PUNE: Emphasising on the importance of fitness regime and a healthy lifestyle, 60-year-old retired senior journalist Sharat Sharma, who has set out on a 28,000 kilometres bike ride since March this year, has now reached Pune.
While the bike ride will be covering all the 29 states in the country, four Union Territories and Bhutan, Sharma has so far covered 23 states and 23,100 kilometres. From Pune, he will be heading towards Mumbai, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Chandigarh, to conclude the trip in Delhi.
Having spent 37 years of his life in print media, Delhi-based Sharma decided to go on this bike ride on retirement, to preach the importance of health and fitness not just through his words, but also through his actions.
Before reaching Pune, he journeyed through Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.
“I believe that our life is divided into three innings. The first inning is when we grow up, second is the one where we take up jobs, responsibilities, etc. The third inning is when we retire, it’s the time to enjoy our life which is free of any responsibilities. It’s time for us to follow our dreams, give back to the society. However, our life is like a garland, in which all the three innings are tied together in the string of fitness. I want this bike ride to prove to be a message to everyone, that even if we are busy working like robots in our second inning, it is necessary to take out time to be fit and healthy so that we are able to truly enjoy the third inning of life. Unfortunately, we have stopped taking care of our health and opted for a sedentary lifestyle,” Sharma said.
He further said that he also wants to give a message to the bikers that it is possible to enjoy a gadget-free ride. “In 2016-17, out of the 1,50,785 people that died in accidents in India, 52,500 were bikers. Of these, 18.3 per cent were without helmets and 46.3 per cent of total accident victims were between 18 and 35 years. I want youngsters to follow traffic discipline. I ride without using mobile phone, music, and GPS and navigation tools and want to prove that bike rides can be managed and enjoyed without these,” he added.
A PASSIONATE TRAVELLER
Speaking about his experience as a traveller, Sharma said, “I have absolutely enjoyed the diversity of this country throughout my journey. We all live in different states, have different languages and cultures. Yet we all are the same, bound by a common emotion. Travel gives you the kind of exposure you will never get otherwise. It opens your mind, and liberates you.”