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Bitumen-kissed

Through India's hot desert, alongside its beautiful coastlines, onto smoothest highways and among country's colourful people: this is how these five well-geared passionate bikers from Delhi embarked upon their over one and half months' long pan-India journey, which culminated in Chandigarh on Friday.

chandigarh Updated: May 01, 2012 12:28 IST
Vivek Gupta

Through India's hot desert, alongside its beautiful coastlines, onto smoothest highways and among country's colourful people: this is how these five well-geared passionate bikers from Delhi embarked upon their over one and half months' long pan-India journey, which culminated in Chandigarh on Friday.

Starting from Delhi on March 7, these riders traversed through more than 35 cities in all possible directions of India, covering more than 13000 km, before reaching Chandigarh, their last stop.

"We touched the southern-most tip of India via western route and then off we went to eastern parts before coming back to northern side," 45-year-old Sandeep Goswami, in city with his team on Monday, retraces the journey.

Goswami, fondly called 'Old Fox' by teammates because of his over 6-lakh km ride experience in India and abroad, informs that while they wanted to ride further up north, it was not possible since all the crucial passes were closed due to snow.

Avid biker Shivanshu Singh, 30, says that the idea behind this grand Indian road trip was not only to connect with biking community across India but also to promote the concept of safe driving. "We communicated the message very clearly throughout our trip," he says adding, "Along the way, we met members from more than 60 bike riders' clubs across India and wherever we went the response was overwhelming."

"One of the major initiatives en route was 'helmet of change', through which we made people endorse this safety net," informs Sandeep except whom it was the longest riding trip for everyone else in the team, which rode on bikes such as Yamaha FZ1 1000cc, Suzuki Bandit 1250cc, Honda CBR 250cc, Ninja 250cc and KTM 200cc.

Abhishek Bhatt, 25, says that he enjoyed the Ooty-Kerala route the most. For 32-year-old Ashish Guliani, Goa-Bangalore was the ride to remember. "Such was the smooth ride that we covered its 750-km distance within a day! The average distance we covered per day otherwise was 300-350 km," he says.

Shivanshu says, "This trip is the best thing that has happened in my life. One thing I realised on this trip was that there is a biker in everyone."

Sandeep, who has travelled the length and breadth of India on bike many a time, says, "Over the years, our country has progressed and it was visible. Though driving in India is always a challenge, roads have improved immensely, especially highways." While inclement weather at some places was a challenge, pleasant weather in other parts balanced the ride, which was organised by India's biggest online biking community, xBhp.com, informs Sandeep.

He adds, "The meaning of 'riding' is changing in India. While bike is still primarily a mode of transportation, there are youngsters who have taken to riding as a medium to explore their inner self. But every biker must ride safe on roads."

From the city these bikers will head to Delhi for the grand culmination of the event.

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