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Former serviceman Dinkar Patil and homemaker Meera Velankar have set a goal to promote cycling as the way of life by embarking on a 6000-kilometre long journey on a tandem bicycle.
The duo started their journey from Bengaluru on June 19 and reached New Delhi on Saturday, July 3, after cycling for over 14 days, Hindustan Times reported.
Apart from New Delhi, they will be travelling to nearly 12 states before returning to the initial point (Bengaluru), including Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatanam, and Chennai, to complete the 6000-kilometre trip. Both cover approximately 150-200 km per day.
How The Journey Began
44-year-old Velankar shared that she has always loved cycling and rode from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in October last year. Meanwhile, 48-year-old Patil shared the same enthusiasm and was approached by Velankar on taking up the challenge.
"I wanted to cover the Golden Quadrilateral on a tandem bicycle. I heard about Dinkar, and asked him if he wanted to do this ride. We knew it was difficult, but that was the most exciting part about it," Velankar said, reported Hindustan Times.
A resident of Bengaluru, Velankar holds a PhD holder in life sciences and is a mother of two. At the same time, Patil has formerly served in the Army and presently heads security at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at Nashik in Maharashtra.
Initially, Velankar faced difficulty matching up to Patil's fast pace, but in a few days, she got the rhythm.
Speaking to the media, the duo explained how difficult is Tandem cycling when compared to regular cycling, and the ones available in India are basic. Another crucial point to keep in mind before going ahead with a tandem bicycle challenge is teamwork. Velankar said getting along as a team is essential.
One needs to put in a lot of mental and physical effort to cover such vast distances. "Around Bengaluru, the terrain had a lot of elevation, while, in Mumbai, the rain further delayed our set timings to reach Rajasthan, the heat and the traffic were a nightmare," she said, according to Hindustan Times.
Support from the people they meet on the way keeps them going, the duo said. While some thought they were a part of the circus after looking at the tandem bicycle, many offered them help and kept them motivated.
This motivation became all the more important whenever the duo felt like giving up, owing to the long distance and the physical and mental work it requires.
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