CHENNAI: Santanu Chakraborty is on the longest bicycle ride of his life. An engineer with a taste for adventure, he’s attempting a Guinness record of ‘Farthest Distance Cycled in One month’ by covering a massive 7,000 km on his Scott Speedster 40.
The cyclist who rode through Chennai on Thursday says, “My journey began in Surat where I’m from and since then I’ve covered Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and now Chennai.” Santanu will need to beat the previous record in the same category, set by a UK citizen at 6,455 km. After Chennai, his route will run across Vishakapatnam -Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata-Kanpur-Agra-Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad...and then back to Surat - all by February 26!
If this weren’t daunting enough, Santanu tells us that his companion who was carrying food and clothing on a motorbike beside him had a bad fall and had to return home. “So now it’s just me, two pairs of clothes, some chips and some spare tubes in case of a puncture,” he tells us, clearly unfazed.
Perhaps this 35-year-old’s confidence lies in the accomplishment of his first Guinness record back in 2013 for the ‘longest journey by a motorcycle in a country’.
How to Survive 7,000 km Ride
After six months of strenuous gym training for this trip, four hours a day, Santanu tells us stamina isn’t everything. Here’s what he does to stay hydrated and motivated
■ A five minute stop every hour to allow his muscles to relax
■ Plenty of stops for water, juice and coconut water
■ No rice or roti except at night once his day’s riding is done
And he adds, “The company I work at Larsen and Toubro, has been very supportive. They gave me a wonderful send off and there’s even a company Whatsapp group where I post updates and they send me motivational messages.” Between the five minutes of breathing time he gets every hour or so, Santanu admits, “I’m already planning my next Guinness record - Cairo to Cape Town by cycle! In other words, an attempt to make the shortest time to travel the length of South Africa. When I’m done with this, I want to do at least one Guinness Record a year,” he smiles. For Santanu, it’s only a matter of...when.