Young @ 75, he surmounts Himalayan odds
The 75-year-old resident of Gurgaon scripted history by completing a 10,500ft mountain biking expedition to Jalori Pass in Himachal Pradesh. Snehil Sinha reports.Updated: Jul 01, 2013 01:16 IST
For Baidnath Rajbhar, age is not a limiting factor for pursuing his passion in life -- bike expedition.
The 75-year-old resident of Gurgaon scripted history by completing a 10,500ft mountain biking expedition to Jalori Pass in Himachal Pradesh.
He neglected his personal safety by opting for the risky sports and returned after cycling for eight days without any scars on his body. The courage and resilience he showed, while being alone, turned his expedition successful.
Rajbhar displays a calm demeanor. The Youth Hostels Association of India has been organizing annual national Himalyan mountain biking expeditions for the past 42 years, mostly, between April and June.
According to local guides, who accompanied a group of 25 people, he is the oldest person they have seen till date. "He was a jovial person and completed the expedition without any medical problems. The last old biker I saw was a 60-year-old man from Gujarat, a few years ago," recalls Bindu, local camp guide in Himachal Pradesh.
The eight-day-long tour started on June 8 from the base camp in Banala of Kullu district.
In the first leg of the journey, Rajbhar cycled along a 22- kilometre-long stretch with the 25 people, who were all at least 20 years younger to him.
"It was an interesting beginning as the rest of the young people were faster than me, but I kept moving with my own pace, while the others waited for me at various intervals. There was also a three-kilometre-long dark tunnel which was distracting and dangerous for me," said Rajbhar.
On the fourth day, the group cycled another 15 kilometres to Ghiyagi.
According to Rajbhar, this was the most difficult stretch. "There were steep roads and very often we had trekked through the road and pulled our cycles along a few crowded areas of Banjar," reminisces Rajbhar.
The group reached Jalori pass, the highest point of the trip, from its third base in Soja and returned by the fifth day on June 12.
"Successfully completing the journey was a very fulfilling moment for me. I had not expected it to be so smooth", says Baidnath, who started his affair with the Himalyas in 1972, when he was sent for different deputation postings to hill stations.
For all those curious about secrets of his health, he shares it is important to have lots of fruits. "Endurance, will power and courage is all you need to script a success story," says Baidnath, who is all ready for his next trek to the hills of Gujarat.
First Published: Jun 30, 2013 21:58 IST