I Sohail Ahmed Khan, 25 from Delhi pursuing LLB final year got fascinated of riding after being inspired by my elder brother Javed, A software engineer by profession when he visited on his bike to Ladakh in 2010. Since then I did some extreme rides to Ladakh, Spiti, some off the extreme high altitude passes viz Sach pass, Chanshal, Jalori, solo ride to India’s dangerous road killar – Kishtwar and many more. In 2016 I planned for this ride covering all 29 states in minimum time, after approaching Limca book of records and India books and getting their approvals in January 2017 I started preparations for this ride. The ride was on self- financed basis. I started my ride on KTM RC390 on 5th of March 2017 at 12 am from Delhi and completed the ride on 28th of March at 11:27 am at Delhi covering all 29 state capitals and 5 UT’s with a total distance of 16,143 kms.
I was initially dispirited, since I had never gone on such a long trip on my own. But having seen many riders across the country undertaking solo rides, I knew it was very much possible. Thus with a positive mind set, I decided that I should give it a try, Fortune Favours the brave. Thus, I finally made up my mind to go ahead. Though few of my relatives and friends advised to cancel the ride as it is not a safe venture to travel alone on such a long trip on the grounds of the uncongenial atmosphere and the situation at different places especially the moist affected states and north east, but my parents supported me both financially and morally and I decided to proceed.
During the course of my ride I faced some of the challenges and difficulties enumerated below:
1. The log book attestation – The log book provided by the Limca Book of records was to be maintained and got attested at every state capital city and UT by any gazetted officers/ police station to vouch for my presence in the respective cities. In every state city police cooperated overwhelmingly without taking much time in attestation the log book. But in Ranchi and Patna it was quite contradictory who kept me running from Pillar to post for getting the log book attested resulting loss of time and frustration.
2. Non-cooperation from KTM Ranchi – They were informed well in advance to get the bike checked and serviced as I have to move further to Kolkata the same day and Ranchi was the city where the bike service became due. Despite of informing them well in advance, they kept me waiting for more then 2 hours and did not attend me at all. I was left with no choice but to get the bike serviced from outside and consequently lost a lot of time which ultimately resulted delay in reaching next destination Kolkata where I reached at 2:30 am night (5 hours late of my schedule time) which also resulted delay in next day schedule.
3. The cash I was carrying was exhausted in Itanagar and was left with no money to pay the hotel bill and get the bike refuelled. I thought of withdrawing it from any of the available ATM’s but to my surprise after visiting atleast a dozen of ATM’s I could not withdraw the cash as all of them were dry of cash which gave me sense of cashless India and Cashless me. However the friends at Itanagar helped me out. This gave me sense of Cashless India and Cashless me.
I am very grateful to:
1. Indian Army (Assam Rifles) – I started my ride from Silchar at 12 pm sharp after getting the bike checked from KTM Silchar, thinking that I will reach Imphal max by 7 in the eve. But unfortunately every time plan doesn’t works. It was raining badly and started witnessing slush and there was a stretch of approx 8 Kms which was nightmare for me, doing it solo was the challenge as I used to skid and tyres used to get stuck in the slush, the bike started overheating because of over acceleration which impacted clutch plates also. At a moment bike got stopped and the coolant started flowing out At this point of time I was feeling miserable and felt quite nervous thinking that now I will have to end my ride. I asked for help from the local taxi drivers/other people to get some help but they didn’t want to get into slush and make their shoes dirty. Unfortunately there was no mobile network in that stretch so I could not contact to any one for help. On the way people advised me to get help from Army Chowki which was located approx 15 kms from that point. I looked the condition of my bike and prayed to God that it gets start and luckily it started, from there I headed to Assam rifles camp As the distance to reach the next destination i.e. Imphal was 180 kms from their camp, they advised me to stay in their camp as it was already dark and the road ahead was very dangerous apart from being a high militant area, provided me Boarding and lodging with full of courtesy which will be remembered throughout my life. I am grateful to the officials concerned for giving me such an affectionate treatment.
2. All police staff at all the state capitals and UT’s for getting the attestation work so easily and being so humble and supportive. I express my special thanks to ACP Trivandrum Shri Pramod Sir for extending me his support as well as honour.
3. The KTM Service Centres at Panvel, Puducherry, Agartala, Silchar, North lakhimpur, Patna, Noida for extending me their timely support in servicing the bike during my ride.
4. All My Rider brothers from each and every state and city who supported me in my entire ride without their support it was not easy to complete the ride.
5. My backup team which was active 24/7 for me and taking care of all my ride updates and my club members of Rapsters for all the support.
Though the ride was named fastest ride but it was ride where I covered set no. of kms on daily basis. The ride for record title was totally depending on the performance of the bike which fortunately had been perfect through out the journey.
However to complete this stupendous ride I have to keep myself physically fit for which I have followed the Followings:
1. Physical workout for 2 hours daily for a month to boost my stamina.
2. Started eating less food a month before the scheduled ride so as to adapt myself to take less meals during ride. Consequently during the course of 23 days ride I used to take only 1 meal at night. During the day I was depending on Dry fruits, Chocolates and kept myself hydrated by taking sufficient water.
Since it was a target to achieve the given distance within the stipulated period to break the previous record I used to sleep only 4-5 hours daily. After Getting stuck in North east, I started lagging for 2 days from my set schedule and to break the previous record . Yet 6 more state capitals and 1 UT with a distance of 3000+ kms within three days was to be covered. So I started from Patna, covering Lucknow, Dehradun, Shimla, Chandigarh, Srinagar and back to Delhi riding for approx. 78 hours continuously with three small power naps of 2 hours each in Noida, Chandigarh and Patni top (J&K) and ultimately with the grace of the Almighty, cooperation and best wishes of my friends and family I concluded the trip of 16143 Km in 23 days 11 hours and 27 minutes which surpasses all the earlier records in spite of all the difficulties faced during course of the ride.