Gangsters, grizzly bears and a storm form the highlights of 20-year-old Vedangi Kulkarni's cycling trip across the globe. Kulkarni, who won the title of Asia's 'youngest champion' to cycle around the globe, travelled for 159 days and 29,000 km across 14 countries. Now, she is in the early stages of penning a book about her experiences.
What started as a plan to cycle 1,400 km across the United Kingdom turned into a goal of going around the world. Kulkarni chose Perth in Australia as the start and finish line, maintaining an average of 320 km or 16 hours of cycling per day. The first leg of her tour took off from Australia, followed by Canada, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Russia and India.
As data about her trip is still being compiled, she has not yet established a record. "In Australia, I was chased by a gang that was armed and had drugs. To my luck, police came to my rescue," she says. In Canada, she was chased twice by Grizzly bears and had to cycle through a storm in Iceland.
Having completed her Class 12 from Pune, Kulkarni shifted to the UK to study sports management. With the support of her parents and her university, that helped with the funding and provided her with a psychologist and physiotherapist, Kulkarni began her solo tour on July 17, 2018.