With just a year of bicycle practice, he pedals 600 km

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Sep 2018 09:41:44


Staff Reporter,

He started cycling just a year ago and aims to become Super Randonneur (SR). Recently, he pedalled 600 km between Manali and Leh in 10 days. Now, he is practising daily with eyes on SR title.

Amit Pampatwar, a Software Engineer in Persistent Systems, is comfortably placed professional employee. But he wants to do something different, other than routine. He started trying his luck on pedalling only last year and reached Leh from Manali. The path was difficult as Amit had to travel 500 km over high altitude terrain. Amit was accompanied by other city expedition enthusiasts-- Rahul and Jyoti Patel, along with two from Chandigarh, one each from Mumbai, Dubai, and London.

Cycling is an anchor to one’s life. The motion of the pedals makes one feel excited. The weight of the helmet on one’s head makes one feel secure. High speeds and the winds in the face give one a sense of freedom; and the absolute control hunching over the front wheel and the brakes gives a sense of power. Riding cycle makes one adventurous and
feel complete, Pampatwar said.“If you are looking for a new challenge in cycling, come across to the Manali-Leh route. If you are looking for an adventure filled cycling trip in picturesque settings, there cannot be a better route than this one. Cycling 500 km over high altitude mountains, crossing some of the highest roads in the world, is no mean challenge, especially because the roads are non-existent at some places. One has to be prepared physically and mentally to complete this journey. And so, with physical fitness, mental resolve and a truckload of excitement,” said excited Amit.

Expressing his feeling Amit said, “The experience you will get during these ten days goes beyond anything words can explain. If there are the daunting challenges of continuous up slopes, biting cold winds, and uncertain weather, there are also the joys of riding miles of down slopes, getting the first glimpse of the destination and the spell bounding beauty of the mountains. The ride starts from Manali climbing up to Marhi then over Rohtang top to Sissu and so on passing by different locations and high passes such as Bara lacha la, Lachung la, Nakee la, Tanglang la and then the highest Khardung la. The route takes you through vast grounds of Sarchu and the plateau of the endless More plains to nomad villages on the way.”

The part of route goes through thick forest where these cyclists got a glimpse of wild animals like Blue sheep, Ibex, Yaks, Marmots, wild horses etc. “As we reach Rumsey the landscape turns to a bit greenish side which feels like awesome after days of seeing arid nature. Every morning you will wake up wondering what challenges the day would bring and every night you will go to sleep with the satisfaction of having lived up to another challenge. It would be more appropriate to say that each day will amble away as we pedal through it and yet in no time we find ourselves in Leh. Then to the highest motor able pass at Khardung-la at the height of 5600m by cycle, demands a great stamina to excel at the top and less oxygen makes it more difficult to ride. But at the end once you reach the pass all the fatigue vanishes by conquering it. The feeling throughout the expedition is outstanding and one should do it once in a life for sure,” commented satisfied Amit.

But Amit’s journey does not end here. He aimed to become SR for which he has to achieve various levels like 200 km cycling in 13.5 hours, 300 km in 20 hours, 400 km in 27 hours and 600 km in 40 hours. This set of rides is called the Super Series and completing this series within the calendar year gives one the status of SR or Super Randonneur. Amit is doing cycling practice in hundreds of kms to become SR.