A Pune-based woman has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for cycling approximately 430 kilometres from Leh to Manali in 55 hours and 13 minutes. 45-year-old Preeti Maske, who is a mother of two children, started the world attempt ride on June 22 at 6 am. She also holds a record for the fastest woman cyclist on the Golden Quadrilateral comprising a distance of 6,000 kilometers.
Maske's achievement was shared by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) of India, praising her for her commendable efforts. “The ultra cycling effort in High Altitude terrain with reduced Oxygen availability speaks volumes of her tenacity and determination," the organisation tweeted. In another tweet, the organisation wrote, “@BROindia is proud of her achievement & proud to have been closely associated with her Expedition."
Maske was flagged off by BRO from Leh at 6 am on June 22 by Brigadier Gaurav Karki, Chief Engineer of BRO at Leh. She then finished her ride at Manali at 1:13 pm on June 24 in the presence of Col. Shabarish Vachali, Commander, BRO. Expressing happiness about her achievement, she said that age has never been a barrier for her in exploring her passion. “To overcome illness, I started cycling at the age of 40. If I can overcome my fears, then any woman can," she told PTI.
The route that Maske took in her journey was at 8,000 m elevation and Guinness World Record had given her a window of 60 hours to complete the feat. She had to take oxygen twice on her way due to breathlessness at high passes.
Maske also holds other records related to long-distance cycling. Praising the achiever, her crew member, Anand Kansal said, "Preeti had to cycle in harsh varying climate on all the high altitude passes fighting the sun, strong head winds, snowfall and freezing temperatures." Kansal also lauded the support received by BRO which had deployed two support vehicles with a satellite phone and medical assistant for Maske's journey.
(with inputs from PTI)