Trupti Sarmalkar, an avid biker from Mumbai who has been on many biking excursions. Being so passionate about biking, she has got her name into the India Book Of Records and The Limca Book of Records.
I converse with Trupti about her passion for biking and her journey so far:
Soumil: So Trupti, since when have you been biking?
Trupti: I have always had a love for biking. My father had a Royal Enfield Bullet and I used to kick start the same in my childhood. After crossing the legal riding age, I started to ride non-geared scooters and gradually, progressed to geared motor bikes. Once I joined the group, Bikerni, my passion for trips and serious biking developed.
Soumil: Why did you choose biking and not motorsport or something else?
Trupti: Whenever I am on my bike, I get a sense of freedom and openness which I cannot get anywhere else. The feeling that I get when I ride is simply irreplaceable!
Whenever I ride on the road, the nature never fails to fascinate me and I get a complete sense of independence; you cannot do that on the racetrack and also not in the closeness and comfort of a car!
Soumil: How did this passion for biking develop?
Trupti: I feel that the seeds of my passion were sown way back in my childhood, when my father used to ask me to kick start his ‘Bullet’. I used to feel absolutely delighted and my love for bikes started right there. When I joined ‘The Bikerni’ a few years ago, I got in touch with a few avid bikers who in turn inspired me to take up biking seriously.
After I joined this group, I learnt the finer aspects of biking and my riding style has improved significantly ever since I have joined them.
Soumil: According to you, what is the difference between a long biking trip and a short distance commute?
Trupti: Long trips on bikes are way different than the regular commute. When you are riding for a long distance, you are tested mentally and physically and it makes you a tougher and a more rational person.
Soumil: Out of all the trips that you have completed, which one is your favourite and why?
Trupti: I’ve traveled to many of parts of India on my bike, right from Goa to the Himalayas, but I feel that my trip to the Spiti Valley was by far the best. The beauty of the Himalayas is just fascinating and it often makes you stop your bike and gaze at it! The trip was incredibly challenging due to the lack of proper roads in the area, river crossings and many other challenges and obstacles. I enjoyed pushing myself to the limit and I feel that I have improved both, as a rider and as a person after that trip!
Soumil: I assume that you have ridden a lot of bikes in your years of biking. So out of all of them, which one is your personal favourite?
Trupti: You are right, I have ridden many bikes of multiple brands and various models but in my opinion, nothing can beat the Royal Enfield Classic 350cc. The balance and simplicity of the bike makes me want to ride it every single day!
Soumil: What have you achieved through biking?
Trupti: When I started biking, I purely used to ride for the sheer joy and not to win any awards or recognition.
Today, I feel incredibly privileged and blessed to be among the very few female riders who have reached the highest motorable road in the world, the Mana Pass. We were the first all-woman team to achieve that and we got our names in the Limca Book of Records.
I was also a part of the group of female riders who travelled to the Khardung La pass on a 110cc TVS Scooty, an adventure which got group’s name into the India Book of Records. But what matters most is the satisfaction that you achieve after a trip, not the records and laurels.
Soumil: Did you plan to get your name into the Limca Book Of Records?
Trupti: I didn’t really plan for it! The opportunity knocked on my door and I just couldn’t let go of it! I feel that this is purely a result of the hard work and persistent efforts that my group and I have been making since the past few years.
Soumil: Apart from that what else would you like to do or achieve in the future?
Trupti: To be honest, I don’t really plan for the future! I like to take things up as and when they come, so as of now, I have nothing planned for the future but there definitely a lot to come!
I do have a few things which I’d love to do in the near future. For instance, I wish to see the entire country on my bike and also go to foreign countries like Bhutan to gain experience of different terrains. Each ride offers a different challenge and I’d like to take on as many challenges as I can!
Soumil: Who you would like to thank for your success?
Trupti: It would have been very difficult for me to fulfill my dreams and my passion without the unconditional support that my family has given me. My husband has been a strong pillar of support for me and he never fails to encourage me.
I feel indebted by the overwhelming support I received during my initial riding days; I still get the same support today and I am thankful for it. My best riding buddies have stood, rather ridden by my side and boosted my confidence during the strenuous rides. Away from home, they have been my family and strength. My best buddy and mentor Sheetal Bidaye, Shubhangi Manjarekar, Sneh Joshi and many more have been very helpful, both on and off the road.
Trupti is a homemaker, Yoga and a fitness trainer. Despite her age (51), she still continues to manage her work and her passion, inspiring people with her story. She has also achieved notable accolades for Yoga, making her a superwoman of her own kind.