herself and the world.

British adventurer Jenny Graham (38) is the fastest woman to have cycled the globe in 124 days in 2018, which was three weeks faster than the previous record.

 

Both human and natural elements tested Vedangi. This included being chased by a Grizzly bear in Canada or camping alone for multiple nights in the snow in Russia or being robbed at a knife-point in Russia.

There were troubles on securing the necessary visas as well, which cost her time. The visa process led to a delayed departure and consequently facing weather hostilities in Europe where winter had started setting in.

Vedangi, a student of the University of Bournemouth, UK pursuing a degree in sports management, said preparations for the ride began about two years ago with long cycle rises, getting the equipment including a specially crafted cycle and planning the route and time window.

She did not have anyone accompanying her for over 80 per cent of the route and lugged the cycle with the heavy luggage that includes cycle tools, camping equipment and clothing in desolate stretches all alone.

 

The ride was funded majorly by her parents.

Starting off from Perth, she cycled across Australia, through the outback, to reach Brisbane from where she flew over to Wellington, New Zealand, for doing the entire country north to south.

A short flight took her across the international dateline to Western Canada’s Vancouver, from where she continued her eastward journey till Halifax, a port city.

Europe beckoned next and she chose chilly Iceland to start it all up and later cycled through Portugal, Spain France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Finland to enter Russia.

From Russia, she flew to India to do the last 4,000 km.

She encountered temperatures ranging from -20 degree Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius during the ride.

“My parents have done a great job in giving a 19-year- old (she turned 20 on the ride) all the required mental support and encouragement to explore the world, standing strong when the going got tough, always being on the other end of the phone and at not letting the curiosity die out due to ill experiences even though the parental instincts told them otherwise,” she said.

Her father, Vivek Kulkarni, said, “It’s her dedication and willpower to achieve her dream that ensured the success and I am sure there are many more to come.”

Vedangi, who entered the City of Joy in the wee hours, will be taking the earliest flight out to reach Perth and cycle a 15km distance to reach the same place from where she started her journey.

“I feel privileged being so close to the finish line with my parents by the side. We all can do better with a little more support from our own people. We all need someone who won’t let that curiosity die,” said a happy Vedangi.

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Lover of cultures, varied colors, and underdogs, Bhawna is a by-heart and professional playwright. Hailing from a journalism & communication background, she incorporates a careful study at both flips of the coin which is essentially required to be analytical in thoughts and words. Actively abreast of the current affairs around the globe, she likes knowing and bringing into light the unexplored. Problem solving via the power of content is what inspires her and hence KreedOn, a platform created for the betterment of sports ecosystem in India, is now her happy workplace!

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