Travel: Wheels of fortune

(From Deccan Chronicle)

We can only guess as to what draws people to bikes. Could it be the feeling of wind on their faces, or the solitude that comes with being able to ride wherever, whenever? Or, could it be an inexplicable curiosity for experiencing a ride on two-wheels? For Pallavi Gautam, an industrial engineer in Chennai, it was a combination of all three that fanned her passion for riding — plus her childhood memories of zooming down the streets on a bicycle.

“As a kid, I was the silent one among two siblings. Even then, I was fascinated by two-wheelers and would fight with my brother all the time over whose turn it was to ride the cycle. Finally, when I was 13 years old, I managed to persuade my neighbour to let me try out his new motorcycle,” she laughs. That got her hooked — and the moment she moved to Chennai armed with a new job — she bought her first bike!

Now, the 27-year-old will be participating in the 13th edition of the Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey from Delhi to Leh, which will be a women-only affair for the first time. She will be joining other women from STRE (She Travels on a Royal Enfield), a community of women bikers across the country, for this 17-day, 2200 km journey. “I’m really excited about it. I have never ridden with just women, mostly with my guy friends from work. It’s a totally new experience,” she says. Read more

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