Distance means so little when you want to reach!
Preeti’s Latest adventure: Bhutan to India cycling expedition
Total Distance covered : approx. 150 kilometers
Toal cycling time : 7-8 hours
Time of starting: 5 am in the morning
Place : Thimpu, Bhutan
The sun had just risen and Preeti is all set to start her solo unsupported cycle ride from Bhutan to India. Officials from the Bhutan Olympic Association, Mr. Jaswinder Singh from Border Roads Organization, a few tourists from Mumbai who met Preeti the earlier night and of course Preeti were present for the Flag off. These mumbaikars had met Preeti the earlier night at the hotel . they expressed their desire to be present for the history making event and hence were a part of the flag off. Seeing all these people for the flag off , Preeti was immensely happy . This raised her morale too.
There was no support vehicle and Preeti had to navigate herself. Adding to this it started to rain and this as usual added to her challenges. It rained for 4 continuous hours and the mud was getting stuck in the chain of Preeti’s cycle. This made it difficult for her to cycle. She tried to pedal backwards but the tension broke the chain. Cycling solo , she was carrying the maintenance equipment but she wasn’t carrying anything to repair the chain. She hadn’t thought that the chain would break on day one itself. She did have the tyre puncture repairing equipment with her though. The equipment for repairing the chain was in the car which was going to meet Preeti at the night halt destination.
She enquired a bit and found a four wheeler garage and connected a video call to a mechanic who repaired cycles and ensured that both the mechanics spoke and got her cycle repaired. After around a couple of hours the mechanic in Bhutan could repair the cycle. As mentioned earlier, tourists in Bhutan are not allowed to cross check posts without a guide. Preeti reached a check post and due to unavailability of a guide she was stopped there.
She spoke to the officials about her mission and about spreading the awareness of organ donation. Hearing this they agreed to let Preeti cross the check post would not allow her to take her cycle.after an hours deliberation and help from the border roads organization officials she was allowed to cross the check post with her cycle. She halted to have lunch in around 5-6 kilometers from the check post.
Where ever possible she would wait and tell people about the work of ReBirth . She decided to take the night halt in Gedu. There she met an official who had taken training in NDA … He was interested in all such kinds of expeditions and he welcomed Preeti appropriately. They had a nice chat over tea and snacks.
At 6:30 in the evening Preeti reached the Border Roads Organisation guest house and started to prepare for the next day. How to make up for the lost time is all what was going on in Preeti’s mind.
Original Blog By : Kavita Pipada
English Translation By : Girija Shirurkar