Pedalling Delhi to Mumbai in 30 hours for a green cause

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - Having cycled from Mumbai to Delhi in four days to spread the message of peace after the 26/11 attack, 53-year-old Vinod Punmiya will try now to pedal the 1,484 km the other way in a record 30 hours to spread awareness about global warming.

Punmiya will be flagged off from India Gate Friday at 7 a.m. by Sports Minister Ajay Maken and is expected to reach the Gateway of India in Mumbai at 1 p.m. on Saturday where he will be received by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

“I am an ordinary man trying to do something to gain attention for some important causes. I want people to know about global warming and how resorting to cycling can reduce pollution from vehicular traffic,” said Punmiya.

His journey will take him through Jaipur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Himmatnagar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Vapi before entering Maharashtra.

“Once I leave Delhi at 7 a.m., I will reach Jaipur by 11 a.m. and Ahmedabad at 1 a.m. (Saturday). I will then target Surat by 7 a.m. and then make the final push for Mumbai,” he said.

According to Punmiya, the journey is expected to get difficult once he enters Maharashtra because of the Western Ghats, some diversions, the rising mercury level and the traffic.

He will be accompanied by five vehicles clearing a passage for him to ride through. “At times, I touch speeds of 100 to 120 km and I need these vehicles to give me a clear road ahead,” he added. They will also carry three professional bicycles and spare tyres.

Punmiya has been preparing for this ride for the past one year, riding for over 400 km daily. “I used to begin my ride at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. and ride for 10 to 12 hours continuously. I am confident of riding from Delhi to Mumbai non-stop.”

This is not the first time that Punmiya is doing something unusual. He has beaten the Deccan Queen on the Pune-Mumbai route by reaching the destination 20 minutes ahead of the express train.

Filed under: Environment

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