Surprising all travellers, Riswan, a native of Tirurangadi in Malappuram, travelled to Delhi in a bicycle. He covered 1700 kilometers in bicycle from Kannur to Delhi. 22-year-old Riswan is son of Musthafa Kurikkal and Sainaba.
When he completed graduation in Marine Engineering from CUSAT, he decided to have a trip to get relaxed from the months of long pressure of assignments, projects and attendance.
This plan totally changed his life. In order to find money for the trip, he turned Uber taxi driver in Ernakulam. When he came back home, he started to assist his father in his medical store. But he failed to make a good earning out of it.
Riswan’s historic bicycle ride took place when his bike ride to Himalayas got cancelled. Riswan and his friend planned for the Himalayan ride but his friend was not able to join him due to some issues. Then, the determined Riswan decided to have a solo ride in bicycle to explore North India.
But unfortunately, he didn’t have a cycle to start the ride. Later, he came to know that his friend Jishnu in Kannur owns a BTWN cycle. Without a second thought he boarded the train to Kannur to seek help of Vishnu. At that time, the cycle was turned a showpiece at a café in Dharmasala. But Riswan made it ready for the ride applying lubricants.
When Riswan started the bicycle ride from Kannur, he set the destination as Ladakh in the google map on his phone. He started his ride on December 27. He only took three dresses in a small bag and a sleeper bag. As his friends forced him to use a helmet, he purchased one for a safe ride.
Covering Makkoottam, Mysore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Napur, Gwalior and Agra he reached Delhi.
“Sometimes, I get tired while riding the cycle. During that time I take help of others. I managed to travel on bikes by holding the cycle. Some truck drivers also offered me lift to complete the challenging journey, said Riswan. He covered 1700 kilometres to reach Delhi. In some days, he crossed 40 to 120 kilometres in the cycle.
Whenever I take a break, I used to store water and biscuits, he added.
Every traveller will get shocked when they get to know about Riswan’s expenditure in the ride. He only spent Rs 14,000 in his ride from Kannur to Delhi.
He took rest in Masjids and found a safe shelter by using his sleeping bag at public places.
Riswan had the opportunity to witness the grand republic day parade in Delhi. According to him, he found it lucky in his life.
In his bicycle ride, he enjoyed the magnificent beauty of Charminar, Chowmahalla palace, Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad, Sun temple, Gwaliar fort and Taj Mahal.
About his experience with north Indians, Riswan had some good memories to share.
“Most of them was surprised to see a Keralite travel in a bicycle from Kerala to North India. They arranged a warm welcome for me and treated me with tasty food. But some people were found intolerant to communicate with me, he said. I think the trip taught great lessons in my life.
Riswan’s friend Mujahir joined him in the ride from Delhi. Giving a break to the cycle ride, Riswan started his ride to Ladak on a bullet with his friend.
Enjoying the beauty of Srinagar, Kashmir and Kargil, the friends headed to Ladakh.
The people in Kashmir were surprised to see the two bike riders when Kashmir was shivering at minus 30 degrees. Usually, bike riders avoid this season to explore the places.
“Many times our bike skidded in the snow. But we continued our ride till we reached our destination,” said Riswan.
After visiting Ladakh, they reached Delhi via Manali and Shimla.
Riswan returned to Kerala by train with his bicycle from Delhi. After reaching Kozhikode railway station, he restarted his cycle ride to his home in Tirurangadi with plans for a new ride.