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Indian Origin Srinivas Gokulnath, Amit Samarth Create History By Completing World’s Toughest Cycle Race Across America

More than twelve Indian riders qualified for RAAM in the past decade through special rides that take place in different regions like the Deccan plateau, the Thar desert and the hills of southern India

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Gokulnath is the first indian to cross Race Across America
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  • Srinivas Gokulnath marked history by becoming the first Indian to complete the toughest cycle race in the world – RAAM
  • Dr Amit Samarth  trailed behind him at the finish line
  • Gokulnath stood 7th amongst the nine men who finished whereas Samarth stood 8th

June 27, 2017: Srinivas Gokulnath marked history by becoming the first Indian to complete what is known to be the toughest cycle race in the world. He completed 4900 km Race Across America (RAAM) in solo category in the stretch of Eleven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes after setting out from California.

Dr Amit Samarth of Nagpur, trailed behind him at the finish line at Annapolis on American east coast around midnight today as per the Indian Standard time.

Gokulnath, a doctor by training, is an aerospace medicine professional working with the Army in Nashik. He was timed out last year after pedalling at RAAM for nearly 3,000 km. Samarth, on the other side, completed the race in his earliest trial. Apart from Rizvi and Gokulnath, Sumit Patil from Alibag was the only one to have tried the race in the past.

Springing from the moderate weather on the Pacific Coast, the race opens the furnace-like Mojave Desert, crosses through parched Arizona, freezing mountain passes in Colorado, windy plains in Central America, and ultimately, the Appalachian Mountains test the riders before they reach the Atlantic coast on the east.

Gokulnath stood 7th amongst the nine men who finished whereas Samarth stood 8th. Christoph Strasser stood out as the winner of the race.

Team Sahyadri Cyclists, from Gokulnath’s hometown of Nashik, ceased the race in the 4-men category in eight days and ten hrs today.

According to PTI report, riders have to pedal over 400 km a day to finish the race in the stipulated 12 days. Fatigueness and hallucinations are not uncommon with so much unrest.

“I am relieved…that is the feeling I am going through right now,” said Lt Colonel Gokulnath at the finish line.

In the history of three-decade, only three Indians had endeavoured RAAM solo, however, none could reach the finish line. The first Indian to try RAAM solo, Samim Rizvi also participated this year but couldn’t complete. Gokulnath stated he went through the upheaval of emotions right from the inception of the race, which he called a relentless effort from the moment one signs up for it.

More than twelve Indian riders qualified for RAAM in the past decade through special rides that take place in different regions like the Deccan plateau, the Thar desert and the hills of southern India.

After qualifying the RAAM, one has to endure exhausting training sessions for several months and do simulated multi-day rides with a uniquely collected crew. One also requires for arranging the finances that run up to over Rs 20 lakh for the race and more for training, mentioned PTI report.

Satish Patki, who virtually introduced distance cycling in the country over a decade ago, congratulated the finishers saying the resources required make it an exclusive club, but there is a huge dormant for endurance riding in India too which can be traversed by conducting domestic races.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94

 

 

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California’s Net Neutrality Law Causes A Law Suit From The US Government

Oregon, Washington and Vermont have approved legislation related to net neutrality, but California's measure is seen as the most comprehensive attempt.

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net neutrality
California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a forum in Sacramento, Calif. VOA

California Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the nation’s strongest net neutrality law, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the Trump administration and opening the next phase in the battle over regulating the internet.

Advocates of net neutrality hope California’s law, which Brown signed Sunday to stop internet providers from favoring certain content or websites, will push Congress to enact national rules or encourage other states to create their own.

However, the U.S. Department of Justice quickly moved to halt the law from taking effect, arguing that it creates burdensome, anti-consumer requirements that go against the federal government’s approach to deregulating the internet.

“Once again the California Legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

Net Neutrality
State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, left, receives congratulations from Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, center, and Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, right, after his net neutrality bill was approved by the state Senate. VOA

The Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era rules last year that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.

The neutrality law is the latest example of California, ground zero of the global technology industry, attempting to drive public policy outside its borders and rebuff President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Brown did not explain his reasons for signing the bill or comment on the federal lawsuit Sunday night.

Supporters of the new law cheered it as a win for internet freedom. It is set to take effect January 1.

“This is a historic day for California. A free and open internet is a cornerstone of 21st century life: our democracy, our economy, our health care and public safety systems, and day-to-day activities,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, the law’s author.

net neutrality
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks after signing a bill, March 5, 2018, in Olympia, Washington, that makes Washington the first state to set up its own net-neutrality requirements in response to the FCC’s recent repeal of Obama-era rules. VOA

It prohibits internet providers from blocking or slowing data based on content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra.

Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to kill it or water it down, saying it would lead to higher internet and cellphone bills and discourage investments in faster internet. They say it’s unrealistic to expect them to comply with internet regulations that differ from state to state.

USTelecom, a telecommunications trade group, said California writing its own rules will create problems.

“Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all,” the group said in a Sunday statement.

Net Neutrality
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, center, announces the vote was approved to repeal net neutrality, next to Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, left, who voted no, and Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who voted yes, at the FCC, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Net neutrality advocates worry that without rules, internet providers could create fast lanes and slow lanes that favor their own sites and apps or make it harder for consumers to see content from competitors.

That could limit consumer choice or shut out upstart companies that can’t afford to buy access to the fast lane, critics say.

The new law also bans “zero rating,” in which internet providers don’t count certain content against a monthly data cap — generally video streams produced by the company’s own subsidiaries and partners.

Also Read: President Donald Trump is a Fool When It Comes To Environment: California Governer

Oregon, Washington and Vermont have approved legislation related to net neutrality, but California’s measure is seen as the most comprehensive attempt to codify the principle in a way that might survive a likely court challenge. An identical bill was introduced in New York. (VOA)