19-year-old Vedangi Kulkarni wanted to make 2018 a special year. She wanted to cover a distance of 29,000 kilometres within 130 days.
A year later, this 20-year-old Pune resident has achieved an amazing feat by becoming the fastest Asian to cycle the globe. A distance of 29,000 kilometres was completed by her in 159 days. She pedalled for almost 300 kilometres each day and covered 14 countries through this journey.
A student at Bournemouth University in the UK, Vedangi is pursuing a degree in sports management. Her preparation for this ride began almost two years ago.
Through this ride, she was exposed to various natural and man-made experiences. She shares that she was once chased by a grizzly bear in Canada and even robbed at gunpoint in Spain.
She was determined to reach the end and this is what kept her going. She also encountered temperatures ranging from -20 to 37 Degree Celsius during her ride.
She started at Perth, cycling her way through Australia to reach Brisbane, from where she headed to New Zealand. She then took a flight from New Zealand to Canada’s Vancouver and continued into Halifax.
Europe beckoned next, and she managed to cover Iceland, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and then Russia.
It was from Russia that she flew to India to cover the last stretch of 4,000 kilometres.
Speaking to The Times of India, Vedangi said, “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 curiosity die out due to ill experiences even though the parental instinct told them otherwise.”
Vedangi is truly an example to many of us who make grand plans but sometimes fail to see them through. Here’s hoping we all take inspiration from this young girl and achieve our goals in the coming year.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
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