Riding through retirement

As a 60-year-old man travelling across India on a massive black bike, Sharat Sharma says he is used to the strange looks that strangers throw at him.

“My gear and attire make me look like an alien. I usually go to a tea shop filled with people and break the ice over a cup of tea. Food is a huge conversation starter,” he says speaking about his cross-country journey.

This former journalist began his journey across India and Bhutan from Delhi on March 18 to spread the message of ‘Fit India’. He has covered States including Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and all eight in the north-east. He aims to cover 28,000 km by October 5 and end the ride in Leh.

“Most people during their prime ignore their health citing work commitments. A chunk of our life is spent on the desk. I have tried motivating my colleagues in the past to keep watch on their physical health. Unless we take care in advance, our retirement lives will be full of hospital visits,” he said.

One does not need to spend extensively on the body if there is day-to-day investment, he added.

Sharat Sharma says he visited various parts of north and north-east, covering a total of 22,000 km till date. He eats the local food and tries to understand the cultural highlights of the area. “The idea is to imbibe culture, augment knowledge and challenge yourself. This bike ride is mostly a test of mental strength and positivity. I only remember the best memories each day of the journey,” he says.

He adds that his second message is for the young bike riders in the country. “India is a country of bikers. For every car, there are five bikes. However, the need to speed on the roads and the bikers’ inability to follow traffic rules cause major accidents. I never travel without a helmet. I hope to set an example by putting my preaching into practice and proving to people that the best kind of travel is safe travel.”

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