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City boy cycles to the highest altitude lake, creates world record

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

By Prasanta Phukon

On June 15, 20-year-old Winward Sangma and three of his friends started their journey from Shillong. Their destination was the Tilicho Lake, located at an altitude of 4,949 meters (16,138 ft) from sea level, in Nepal. What made his journey special was his transport, a BMX cycle.


Winward Sangma waves a dakmanda, a Garo shawl, in front of Lake Tilicho.

While Sangma was riding a single speed or gearless bicycle, others were on road cycles with gears. On June 28, Sangma and co-riders Anup J Sarmah and Lalbieksang Faihriem reached Tilicho, the world’s highest altitude lake. Sangma became the first cyclist in the world to reach the point on a freestyle bike.

However, this was not the youth’s first record and he was competing against himself to test a cyclist’s tenacity. He created the first world record by riding from Shillong to Jalpaiguri, a distance of 565 km, in 24 hours.


The team of four — (from right) Winward Sangma, Hopesent Marak, Anup J Sarmah and Lalbieksang Faihriem

“Hopesent (co-cyclist Hopesent Marak) and I created the first record. It was the longest distance co