Female biker eyes record, 30 days to cover 15,000 km

Female biker eyes record, 30 days to cover 15,000 km

Shilpa Balakrishnan is attempting to set a record as the first female solo rider to cover the four corners of the country.

Biker Shilpa Balakrishnan from Mumbai is attempting to create a record for being the first female solo rider to cover the four corners of India - Leh (North), Kibithu (East), Koteshwar (West) and Kanyakumari (South). She chose a Bajaj Dominar 400 for completing the task of covering a total of 15,000 km in 30 days.

The ride is an arrangement in association with DCB bank — they are planting a sapling for each kilometre covered by her.

It is Shilpa’s second Pan-India ride. On her first solo ride, she rode 27,000 km, covering all 29 states and 5 union territories, in 135 days to promote Indian tourism.

Metrolife had a candid chat with the determined rider while she was on her way to Nagpur after visiting Kanyakumari.

What is your inspiration for riding?

I wanted to ride a short distance of 100 metres, but the distance advanced as I started commuting to office by bike. Travelling is my passion. Since I know how to ride, I thought why not travel around the country.

What route are you following for this journey?

I started from Mumbai and went through Belgaum, Bengaluru and Madurai and reached Kanyakumari. I am travelling northwards to Leh and made stops at Salem and Hyderabad. I have planned to go through Madhya Pradesh, Haryana (Panipat, Kurukshetra) and Punjab (Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Pathankot) to reach Leh. After that, I will be travelling towards Kibithu in the East and finally to Koteshwar in the West, and return to Mumbai.

Did you face any challenges so far?

The weather is the biggest challenge. Travelling from a place where it is raining continuously to a place where it is scorching hot is tough. It has actually started to snow around Leh and riding in snow is dangerous. I hope I don’t face any difficulty in that region. The language barrier is more fun than a challenge. It is nice to see people trying to make sense of your actions than your words.

What do you do for accommodation and food? What about issues concerning safety?

I have been around the country and am friends with a lot of bikers, so safety and accommodation isn’t a concern. As for the food, I get fresh food at good dhabas; the only hassle is that I am a vegetarian.

Any advice to bikers...

Being cautious while riding should be the primary focus. They can’t be called bikers just because they wear gears and get on the road. One should follow traffic rules and also urge others to follow it.