Tarun Sinha, an IT professional from the city, completed the Saddle Sore Challenge, an endurance ride where the biker has to complete at least 1,600 km within 24 hours.
“Though I know how to ride a bike in the city, riding on a highway is quite challenging. It was my friends, Phaninder and Vipin Kumar, who taught me to ride on a highway in 2017. After that, I ventured out for a couple of riding expeditions in various parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,” he starts the conversation.
But what changed the 26-year-old’s perspective about life is a bike accident in April 2017 near Karapakkam. “I was on my way to have dinner and a car hit me ripping flesh from my eye to mouth. I was so scared and decided not to ride a motorbike again,” says Tarun.
He felt defeated; after resting at home for a day, he stepped out to have coffee from a roadside vendor. “But the vendor had only Ooty special tea and I thought why not have the same in Ooty instead. I started riding that night itself and reached Ooty the next day. Once I reached the place I had a huge smile on my face; the smile of victory. After that, I haven’t met with any accident and have been using riding gears,” reminisces the passionate rider.
In 2018, Tarun came across the saddle sore challenge, an endurance ride. There were many challenges in front of him — he had to prepare to endure heat, cold and rain. As a preparation, Tarun took three rides — Chennai to Bhubaneshwar in May 2018 (to ride in the heat), Chennai to Hyderabad in July 2018 (to train in the rain), and Chennai to Bengaluru in November 2018 (to rain in winter). “Usually, after an hour ride under the hot sun, the biker feels hallucinated. I had to withstand all those challenges. But what amused me during this journey is how local people came forward to help me during certain crisis situations. I didn’t know the local language and somehow, I could communicate with them. I took up the saddle sore challenge a week ago — I rode from Ranipet to Belgaum and completed 1,600 km in 23 hours 10 minutes,” he says, adding, “If I had given up riding after the accident, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy small pleasures in life. So, whenever you feel like quitting, give a second chance. You can expect wonders.”
The youngster has already chalked out plans for the future. “I wanted to run a campaign in the colleges on the importance of riding gears and educate people on providing first aid on highways.”
Also, Tarun is the first in the Chennai Avenger group, a biking group in the city, to complete 40,000 kilometres in one year.