BENGALURU: Just like any another Bengalurean, Dr Hemanandhini Jayaraman felt ‘tortured’ by the Bengaluru traffic. As a commuter who was driving a car in 2013, she decided to switch to riding a two-wheeler to reach her workplace, that is four kilometers away. But what was meant to be an alternative to handle the massive traffic jams, turned out to be a hardcore passion.
Jayaraman is now an ardent biker who is on a mission to go that extra mile to find peace after a stressful work day. Working as a consultant — obstetrics and gynaecology at Manipal Hospital, Old Airport Road, Jayaraman switched to a two-wheeler only to steer clear of the traffic. It was one of her close friends who encouraged her to pursue biking seriously. And there’s been no turning back. However, like any other troubled start, Jayaraman faced discouragement from family during the initial days. “My mother and husband did not approve of my biking. They were worried about injuries and accidents which might put my job at risk. However, I decided to pursue biking only to experience ‘me-time’,” says Jayaraman.
Jayaraman is a sportsperson by nature. From playing basketball to participating in athletics during her schooling days in Mumbai, she experimented with sports to always test her limits. Applying the same formula to biking, Jayaraman has so far covered over 14,000 km on her BMW GS 310 in the last two years, spanning three states, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. She usually rides only when her work permits, but ensures she completes a 400-km ride once a month.
“I spent the initial few years learning to ride. However, I actively started biking in the last three years. As part of the Wild Off Roaders bike group, we organise rides every month. Since I am the only woman in the group, I get pampered and ragged,” says the 50-year-old, who believes the toughest ride so far was at the Charmadi Ghat, en route Mangaluru.
Interestingly, in early January 2021, Jayaraman was to get her first dose of vaccine as a frontline worker. She was in Masinagudi (near Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu) when the vaccination drive was taking place. “I left by noon and reached Bengaluru by evening on my bike and got my jab. If not for that ride I might have missed the slot,” says Jayaraman, who is now planning a trip to Leh-Ladakh next year.
What have been her biggest takeaways from biking? “I bike to push my limits. Team spirit and networking with different people have been my biggest learnings from biking. My passion for riding has multiplied my confidence and has added so much more value to me as an individual,” she says.