Among the swarm of riders zipping across the Delhi-Leh route charted for the Himalayan Odyssey 2011 are a pair of women riders. Indistinguishable under their helmets amidst the other seventy bikers, these are the only two female participants of the annual endurance rally for motorcyclists that began on 25 June (2011). The participants are expected to cover a distance of 2,668 kilometers. It’s the biggest, toughest, highest and the most fun-filled ride above sea level for motorcyclists – now in its eighth edition.
While the main theme is an exhilarating experience, the underlying emphasis is on safety in every aspect of the ride. Whether it is planning of the route or execution of the ride, Royal Enfield provides service and medical back up to provide confidence not just to the first time participants but also to their friends and family. The Himalayan Odyssey has expert and experienced pilots to guide the group in various areas of bike riding and coping with the weather and terrain.
Irina Walker, 49, who has flown in from San Francisco says the Odyssey organised by famed motorcycle makers Royal Enfield provided her with a chance to join in the rally and combine her holiday. “I really wanted to see the Himalayas and then found out about this event and couldn’t have managed to find a better vacation to India,” says the US consultant who has been an ardent rider for the past 10 years.
The second woman in the team is Ila Johri younger than Walker and a experienced biker herself. “Anyone can come for such a journey. It is all about training yourself” says Johri, aged 25, a Chennai- based financial analyst who has been organising various riding events in the past.
Beginning from Delhi the route map of the rally passes through Chandigarh, Manali, Key Long, Jispa Camp, Sarchu, Pang Camp, Upshi, Leh and finally to Khardung La, the highest motorable pass in the Ladakh region. The journey lasting 21 days would take the riders through three mountain ranges, six passes, a gut wrenching 18380 feet high at Khardung La and a 40 km off road ride through the high altitude desert at the Moree Plains.
The event is presented by Royal Enfield. For more info visit the Himalayan Odyssey site
*source Press Trust Of India