NEW DELHI: Corporate bigwig Sharang Rathore is in the business of selling high-end cars by profession, but is a passionate cyclist at heart who always wanted to engrave his name in the record books by doing something different. In particular, through his endurance.
And he did it in style by creating a national record in the elevation gain through riding which has been duly recognized by the Limca Book of Records. Rathore achieved the rare feat of highest altitude gain of more than 8848m – the height of Mount Everest – in 18 hours and 27 minutes on a geared bicycle on March 24 this year.
Rathore repeated his ascending trip from Bir Village (1525m) to Billing Take Off Point (2400m) in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh four times with an average elevation gain of 2207m each and then added it up with another short ride of 30m gain, covering a record total distance of 127.6 km. Rathore started his mission at 3:15am and finished it by 9:42pm with a few mini-breaks in between to revive himself for the ultimate goal.
Rathore, who turned 41 this November, predominantly wanted to go for this feat to ring in his 40th birthday by achieving something big which he could cherish in the years to come. And he didn’t disappoint himself or his family, who were by his side as inspiration as he etched his name in the scenic hills of Himachal Pradesh.
“The Manali-Leh trip was a turning point for me in terms of cycling because we could do a lot of high endurance stuff which I realized I could do on a cycle,” Rathore told TOI Sports.
Rathore, who heads the Corporate and Direct Sales division of BMW Group, India, had put in a lot of effort to realise his dream despite having a tough managing his passion and profession. “To train for something big like this, I had to do start very early in the morning, sometimes through the weekdays and especially the big rides of over 100km over the weekends. And to an extent to cover my mileage I had also travelled from home to office and back everyday so that I was able to clock my 40km or 50km per day,” he said.
“If I was not able to cycle down to office – such as when I had to attend a big meeting where I have to be in formal attire – then I would do up and down 10 or 15 times via the stairs in the office building, as I sit on the seventh floor, and that also helped in building up muscles,” he elaborated.
When asked what’s next in store, Rathore doggedly said: “I would love to continue something or the other, maybe even someday do the Delhi-Bangkok-Malaysia route, along with other cyclists of our Manali-Leh group, which is opened up. If we are able to get a couple of weeks or may be a month off, we would be able to that as well.”