Nirupama Bhave wanted to celebrate her 70th birthday in Kanyakumari. So she pedaled a bicycle all the way from Pune with a dozen friends, mostly senior citizens as determined as her.
The unlikely bicycle riders pedaled 12 days to reach Alappuzha, where they halted to celebrate the New Year’s eve. They plan to reach Kanyakumari on Wednesday, when the former mathematics professor turns 70.
Bhave is not the oldest in the team. She is accompanied by Sunita Nadgir, a retired teacher aged 72. They are joined by Sheela Perelikar, an advocate aged 65, Aparna Mahajan, a retired central excise superintendent aged 65, Jayant Devdhar, a retired bank manager aged 65, Jayasree Pandit, a government officer aged 58, Nayana Agarkar, a government officer aged 58, Ekadashi Kolhatkar, aged 53, Chandrasekhar, an entrepreneur aged 56, and his wife Shyamala, aged 55.
The youngest members of the team are Anudha, aged 35, and her sister-in-law Kavita Joshi, aged 41.
The team left their hometown Pune on December 19. They pedal 120 kilometers a day on average. They are not mere party people. They have a message for society.
They hope that their adventure would encourage more people to fall back on bicycles to cut down the number of vehicles on roads and thereby atmospheric pollution.
They mostly stick to the coastal roads on their 1,700-km ride. Bicycle riders do not have it easy on Indian roads, they testify. Drivers of bigger vehicles seldom give a thought about the riders.