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A record ride: Thane teen takes the high road to Ladakh in 16 days

Shetty, a district-level kickboxing champion who believes “why should boys have all the fun?”, started learning to ride the bike only a year ago with help from her friends Pratik Marsurkar and Darshan Raghunath.

mumbai Updated: Jul 29, 2018 01:37 IST
Ankita G Menon
Ankita G Menon
Hindustan Times
Thae story,Thane girl,Thane biker
More such road trips are on the way for Kanaka Shetty on her Bajaj Dominar.(Praful Gangurde/HT)

Seven states, 6,010 kilometres and 16 days. Sounds crazy? Well, 19-year-old Kanaka Shetty, a resident of Manpada rode the impossible on her first journey, which may soon find mention in the Guinness World Records.

Shetty, a district-level kickboxing champion who believes “why should boys have all the fun?”, started learning to ride the bike only a year ago with help from her friends Pratik Marsurkar and Darshan Raghunath.

Shetty’s mother, Rekha, an eye surgeon says discrimination between boys and girls always irked her, leading her to take up an interest in riding bikes. Within just a year, Shetty’s parents got her a bike and before she knew it, she had set out on her journey on July 1.

Shetty took the Thane-Udaipur-Hisar-Chandigarh-Katra- Banihal- Drass -Leh- Khardung La- Pangong Lake- Jispa-Manali-Amritsar- Bhatinda- Udaipur-Thane route to what she calls “the journey of a lifetime”. Once a stranger to the difficult terrains, high altitude, changing temperatures, and glaciers, Shetty got used to the twisted road in no time. “It was difficult to ride after sunset, but this journey taught me how to face every kind of climate. By the tenth day, I had got used to all the water crossings,” she says.

Marsurkar and Raghunath, her comrades in the journey, taught her to handle situations and look out for the safety of fellow drivers.

Recollecting how soldiers at the Kargil Memorial encouraged her to ride on against all odds, she says, “These are places we go to for adventure, but the soldiers stationed there survive such difficult situations. I salute their spirit.”

When asked about the challenging destination, Ladakh, the young biker says she prepared a lot for the journey, including going on 400-km rides. “The feeling of being on top of the world at Khardung La pass, one of the highest points in the world, gave me such an adrenaline rush,” says Shetty, adding that her next stop is south India.

Her father, Rakesh, a mechanical engineer, says he hopes she is a motivation for others like her. “She has never let us down and we are now planning to get her name incorporated in the Guinness World Records.”

First Published: Jul 29, 2018 01:37 IST