A 19-year-old from India who studies at Bournemouth University will set off from Perth, Western Australia, in June next year with the aim of breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by a female cyclist.
Vedangi Kulkarni, who is studying sports management, is targeting the record of 144 days set in 2014 by Italian national Paola Gianotti, and aims to complete her 29,000-kilometre journey in 130 days.
Kulkarni, who comes from Pune in the state of Maharashtra, told PTI: "It is going to be super cool, I am very excited about it.”
Initially, her journey will take her across Australia from Perth to Brisbane, and she will then fly to New Zealand and ride from Wellington to Auckland.
From there, she will fly to Anchorage in Alaska and then cycle to Montreal in Canada before taking another flight to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.
That will be followed by the longest part of her circumnavigation as she rides more than 14,500 kilometres across Europe and Asia to Ulan Bator in Mongolia.
She will then take a flight to Perth to complete her round-the-world ride.
Referring to the rules set by Guinness World Records, which include passing through two antipodal points, she said: "There are certain laid-down norms in order to qualify. I am only adhering to them," she said.
Kulkarni is a relatively recent convert to cycling and began thinking about attempting the Guinness World Record after starting her studies in Bournemouth.
She said: "I met very interesting people and read a lot before finalising my plans. You need help because of the huge amount of logistics involved, and I am alone all through the journey.”
Currently, she is in India where she is hoping to find sponsors for her trip and is also working on some of the paperwork that will be needed on her world record attempt.
She has also set up a page on Go Fund Me, where she is aiming to raise £10,000 to help finance the journey.
As part of her preparation, Kulkarni has ridden in the Himalayas as well as from Land’s End to John O’Groats and entered this year’s London-Edinburgh-London, which she was forced to abandon through a knee injury – although she returned several days later to complete the ride.
The men’s Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by bicycle was broken this year by Scottish rider Mark Beaumont, who arrived in Paris just 78 days after leaving the French capital to begin his attempt.
Last month at the Kendal Mountain Festival, Kulkarni met both Beaumont and the adventurer Sean Conway, an experience she said on Facebook would put her “back on the road with an updated mindset and a new confidence.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.