Raasta: Adarsh Kumar Sets A New Course
Raasta is a first-person narrative of an endurance bicyclist named Adarsh Kumar who took it upon himself to traverse a distance of about 4,000 km from Jammu to Kanyakumari in an attempt to break the national record.
This cycling enthusiast completed this feat in 19 straight days, a Herculean task that changed his life forever.
Such an ambitious trail may well be traversed by an athlete who has practised the will to pedal hard, yet Adarsh had never attempted such a feat earlier. The mission was born of an idea, and he took the challenge, much like Forest Gump, and started off with plans in tow.
Adarsh started his journey on NH 1 in Jammu, pedalling through the beautiful, but hard vistas of the Himalayan terrain. By day 3, he had completed the Jammu-Kashmir leg of the journey. From here, he led onwards to Punjab, cutting through thick morning smog. The next day was a rest day. On day 6, Adarsh resumed his journey to enter Uttar Pradesh. By day 7, he was passing through Mathura, before heading to Gwalior, the very next day.
Diwali was spent on the route, waking up early and focusing on the road ahead. The biggest battle to be fought was the loneliness that comes with following such an ambitious journey. But, India was welcoming with its many charms.
The journey was very telling for Adarsh. Road safety was something he was asked to always bear in mind, and he recounts how nobody once tried to take advantage of him throughout his trials.
By day 13, Adarsh had entered Andhra Pradesh, and was greeted by a welcome party. Monsoons were in full swing, and Adarsh pedalled through the rainstorms, watching the splendour of green paddy fields as he passed through Ananthpur.
Adarsh Kumar had initially planned on covering about 200 km every day, but wrong turns through the journey, had him pedalling through 700 km in the last two days in the pouring rain. By day 18, he had entered Tamil Nadu, bypassing Krishnagiri. On day 19, Adarsh arrived at Kanyakumari to much fanfare.
In the process, Adarsh created a new national record for solo cycling through over 4,000 km in an insane 19 days straight, beating the previous record of 38 days with much gumption. His achievement serves as a reminder to pushing the ante and taking life by its horns. Maybe here’s a lesson we can all learn from.
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