Five bikers hailing from different parts of the world
have recently embarked on a Spice Route Odyssey from Goa.
The riders will be covering 10 cities in 10 days, culminating their trip in Chennai. NT BUZZ gets more details
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
Five bikers, including two women, are currently vrooming their way through the Western and Southern parts of India on a 3,000 kilometre ride. Having begun their adventure on November 6 from Goa, the five bikers – Deepak Kamath (Bengaluru), Declan Mcevoy (Ireland), Karolis Mieliauskas (Lithuania), Veena Shetty (Bengaluru), and Mandeep Kaur Merwah (Gurgaon), will wind their way past Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kochi, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Dhanushkodi, Puducherry, before culminating their journey at Chennai.
Along the way, they will be engaging with the local motorcycling community in each city, sharing their learnings, experiences, creating awareness about road safety, imparting riding tips, besides encouraging desi bikers to get out and explore new routes.
The bikers who are riding Royal Enfield Himalayans, provided by Royal Brothers, will also capture the magic of the Spice Route in South India.
During their stay in Goa, the bikers went around the St Jacinto Church; Suicide Point, Dona Paula and had a good time sampling local delicacies at Vasco Square restaurant.
And the entire itinerary and experience has been curated by the Big Biking Commune. “This is the first time that a planned motorcycle tour for internationally acclaimed bikers is being done through our platform giving them a sense of the motorcycle culture in India,” says convener, Big Biking Commune, Arun Kumar.
In fact, the idea of the ride all began when their influencer partner Deepak Kamath (the lead rider on this tour) approached Big Biking Commune about this opportunity. Kamath has been riding for the past three decades and is known as the only Indian biker to have ridden on all seven continents including from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, the Trans- Siberian ride, and Round the World ride.
This trip, he says, is about having globetrotting, and two-wheeler enthusiasts sharing their experiences across many of the biking communities in India. “In Goa we had a few enthusiastic bikers but considering it was a weekday we did not have a good crowd,” he says adding that through their travel stories and experiences the team plan to motivate others.
“We plan to have frequent stops and help visitors capture moments on the bike across various beautiful locations along this route. This platform is helping us connect to the community, speak to them, show our photographs and share our experiences and leave them inspired,” he says.
And keeping a mind on balancing safety with thrills, Kamath says that the team will ensure that they are all wearing helmets.
Fellow rider Mcevoy meanwhile is in India for the first time with his wife Jacinta travelling in the support vehicle. An engineering teacher by profession, he has journeyed across 68 countries and has lived in Ireland, Australia and the USA.
“The good thing about this road trip is that I don’t know where I am going to be tonight. Normally, as a solo traveller I have many plans in my head like where I will be at what time, in how many days and how many kilometres, which route I will take, etc,” he says. But for this trip, Mcevoy is taking a complete backseat. “It is really nice to just ride the bike and not worry about the destination or mileage or where you will be next,” he says.
Mieliauskas too is used to riding alone, completing upto 1000 kilometres a day with not much sightseeing. He has been to India about five to six times. “We go together with Big Biking Commune who organise events in every destination where we give inspirational talks to local bikers. And they love to listen. I really like this idea of sharing experiences,” he says. Along with him, his son Simas, an avid motorcycle enthusiast and photographer, is filming their road journey.
The women on the team too are equally experienced bikers. Shetty, an entrepreneur by profession, has been riding for the past 19 years. “I used to see the men riding and I thought why don’t I try it out? I always thought it was better for a girl to learn everything and my dad has supported me in this,” she says. A mixed martial arts fighter too, Shetty also founded the ‘Roaring Riderz club’ about three years ago where they conduct workshops to train riders to fix their own bikes and be less dependent on the roads.
Having biked across the Rann of Kutch, Bhutan, North East, Ladakh, Kanyakumari to Kashmir and other parts of India, including recently doing the Golden Quadrilateral route, Shetty considers each trip to be special. “Every place you go, you get to taste their food and experience their culture. I can speak all the South Indian languages and a few North Indian languages too now,” she says.
Merwah on the other hand grew up in the Middle East and came to India a decade ago. She only learned to ride when she was 45 years. “Women in the Middle East are not allowed to ride motorcycles. This was especially true in the 90s when I was there. However, it was my dream to learn to ride a motorcycle because it is the coolest thing to do. When I moved back to India, riding a bike was big on my agenda,” she says.
While she previously collaborated with a company that trains women to ride motorcycles, now she only rides for her own pleasure. She has her own tribe and goes riding all over the country together. “This 10-day trip is going to be a good experience. As you grow older, life is all about experiences,” she says.