You are here:Home » Travel

At 64, man cycles from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to sensitise on pollution

Chennai: Shedding off the fears of old age, a sexagenarian successfully completed a cycling trip from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, thus promoting the dual importance of pollution free transportation and staying fit.

The 32-day cycling expedition was a significant event in the life to 64-year-old R. Ramalingam, who labels it as ‘breathtaking’ and ‘satisfying’.

Packing his bags on November 7, this Chrompet-based Chenaiite stepped out to sensitise people through cycling the distance of 4,500 kms. The voyage taught him the other side of life too – warm welcome by people, sense of appreciation and willingness to learn.

He was among 21 people from different states and age groups – and Ramalingam was the oldest of them all – who set out on the trip. Ministry of Urban Development (Government of India), Rotary Club, Metro tyres and TI Cycles were the sponsors.

Narrating the lively experience, Ramalingam told Deccan Chronicle, “I was taken aback to witness the undying hospitality among the rural and semi-urban people. Even though the cultural differences were prevalent in all the 11 states and a Union Territory I pedalled through, the way they received the concept was the same.”

It was rather challenging for him to continue his voyage at Jammu& Kashmir due to extreme climate conditions, but he did not give up. “I pedalled overcoming the enormity of the distance, variable terrain, weather and the risk involved in riding at night and in the traffic,” said Ramalingam.

A member of a runners group called Chromepet Cheetahs, Ramalingam is a Super Randonneur and has completed a 200 km, 300 km, 400 km and 600 km of cycling within specified hours of time.

“When there is still a huge cry against open defecation, it felt good to know that Thiruvaachur in Salem District ensures cent per cent toilet facility. The civic body also fines people who indulge in the practice,” said the sexagenarian who is a retired central government official.

He also observed a great sense of responsibility among Gujaratis towards cleanliness. “The concept of Swachh Bharat prevails deep among the people, than people from any other states. Irrespective of the region, there is uniformity in the awareness,” he recollected. Age is never an obstacle to him as he is an active participant at marathons. “I feel lost if I don’t cycle. In fact, it is a great fitness regime,” he said.


To keep yourself update for Travel news, follow us on facebook or twitter.