A cyclist from Athani, Thrissur, just made it to Khardung La, Ladakh, a point 17,600 ft above sea level on his cycle. The point is also famous among cyclists for being the highest point accessible to civilians.
80-year-old Jose set off on this journey on 15 July, and even took a halt after completing 4,500 kms to celebrate his 80th birthday. If not for this halt, Jose had planned to reach his destination by 11 September.
A former plumber at Thrissue medical college, Jose also spoke about he was previously addicted to smoking and drinking and how he gave up those habits in 1983. The idea first came to him after a doctor from the medical college gave him a book about smoking and its harmful effects after he found out about it through newspapers. Jose had achieved a rare feat of running 10,000 metres in 39 minutes and 8 seconds, and the news was all over the papers back in the day. That's when the doctor found out about his habits and enocuraged him to quit. After that, Jose was unstoppable.
Jose was accompanied by Gokul PR from Thrissur and spoke about the challenges Jose had towards the end of his journey. "Jose could not cycle for about 5 kms when his internal oxygen level dipped, which is quite common at high altitude locations. He managed to cycle the last 1 km," he told TOI.
Jose was all praises for the military support staff at Khardung La and said, "Many of us don't realise the extreme hardships that they endure here to protect our nation. I completed the trip only with their support."
(With inputs from The Times of India).