People engaged in cycling are referred to as “cyclists”. While many use this as a mode of transport many use this as recreation and sometimes as a form of exercise. From the general love of cycles a group called BDCyclists was formed in Bangladesh. They describe their group as a gathering of “general people like you who is either a student, a service holder, or a business person, all having the common goal of staying healthy in our stressful lives and ride for recreation, commuting, health, and sheer fun”
Originating from that came TeamBDC, a sports wing of BDCyclists where amateur cyclists train together to participate in races. Hailing from that four Bangladeshi youths, Drabir Alam, Tanvir Ahmed, Mohammad Alauddin and Rakibul Islam, have created a world record by cycling 1670 kilometres in 48 hours through a relay.
On the 8th of December 2021 TeamBDC started cycling at 8:40 pm from Purbachal, Dhaka and finished at 8:40 pm on 10 December. To set the world record, they started cycling on a road in the Zainul Abendin square in Purbachal and then circled the area 1002 times, cycling at an estimated speed of 35 kilometers per hour accompanied by fifty four pacers amidst cold weather and winter rain, allowing them to cross the 1670 kilometer goal they set.
After verification of all the data, The Guinness authorities informed TeamBDC of their verdict on Friday, 7th of January 2022, and TeamBDC announced it on Saturday, 8th of January 2022.
“The greatest distance cycled in 48 hours by a relay team is 1670.334 km (1037.89 miles),” declared the Guinness authorities on their website. The declaration was delayed by a month due to the scrutinous verification process the Guinness world record authorities have. They had to send much information including video footage of 6 different cameras used throughout the 48 hours, statements of 13 witnesses, numerous photos and GPS data on rides to the Guinness authorities.
Breaking and setting world records seem to be turning out as easy as pie for BDCyclists, before this they set the longest chain of cyclists on Bangladesh’s Victory Day with 1200 participants. But even for them this record wasn’t easy, facing many barricades they marched ahead. In the first six months of searching for sponsors they were let down many times. Finally they decided to gather the required finances by crowd funding, but Dabur came to their rescue in the end along with Prothom Alo.
Thus started the training , initially taking a fitness test in the performance lab of Fitness Solution. They had to go through rigorous training regimes and diet plans, where they trained for ten to twelve hours on average with days where they had to train upto sixteen hours.
Game day wasn’t easy either as they had to deal with the after effects of Cyclone Jawad causing rain showers and heavy winds. They started the ride switching riders every 23 laps. TeamBDC stated the unsung heroes of the record were the 54 pacers who cycled, in teams of three, in front of the contestants for three to four hours stints. They helped to form a steamline which reduced air resistance acting on the main cyclists.
The last twelve hours were the hardest for them as everyone was low on energy and fatigued but they powered through with the support of friends and family cheering from the sidelines.
“We set the record after two years of preparation. It feels like a big burden is off our chests,” Dravid Alam, one of the youths who have set the record, was quoted as saying by Prothom Alo.