Vedangi Kulkarni’s story is one of determination and perseverance. This 19-year-old Pune girl will kickstart an expedition of travelling 29,000-km round-the-world this June. What’s more interesting is that she will paddle through the entire trip. Yes, she will go cyclying across the world!
Vedangi plans to venture out solo and complete the trip within 130 days
The teenager is eyeing to enlist her name in the Guinness Book of Records. She would be riding the cycle all across the world except South America and Antarctica.
Vedangi is aiming to surpass Paola Gianotti’s record of crossing the world in 144 days in 2014. In the men’s category, Mark Beaumont holds the record for completing the journey in 78 days.
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Till date, no Indian — man or woman — has attempted to break these records. If Vedangi succeeds in the endeavour, she will script history!
In pursuit of her dream, Vedangi will start the trip from Perth in Australia and cover countries like New Zealand, USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia and Beijing.
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In the last few months of 2017, Vedangi is been cycling kilometres on bicycle, almost every day, to become road-savvy
“It is going to be super cool, I am very excited about it,” an elated Vedangi, who studies sports management at Bournemouth University, told PTI before starting off on a 1,400-km ‘training ride’ from Mumbai to New Delhi.
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In between her voyage, Vedangi plans to take some flights as well. She will cycle across Australia up to Brisbane, and from there take a flight to begin the second phase from Wellington to Auckland. From Auckland, she will fly to Anchorage in Alaska, and cycle eastward to Montreal. She would then reach Lisbon by flight and start the most taxing part of her ride — a 14,520-km leg across Europe and Asia which will take her through 10 countries before reaching Ulan Bator in Mongolia. Then she would fly back to Perth.
“There are certain laid-down norms (by Guinness World Records) in order to qualify (for getting into the record book for cycling around the world). I am only adhering to them,” she said.
Also interested in football, Vedangi’s ever-growing love for cycling was born in Himachal Pradesh. She took a solo ride along the Manali-Leh- Khardungla top-Drass route in 2016. And, then there was no looking back!
“I met very interesting people and read a lot before finalising my plans. You need help because of the huge amount of logistics involved, and I am alone all through the journey,” she said.
Talking about challenges faced, she told Indian Express, “At Bournemouth University, I started solo cycling, but faced lots of difficulties,” she said, adding how she even had to sleep alone on the streets of London after an accident. Vedangi’s unsupported trip will have a minimum expense of Rs 1 crore and she is expecting the government to help her out. “We are looking for a government support, else I will apply for a loan,” said Vedangi, adding “the government should encourage rising sportspersons in other fields too, not just cricket.
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We wish Vedangi a safe and motivating voyage. Keep up the swag, girl!
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Feature Image Credit: TOI