BENGALURU:Life actually begins at the end of your comfort zone. We are stuck up with our routine to such an extent that we forget what we really want in life. A Bengalurean Anil Prabhakar realised that he is not passionate about his work life. He says, “I always thought in next 30 years, I will retire from work and what if I look back on the achievements I’ve made, I will have nothing. And I felt travelling is the only way by which I can achieve something extra ordinary.”
Anil then did a solo bicycle expedition for six months from July to January, around the country covering approximately 10,000 kms. From Bengaluru to Hyderabad, Agra, Delhi to Chandigarh and Jammu in the north and then to Kanyakumari, he covered 18 states and union territories. Travelling has always been a dream for Anil and he quit his job to take it up. “It was my childhood dream to travel the country. I always wanted the ‘Nomad’s Life’. So, I chose cycle to travel,” says Anil. This bicycle expedition was mainly Anil’s inspiration from the Western Travellers. “I was always fascinated to read their articles, blogs and watch documentaries. When they can, why can’t I?,” he asks.
The journey began on July 30. As cycling for such a long distance is not an easy task, Anil had to undergo rigorous training. “This trip required endurance of body and mind. Two months before the journey, I did undergo cycling specific exercises and pedalled about 50kms each day,” he says. Anil says that he carried two sets of spare clothes, a jumper, rain protection gear, bicycle spares and sleeping bag, all weighing about 16 kg in total. The main objective of the journey was to motivate people to use cycle even for the daily commute. “On the way, I did stop by schools and colleges and gave talks on health benefits of cycling,” he says.
He experienced temperatures ranging from 45 degree C to -10 degree C. He says riding in snowfall was a memorable experience. “Though it was tough, it was the most thrilling of all. I had acute mountain sickness when I reached the altitude of 15,000 feet. I thank the army personnel for providing me medication at the right time. Food was another hurdle at the heights. With frequent stomach upsets and vomiting at the Himalayas, I had to even survive on biscuits and water for two days,” he says. Anil says he learned never to give up in life. He plans to go for more cycle expeditions and publish a book on his experiences. “India is a safe place to ride and I’ve had absolutely no bad experiences with people. People appreciate your effort and help you out wholeheartedly by providing food and sometimes even hosting you,” he says.Anil is a part of ‘Run Addicts’ cycle club in Rajarajeshwari Nagar. The club sponsored a part of the expenditure for the trip which was about `2.5 lakh, he says.