20-year-old Pune woman Vedangi Kulkarni has become the fastest Asian to cycle the globe. Vedangi Kulkarni’s journey.
Vedangi, who hails from a suburb of Pune, cycled into Kolkata in the wee hours of Sunday, completing the 29,000 km distance required to qualify as bicycling across the globe.
She will now be taking the earliest flight to reach Perth and cycle a 15km distance to reach the same place from where she started her journey.
Vedangi said the 159 days spent peddling up to 300 km a day in 14 countries has shown her the ‘best and worst’ of both herself and also the world. According to news reports, 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 for doing the last 4,000 km. 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 Spain. 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 did not have anyone accompanying her for over 80 per cent of the route and she had to lug the cycle with the heavy luggage that includes cycle tools, camping equipment and clothing in desolate stretches all alone. She encountered temperatures ranging from -20 degree Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius during the ride. The ride was funded majorly by Vedangi’s parents.