A 45-year-old mother of two demonstrated that age is just a number by cycling 4000 kilometres solo from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh in 14 days. Preeti Maske, from Pune, began her ride on November 1 at Koteshwar Temple on the western border with Pakistan and cycled through Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh, according to expedition chief crew Ghanshyam Raghuwanshi.
Maske completed her 3995 km ride in 13 days, 19 hours and 12 minutes to reach Kibithu, near the border with China in Arunachal Pradesh at midnight of November 14, he said.
Maske had taken up cycling five years ago to combat illness and depression. The paperwork, evidence, time stamp pictures have been submitted and accepted by World Ultra Cycling Association and Guisness World Record. ”They will process the same and award the certificate in due course”, Raghuwanshi said.
”Cycling was tough in these treacherous areas as there was heavy head wind from Darbhanga in Bihar. After Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh, the route is treacherous with elevation, bad roads, boulders and construction work,” she said.
Besides, the temperature dropped to 2-3 degrees celsius in Arunachal Pradesh during the evening and night. ”This made it difficult to ride and we also didn’t have adequate warm clothing. With zero network and abandoned roads, we missed the direction and had to take a longer route in the night,” Maske said.
Maske cycled for almost 350 kms in the first ten days with an average saddle cycling time of 19 hours. ”Managing sleep deprivation in a continuous non-stop ride was a challenge. I was cycling continuously for 19 hours and sometimes for more than 24 hours It was coffee that kept me awake,” she said.
Maske got a severe cramp in her legs near the Assam-Arunachal border. ”It appeared that she would have to call off the rest of the ride but with massage, stretching exercises and rest she recovered,” Raghuwanshi said.