After vrooming across 35 countries in 270 days, biker back to Goregaon home

MUMBAI: He shook off the shower of petals from his hair and alighted from his bike, beaming as bright as the headlight of his BMW GSA 1200 on March 26 afternoon. And with that, Goregaon’s Debashish Ghosh (48) ended his 270-day expedition of traversing the world and becoming the first rider to travel out of the country and return after completing the entire loop on his two-wheeler.
After flagging off his journey in Mumbai last June on a Rs. 1 crore budget, Ghosh along with fellow biker Dharmendra Jain took the north-eastern route to Myanmar via Asean belt, South China, Mongolia and Russia, before entering Europe through Estonia, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, US and Australia, and then returned.
Armored in his riding gear made of weatherproof lightweight synthetic with venting, pockets, strong stitches and rubber padding, Ghosh was determined to prove that people around the world are bound by common interests. “God created man and man created these boundaries. Maybe someday these borders will blur,” he said.
It was in the eighties that got his first bike—a pint-size Kawasaki 100—to ferry him across a 10 kilometer stretch from his hostel to college in Pune before firing up his mean machine to vroom around 68,000km three decades on.
Ghosh caught the travel bug on watching Ewan McGregor and his friend embark on a quest to bike from London to New York in a television series. After initial long-distance jaunts to Singapore and London, Ghosh, who is his own boss at the security agency he runs, decided to conquer the world.
Given the length of the journey and choice of transport, he had to pack as light as possible, though that still meant having close to 50kg of clothes, toiletries, camping gear and spare parts, brake pads, puncture repair tools, laptop, camera and goggles. An app and people he met helped navigate his ride.
A meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi before embarking on his journey grabbed eyeballs but not visas that forced him to alter his route and skip Africa. Despite the obstacles, the highlight for him was connecting with people who had never met an Indian. “We met many bikers who were excited to know for the first time that the highest motorable pass in the world was in India.”
The longest he rode was for 13 hours, covering 1,200km from New York to San Francisco. “Which wasn’t much. My longest riding time has been on a trip from Siliguri back to Agra for 18 hours. There is a difference between longest riding time and the longest stretch. If the road is bad, it would take longer like it did in Dimapur.”
He crossed 35 countries and five continents. Ghosh says the experiences he had during his passage served as a turning point. Apart from transforming him into a meat eater, the trip he says has made him an emotional being. If in Equador, a 78-year-old woman rode 200km with her son to welcome him at the border before taking him home to rest, Bolivians shared their fuel since gas stations there did not have India listed among the countries they could sell to. “We also came out unscathed in Honduras where the presidential election had led to civil unrest.”
His big dream now is to circumnavigate from Norway down to South Africa. Not too far-fetched for Ghosh given the earth’s diameter is only 12,742km.

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