For those unacquainted with the world of endurance sports, RAAM or Race Across America is the world’s toughest cycle race which tests its participants’ physical and mental stamina. While boasting of only 200 contestants till date since its inception, it involves traversing through 12 states of USA within 12 days ( 9 days as a team), from the west coast at Oceanside, CA to the east coast at Annapolis, MD which equals a staggering 3,000 miles!
The Mahajan brothers Hitendra and Mahendra, aged 44 and 39, are doctors by profession. According to the official website of the RAAM, they crossed the finish line at Annapolis, Maryland on the Atlantic Coast, eight days and 11 hours after being flagged off from Oceanside, California on the US West Coast. They pedaled at an average speed of 23.36 km per hour across the course for a noble cause of raising money for a charity. With the title, “Team India: Vision for Tribals”, they rode for raising money for the Kalpataru Foundation, under which every 100 km of cycling will result in five cataract surgeries and one corneal transplant. Cumulatively, the ride helped raise funds for approximately 240 cataract surgeries and 48 free corneal transplants for the tribals.
For this relay race, Mahajan brothers were backed by a crew of over a dozen members who followed them in cars, supporting with navigation, nutrition, cycling assistance and all the other requirements on the road. They braved extreme temperature, hilly areas, and storms during the race as they crossed pleasant California and via the demanding Mojave Desert, mountainous Colorado and windy Central US, and concluded in the East Coast.
Clearly a game of perseverance, the Mahajan brothers had been practicing hard for the last three years, which included 150 km of riding every day for at least thrice a week and also simulating a RAAM-like race in March. The extent of determination and hard work on the part of our fellow citizens sets an impressive example for all those who have reservations about cycling and its possible scope. This piece of news was music to our ears, and we hope that this trend of professional cycling continues in the future as well.