Seven workers cycling their way home to UP from Tamil Nadu

Seven workers cycling their way home to UP from Tamil Nadu

Some of the world’s best athletes take 21 days to cover about 3,500km as part of cycling’s most prestigious sporting event — the Tour de France. But seven workers from Uttar Pradesh are hoping to cover 70% of that distance on their rickety cycles just to get home. In peak summer heat, Sumit, Kamlesh, Upender, Krishna and three others, all aged between 20 and 25 years, are travelling roughly 2,400km, from Chennai to Gorakhpur. Their luggage includes some food, phone chargers and tool kits. After six long days, the exhausted youth were spotted sleeping on Wednesday afternoon by the Medchal highway on Hyderabad outskirts.

“We decided to leave Chennai after a person near our house tested positive for coronavirus. When we contacted a few truck operators, they demanded ₹500 for every 200km. As it was a huge amount, we decide to cycle all the way to UP,’’ said Sumit.

“For most part of the night we have been cycling. Unless we are too tired, we cycle even during the day. We eat either at roadside eateries or when some good people providing it for free,’’ Sumit said. Relying on Google Maps, they have so far managed to give police the slip by traversing through bylanes and avoiding checkposts. They have also managed to repair their troublesome cycles and are pedaling forth, motivated by the thought of reuniting with their families.