Seeking to explore and challenge themselves, a group of youngsters from the city undertook a 3000km bike drive through the country’s Northeast
Riding a bike for 3,000 kilometres braving bad roads, chilly winds and sub-zero temperatures is not always easy. But for members of ‘Extremes’, a group of young professionals, it wasn’t really tough; not when they were rewarded with magnificent views of Northeast India when they recently undertook a 17-day bike expedition that also included a trip to Bhutan, apart from Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
“We’re all batch mates from MBA and had planned this trip during graduation last year. We could all finally make it earlier this month and what a trip it has been,” says Ketan Agarwal, a member of the group.
The group comprising 11 members, now based in different cities, got together at Jalpaiguri where they rented Royal Enfield bikes for their journey. Over a period of 17 days, the bikers rode through places like Paro, Thimpu and Punakha in Bhutan before heading to undiscovered locales in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam before making their way back to Guwahati, where their expedition ended. “The whole idea of choosing this route was to see some of these pristine, unspoilt locales, apart from spending a good time with each other. I don’t think we’ll be able to do a trip like this again any time soon, due to our jobs and other responsibilities,” says Anup Limaye, a business analyst.
The group also drove to little known places like Tawang and Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh that border China and have high military movement. That was also the most challenging part of their ride, they say. “The roads from Sikkim to and through Bhutan were great. But it was at these places in Arunachal Pradesh that we faced challenges. Some stretches had no paved roads at all. It was all about navigating between boulders and riding the bikes on rocky stretches. The bad roads combined with the biting cold was intimidating, but exhilarating too,” says Anup.
“The highlight of the trip was the hospitality we received from locals as well as the army personnel at many places. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed with warm drinking water, something we really needed, and a bite to eat. In fact, on one such day while we were on our way to Bhumla Pass we were stopped by some army folks. Initially, we were worried about the reason but all they wanted to do was share some hot tea and pakodas with us since they were celebrating Guru Nanak Jayanti. There were many such moments that left us overwhelmed,” says Ketan.
The group now plans to blog about the journey to spread awareness about the remote towns in the country’s Northeast region and also to share their experience.