Cyclists on 3,800-km expedition from Arunachal to Gujarat


Cyclists Meera Velankar and Tasneem Mohsin, both from Bangalore (Karnataka), are cycling 3,800 kilometres from east to west across India to raise awareness about cycling, the environment, and fitness. On January 27, the expedition set out from Kibithu in the Anjaw district. On day one, the duo rode a limited distance of 75 kilometres up to Hawai to acclimate.

They plan to bicycle all the way to Koteshwar in Gujarat, crossing seven states and covering a distance of 3,800 kilometres in just over two weeks, averaging 200 kilometres per day.

“Our aim is to cycle almost 175-200 kms per day. The rains and high altitude bring their own unique levels of difficulty and make it extremely challenging with cold head winds,” said Mohsin.

“Middle-aged women are too tied up and scared to take up challenges. I hope we are able to encourage them to break their shell and experience the fun of outdoor activities. Even if they set out to walk, jog or cycle, it would be just great,” said Velankar.

When asked how tough it is, Velankar said, “Managing temperature variations in short span is tough. Cycling in mountains in freezing cold to high temperatures in Gujarat will be a challenge. We will have to throw away heavy winter clothing as we cycle into the plains.”

Mohsin added: “It is scary at times when for miles together we don’t see anything on the roads. We are so used to seeing people, vehicles and roadside stalls, but the hilly regions of Arunachal Pradesh are completely deserted.”

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