He pedalled across the world to spread word on global warming | india | Hindustan Times
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He pedalled across the world to spread word on global warming

After pedalling his way across the globe for nearly six months, Thaneite Rajesh Khandekar returned home on Sunday evening, reports Susamma Kurian.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2010 01:41 IST
Susamma Kurian

After pedalling his way across the globe for nearly six months, Thaneite Rajesh Khandekar returned home on Sunday evening.

An avid cyclist, Khandekar left his Vartaknagar home on July 19, 2009, to spread awareness on the effects of global warming.

“I took a flight to Thailand from Mumbai and then travelled to Hong Kong, China, South Korea on my cycle. I took a boat to Japan, then took a flight to Germany and pedalled my way to Holland, Belgium, France and Spain,” said the 36-year-old general store owner.

“I returned to France, rode to Italy and then took a boat to Greece and finally reached Turkey on my cycle. Then I took a flight back home, reached Nagpur on December 19 and pedalled my way back home on Sunday around 4 pm.”

“The focus of my world tour was to spread awareness about global warming. But I encountered language problems as people in China and France only speak the local dialect. So, I would visit bus stands, market and canvass through the banner stuck on my cycle,” said Khandekar.

The tour, covered 16,000 km, with him cycling around 12,860 km outside the country.

Though Khandekar had planned a 282-day trip, he had to cut short his trip due to extreme climatic conditions.

“While I was in Europe, there was heavy snowfall due to which I cancelled part of my trip. Though I had warm clothes on, there were times when my feet would be frozen,” he said.

“The people were very friendly and helpful. Some would let me pitch my tent in their compound, others would provide food. But I missed home.”

Khandekar plans to go on another world tour next year but hopes that next time more help will come forth.

“No one was ready to sponsor my tour this time. I hope I get sponsors next time so that I can spread more awareness among the people,” Khandekar said.

Before the world tour, Khandekar had undertaken 10 cycle expeditions, including a three-month tour across the country in 1997, two Kargil expeditions and a Khardung La Pass tour.