What can I say about this unbelievable journey ? If you told me a year ago that I would be cycling in the Himalayas I would have laughed on your face. Forget Himalayas, I never imagined I would cycle again to begin with.
It told me we need catalysts in our life who without knowing trigger it within us, because that’s their role. To be that, to move us forward. They will never know it but that’s how it’s meant to be.
When Shantanu my trek friend spoke passionately about cycling and zero emissions and pedalling to buy and do stuff instead of taking a car or a bike, it inspired me. When my friend Bhim who was already cycling told me he would cycle whenever he had the time it would make me think, could I do it again. Could I get back on the saddle after that horrific accident I had 15 years ago? Could I handle the traffic in India? In my city?
Then when I bought my cycle I gingerly cycled only in my colony to begin with, then I went further and started solo rides. In March, Archana told me about this trip, and I said an instant Yes. After a couple of months I bumped into a wonderful small group at Hyderabad Bicycle club where one of them was getting their cycle’s flat tire repaired. I boldly went upto them and asked if I could join them, they welcomed me with open arms, patiently navigated and helped me through roads and terrains. Now they are good friends whom I meet every Sunday, it’s not just the ride but also their company. I am laughing, riding and manoeuvring the roads with them, exploring new places.
Then one day I met another cyclist on a ride whom I befriended and he introduced me to a big cycling group in the city, I meet them when I can for a ride. If these are not catalysts then what is?
And most important, my friend Archana who pulled me into a new world. She showed me to not be so one dimensional when it comes to the Himalayas. You can explore it the way you want. At least for me I know trekking is not the only way to be in the Himalayas, you got to be a little more open, outside the box to explore such options.
And ‘ahem’ when Indiahikes the so called ‘ We don’t do it for the money organisation’ says ‘ Everyone must trek’, I completely disagree.
Trekking is a sport, cycling is a sport and so is running. Any sport requires dedication, discipline and total commitment. There is no middle road here. Either you are in it or out of it. And NO, not everyone can do it.
Everyone can’t run, everyone can’t swim, everyone can’t play cricket, everyone can’t trek and yes everyone can’t pedal in the Himalayas with their lungs popping out. This is a harsh fact.
So choose a sport or anything that you truly love and give yourself to it completely. And get over the fear of missing out if others are doing something else. You are not missing anything out. In fact what you are missing out is being YOU.
Don’t do it for Strava/Instagram/WhatsApp posts so you have people you don’t know can ‘like’ them and definitely not to show off in your circle that you did this and that. Be a little old school here. Enjoy the journey. Don’t take 10,000 pics and ruin the moment. It’s called a hobby for a reason, it’s yours and it’s private. Leave something out of the public space for once.
In this trip, I got more than I gave and am thankful to Archana for it. Her presence, no nonsense attitude, simplicity and courage made my journey very enriching. It brought us closer. I know for sure we can pick up from where we left off even after 20 years. No questions asked. It’s that rare equation where no words are required nor is there awkwardness. I wouldn’t have completed this journey without her.
No one wants negative energy and you know by now we got that aplenty in this trip! Yet what choice did we have? And that’s how life is, it bashes you, challenges you, cloisters you with all kinds of stuff and pushes you over the edge, yet you keep pedalling, one gear at a time, sometimes you come to a screeching stop to take a breather or you thump your ego down by getting off the cycle and walk with it until you are ready to get back on the saddle. You can’t escape from it, you take responsibility and deal with it. No sugar coating. Period.
I leave you with a simple bicycle quote I adhere to ‘ Life’s a climb but the view is Great’ 😊
Till I write again 🚴♀️🚴♀️🚴♀️❤️