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'A bike ride is all about freedom'

Bike expedition
Last Updated : 28 December 2015, 18:28 IST
Last Updated : 28 December 2015, 18:28 IST

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This is not Arunabh Majumdar’s first biking expedition but the excitement in his voice is palpable. The Bengaluru-based IT professional, who has just left for a month’s long biking expedition from Bengaluru to Bangkok, says that every time he hits the road on his TVS Star City Plus, he feels like it’s his first time. “A bike ride is all about freedom. And you don’t excel in freedom, you celebrate it. Personally, a bike tour has always been all about letting go of my fears,” explains Arunabh.

Doesn’t letting go of one’s fears require guts? “Absolutely. When you are out on the road with your machine, you can discount all planning and those meticulous charts you have prepared for the ride. They will help you but only to an extent. The realisation that your bike tour may be nothing like the one you planned and you could be in for the ride of a lifetime is key,” he says. He concedes venturing into the unknown does require a lot of courage. “But very few things in life come close to the joys of cruising on an empty highway,” he adds. 

Arunabh recollects that it was sheer curiosity that prompted him to explore bikes. As a college-goer, he was eager to  know how far his father’s old scooter would take him. “It was such a strong and sturdy machine that it took me from Bengaluru to Mysuru. But somehow, after that I desisted from more adventures on the Bajaj. It was a beautiful machine,” he recalls. He says that he spent his college days riding borrowed bikes from generous friends. “I have been an average rider for the most part but when my mother finally bought herself a Honda Activa (which I conveniently annexed, as she puts it), all hell broke loose,” he says.

He states that “curiosity” got the better of him and he started looking up places he could ride to. “I began with an epic ride to nearly every hill station and to a few forts in Maharashtra and absolutely loved the experience. By then I had made up my mind to explore more,” he says. Talking from experience, he adds, “Every motorcycle or scooter has been designed for a specific purpose. It is when you take it out of its comfort zone that you understand its capabilities.

This realisation sunk in only after I rode across the blistering Rann of Kutch within 700mts of the Indo-Pak border on a Hero Splendor.” Recalling some of his memorable rides, he says, “I think a 12-day ride from Mumbai to Bengaluru, on the Honda Activa along the Konkan Coast clocking 2,466 kms in all, takes the cake. It was an exhilarating experience. People in Karwar shook their heads in disbelief when I told them that I rode down all the way from Mumbai on a scooter,” he laughs.

It’s not only the biking experience that is thrilling but Arunabh says that he always gets to meet some interesting people en route. “I try my best not to ride at night. Staying somewhere is usually never a problem.

People are very warm and welcoming and the sight of a biker with his bags saddled behind and asking for directions is usually a welcome change. I have stayed with locals in Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Zanskar, Rann of Kutch and a few other places. The nomadic lifestyle is a privilege that I have been lucky to experience,” he says.

He shares that his latest bike expedition from Bengaluru to Bangkok involved a lot of paper work but what excited Arunabh were the experiences shared by people who have travelled on the route.

He then thought that he should experience it too and before he knew it, he was on the ride.

The preparation for any long ride is an exhausting affair and Arunabh says that in addition to carrying an elaborate road map, he makes regular visits to the mechanic to ensure that the bike is in perfect working condition and packs enough food and supplies. And above all, he says that it is important to have a great attitude.  

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Published 28 December 2015, 17:07 IST

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