Around the world in 160 days: Vedangi Kulkarni, the youngest women to circumnavigate the world by bike

Ep.15 24/12/2020

‘The only option I have is to keep going, and I am going to keep going’

Vedangi has always been active, playing football at a high level until she moved to the UK at 17. Wanting to challenge herself, she embarked on long bike trip across the Himalayan passes, a journey of around 800-900km. She completed this despite tough terrain, high altitude, and poor weather conditions. Beginning a Sports Management degree in 2016, she continued to train for her future cycling challenges. Following a stay with a stranger on a training cycle, she decided that day to cycle to John O’Groats; two and half weeks later she made it, and considered where to set her sights next. Vedangi decided she would circumnavigate the world by bike, aiming to beat the record and do it in the fastest time so far.

Beginning her challenge in Australia, Vedangi set off by herself. The journey was not always plain sailing. Having been chased by grizzly bears, and hit by a mini bus, Vedangi faced her biggest challenge in Spain where she was knocked off her bike and robbed at knife-point by two men and thrown head first into a ditch. This left her concussed and having panic attacks as she continued her cycle. Throughout everything she never questioned that she would keep going, and never once thought of giving up. Grateful to be alive, she reached Australia and could claim the impressive accolade of being the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by bike.

Once Vedangi had completed her challenge and returned home, she realised that university wasn’t for her and that what she really wanted to do was help to plan and manage other people’s expeditions. She now runs The Adventure Shed, a business that provides end to end expedition management services and aims to make adventure accessible for all. She hopes to inspire people to take action to take on their own challenges and push themselves in the way she has always done. – The Adventure Shed – Vedangi Kulkarni