BENGALURU: Ever since Anil Prabhakar quit his corporate job in June, he has been determined to cycle 12,000 km from Bengaluru to Kashmir.The 31-year-old from Run Addict, a city-based running group, will start his journey on July 30 from Vidhana Soudha. His passion for cycling started nine years ago when he rented a cycle to go on a trek. A resident of Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, he used to commute to work on a cycle, at least once a week, to Whitefield. This is the reason why he is cycling all the way to Kashmir; to tell people that cycling is the best form of commute and it has a lot of health benefits.
“People know the benefits of cycling. They see it as an exercise for healthy living and a pollution-free mode of transport,” says Anil. “But people give excuses that Bengaluru roads are not good for cycling,” he adds. Anil has been cycling in and around Karnataka for years now and has gone on solo trips to Chikkamagaluru and Madikeri.
This cycling journey to Kashmir is also his solo debut trip outside Karnataka. “I love to travel and I am passionate about cycling. So I thought to combine two of my favourite things,” shares Anil.
The idea is to promote cycling. He shall visit around 50 schools en-route.
Anil says that he has met two kinds of cyclists so far: those who use cycling only to exercise and those who use it for commute. He plans to combine both and make cycling a lifestyle.
For this particular journey to Kashmir, Anil crowdsourced the fund and says he has a budget of `4 lakh for his six-month journey. Breaking the journey into 10 days, he plans to cover about 80 km per day for seven days, depending on the terrains, and use two days to rest and a day to “buffer”, which means cater to the unpredictability of cycling.
“I will not know what may happen on the journey,” he admits. “I will be carrying a few spare tyres and weather sheeter. I have to ensure good health,” he prioritises.
Anil has been gearing for the journey from the last four months and on weekends he stretches his cycling workout to over 100 km.
“I have consulted physicians and have also talked to a few people who have ventured on similar journeys,” he says.The cities Anil will be covering include Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bhopal, Leh, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Baroda.Anil claims that not all sponsors and companies have been as helpful as he thought to be. “My family and friends encouraged me,” he says.
When Anil left his corporate job, nine out of 10 told him he is “eccentric” to make the decision. “My only regret is why did I not take this decison before,” he laughs.
Besides the health benefits, he says cycling is the best form of transport because it helps you meet people from different places and experience their culture.“I am also doing this to have good memories. Twenty years from now, I will not be telling my grandchildren about the presentations I made at office,
but rather my life experience,” he concludes.