Vinod Punamiya is an unusual sports lover. Last week, he made a world record by covering 140 km – from Mumbai to Dombivli – on his bicycle in 2 hours 20 minutes. That is faster than Central Railway’s famed Deccan Queen, which takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to cover the same distance. His average speed in the race was nearly 90-100 km per hour amid heavy traffic at Panvel and Vashi road.
Vinod is variously reported as being either 40 or 50 years old, and he’s performed his world-record feat — accompanied by a team of doctors in one report — on a custom Italian or an imported Trek which “has been given a special lifetime warranty” just for Punamiya.
Props to Vinod for promoting cycling as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation: Punamiya still rides his bicycle to work. “In our country, people travelling in cars look down on bicycle riders. But in China, millionaires wearing suit and tie pedal to office. I wish to reintroduce cycling as a sport and an environment friendly mode of transport in India,” he says.