A ride to remember

A ride to remember

Bengaluru-based techies and biking enthusiasts Bharath Chand and K C Arun Kumar recently, returned after a 20,000 km ride to Spiti Valley via Shimla-Rampur-Kalpa-Spello-Sumdo-Kaza on a Pulsar 200 NS and a Royal Enfield. They describe their experience as unforgettable and say that they are still reeling under the excitement of their ride.

Arun and Bharath say the trip has taught them how to tide over the worst of situations.

In an interview with Nina C George, the duo share memorable moments from the trip.

Any interesting experiences that you can recall after your recent ride?

Arun: The entire journey was memorable because every moment was precious. The roads were risky, landslides were common and we had to ride through extreme water crossings. One interesting incident was when we were heading towards Losar around 11 pm. We could hardly find people there. Fortunately, we bumped into two foreigners who warned us not to proceed because there was a landslide and the water level had risen. It was at this time that the owner of a homestay came to our rescue. He provided us a room to spend the night and even cooked for us. The next day when we started our ride, we saw five JCBs and a bulldozer trying to clear the roads. It was only then that we realised that we had made the right decision of staying back.

What gave you the confidence to negotiate these rough paths?

Bharath: Spiti Valley is the world’s toughest mountainous terrain and being biking enthusiasts and adventure lovers, we wanted to explore this uninviting terrain. Our riding experience in the past gave us the confidence to explore these crazy stretches. Our family and friends where our biggest strength and were very supportive of our decision.

What was the biggest challenge when riding in the Spiti Valley?

Arun: Riding in this terrain will make you tired. You have to be mentally and physically fit. And you have to concentrate the task at hand because a single mistake can make your life miserable. We had to bear extreme weather conditions and lack of proper oxygen can be hard hitting at times.

Any lessons learnt?

Bharath: Patience. After completing the ride, we realised that being patient helped us complete our journey. And I have stopped complaining about Bengaluru’s traffic and I suddenly feel Bengaluru is heaven. I have also realised that life is no smooth journey.

Your advice to young biking enthusiasts...

Bharath: You need to be an adventurist and have good off-roading experience. You must travel with only those you can trust completely. Know your bike well and carry sufficient tools because finding people and spare parts is next to impossible. Expect the unexpected and a single plan may not be enough. Solo trips to these terrains are not advisable.

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