Kanyakumari to Leh: Two women bikers are heading out for a record-breaking journey but for a reason

Kanyakumari to Leh: Two women bikers are heading out for a record-breaking journey but for a reason

Meet the ladies who are undertaking a mega trip from one end of the country to the other, to set an example for all women.

Amrutha Kashinath and Shubra Acharya are both avid travellers. That means they don’t just visit destinations; travelling, for them, is about enjoying every bit of the journey, which is why they have been biking across the country for a while now.

And now, these bikers are gearing up for yet another ride, from Kanyakumari to Leh, to challenge the current duration noted in Limca Book of Records, taken to cover a similar distance.

Departing on September 5, from Kanyakumari, Amrutha and Shubra plan to complete the 4500 km distance in less than 100 hours. The bikers will be taking the route through Central India, passing destinations like Hyderabad, Nagpur, Jhansi, Agra, Delhi and Manali, among others.

But this bike ride is not just about revelling in the adrenaline rush. This journey is meant to convey a very important message, revealed the ladies, through a brief tete-a-tete with India Today Digital.

What inspired the ”The Long Highway” expedition

This mega trip from one end of the country to the other, wasn’t just an impulsive realisation of a travel adventure. By heading out for the long bike ride, these women bikers want their counterparts to understand that they shouldn’t curb their desire to travel only due to safety concerns. In fact, they believe that the country, after all, is not that unsafe to travel.

”Girls keep asking us if it is safe to travel in India,” said Shubra. ”I have been on several bike trips myself. Recently, I went on a 60-day long ride to Bhutan. People had advised me against going there but when I actually visited the place, it changed the perception completely. I met such wonderful people there,” she expressed.

”Travel makes you a lot less judgemental. It frees you of assumptions and breaks a lot of myths. The more you travel, the more do you get to know about the different kinds of people, their food and diverse culture,” added Amrutha.

The two friends have known each other for the last ”12-13 years” now, revealed Amrutha. ”We share a pretty good equation, which becomes important while motorcycling. We have a done a lot of trips together,” she added. And so, after a year-long deliberation, they are finally heading out for ”The Long Highway” expedition as an endeavour to encourage women to break loose of their shackles, overcome their fears and head out to explore.

Preparations for bike and body

Shubra and Amrutha’s trip is being sponsored by Phalada Pure and Sure, an organic food brand company in India. ”We were very specific about choosing the right sponsor. 70 per cent of the workforce at Phalada constitutes of women, which suited our larger motive behind the trip. The company has also put us with a nutritionist who has been monitoring our diet, along with the required medication, for the last three months. We are also undertaking fitness training and our bodies, by now, have gotten used to the regime,” explained Shubra.

As far their bike is concerned, both of them will be riding KTM Duke motorbikes, with only basic modifications made for the journey. ”We have added auxiliary headlights to the bike. We have also got the seating position modified with a comfortable cushion and got the height adjusted. Our bikes will have custom-made fuel carriers and luggage-bags. Besides, we are using the best of tyres for the trip. A mechanic will be meeting us at Manali, to analyse the condition of the bikes and make the desired changes,” she added.

What got them hooked to biking

Shubra is a full-time biker. ”I was a 18-year-old college student, when I started my first business venture. The business was running very well but there was a point where I realised that it wasn’t exactly the place I saw myself in. So, I took a complete backstep and focused on motorcycling instead. Till now, I have organised at least 45 rides, leading other bikers through various destinations, both in India and neighbouring countries. This is what keeps me going.”

Even Amrutha is extremely passionate about biking. ”Initially, I was more of a traveller than a biker. I have travelled from Bengaluru to Sikkim in a car. I have also been on a solo trip to Lakshadweep. Three years ago, I rode to Gujarat from Bengaluru and that’s what got me hooked to motorcycling. Biking inspires a lot of different ideas in me; I look at things a lot more differently now.”

What sort of challenges does a woman traveller have to overcome?

According to Shubra, it is inappropriate to say that it is not safe to travel in India, especially for woman. ”All you need to do is use your common sense and take the right decisions. It is essential to do basic research on your place of visit, before heading out. You can be adventurous but you need not push yourself too far to explore a place that you have no idea about,” advised Shubra.

As a woman traveller, Shubra has not been subjected to anything untoward so far. ”Apart from those once in a hundred riders, who try to overtake you on the road, there hasn’t been much of trouble. Maybe because under the garb of a biker’s outfit, it is difficult to figure out that we are women.

However, Amrutha’s experience on road hasn’t been pleasant enough. ”People keep asking a lot of questions–”How can you go alone? Why don’t you have a male companion with you? Don’t you know how risky it is? Or do you have too much money?,”” she recalled.

While maintaining caution, what is more important for a traveller, man or woman, is to be positive in his or her approach. ”I make sure that I am not riding beyond 8 pm at unfamiliar places. But I don’t believe there is somebody out there on the streets, just to harm you,” added Amrutha.

Message to budding women travellers

”It is important to conquer your fears. Most of it is just manifested in our heads. You just need to take that one step forward. After that, there is no looking back,” said Shubra.

Amrutha echoed the same idea. ”You don’t need to wait for a man or for anybody, for that matter, to accompany you. You just need the right mindset to head out to explore. Every place is a safe place. All you need to do is move out of your comfort zone to find out what lies beyond,” she said.

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bike-ride-kankyakumari-leh-travel-limca-book-of-records-lifetr/1/1040623.html



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