The 24-year-old Chalakudy native Jeena Thomas who works in Kochi travelled from Bengaluru to Pune and back ahead of scheduled time the other day. Riding a motor-bike all alone. And all she ate during the entire trip were just two bananas.
She started her journey from Bengaluru on February 24 at 6.30 in the morning and reached Pune by 3.30 the same afternoon. After a 15 minute break she started her return ride to Bengaluru and reached at 3 am. the next day, covering 1,667 kilometres. The challenge was to cover the distance in 24 hours which she did in just 20 hours winning the runner-up title of BAPUBA (Bangalore-Pune-Bangalore), organized by Indian Endurance Riders Association. She doesn’t brag about her achievement on becoming the first Indian woman to be the runner-up of the race. Now that she has proved her mettle she dares others who had made fun of her.
Jeena had not let her parents, Ashtamichira Palathinkal Thomas and Lucy who live in Chalakudy, know in advance about her daring outing, but had her brother Jio in the loop.
To participate in the race, she reached Bengaluru on February 23rd and stayed the night in a lodge. The Avenger Cruiser bike was already brought to Bengaluru. The 50 participants started their adventure in small batches of three. All they took with them was some ORS solution. They had their bikes’ fuel tanks fully filled. The plan was to cover 200 kilometres in one stretch in two hours. Day trip to Pune was smooth and went well. Kozhikode native Adarsh finished first at Pune. Jeena finished second. She went to Adarsh and asked if he had carried something to eat and he gave her two bananas. She had them on the way back while stopping at petrol pumps.
Tell us about the thrills of a long distance ride.
What thrill, all I had in mind was to prove myself to those who had scoffed at me.
Since when did you have this dream?
Since young I wished to ride a bike. People ridicule girls who talk of riding bikes. This increased my desire.
Why is Avenger special to you?
It is short like me.
Any daunting experiences on the way?
During the return journey, around 1 o' clock, two men were following me on bikes till Tumkur, i.e , about 70 kms. I gestured them to leave me alone. Later, two trailer lorries were moving on two tracks in the same direction and there was no way to overtake them. I started riding in between the vehicles and they started closing in. Somehow I overtook them and proceeded.
Jeena had come to Kochi as a radio jockey. Later she did her PG in Journalism at Kerala Media Academy, Kakkanad. With her earnings as an RJ she maintains her bike, hires riders jacket, gloves etc. and goes for rides. She wishes to tour foreign countries on her bike once she has enough money saved.