Vedangi Kulkarni recently became the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on bicycle. It took her 160 days to pedal 29000km, across 14 countries. She was 19 when she started, and 20 when she finished, celebrating her 20th birthday around the halfway point in Canada. Most of her journey was solo and unsupported.
Vedangi in her own words:
My childhood was a lot about my parents and I travelling out and about through every summer/winter break. I used to write poems and short stories. My father encouraged me to explore the outdoors- mountains and sea, from his own travel experiences. From tying a rope between the safety door and gymnastic rod, experimenting with valley crossing in our own house to creating an Everest out of the high end of a wall, and mountains in the vicinity, my father has been a rockstar in my adventurous upbringing.
Of course, my school played a major role too. Although I didn’t have many friends as a kid, I definitely had an outdoorsy spirit and schools’s extra-curricular activities made sure that I spent more time with the like-minded, doing things that I really loved.
But when, as a 17 year old, I decided to cycle across the Himalayan passes, my perspective towards the world really changed. It was truly exciting, and I felt the most confident when putting myself through tough situations or getting better at pushing my previous limits. The harder it got, the better I felt, and the better I felt, the more I wanted to push myself further into any challenge.
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- How her journey into cycling and adventure started
- Moving to the UK at 18
- Finding it hard to make friends
- Being inspired by Juliana Buhring
- Deciding to cycle around the world
- How the adventures went wrong
- Planning expeditions for others
- Her passion for the outdoors and getting inspired by her father
- Being inspired to dream bigger
- Cycling 800 km across the Himalayas at 17
- Falling in love with the outdoors
- Female role models growing up
- Wanting to become text book worthy
- Getting exposed to bike packing in the UK
- The planing and preparation for her round the world cycle ride
- Wanting to film the expedition
- The biggest issue with getting visa’s
- Having to start in Australia due to visa issues
- Pausing university
- Canada and the grizzly bear
- The end of her record challenge for time in Spain
- Dealing with concussion
- Losing her confidence
- Getting her performance back
- What’s happening with the film/documentary
- Thinking about cycling around the world again…
- Launching an adventure planning crash course
- Wanting to make adventure accessible
- Starting a youtube channel
- Final words of advice and top tips