- Over 75 days, a total of 75 riders, including 11 women, traversed 34 States/UTs covering 18,000+ kms across 75 cities /towns, from Kanyakumari to Varanasi and Gandhinagar to Shillong
The closing ceremony of the Freedom Rider Biker Rallies took place at the JLN Stadium New Delhi on Thursday. The unique expedition was organized by the All India Motorbike Expedition (AIME) and supported by the Government of India’s flagship program Fit India.
The closing ceremony was attended by Smt. Sujata Chaturvedi, Secretary (Sports), Ministry Of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government Of India, Sh Sandip Pradhan, Director-General, Sports Authority of India as well as other dignitaries from the Union Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India. Over 75 days, a total of 75 riders, including 11 women, traversed 34 States/UTs covering 18,000+ kms across 75 cities /towns, from Kanyakumari to Varanasi and Gandhinagar to Shillong.
The riders, during their expedition, also visited iconic places such as the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Viceregal Lodge in Shimla, Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and so on. They also travelled through different terrains such as plains of the Northern belt, sand dunes of the West, mountains of the North-East, coastline down South and braved extreme weathers conditions in places such as Siachen.
“I congratulate all the 75 riders for this extraordinary feat. I am happy that you all have returned safely and have inspired a lot of people,” mentioned Smt Sujata Chaturvedi. “To be healthy and fit is a national duty and I want everyone to work towards this national duty and be in the best of health and fitness.”
The events were graced by important dignitaries such as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Governor of Manipur and Gujarat, local MPs, DMs as well as celebrities. During the events, the biker contingent spoke about the expedition and also shared their experiences followed by a pep talk on fitness to motivate the audience. The riders also participated in special performances such as Garba in Gujarat which was one of the key highlights of the expedition.
The oldest female rider at 59, Nita Khandekar mentioned, “The guidance from my fellow riders was tremendous. The terrain, especially in the North East was very different. There were muddy and sticky roads. We fell every time but got up again. We also learnt brotherhood. From being solo riders, we became group riders and also learnt to be minimalistic.”
Sharing thoughts from the journey, Roshan Chhetri, a biker from Sikkim, said, “After riding for 20+years, to be selected to participate in all-India ride is a testament that you just need to have a passion and it will take you somewhere big someday. We saw the entire nation through our naked eyes throughout the ride just because of our partner, the motorcycle.
The 75 riders represented mini-India as they were from every State of the nation. Be it scorching heat, rain, cold, we all motivated each other. We also tried to touch few hearts on the go. The message was of fitness and we tried our best to impart that knowledge and also spread the message of brotherhood. We go back with good memories.”