Nishant Patel, an entrepreneur from Mumbai, has set a new record for the 'deepest and fastest scuba cycling undersea'. He rode 100 metres in 6 minutes 47 seconds at a depth of 32.7m.
Back in 2012, we reported on the catchily-named ‘farthest simulated distance static cycling underwater with breathing equipment’ record, which was set by a pair of ex-Royal Marines who rode on a turbo trainer for 15 hours, covering 100.13 miles.
We’ve since reported on the ‘farthest simulated distance static cycling underwater without any breathing equipment’ record, which is 855m, set by Homar Leuci from Italy.
Patel’s record differs from these in that he was actually riding a bike along the seabed.
The Times of India reports that Patel had previously taken part in various cycling events and races in India and was looking for a new challenge. A couple of years ago, he hit upon the entirely logical idea of combining his two interests of cycling and diving.
“It felt amazing and gave me a rush,” he said of his first attempt, which involved riding a bike along the bottom of a swimming pool.
Patel then went to the Andamans to practise 5-7 metres down.
“This was to understand how geometry of cycles would work and what the ocean bed would be like,” he said. “For instance, the wheels won’t work well in sand, but it can move on rock beds. I also had to figure out the weights that I need to add to help me and the cycle maintain buoyancy.”
After six months’ practice, he made his attempt off the coast of Pondicherry in the east of the country. He’d expected to complete the 100 metre course in about 18 minutes, but did it in a fraction of the time.
“I remember jumping on the cycle and dancing underwater,” he recalled.