The “Pedalbums” of the Indian Coastal Cycling Expedition began their journey in Mumbai and were flagged off from Kanyakumari on December 3.

A groups of cyclists flagging of their cycling expedition
news Sports Saturday, December 04, 2021 - 19:00

The Indian Coastal Cycling Expedition, which started in Mumbai, reached Trivandrum on December 2nd, continuing its journey to Kanyakumari on December 3. The cycling event took place as the sun rose over the Padmanabhaswamy temple on December 3. Known as the “Pedalbums,” the cyclists plan to travel along the Indian coastline before heading back to Mumbai for a total of nearly 7000 kilometres in distance.  

Among the cyclists are Milind Tambe, a naval veteran and marine consultant, Shriram Kodhwekar, a professional photographer, and Aakash Sinha and Mandar Nilange, who are both senior IT professionals. Several other enthusiastic cyclists have joined their journey along the way. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has formally recognised this expedition as part of the Fit India movement. They plan to promote an active and fit lifestyle by speaking at several schools along their planned route.

Having covered the first leg of their journey, they still face the gargantuan task of covering a distance of roughly 6000 kilometres in the next three legs. They still have a total of 101 days left to travel.

“People are extensively kind,” Tambe tells TNM. While some of their family members were initially apprehensive and feared that they would not receive much help in their endeavour, all their concerns were quickly assuaged by the amount of support received, even from total strangers. He also acknowledged his naval friends and veterans, who have come forward to organise and support the expedition.

The group has been preparing for this journey since May, and so they have not faced much physical difficulty as they reach Day 20 of their trip so far. Tambe also says they have been fortunate in regards to the weather. While heat may sap their energy, they have only had to cycline in the rain just once. He noted that fitness manager Fitter had assigned coaches to the entire team to help them train for the gruelling ride.  

The pedalbums say their objectives are to spread knowledge of sustainable forms of travel. They also hope to bring attention to pollutants that have damaged the coastline along their route, as well as promote a healthy, fit lifestyle for a younger generation.

Tambe notes that single-use plastics have a detrimental effect on the coastal environment, something they have observed more closely along their journey. “Avoid plastic pollution. If you can reduce single use plastic waste, that is very important. All around the beaches that we have travelled in 1400 kilometres, we have seen a lot of plastic waste. If you can’t avoid it, reduce. If you can’t reduce, at least upscale and reuse those plastics and save the environment.”