Passion for riding prompted Suthan Timothy Thomas to ride 3,730 kms from Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh to Kotteshwar Mahadev in Gujarat in just 68-and-a-half hours. This was to enter the Limca Book of Records for the fastest East–West trip by breaking the previous attempt made in 115 hours. The 28-year-old from Puliangudi in Tirunelveli is an emergency physician in a hospital in the city.
After preparing physically and mentally and reading the rules and regulations to make the record attempt, he hit the road at Tezu at 6.20 in the morning on March 20, on his Honda CBR 250. He reached Kotteshwar Mahadev at 2.50 am on March 23, by speeding through the seven states.
Riding was not easy throughout the way as there were bumpy roads in Assam and in West Bengal, narrow, congested and bumpy roads with many potholes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Riding was tougher at night with the high beam lights from the heavy vehicles flashing on his eyes.
During his trip, he took ample pictures of him with the vehicle, gathered fuel bills, ATM withdrawal slips and other minor expenditure bills and signed the log books of Limca Book of Records at 31 places ‘This was in addition to the GPS tracking of the entire trip,’ he said. He has sent soft and hard copies of these proofs to Limca Book of Records.
‘India is a great country with well laid roads supporting expeditions. Sadly, there are no trees for a major stretch of the highways as the existing ones are felled for road expansion,’ he said as his ride was not only to speed across the stretch of India, but create awareness on planting saplings to save earth. Tree cover was good in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and parts of Madhya Pradesh and no trees for the rest of the trip.
He added that he had earlier covered 5,550 km ride (Puducherry-Kolkata- Puducherry) in 23 days in December 2010 and 12,500 km in 30 days in North India in November 2013. But it was the 2,770 km from Osian (Rajasthan) to Rajapalayam (Tamil Nadu) he covered in 72 hours on a 150 cc bike that motivated him to make record attempts.
His attempt started with failure in July 2015 when he tried to break the 78-hour record from Leh (Kashmir) to Kanyakumari covering 3,850 km. He finished it in 87.3 hours as his expedition was hit by heavy downpour and technical snag of his 150 cc bike. Lessons he got from that trip helped him finish the East – West expedition in a very short time.