City’s Dr Samarth successfully completes BikingMan Sri Lanka
   Date :17-May-2024

 Dr Samarth  
Sports Reporter
THE BikingMan Sri Lanka is not just a usual ultra cycling race. It is an unsupported gravel dirt roads ultra cycling race where one never runs out of excitement with climbs and the downhills. Most of the route of BikingMan Sri Lanka is through villages and small towns. One rides for very small time on main roads and main highways. At many places there are no roads for 10 to 15 kms and one has to ride in these conditions unsupported. It is a ‘Survival Test’. Test whether one can cycle the 1054 km of brutal race route unsupported. After the first 100 km one is never on good roads continuously. Dr Samarth completed the race in 89 hrs and finished at 8th position. Sharing his experience, Dr Samarth said, “You are mostly cycling on roads surrounding the fields, canals and tea gardens. Roads are paved sometimes, mostly dirt roads, sometimes more sandy dirt roads which makes road bike difficult to handle. I had to use wider tyres on his road bike to tackle these gravel and dirt roads for 1054 kms.
“Extremely steep uphills 14 to 16 percent broken or semi-broken roads. Extremely steep downhills. The route is so designed that you never hit the highway for longer times. You are made to continuously move through this web and never hit highway. “Apart from this the weather in Sri Lanka is very hot and humid and I had to face dehydration due to excessive heat and sweating in these conditions. I had to take extra rest to correct dehydration.” In such circumstances, one may lose orientation and location. Dr Samarth also went off route for 45 kms and had to cycle back that distance to the race route. He also had to face dog attacks or chases mostly while passing through the villages.
During the race he slept on road side shops and managed food from road side small grocery shops. “It was extremely hot and humid. Even in the night I was sweating profusely and ended up dehydrated on second day... after that I think I never completely corrected the dehydration. It’s unsupported in true sense. Organisers don’t even give you water at check points. Everything has to be managed by you,” Dr Samarth said. Dr Samarth was the only participant from India and now he is the only Indian to have completed BikingMan Oman and BikingMan Sri Lanka.