A few journeys treat us to treasurable memories and life-changing experiences. Pavan Kumar, a Vizag-based biker, recently completed one such epic journey. Teja Kovvali finds out more.
Setting the destination
Heading several biking communities in Vizag, Pavan Kumar credits popular biker, Candida Louis, for inspiring him to take up a long ride and explore the unseen beauty of the world.
On an eventful Wednesday in September, the biker set out on a solo tri-country expedition, that aimed at covering India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Partnered by his Bajaj Dominor 400 and the requisite travel gear, the 23-year-old was deemed to become one of the youngest bikers to travel across the country.
Weathering the course
While starting from Vizag, little did the BBA graduate know of the challenges and ordeals that lay ahead. “The weather and terrain conditions in the initial phase were supportive to the ride. But after entering Bhutan, things turned a bit unfavourable,” Pavan shares.
Constant rains, the resulting landslides and murky weather made life tough for the biker whilst riding in Bhutan. While Pavan had to even endure an earthquake there, it was only when he got to Nepal that the ride began to turn trickier. “There was a 150 km long stretch from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which was filled with 20 cm deep potholes. When I first came across this stretch, it came as a bit of a damper to my spirits as I wasn’t sure how to proceed further,” he says.
The difficulties of riding on this stretch were accentuated by the anti-lock braking system (ABS) of his bike. Pavan had to disable the ABS and break a sweat to get past the treacherous path.
Charting his course
Sleeping under star-lit skies and passing street lights throughout his trip, the young biker was also left stranded for fuel on a deserted Lucknow-Agra Express Highway. “I was found wanting in this situation. All the fuel that I had carried got exhausted and there was no petrol bunk in near sight. Fortunately, a biker from an Agra biking club came to my rescue out of nowhere. The club was following my journey on social media and the person who had helped me, rode 100 kms just to help me with 2 litres of petrol. This is the kind of brotherhood that is shared among the biking community,” the Vizag lad narrates.
After riding for 32 days and covering 17,500 kms across the three nations, Pavan now has a sense of pride in his accomplishment. He advocates everyone to go through a similar experience once every six months to enjoy the raw thrills that life has to offer. “It will surely take time and a bit of an investment to do the same but the experiences gained in travelling are unmatchable,” he shares.
The road ahead
In the coming July, the youngster plans to ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before embarking on yet another marathon ride from Vizag to Singapore, covering as many as eight countries.