Adventure

With adventure in mind, a Bandipora cyclist took a solo expedition to Gurez

One of the riders from Bandipora district’s Legend Riders, a biker group working on promoting tourist destinations in the area, on July 29, went on a solo trip from his hometown to Gurez, which is around 83 kilometres from where he started.

While it required stamina, the rider, 26 year-old Danish Nabi says the journey taught him to appreciate the value of small things in life.

The road he opted for is off-route, transport facilities are not available in the area “like they should be, given the beauty surrounding it,” he says.

Danish, a postgraduate in History and an aspirant for the post of Lab Assistant in Jammu and Kashmir’s Educational sector says that he envisions opening a travel company and utilise the experience he has gained from travelling using various bikes and bicycles. With a keen eye to explore the unexplored spaces in Kashmir, Danish wants Gurez to get the world’s attention.

ALSO READ: Travelogue: A road trip to Gurez, and the longing of Habba Khatoon

He decided to go to Gurez, a mesmerizing valley, 86 kilometres away from Bandipora with other bicycle riders who thought he was just kidding, prompting him to go on a solo trip.

His father, Gulam Nabi Mir was not too excited when he heard about his plans. However, he says, “My mother and siblings woke up early in the morning. My brother helped me pack and suggested that I take a needle and thread along.”

The needle and the thread helped Danish on his 16-hour long journey when his Mountain bicycle tyre burst, punctured twice. He started his journey at around 5:40 in the morning.

ALSO READ: Travelogue: Finding yourself ‘off the road’ at Warwan Valley

“The time my tyre burst, I thought this was it. But I immediately repaired it using the needle and the thread. I was by myself. It felt empowering,” says Danish.

Sharing the details, he says, he reached Razdan pass at 5 in the evening.

“When I reached Gurez’s first village, Kanzalwan, the army men there suggested not to continue and stop in the village for the night but I rode till 8:10 after which I could not see the road. At that time, I reached Nayil, the second village in Gurez,” shares Danish adding the commuters on the way were cordial with him.

Coincidentally, a stranger from Nayil village in Gurez had asked him to stay at his place.

However, Danish had planned to stay in the tent he had carried all the way from home. Later, he happened to have dinner with a family of the same stranger he had crossed on his way.

ALSO READ: A peek into ‘democracy’ inside garrisoned Gurez

“It took me more than the estimated time because people would get excited to see me riding like that. Introducing myself took a lot of time,” says Danish.

“Some villagers asked me to stay with them for the night. But I convinced them that I had carried the tent for so long and wanted to use it,” he added.

Next morning, at 7:35, he was all set to go again. At 9:45, he reached TRC Gurez.

Asked why he chose Gurez as his destination, he says, “No cyclist had been to Gurez riding. My initiative would make other cyclists to do it too. It is near my hometown. It is the best tourist destination that needs to be promoted,” he says adding that the travelling part of it helps him to explore himself as a person and appreciate little things in life.

ALSO READ: Where villagers are hostage to militarisation: Gurez, the barbed paradise

“The lesson I learnt was when you are dependent on yourself, you can act as per your potential. Also, one should always carry a needle and thread with him/herself. When my tyre burst, it helped me. Else, it would not have been possible. It is just a small needle and a light thread but it saved me when I had nothing. We should cherish the tiny blessings Allah has bestowed upon us,” concludes the rider hoping to ride and explore more.

 

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