24 Hour Pepsi Cycle Marathon
In the 1970s there was a 24 hour bike race around Central Park sponsored by Pepsi. For a couple of years Sri Chinmoy and many of his students took part.
(Sri Chinmoy competing in Pepsi 24 Hour Race 1978)
In 1978 the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team entered by far the largest team of 197 riders in the event. The team captured many prizes such as: best riding team, logging 38,605 miles; best ten member team, with 3,150 miles and also the best uniformed team. The team kit involved gold shorts, white shirts with multi coloured studs and stripes and cycling caps with SRI CHINMOY CYCLING TEAM written along the edge.
Note in the photo of Sri Chinmoy you can see one of the first cycle computers, I believe it was specially designed by students of Sri Chinmoy and was significantly bigger than modern micro chip varieties!
In 1978 Sri Chinmoy completed 230 miles, surpassing his previous years total by 55 miles. A notable performance was by Ashrita Furman who cycled a distance of 405 miles. This was one of Ashrita’s first outstanding athletic performances. After this he did not continue cycling but became inspired to break many World Records, since 1977 he has broken over 94 (as of Sept 2005.)
Ashrita after completing 405 miles
A key element of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy is self transcendence. This is the idea of surpassing our own limitations. The Marathon Cycle Race was an opportunity for Sri Chinmoy and other members of the team to cycle much further than they might have anticipated. Ashrita's distance was a particular striking example of what we can achieve when we go beyond the limitations of the mind.