On the road to Leh

Last Updated : 19 June 2014, 13:43 IST

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It was in the middle of the night when Sanjay Agarwal, who is from the automobile industry, realised that he would be taking part in Royal Enfield’s ‘Himalayan Odyssey’ this year.

Though this isn’t the first time that Sanjay is going on a ride like this, he is still extremely excited. “I had been to Leh in 2010 and Nepal in 2011. But the ride has become an addiction of sorts now,” says the passionate biker who is also known as ‘Black Panther’.

This is the 11th edition of the Royal Enfield’s ‘Himalayan Odyssey’ which will take off from India Gate, New Delhi on June 21.

More than 60 riders from India and abroad will travel 2700 km as they will take on two separate routes starting from New Delhi and join up at Leh.

Sanjay is all set for this trip along with some of his fellow riders from Bangalore —  Kamalesh K, Sunil Kurakula, Babu Subramanyam and Goutham Pokharana.

 A dream of every biker, it’s not easy to be selected for this ride. “As soon as the announcement is made, you need to go online and keep registering till you make it. Even with a slight delay, you could miss your chance,” says Sunil, a chartered accountant. 

“Khardung La is the highest motorable road in the world,” explains Sanjay and points out that this is why it’s the preferred choice of most bikers.

For Kamalesh, an engineer at TATA CEL, this is the mother of all rides. “In fact every rider wants to register for this ride the day he or she purchases the bike,” 
he notes.

The bike is more than just a mean machine for these men. “It gets so much respect on the road that even if we are in any other vehicle, we expect the same kind of
respect,” says Kamalesh while Sunil adds, “Enfield is the reason why the traffic on the road doesn’t bother me.” 

While Goutham, a medical pharmacist, is extremely excited to go on this ride, Babu, a builder, says that the WhatsApp group of the bikers just doesn’t stop buzzing.
“I am looking forward to riding along with the senior riders,” he notes.

Ask them if super bikes like Harley Davidson are becoming a prominent part of the biking culture in the City and they disagree.

“Not everyone can afford a super bike. Moreover, you can’t ride it on the roads of
Bangalore. The Enfield is a great mix of a super bike and a small bike,” he informs.

The bikers, who reached New Delhi on June 19, will be put through certain tests before the flag-off. “We are expected to run five kilometres and do 50 push ups in
an hour.

So I have already begun preparing for the sessions by going for a swim regularly,” explains Sunil.

Having taken part in various rallies and races, Sanjay is grateful to the team for organising the ride at an economical cost. Does he have any advice for the budding bikers of the City? Pat comes the reply, “Ride safe.”

Published 19 June 2014, 13:41 IST

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