2011 edition of the Himalayan Odyssey flagged off

The eighth edition of the Himalayan Odyssey was flagged off by Dr Venkatesh (Venki) Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield. This year the Himalayan Odyssey has achieved yet another accolade by increasing the number of adventure seekers. This edition of the annually organised adventure extravaganza promises incomparable excitement to all its riders.

Starting today, the bikers will cover a distance of 2,560 kms before they re?converge at Delhi on July 10th. The youngest member of this entourage is in his early 20’s while the oldest is nearing the half century mark- an open testimony to the fact that where there is a will, there is a way. En route, medical help for the bikers and mechanical help for their machines is on?hand 24/7.

Addressing the assemblage of motorcycle enthusiasts and well?wishers gathered at the India Gate, Dr Venki, CEO, Royal Enfield, said, “Over the past 7 years the Himalayan Odyssey has emerged as a pilgrimage and a ‘must-do’ for the riders. Aptly put by one of the participants last year, it’s like a passage for the transition from a boy to a man.

The riders for the Himalayan Odyssey come from far and near (even from abroad) to take this ride. Last year, Royal Enfield ventured into other rides as well. We’ve set course on the ‘Tour of Rajasthan’, the ‘Tour of Rann of Kutch’ and the ‘Tour of NH 17’ to name a few.

We are soon to embark upon one more ride traversing the Himalayas again around the end of the riding season in this terrain. Royal Enfield is a powerful brand and our initiatives of ‘Keep Riding’ facilitate a poignant experience for our customers where they can tune?in to the soul of the outdoors and yet stay connected with the claustrophobic hustle?bustle of today’s modern world.”

“We have been going to Ladakh and Himachal for many years now and the region has always been kind to us. The Himalayan odyssey 2010 was completely unaffected by the rain and floods that affected the region last year. We salute the spirit of the people as they strive to rebuild their region.

This year we will try and contribute by taking even more Royal Enfield riders; 72 to be precise, to experience the pristine charm of this region. These riders are booked at a home-stay, Ecosphere, an NGO operating in the Kaza region to experience the kind of life the locals live on a daily basis.

For this they don’t mind forgoing a comfortable stay at perhaps a plush hotel. Royal Enfield’s contribution towards the home-stay shall be utilised by the NGO in rebuilding this region. This is one ways we wish to give back to this region which has for so many years given us the ultimate experience of adventure and sheer bliss. We strongly follow a no-litter policy and shall be disposing our waste, wrappers, etc systematically and leave the pristine countryside just the way we have always found it”, he further added.

Like 2010, the route this year moves via Keylong to Sarchu, Ladakh and then Khardung La. However, the novel feature of this year’s ride is that, the riders will ride on towards Nubra and pay tribute to the earthy vale of Nubra by unfurling the Royal Enfield colours on its sand dunes. The return journey would also explore the Lahaul Spiti region through Debring and Kaza before heading back to the plains via Narkanda.

This year Himalayan Odyssey has a couple of partners joining this extraordinary trip to get a taste of the Himalayan adventure. Mahindra Adventure is the official SUV partner for the ride and their vehicles shall accompany the riders throughout the journey serving as back up vehicles for ferrying media and for evacuation duties if required. Motul, the official lubricant partner, will keep the motorcycles fit and well ‘oiled’ for this journey.

Closing the address Dr Venki added, “I would like to wish the riders a great time on the Himalayan Odyssey and shall ask all of you present here to wish them a thrilling and safe trip. Godspeed.”

The flag off ceremony began with the riders seeking blessing of the Lamas- Buddhist Monks, who hold the spiritual thread of the Leh- Ladakh region. The proceedings culminated with the riders moving out in formation, the thump of their bikes vociferating through the premises of India Gate, as the crowd admired the motorcycles head off towards their ultimate adventure.

Life is but a journey. Enjoy the trip.