Aizawl: A 48-year-old man from Mizoram has scripted history and set a record by becoming the first among Mizos to complete an arduous cycling expedition pedaling over 1,500 km to reach Kolkata from Mizoram’s capital Aizawl.
The record came barely a year after a 55-year-old man from Kolkata, Parimal Kanji, stunned the nation when he toured the periphery of India to cover over 15,000 km on a bicycle.
While Kanji’s mission was dream-driven, C. Lalawmpuia, a well-known businessman from the heart of Aizawl city, has a purpose with his cycling expedition.
“My motive is to motivate the Mizo youths and the middle-aged men to take up and take interest in cycling or adventure sports for physical health, to show them that long cycling expedition is not only for foreigners or non-tribals but Mizo tribal can also do it if they really take up cycling as sports and adventure,” the self-disciplined and health-conscious cyclist said.
He also wanted to show that people of his age are energetic if they abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other substance abuse. He said that middle-aged men are fit for adventurous sports if they take care of their health.
“The Mizos are no less capable of cycling and adventurous sports than others,” the jubilant cyclist said.
With the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic paralysing normal life in Mizoram for quite a long time since 2020, life has not only become dull but fruitless for an adventurous person like Lalawmpuia, who has a passion for adventure apart from his business.
With the aim to motivate others, he decided to go for a long cycling expedition and started collecting his requirements in November last year. He took at least three months in preparation for the tour.
After careful thought, he ultimately chose Kolkata as his destination, because the Mizos have had an emotional attachment to the Bengal’s capital since a long time, he said.
Lalawmpuia, who is fondly called ‘Maawma’, mounted his bicycle and began wheeling towards his destination from his home at Dawrpui locality in Aizawl on January 26.
After 15 days of arduous cycling, he reached his final destination Kolkata on Tuesday (February 15) around 3 pm, covering 1,575.42 km in about 100 hours.
Lalawmpuia, a father of three children, said he had night-hold or recesses in at least 14 towns in Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya and West Bengal before he reached his final destination.
He did not face much trouble during his 15 days journey, he said.
“After 15 days of cycling, I finally reached my destination Kolkata. Thank God I have done it. History has been made for the Mizos,” he posted on his Facebook timeline after reaching Kolkata.
He claimed that he is the first among Mizos to have covered over 1,500 km distance on a cycling expedition to reach Kolkata.
Lalawmpuia is a businessman by profession and owns the ‘Aizawl Watch House’ at Dawrpui, one of the oldest shops that deal with watches, which his late father C. Thangkima had started in 1959.
He continued the family business and inherited the shop when his father passed away in 2012.
He started cycling as part of physical exercise in 2016 and had already toured on a bicycle to Phawngpui, the highest blue mountain peak in Mizoram’s southernmost Lawngtlai district near the Myanmar border in October 2018 covering 510 km from Aizawl.
Meanwhile, many netizens praised and conveyed congratulatory messages to Lalawmpuia, hailing his success as an epoch-making event in the history of the Mizos.
Among such people was the state sports minister Robert Romawia Royte, who hailed the cyclist as ‘pride of the Mizos and the nation.’
“Salute C.Lalawmpuia, You’ve done it again. Adventuring by pedal cycle from Aizawl to Kolkotta, pedalling more than 1,570 kms for 15 days in 100 hours!! It’s a true adventure…!!Congrats Maawma, you are the pride of the Mizos and the Nation,” Royte tweeted.
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