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Height of adventure

HARSHIKAA UDASI
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OFFBEAT Pintueli Gajjar, part of a 10-member Bikerni team, recently completed a 1000-km trip on a heavy bike to the world's highest motorable terrain — Khardung La

RIDING BIKES, A PASSION Pintueli Gajjar
RIDING BIKES, A PASSION Pintueli Gajjar

S he is Pintz to friends. Her hobbies include riding heavy duty bikes. She is an active environmentalist. We are not reading out the profile of a 20-something here. Pintueli Gajjar is 53.

Pintz is a Green teacher from Rajkot in Gujarat, and riding bikes is her passion. She is one of the core members of the Bikerni gang of women riders across India. As part of UTV Bindass six-episode series titled Vivel Active Fair — Riders, Pintueli along with 10 other Bikerni women has just completed a 1,000-km-plus road trip on a Royal Enfield 500 cc bike from Delhi to the world's highest motorable terrain — Khardung La. “It was an enthralling experience. I had not imagined I would do this at 53. But hoped I could!” says Pintueli.

While the Bikerni gang was deciding to go on the Leh expedition, UTV Bindass joined in and Royal Enfield came forward to sponsor the trip. With the channel partnering with them, the adventure for the gang didn't stop with only riding on treacherous roads. Rock climbing, river crossing, river rafting and honeybee farming were added to double the excitement. “Frankly, I was a little worried that my legs would give way as I have mild arthritis. I even have low BP, so the rarefied air was a big concern. But when I got to Khardung La, it was the biggest high!” says Pintueli, getting nostalgic. “The main thing that drives me to do such things is will power.”

Other activities

Pintueli actively took part in all the adventure activities planned for the trip. “Except for a couple of places I couldn't travel to due to dizziness, I am proud of having completed the ride successfully. To my gang's credit, they never once let me feel that I was too old to be part of the game,” she adds.

The Arts graduate from Mumbai's JJ School of Arts says 18 years of being a teacher had given her enough satisfaction but she knew she just had to quit her job at 50 and pursue other interests. “I have been a single parent since 1988 and both my girls have families of their own and are independent. I am footloose and fancy-free, so to say!” she laughs.

After trying her hand at scooters and then a 350 cc Boxer and the recent Honda Twister, Pintueli says two-wheelers are a passion that will never die.

“It is a means of breaking from convention in a way. It gives you a sense of freedom and I bet girls look much better on bikes than some guys who drive them around.”

Vivel Active Fair – Riders on UTV Bindass begins on November 18 at 9 p.m.

HARSHIKAA UDASI

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