#HappyFathersDay: My Daddy strongest, says daughter of 66 year old biker
“You don't stop biking as you age, you start ageing when you stop biking”--- Lt Col. Sohan Roy (Retd.)
He has ridden over 200000 kms and is still revving! My father and a legendry biker; Lt Col. Sohan Roy (Retd.), retired from 15th Battalion TheKumaon Regiment (INDORE) after almost 30 yrs of service. Daddy made his first Limca Book of Records in 2009 when he first rode a PULSAR 220 to Ladakh and Khardungla (World's highest Motorable Road) and also paid homage at Kargil War Memorial. He made a record of being the oldest man to reach to the world's highest motorable road.
This student of Allahabad Boys High School graduated from Officers' Training Academy, Chennai. And with the army life that my father lived, there is a go - getter within him that has even driven me to his world of motorcycling.
Football, boxing, marathon running, he did everything possible to be on the go at all the times. With a tight schedule and army decorum to be followed, a hidden desire within him kept growing … motorcycling!! A bright student, a dedicated army officer and a wonderful father, with this, there is a soul within him that says ‘never say die'.
A severe knee injury that turned into osteoarthritis could not push him to go for a replacement because of daddy's never give up attitude and so he just went for arthroscopy only. In 1999, when he was admitted in an army hospital, before his knee replacement he was asked that how does he commute daily. ‘On bike sir!' he said and the doctor was astonished and commended him for his determination and did arthroscopy for daddy. That moment was a turning point for daddy that added to his determination.
MAKING OF THE ANGEL ON THE ROAD:
However as problem aggravated, he walked with the help of a walking stick and settled for a gearless scooter for almost 12 years. He had to forego riding his motorcycle! It was like taking away his life away from him. But for a man who reads ‘IMPOSSIBLE' as ‘I-AM-POSSIBLE', knee ailment didn't come in way of his passion of biking. From a Kinetic Honda gearless scooter he graduated to a Hero Honda Splendour motorcycle by fixing ends of his walking stick on elastic loops fixed on the leg and saree guard. And then finally he got his ‘Wizard' (Royal Enfield Classic 500cc)
He now rides through rough and tough terrains with support of his wits, grits and will power only. Today, at 66 years of age he is living his passion of motorbikingto and has travelled to far off places in the hills, the mountains of Ladakh, Sikkim and the Northeast India and making records and winning hearts of many.
He still suffers from Osteoarthritis but who would believe that he is the same man who is called ‘ANGEL ON THE ROAD'. Leaving behind all physical limitation this wizard on road kick starts and throttles his bike to plains, mountains, ghats, off roads and water beds too.
Now being a fauji's daughter I have seen various hurdles that my father's faced in his life due to his knee that even made walking a difficult experience for him. Yet, there was no looking back, no complaint and in fact it never seems like daddy suffered from arthritis.
FULL THROTTLE WITH DADDY
There is a sense of maturity, patience and clear riding skills required to cross through the tough roads. Daddy has it in him and watching him ride, I slowly saw myself being inclined towards the world of riding. Having seen daddy ride to places at this age, on terrains that are rough, demanding and at times life threatening has expanded the horizon of my world and today I too am a part of the riding community. I still can't forget my ride with him all the way from Jorhat to Shillong and Arunanchal Pradesh. Beautiful eastern meadow, not even once did I feel the jitters while crossing rough terrains. With time and years the feeling of being a rider started to grow within me and today I am part of few groups that are into biking and I do have friends who live the same passion.
Where daddy rides a Royal Enfield, I ride a gearless scooter to uphill, ghats, rough roads keeping pace with the motorcycles. Determined to buy a motorcycle someday soon, I dream to ride with dad to those roads that have had the privilege to see the wizard throttle the bike engine and role wheels on them.
A journey of motorcycles as a legend who has lived and still does has given me a new vision and perspective towards the world to live free, ride free and live safe.
Dad's historic rides –
* 2010 – He paid homage at Rezang la War Memorial where late Major Shaitan Singh and 114 JOs and other ranks who fought the Chinese army to the ‘Last man Last round'. He also rode to the Batalik Sector and stayed there with the Aryan tribe in their village home. On way back from Rezang la War Memorial he rode solo from Rezangla to Delhi.
* In 2012, on the The GOLDEN JUBILEE of the SINO - INDIA WAR of 1962, he rode all by himself to pay Homage to the Martyrs of Sino - India War 1962 in Rezangla, Chushul in Ladakh. Was honoured to lay a Ceremonial Wreath at Rezangla War Memorial. He carried a scroll with the accounts of the Battles in Ladakh and on every halt displayed and spoke to people about the battles of 1962.
* In 2013, he started his historical solo ride to pay homage to the Martyrs of SIACHEN GLACIER, at Siachen Base Camp, after a Ceremonial Wreath laying ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, New Delhi on 15th August 2013. He carried a plaque with the details of Casualties, height, snowfall, oxygen level and temperature prevailing in Siachen Glacier for awareness of people. Paid Homage at Siachen War Memorial at Siachen Base Camp.
The author is a communication professional and is a biking enthusiast.