Alappuzha-native Swathi covered 1,300 km on her Yamaha-R15 bike from Pune to Alappuzha in two days. All this during the lockdown. Here she shares her experiences of the adventurous trip.
About the journey
Swathi started riding motorbike two or three years ago and before that she used to move around on a scooter. Though Swathi loved bike riding a lot, she never thought of travelling such a long distance on a bike. She took her first lessons on bike riding on her father Gopakumar's Bullet 500 Standard motorcycle. She had also used Yamaha FC 25.
After completing her graduation, Swathi went to Pune to do a Diploma in Fitness and also worked as a fitness trainer there. The COVID-19-induced lockdown restrictions were announced immediately after Swathi completed her studies. For some days, Swathi stayed in a hostel and later got a pass to travel to Kerala in May but there was no transportation facility. And finally, Swathi decided to travel on a friend's bike to Kerala. The friend had completed his course of study earlier and had left for Kerala leaving behind his motorcycle in Pune.
"When I told my family members that I will be coming on bike o Alappuzha, they only welcomed it with confidence," said Swathi.
The intrepid trip
Swathi kick-started her ride on May 7 at 8.30 pm and reached Alappuzha on May 9 at 5.30 pm, and the journey was non-stop except for small breaks. Swathi used to take 10 to 15-minute breaks after riding the motorbike for nearly an hour. She travelled mainly through the main roads and as the lockdown curbs were in place there were fewer vehicles on the road. The restrictions were a boon for Swathi as she did not have to face irritant riders or motorists and eve-teasers on the way. Swathi started to see people in public spaces only when she entered Kerala.
As the eating outlets were closed, Swathi carried enough reserves of protein powder, vitamin tablets, loaves of bread, and water. She was able to buy some food from outside only when she reached the Kerala border. "I was never tired though I was riding the bike continuously for two days. Except for a brief hiatus at a petrol bunk in Kasaragod, the journey from Pune was pretty non-stop," she says.
Swathi's travel companion was Yamaha R15, which developed no snags during the course of the journey. The ride on the bike was very comfortable, vouches for Swathi. She is planning another long-distance bike ride after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Swathi's father, who is a fitness trainer in Mavelikara, mother Bindhu, and elder sister Soorya are giving full support to her.