A 48-year-old man from Mizoram has created a record by becoming the first among Mizos to pedal over 1,500 km in a single cycling expedition to reach Kolkata from Mizoram capital Aizawl.
C Lalawmpuia had set out from his home on January 26 and reached the eastern metropolis on February 15 evening after recesses in 14 towns of Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam and West Bengal,
The record came barely a year after a 55-year-old man from Kolkata, Parimal Kanji, toured the periphery of India on a bicycle and covered over 15,000 km.
While Kanji's mission was dream-driven, Lalawmpuia, a businessman from Aizawl city and a father of three, said he has a purpose for his expedition.
"My motive is to motivate Mizo youths and middle-aged men to take up cycling and take interest in it or any other adventure sports for physical health. I wanted to show them that long-distance cycling is not only for foreigners or non-tribals. Mizo tribals can also do it if they really take up cycling as sports and adventure," he told PTI.
Lalawmpuia, who runs a watch showroom in the city started by his late father in 1959, and took up cycling as a form of exercise in 2016, said he also wanted to show that people of his age can remain energetic if they abstain from alcohol, tobacco and abuse of other substances.
Middle-aged men, he said, are fit for adventurous sports if they take care of their health. "The Mizos are no less capable of cycling and in taking up adventurous sports than others," he asserted.
Lalawmpuia had begun to collect his requirements for the long cycling expedition in November last year and chose Kolkata as his destination as Mizos have had an emotional connection with the city since long.
He set out from his home at Dawrpui area in Aizawl on January 26 and reached his destination in the eastern metropolis on February 15 at around 3 pm covering about 1575.42 km. Asked the cyclist said he did not face much trouble during his 15 days journey.
He claimed that he is the first among Mizos to have covered such a long distance in a single cycling expedition. " ... Thank God I have done it. History has been made for the Mizos," Lalawmpuia posted on his Facebook timeline after reaching Kolkata.
He has another feather in his cap. In October 2018, he had cycled 510 km to Phawngpui, the highest blue mountain peak in Mizoram's southernmost Lawngtlai district near the Myanmar border.
His feat this time has earned the praise of numerous netizens who have sent him congratulatory messages calling it an epoch-making event in the history of the Mizos. Mizoram Sports Minister Robert Romawia Royte has hailed the cyclist as 'pride of the Mizos and the nation.'
"Salute C.Lalawmpuia, You’ve done it again. Adventuring by pedal cycle from Aizawl to Kolkotta, pedalling more than 1,570 km for 15 days in 100 hours !! It's a true adventure…!!Congrats Maawma, you are the pride of the Mizos and the Nation", Royte tweeted.
With PTI inputs.