CHENNAI: Manigandan Manjunath is gearing up for the toughest 48 hours of his life. And it’s all for love. The soon-to-be groom, who will tie the knot with his bride in April, hopes to set a Guinness Record to gift her by cycling from Chennai to Mumbai in two days!
The Guinness attempt that will kick-off on Sunday is hoped to set the record for the longest distance covered by a mountain bike in 48 hours. And his fiance, who incidentally bumped into him at a riding event a few years ago, has been only too proud, watching him train over the last couple of months.
To handle the extreme duress that he will be under this weekend, the 27-year-old has been surviving on an energy bar and juice diet. “That’s all I’ve been eating for over a month because staying awake for 48 hours straight will be my biggest challenge,” he shares. This is in addition to circuitous cycling routes that have had him pedalling anywhere between 80 km and 280 km each day. All of this is with the end goal to beat the previous record-holder in the same category last year - Australian cyclist Adrian Ellul who covered 1004.41 km in 48 hours on his mountain bike. But Manigandan, who is now used to extreme distances, seems hardly perturbed. In fact, his friends will tell you that his first Guinness Record set in 2014 was possibly a lot more challenging. “I rode on my motorbike for 14,450 km in 96 days,” he recalls. Covering 29 states and five Union Territories along the way, his record for the longest journey by a motorcycle still stands today!
When this IT professional starts pedalling on Sunday, he will be accompanied by four friends who will drive alongside for moral support, as well as document the whole journey for the Guinness establishment. Not to mention, this will make for an epic bachelor party story to tell someday!
For the moment, though, Manigandan is all focus, no play. He even refused to drive down with his friends from Bengaluru to Chennai, and chose to cycle the distance instead. He explains his logic, “My muscles have not had a break for a single day over the last month-and-a-half and I’m not about to stop now. No breaks till the finish line!”