KIBITHOO- In December 1971, the Indian Armed Forces secured a decisive and historic victory over Pakistan thereby liberating East Pakistan and leading to the creation of Bangladesh. This ride was planned as part of ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations organised by the Indian Army to commemorate the victory against Pakistan in 1971.
With this event, Lt Col Bharat Pannu of Indian Army has created a new Guinness World Record in ultra-cycling, traversing from India West to East in the shortest time on a cycle. The event started on 17th Oct 2021 at 0715 hrs from Koteshwar, Gujarat and covered a total distance of 3800 kms to reach Kibithoo, Arunachal Pradesh on 26 Oct 21. The record journey was covered in 9 days via Jaipur, Agra, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Siliguri and Tezpur. The earlier record was by Naresh Kumar by cycling 11 days and 21 hr.
Despite all the odds of heavy traffic, rainfall and heat conditions, courage and determination of Lt Col Pannu and his team kept him going. They also distributed pamphlets on the journey creating awareness among the youth about the 50th anniversary of the 1971 War, ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’. The team consisted of 6 members including a nutritionist, bike mechanic & a physiotherapist.
“Ultra-endurance cycling is something that not only tests your physical strength but also puts your fortitude to the test as one hardly gets to sleep for an hour or two at a stretch. Lt Col Pannu is an epitome of perseverance and determination, an inspiration to all of us” says Darshan Dubey, Chief of the crew.
A graduate from AIT, Pune and a serving officer in the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineer (EME) of the Indian Army, he is extremely passionate about cycling and has to his credit two World Records in ultra-cycling.
As to what kept him going, the officer added, “Cycling is liberating, it is an elixir to the soul. To attempt a Guinness World Record, one doesn’t only need to be committed but also smart and also must have a strategy”. He credits the Indian Army for the constant motivation that has helped him find his way into the Guinness Book of Records.
This event was organised by the Indian Army and executed by Armoured Corps Centre & School, Ahmednagar where he is posted OIC, Cycling Node.