Vedangi Kulkarni recently became the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on bicycle.
It took her 160 days to pedal 29000km, across 14 countries. She was 19 when she started, and 20 when she finished, celebrating her 20th birthday around the halfway point in Canada. Most of her journey was solo and unsupported.
My childhood was a lot about my parents and I travelling out and about through every summer/winter break. I used to write poems and short stories. My father encouraged me to explore the outdoors- mountains and sea, from his own travel experiences. From tying a rope between the safety door and gymnastic rod, experimenting with valley crossing in our own house to creating an Everest out of the high end of a wall, and mountains in the vicinity, my father has been a rockstar in my adventurous upbringing. Of course, my school played a major role too. Although I didn’t have many friends as a kid, I definitely had an outdoorsy spirit and schools’s extra-curricular activities made sure that I spent more time with the like-minded, doing things that I really loved. That seemed to be how it worked- do what you really love to with utmost passion and you’ll find the people supporting your cause. Football was a big part of my life between the end of school life until I moved to the UK. But when, as a 17 year old, I decided to cycle across the Himalayan passes, my perspective towards the world really changed. It was truly exciting, and I felt the most confident when putting myself through tough situations or getting better at pushing my previous limits. The harder it got, the better I felt, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to push myself further into any challenge. In 2016, I moved to the UK, and started studying in Bournemouth University. I went from knowing absolutely nobody in the UK to travelling the entire country extensively on my bike having a place to call home in almost every corner and planning and executing a journey for which my best friend ended up quitting his university year working full time on this expedition and my university supporting me to their best level- financially and otherwise, being a big part of this madness of a project.
"Vedangi is taking on the Everest of bike journeys, the circumnavigation World Record, and at such a young age is out to prove that anyone can dream big and take on such tenacious adventures. I salute her careful planning, passion to inspire others and sheer determination to ride."
"We're super excited here about Vedangi's record attempt, and we are really pleased to be able to support her attempt with our ISEN Workshop All Road Bike. This journey is a huge undertaking, but having met and personally ridden with Vedangi – I think if anyone's up to the challenge it's her!! We can't wait to follow her journey accross the continents this summer!"