Putting his best foot forward

Biking expedition

Putting his best foot forward

It’s rare to see one having the same passion or similar interests as their parents. As for Nanda Kumar, he gets his love for bikes and inspiration to ride from his father, who he says, has been riding and doing short trips since he was 21. Nanda is popular among his friends for his solo rides and has covered almost the entire country on his two-wheeler.

“I come from a village near Hesaraghatta, where the concept of bikes and rides are not well-known. My interest for it comes from my father who is a bike enthusiast till date. I have been riding since 2006 and mostly ride solo. I have covered places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and Hyderabad, to name a few,” says Nanda. He started a bike group in the City called ‘Biking Buddies’ for those passionate about the machine. They do a lot of rides in and around Bengaluru and also go through rigorous training programmes for safer rides.

Nanda is an adventurous rider and along with bike expeditions, he is a passionate photographer too. Recalling some of his journeys, he says, “I was working in Delhi for about a year when I first bought my Royal Enfield. After a few days, I made a trip from Madhya Pradesh to Jammu and Kashmir. It was one of the most memorable rides I have ever had. It took me about three days to reach my destination. The other one was when I was coming back to Bengaluru — I rode from Delhi to Bengaluru, which took six days, one of the longest rides I have done till date. I am interested in photography as well and love to explore different and lesser known places.”

According to him, the best part about biking is, “While on expeditions, I get a chance to come close to nature. I make a lot of friends and I am proud to say that wherever I go now, there are people I know. I literally have friends all over the country.” 

Apart from his father being his inspiration, he points out that Sai Subramaniam, one of his closest associates, is someone he looks up to. He says, “Apart from my father, Sai Subramaniam is one of my biggest inspirations. We both worked together and it is amazing how there is always a mutual understanding between us. Of late, we have been doing a lot of rides together.”

Reminiscing about one of his best rides, Nanda says, “It was the trip I made to Haridwar and Rishikesh. Being from the South, I had little knowledge about the temperature and climatic conditions. Once I entered Rishikesh, I was riding at a speed of 70 to 80 kilometres per hour during midnight. Suddenly the temperature dropped drastically and my hands were totally numb. Thanks to the ‘dhaba’ I found that night, where I went and spent almost two hours warming myself up. That was a great experience and something to learn from for my future rides.”

Apart from making new friends, he adds that the best part is exploring the local cuisines of places and learning to communicate with the locals. He says that they have so many stories to share and they wait for travellers to explore their world.

And what are some of the challenges that he faces? “Riding solo is a little challenging, especially when we are riding on the highway, there are trucks and buses that create a lot of trouble. Apart from that, sleep is the biggest issue. There are times when people ride with high beams on which becomes dangerous for riders on the highway.”

As a piece of advice to youngsters who ride carelessly, he cautions, “The biking scene in India has gained popularity of late. Many youngsters today own a bike and hit the road without any knowledge of the power of the bike. I advise them to first ride on the tracks to understand its power rather than racing and creating a ruckus on the road. Wearing safety gear should be first on the list.”

Nanda is now looking forward to an adventurous trip to the North-East this April.

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