Five internationally acclaimed bikers, Karolis Mieliauskas (Lithuania), Declan McEvoy (Ireland), Deepak Kamath (Bengaluru), Veena Shetty (Bengaluru) and Mandy Merwah (Gurugram) have embarked on a 3,000 km ride crisscrossing the spice corridor across West and South India.
Titled Spice Route Odyssey, this biking expedition was organised by Big Biking Commune, an aggregator platform for the motorcycle community in India. The five bikers, who will complete their ride in Chennai on November 14, have captured the magic of the spice route in South India.
On November 13, during their pitstop at Madurai, the two women riders spoke to us about their riding adventure. "Though we have travelled separately — solo and with biking groups — this is a unique experience for all of us. We got to meet locals from different cities and villages and learned about their culture and understood lifestyles,” says Veena Shetty.
The ride that started from Goa on November 6 has covered Mangaluru, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Kochi, Madurai, Kanniyakumari, Dhanushkodi and Puducherry. The two women bikers in the team took this opportunity to empower and inspire women to take up biking. "During our trip, many women came forward and asked questions like: 'How do you manage to go to the washroom? Are you safe on the road? What were the challenges you faced?'. We had a good time interacting with them," adds Veena.
Since the tour details were updated on social media, the team was able to meet solo riders and different biking communities during their journey. “At the meet-ups we hosted, a lot of riders came to see us. Since we are from different bike clubs and terrains, we took this as an opportunity to share our riding experiences in different countries. We shared stories and cleared many doubts. Moreover, this journey has built relationships among riders across south India. So, if a biker faces any difficulties during an expedition, he or she can get in touch with another biker and solve the problem,” says Mandeep aka Mandy, who took to the road on a motorbike at the age of 45.