An Indian Civilizational Perspective

50 yr old beats Deccan Queen from Pune to Mumbai!

This dude should be busy training for Tour de France!! At least give Armstrong some company…

A 50-year-old cyclist covered a 140-km stretch from the outskirts of Pune to Dombivli in Mumbai faster than the Deccan Queen Express on Sunday. Vinod Punamiya, riding a made-in-Italy cycle, covered the distance in two hours and 10 minutes, arriving at Dombivli 22 minutes ahead of the train.

Thousands of people including Thane police commissioner D Shivanandan had gathered to welcome the hero, a Pune-based dealer of imitation art jewellry whose passion for cycling dates back more than two decades. "I am extremely happy," Punamiya said after he completed the ride. The train, which has a few halts along the route, touches a maximum speed of 120 kmph.

Sanjay Borde, who escorted Punamiya in his Scorpio, said, "We started from Balewadi Kridanagri at 7.10 am. We took the old Mumbai-Pune highway which passes through Khandala Ghat." Punamiya said beating the Deccan Queen to Dombivli meant more than any other record because he had tried it once several years ago but lost by two minutes.

A native of Rajasthan, Punamiya ran away from home after failing twice in high school. He came to Mumbai and worked as a cook before shifting to Pune, where he worked at a Xerox shop. Working his way up, Punamiya then made his career as a dealer of imitation jewellry.

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