MANGALURU: () celebrated in a unique way involving 72 cyclists from Namma Kudla who rode for 72 minutes to pay their tribute to the nation. Apprehensive of inclement weather, the cyclists utilised the early morning lull in rains to hit the pedals that saw young and old alike join this endeavour. The 72-minute ride saw these intrepid cyclists cover 20-kms criss crossing the city thoroughfares.

While the youngest rider was six-year-old, a septuagenarian cyclist aged 75 highlighted the Independence Day spirit of the group. All riders displayed Indian tri-colour on their bicycles. Coming together in such a big gathering to commemorate the event which happened 72 years ago was a big boost for rest of the day and will be remembered for ever, said Ganesh Nayak, general secretary of the club. This is our tribute to the freedom fighters, he added.

Adding to the patriotic zeal of the cyclists was inspiring stories of Indian Army that Captain Rajaneesh Linekaje, presently posted in Kashmir, shared with them. A cycling enthusiast himself, Rajaneesh accompanied by his father Ramakrishna Linekaje, joined the group to share this occasion with them on a short notice. A native of Madikeri, Rajaneesh is a passionate cyclist with several cycling expeditions to his credit, Ganesh noted.

Some of his expeditions include solo pedalling in Spiti Valley covering passes like Kunzum Pass (15,000 ft) and Rohtang Pass (13,500 ft) covering a distance of 510 kms in six days without any backup. He also led an Army team in Bundelkhand for cycle safari of seven days. He has also covered many territories of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, UP, MP and HP on his pedals. He has plans to explore North East regions in the near future, Ganesh said.
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