M’luru lad completes Ultra Spice Bicycle Race

M’luru lad completes Ultra Spice Bicycle Race

Dhanraj Karkera, with his crew members, during the Ultra Spice Endurance Bicycle Race.

Dhanraj Karkera, a 29-year-old cyclist from Mangaluru has become the state's first endurance cyclist, after having travelled a distance of 1,750-km on the bicycle in the third edition of Ultra Spice Endurance Bicycle Race, organised by Inspire India.

Dhanraj is a member of 'Team WE R Cycling', Mangaluru.

Team member Harniish Raj said that Ultra Spice is one of the toughest and long distance races in the country. "The competition is known as endurance race as the rider has to withstand an elevation gain of 22,500 meters and face extreme climate conditions ranging between 38 degree Celsius and 8 degree Celsius. Also, the ride is to be carried out on uneven terrain."

The race was flagged-off in Goa on January 26 and culminated on January 31. Cyclists travelled via Goa-Karwar-Honnavar-Jog Falls-Chikkamagaluru-Madikeri-Wayanad-Ooty and back to Goa through the same route. Even after lagging by 12 hours due to illness on the way to Chikkamagaluru from Sagar, Dhanraj managed to complete the race and achieve the fete of being the first cyclist from Mangaluru and Karnataka to complete the endurance race.

Speaking to DH, Dhanraj said, "There was hardly any time to take a nap or eat, as we had to cover 400 km in 19 hours each day. We got hardly five hours to rest. On the way, I had to be admitted to a local hospital due to dehydration. For some time, I had to survive on clear liquids alone. I ended up losing 12 precious hours."

Dhanraj is a native of Kadri, Mangaluru and currently works as an engineer in British Maritime Services and would be sailing most days of the year. He practised cycling on the ship gym with a trainer.

Dhanraj's crew member Sudhir Albuquerque said that in the third edition of Ultra Spice Endurance Bicycle Race, there were five competitors including a lady rider Ila Patil. The rider is supported by a crew comprising of navigation system enabled cars and crew members to take care of the necessities of a rider such as food and medication. Dhanraj Karkera was accompanied by two navigation cars with crew members. The crew members were Sudhir Albuquerque, Ashwath, Sarvesh, Dhiraj, Shashank Pal, Shyam, Hari and Nithin Mohan.

The navigation vehicles - Honda CRV and Mahindra Scorpio were facilitated with GPS trackers and megaphones to communicate with the cyclist. Two spare bicycles along with spare parts, gas stove, groceries and other necessary materials were carried along by the crew.

The total budget of the race was around Rs 2.5 lakhs. Ideal Ice Creams came forward to sponsor the team, along with the crew members investing their own funds.