Congratulations to Mohinder Singh Bharaj for setting a new Record for 60-69 age group for the India N-S route: Kashmir – Lal Chowk (Clock Tower -Main Market) – to Kanyakumari – Cape Camorin – Kanyakumari Beach
- Expedition Name – K2K Race Against Age (Kashmir to Kanyakumari)
- Name – Mohinder Singh Bharaj
- Start Date/Time – 25th October 2021, 7:10 a.m.
- Start Location – Lal Chowk, Srinagar
- Finish Point – Cape Comorin
- Finish Date and Time – 7th November 2021, 2:09 a.m.
- Bike – FOCUS Road Bike with Vittoria Racing Wheels
The seeds for the K2K were effectively sowed few years ago, probably in 2017, when I participated and successfully completed a ride named Deccan Cliffhanger (Pune to Goa) which was a RAAM qualifier event. I was the oldest male to qualify for RAAM that year, with a timing of less than 34 hours with distance of approx. 650 Kms. That is when I started to think about K2K.
For K2Ks prep. I first cycled nearly 1700 kms from Nashik to Amritsar in March 2019 (supported by a single crew member) over a period of 7 days. That is when my pre-planning for this expedition begun. The above event was followed by an event Panch Takht ride (route being Nashik, Nanded, Patna, Anandpur Sahib, Bhatinda culminating at Amritsar) in a relay format with a close friend of mine in March 2020 where we cycled more than 3800 kms over a period of 8 days supported by a crew of 6. Post its completion, I had planned to undertake K2K in late 2020/early 2021 however, had to repeatedly postpone it due to the pandemic.
With the pandemic receding in the middle of 2021, decided that I was ready to undertake this expedition. Actual preparation involved riding varied and tough terrains on my Home Trainer thru the Zwift App along with 100 to 200 Kms weekend rides. While taking into consideration the physical toll on the body due to this ultra-endurance event, I also religiously followed my Strength training routine at a local gym. Of course, diet played very important role in the whole process. For the initial 2 -3 months shed 7 to 8 kgs of weight however maintained a well balance diet in the last month or so along with regular consumption of dietary supplements recommended by my trainer to bridge the gap not covered by my regular food intake.
Overall ride was good however, weather conditions were extreme and tough. Srinagar was so cold that I had to wear four layers of clothing. Punjab to Haryana had a favorable climate however, after Seoni, the climate was extremely hot in the afternoon. South India was typical tropical climate i.e. extremely hot along with regular rain showers. While the cloudy weather was favorable for me, riding in the hot sun was an arduous task as the sun rays led to skin burns.
I consumed regular locally available food throughout the journey besides energy drinks like BCAA, protein shake, Carbonance, Fast Up gels, buttermilk, fruit juices, coconut water and fruits like banana apple oranges etc.
In these kinds of expeditions accidents or mishaps can take place but the best part of this ride was that no untoward incidents happened. No major health issues were faced; and it was primarily because I had trained myself hard towards this. Also, prior issues faced, had especially been taken care of as occurred during my previous rides; ankle soreness during my Paris-Brest-Paris ride, which I had to stop after 900 Kms, stomach upset during my Amritsar ride in 2019, etc. I made sure my fitness and diet were up to the mark in order to undertake this long journey. Nonetheless, despite taking all the precautions and adequate preparation, the hardest and the most challenging part of the ride was saddle soreness which started post Day 3/4. I had to keep going despite immense pain and discomfort.
Throughout my journey I was supported not only by my family, crew and friends but also by hordes of well-wishers whom I had never met before. They not only provided us with home cooked food at each stage of the journey but also with words of encouragement and support which made this long journey all the more memorable.
The main motive of my expedition was to inspire the youth about the health benefits of cycling or for that matter any form of physical activity. By doing this I hope I have touched and inspired many. The message which I want to give is that if I can do it at 67 then why can’t you? Since I’ve been riding for 12-13 years, I wanted to test my capabilities and endurance. I am glad to have achieved this milestone and hope people would remember that I achieved this feat at 67 years.