Veteran cyclist Sanjay Mayure embarks on 'Bharat Darshan'
Having once paddled across 17 nations and 15,000 kilometres to reach Athens back in 2004, he has now undertaken a challenge to cycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in two months
Having once paddled across 17 nations and 15,000 kilometres to reach Athens back in 2004, veteran Maharashtra cyclist Sanjay Mayure has embarked on 'Bharat Darshan' as he has undertaken a challenge to cycle from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in two months.
A renowned cyclist from Maharashtra's Vidarbha region 67-year-old Mayure reached New Delhi on Tuesday after having started his mission from Srinagar's Lal Chowk on October 8.
From Delhi, Mayure will be heading to Gwalior followed by Nagpur and then off to Hyderabad. From Hyderabad, he will be reaching Bengaluru before the final stretch which consists of three cities --- Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram covering around 4,100 kms.
Mayure is expected to cover this distance in the next two months. "I think age is just a number. It is very easy to give excuses to avoid difficult tasks. Cycling has been my passion right from childhood. It kept me healthy and busy at this age too," said Mayure, who had some years back retired as Nayab Tahsildar of revenue department at DM's office.
Asked how he manages his accommodation as there is a fair amount of expense associated with this kind of journey across India. "I have never taken money and mostly managed on my own. I have spent lot of nights at Gurdwaras and ate the langar food and at times stayed in Mandirs where I have survived on prasad. Some places where I have no option, I stay at budget hotels to cut costs. But this is my passion and I can't ask for money from anyone," said Mayure, who hails from a small town Buldana, which is 50 kms from Ajanta, Ellora Caves.
Mayure, who won several cycling races in his younger days and earned the reward of 'Ghatacha Raja' (King of Ghats), was 50 years old when he had cycled across 17 countries to encourage Indian Olympians during the Athens edition.
So how does he manage costs and Mayure revealed a story of passion? "My wife is a retired SBI officer, my son is also working in a bank and my daughter-in-law is a teacher. I can't tell how much my wife encourages me. I save my pension money and then use it for these trips. When I went to Athens, she sold a plot of land for Rs 7 lakh and funded my trip," Mayure said.
Mayure has also done the famous 'Narmada Parikrama' covering about 4,000 kms on his cycle earlier in January this year.
So what's after reaching Kanyakumari? "Well I plan to come back to Chennai and take a flight to Pune. From Pune, my friends will join me as we embark on a cycling trip to Shirdi," concluded Mayure, who wants everyone to "push the paddle and stay away from worries."