This June, 19-year-old Pune girl Vedangi Kulkarani will start her 29,000-km round-the-world cycling trip, skipping just South America and Antarctica, in a bid to get her name in the Guinness Book of Records. In 2014, Paola Gianotti set a record by crossing the world in 144 days. In men’s category Mark Beaumont hold the record for completing the journey in 78 days.
Vedangi’s trip will start from Perth in Australia and cover countries like New Zealand, USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia and Beijing.
Vedangi told indianexpress.com that the idea behind her ‘unsupported solo trip’ was her desire was to see the world alone and to communicate with people. It was a solo ride on the Manali- Drass route in 2016 that got her hooked to long distance cycling. Pursuing a Bachelors in Sports Management course from Bournemouth University, UK, gets support from her university teachers and friends.
“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 trip will cost her close to Rs 1 crore and she is expecting the government to chip in. “We are looking for a government support, else I will apply for a loan”, said Vedangi, adding the the government should encourage rising sportspersons in other fields too, not just cricket.
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry has assured her help in whatever way possible.