Chennai

Man and bike, Germany to India

Stefan Rheiner began his solo ride from his homein Freiburg last October —Photo: Petlee Peter

Stefan Rheiner began his solo ride from his homein Freiburg last October —Photo: Petlee Peter  

An off-road motorcycle named after the Ténéré desert in Sahara is a rare sight inside the Office of the Commissioner of Police in Vepery.

And so is the man who rode it all the way from Freiburg in Germany to Chennai and reached the top cop’s office.

Most policemen turned into children at a candy store, at the commissionerate, after Stefan Rheiner, a 32-year-old civil engineer from Deutschland, arrived on his Yamaha XTZ 660 Ténéré motorcycle, last Tuesday. “I’m here to obtain a no-objection certificate to ship my motorcycle back home,” said Rheiner ecstatically. He rode over 16,000 km in four months to get here.

A much-dreamt motorcycle expedition, Rheiner began his solo ride from his home in Freiburg on October 3, 2014, bound for Austria.

“It was me, my motorcycle and the long roads ahead. I rode through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria and entered Turkey after passing through cities, scenic villages and misty mountains,” said the diehard biker who claims to have planned the long ride for nearly a decade.

Rheiner rolled into Iran from Turkey and rode around the country for over 30 days. “My days in Iran were well spent in the homes of welcoming friends who hosted me,” said Rheiner.

His real challenge began after he entered Pakistan through the Balochistan province with some fellow bikers he befriended on the road.

“We rode through Pakistan a total of 12 days, with police escort, and were not permitted to interact with the locals. We had to spend the night at police stations en route,” he said.

Riding for over 90 days, Rheiner entered India via the Wagah border on December 3. He then rode around the length and breath of the country making stops at Dharamshala, Agra, Ranthambore, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Ooty, Munnar, Alappuzha and Rameswaram, and entered Chennai last Sunday, thus completing his expedition.

Booked on a flight back to Germany on Tuesday, Rheiner is on a tight schedule to ship his motorcycle back home. “The paper work is so laborious and complex,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:29:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/man-and-bike-germany-to-india/article6846632.ece

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