Mangaluru, June 1,2017 :It was smooth sailing without hurdles the second time round for intrepid cyclist S S S Shameem, assistant professor of MIT, Manipal University.
Having fallen agonizingly short of attempted solo cycling journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, a 3,500km ride in 23 days in 2016; Shameem successfully completed the Okha (Gujarat) to Dibrugarh (Assam) solo cycling expedition, covering 3,400-kms, in a journey that started on May 15 and ended on May 29.
This solo cycling expedition, which he decided to complete in just 20 days, was not for any record purpose, but to spread the message of unity and humanity in a greener and healthier way. Shameem’s endurance and past experience in such a long distance cycling events saw him cover the latest journey in just 15 days. Shameem said, "I just managed those extra miles each day, helping me shave off a good five-days from my earlier journey schedule of 20 days."
If the Okha to Dibrugarh journey saw Shameem cover 3,400-kms, his journey from Manipal to Okha also saw him travel a hectic 2000+ km. During this journey, he passed through six states- Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam.
Risk factor of cycling particularly in sensitive parts of UP and Bihar was a matter of worry for him, though it turned out all safe and sound without any issues. "Constant support of parents, wishes of friends paid off, and I could finish the feat without any major challenges," he said. Factoring the summer heat and aiming to cover sufficient distance, he spent most of day-time resting covering major part of the route early morning, late afternoon, evening, and night hours.
The daily covered distance was in 200-250-300 km range. With heat, causing irritation; modified schedules; and focus on extra mileages, Shameem could not enjoy beauty of the nature around nor could he stop at places to interact with people as he wanted. Throughout the journey, many people offered him help and support, but Shameem avoided it due to time constraint.
Shameem earlier attempted a solo cycling journey from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in 23 days during summer in 2016 and also one Manipal University campus connect "Tour-de-Manipal" Manipal to Jaipur 2,500 km in 20 days during winter in 2016. This is apart from many other cycling events organized by different organizing bodies all across India, in the past four years. He has already started planning for something even bigger, unique and interesting for future.