//Cycling solo from Leh to Kanyakumari: An interview with Anahita Sriprasad

Cycling solo from Leh to Kanyakumari: An interview with Anahita Sriprasad

Cycling is not yet seen as a sport or as an adventure-travel option in India, but the wheels of change are slowly turning. There is a new breed of adventure-loving, serious and non-serious cyclists who are spelling out change with action on two-wheels. Anahita Sriprasad, a 22-year old living in Bangalore, decided to cycle solo from Leh to Kanyakumari, on Montra Blues. To know more about this epic journey, we had a conversation with Anahita, and here’s what she shared with us.

The need to cycle solo

Anahita is not a professional cyclist, but her passion for adventure and curiosity led her to cycling. She says, “I started cycling because of the idea of this trip. It began as a part of training for the ride about five months prior to the ride. It was something that started out as a hazy idea which grew into a passion.”

Though the Leh-Kanyakumari trip was not the first time Anahita was travelling alone, this was definitely a unique experience for her. What set her on this trip though, was her encounter with the many people who questioned her about the risks of a woman travelling alone in India.

“A common recurring question I was asked mixed with reactions of shock was, ‘You’re traveling for so long,alone.. how? Why? Isn’t it unsafe?’ This made me realize that the general perception was that India is an unsafe place for a female solo traveler and I wanted to do something to change that perception. So, the idea of cycling from Leh to Kanyakumari struck me and I realised that this would spread awareness about women’s safety as well as challenge the perspective of India being unsafe for women travelling alone.”

Preparing for the ride

Anahita knew this was not an easy feat, and it required a lot of training. She set out with a goal, and worked hard to prepare for it. Rigour, focus and determination fueled her.

“In order to build my stamina and endurance, I took up various forms of exercises for about three months prior to my trip such as running, swimming, cycling longer distances than what I was used to, and I also joined a gym for strength training.

The ups and downs

Contrary to the popular belief, Anahita did not face the dangerous, unfriendly India everyone used to ask her about. Though she was prepared for any challenges on the way, her journey was great. In her own words, “apart from a few punctures, it was pretty smooth sailing.”

Riding Montra, riding with MontrMontra logo 2a

Anahita undertook her journey on Montra Blues, and received support from Montra and Track and Trail teams throughou
t her journey. She says, “Montra was extremely supportive throughout my ride. Right from the beginning to the end. My cycle and a couple of accessories were sponsored by Montra. Apart from that, I received constant help when it came to maintenance and checking of my cycle at cities where Montra had dealers or Track and Trail stores were present.

 

Message to female cyclists – Ride on!

Her passion and her determination to conquer not only her fears, but also those of others, paid off. Her achievement shows that if you are prepared to take the risks, there can be no stopping you, and she believes that all women out there need to step out and try to be and do whatever they wish to.

She believes that no route, no distance is too big or too hard if one can dream about riding it. “Cycling as a sport,as a passion, is something amazing that happened to me and the thrill and pleasure of riding any route is immense. True, there may be times that one may not be able to complete a distance or route they set out to, due to whatever reasons, but that shouldn’t be a cause for de-motivation, but be a learning experience and a chance to better yourself.

So, let nothing deter one’s spirit to keep pedaling on.”

Here’s to Anahita’s spirit for adventure, and her passion for cycling. If you have a similar story that you would like to share with us, write to us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

2016-10-03T07:12:05+00:00 8 Comments

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8 Comments

  1. Dhananjay_Bhardwaj September 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    It is extremely encouraging. Lovely to see a lady complete such a task that even most men out there would give up on. Cheers to Anahita. Ma’am you have done a really inspiring task right there. I personally prefer cycling (Mountain biking) as a full-time sport for me and believe me the adrenaline rush that it gives is un-matchable. I am from Delhi, but I do have a good influence over Rotary Club in Rajasthan district 3090. If you want to start out an event in Rajasthan, just let me know.

  2. sameersharma8233@gmail.com October 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Great Anahita! Girl Bike Love’s mission is to empower, inspire, and encourage more women to ride bikes.

  3. m_maunder@yahoo.com December 25, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Way to go Anahita…….keep up the passion !!!!

  4. Boopathi_kumar March 25, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Happy to see her effort. Keep up … Cheers to Anahita

  5. Anahita_Sriprasad April 7, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I am just seeing this post by track and trail, and all your lovely comments on it.
    Thank you guys, so very much! 🙂

  6. adityamanjunatha100@gmail.com April 25, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    all the best

  7. Don_Omar July 11, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Splendid anahita , well done I am also going to take a turn to u
    Your rout …. BOL for your next rout …

  8. sanjeevkumarb3105@gmail.com September 8, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Anahita, hats off to you, liked your thought process ….you deserve to be the brand ambassador for the cycle day which happens in few localities in bangalore…lemme know if I can refer you to the people I know associated with cycle day

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