Increasing traffic congestion in the city has taken toll on the energy and enthusiasm of the people to actually pursue a road trip. As it is, riding your bike from home to office is not a task for the chicken hearted. But here is 24-year-old, Shubra Acharya who went on a 21-day-long bike trip from Bangalore to the tip of Himalayas. Shubra who owns a chocolate manufacturing company shared some of her memorable experiences of travelling to Himalayas on the bike with City Express.
After a road trip with her friends to Tonnur Kere which is close to Srirangapatna on Classic 500, a bike gifted by her brother, she was inspired to take up a road trip to Himalayas. “On our way back, we took a pit stop and in that rush of having completed the first ride, we brought out the subject of doing a Leh Ride. I was just five months away from finishing my MBA when I got my bike, and the number of rides I did after Tonnur Kere were the sole reason I had huge shortage of attendance in the college during those last three months,” she recalled with a smile.
She said that out of the group of 14 riders who went to Tonnur Kere trip, Shubra’s fiance Satvik, her father Acharya, brother Srikanth, sister-in-law Namitha and Shubra were part of the Himalayan Sojourn. “The Himalayan Sojourn is the most memorable ride of my life. As we were not going as part of any organised group, we had to do all the research ourselves. This meant going to literally hundreds of blogs, route maps, understanding the climatic conditions, medications we might need and meeting any number of people who had done the Himalayan ride to understand their experience. When we started off on the ride, we only knew theoretically what to expect. None of us had ever done a Himalayan ride before,” she explained
According to Shubra, riding through the the non-existent and highly dangerous pathways turned out to be very strenuous. Although they were keen to reach the destination planned for each day,we were taken aback by the beauty and the serenity of the place. She said, “The calmness one feels riding through these places transported us to a state of utter bliss! It was the ride of our lives.”
However, it was not just a group of young riders who went on a road trip to Himalayas, but Shubra’s parents also joined them along in the trip. Despite the health issues, they undertook the road trip.
Speaking about the same, she said, “My mother, 54 years old, was the oldest lady and my father 62 was the oldest man in our group. My father has been a biker ever since I have known him, and he was most excited about the Himalayan sojourn. My mother had absolutely no intention of coming on this ride till 15 days before she changed her mind. She had not ridden pillion on a Bullet for years and her back pain was a concern. After reading several blogs, she said, ‘I was thinking I might miss out on a great experience if I don’t come on this ride. And it’s not like we can do it again and again, right?’ She started regular yoga and jogging and in fact, she was more confident than anybody else in the group . She rode pillion with dad throughout the ride and did not face the slightest altitude sickness, back problem or headaches,” explained Shubra.
She added, “My dad, took it as a challenge to ride all the way from Bangalore by bike. When someone asks him about the ride he says, ‘No pictures or videos or write-ups can ever do justice to the kind of feeling that one feels riding through those terrains. For me, age is just a number. It doesn’t matter what your age is to do anything, so long as you are very passionate about it”. While many of us were feeling low or excessively tired after riding 600 kilometres in one day, he would come about and lift everybody’s spirit with his humour and say things that would instantly cheer us up.”
As a safety measure they had carried tents and sleeping bags along with them. Shubra would like to take another trip through every single state of India with a strong social message. They have also planned a trip to Cambodia and Sri Lanka in the coming future.
When asked what message would she like to pass on to the travel enthusiasts, she said, “Be it travelling by bike, by train, by bus or by car, the journey is about being there and enjoying the glorious beauty of nature. Don’t let small setbacks and difficulties ruin the journey. It’s pretty much like life. Live your life out there,” she signed off.