Desert biking

Hyderabad-based adventure-junkie Pruthu Mehta recently went on an extreme desert expedition along with his friends Nita Chaudhary from Mumbai, Vaishali from Jaipur, and Deepak Gupta from Delhi. They spent ten days in Rajasthan, covering a distance of over 2,500 km on their motorcycles under the scorching summer sun.

Describing their experience, Pruthu says, “Although riding in temperatures of 55 degrees Celsius was exhausting and physically draining, the whole experience was breath-taking. Normally, we can cover around 500 km in one day, but in the desert, we only managed to cover 250 km per day. We did visit some memorable places though.”

Pruthu enroute Rajasthan

Having completed winter expeditions in the past, including a trip to Leh-Ladakh and the world’s highest motorable pass, the Umling La Pass, Pruthu says that riding in the desert is much harder. “We had to deal with several issues including dehydration, sunburns, and burning eyes. We had to consume two litres of water every 30 minutes, and we had to keep taking breaks because we were getting dehydrated. The availability of food was a bit of a problem as we were travelling through remote places,” he says.

The bikers stuck to an attire of thin cotton shirts and jeans to brave the extreme temperatures. But there was no avoiding the riding gear that they had to wear. “Our gear consists of knee guards, jackets and shoulder and elbow protectors. It was difficult to wear them in such hot temperatures. We had to stop frequently to rest.” The group travelled from Delhi to Jaipur to Bikaner to Jaisalmer to the historic Tanot Mata Temple to Longewala and back. “Our adventure took us to iconic locations such as Munabo, India’s last Railway station on the Indo-Pak border. Everywhere, we received a warm welcome from the locals. The Indian army enlightened us about the rich history of every place; it was an insightful expedition.” Pruthu says that such trips are what keep him going. “These expeditions give me immense satisfaction. I am passionate about riding and have been doing this for the past 15 years. I have even taken part in drag racing. After getting married, I have not wanted to take any risks, so I have been on long drives and road trips instead. But this time I wanted to do something different, I thought an extreme summer desert ride would be a unique experience,” he says. 

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