The gadgets added to the weight they carried on their bicycles but stopping a dhabas and building their makeshift workstations was ‘fun in itself’.
Three friends pedal from Mumbai to Kanyakumari continuing with office. (Source: Ratish Bhalerao)
Coronavirus forced office goers to accept ‘Work from Home’ as the new normal. Soon ‘Stavacation’s became a thing as employees migrated to nearby holiday destinations to juggle work and travel. But three friends from Maharashtra took this win-win arrangement a notch higher by taking month-long cycling trip in the midst of the pandemic.
Bakcen George, Allwyn Joseph and Ratish Bhalerao, friends for more than two decades pedalled from Mumbai to Kanyakumari covering a distance of 1,687 kilometres without giving the office a miss. They logged in to their systems from lodges and highway dhabas and travelled rest of the time.
George(31) first came up with the idea of ‘work on cycle’, to avoid getting caught up in negative thoughts in trying times during the November month, but his friends agreed to join him in two days without much preparation. By the end of that month, they were on their trip that continued for 26 days at a stretch and ended in December.
Even with its share of challenges, like travelling in much heat and rain, the trio found the trip ‘worth it’. Taking to IE, George called his cycling trip, ‘liberating and exhilarating’. Taking about other hurdles he faced while shuffling work and adventure, he said that the gadgets added to the weight they carried on their bicycles but stopping a dhabas and building their makeshift workstations was ‘fun in itself’.
Further detailing about their itinerary he said that they started their trip as early as 4 am and reach a commonly agreed destination by 11 am to start with work. The target was to cover 80 km daily with longer rides on weekends. Although the trip felt to be too laborious in the first few days, soon they could cope up with their routine. All the towns they covered through their trip were Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Devanagere, Hubali, Salem, Bengaluru, Tirunelveli and Madurai.
Although they did not get to cover all touristy spots during their journey due to their office timings all the other non-touristy stuff they got to do and unchartered places they explored on their bicycle made their trip memorable, claims one of the riders.
Detailing more about the experiences they gathered in their month-long journey, Bhalerao said they got to ride through beautiful scenic routes, talk to local, live different lifestyles and try different cuisines. During cycling, they also got to spend more time with each other and reflect about life in general as they stared at skies above and lay on their backs in the grassy field added the 36-year-old professional.
The trip did cost them around Rs 25, 000 each with most spent on lodging in different hotels in all the towns they covered over 26 days. The travellers did not face major challenge lodging apart from few hotels refusing rooms owing to Covid restrictions.
Seniors and colleagues at work also supported them through their trip and celebrated the successful culmination of their journey. The sojourners leaving a piece of advice to others willing to embark on such journey said anyone can accomplish such a feat with basic bicycles only if they have the proper mindset.