Bandipora cyclist rides to Gurez, attracts youth to adventure

Bandipora cyclist rides to Gurez, attracts youth to adventure
  • 10

Bandipora: When Mir Daniyal Nabi, 26, began paddling his bicycle up the steepest pass of Razdan on way to Gurez this summer, he was branded a “madman” trying to cycle the 80 kilometre hilly terrain from Bandipora to Gurez.
He shrugged the critics off and continued, focusing all efforts on his “dream ride”. Daniyal had informed his friends and offered an invitation to join him, before he embarked, but for obvious reasons, no one turned up.
So Daniyal left alone from home, putting his sweat in paddling his cycle up the Tragbal pass.
“My brother helped me in packing my stuff; a tent and some eatables. He even suggested me to take a needle and thread at the last minute, for without that my ride would have remained incomplete as it helped me to sew the tyres which burst twice,” said Daniyal, grateful about the value little things carry.
Despite an off-route destination with very thin traffic, Daniyal said he was overjoyed by offer for help from few curious travellers and villagers, though “some passed slurs and termed me as a madman trying to do the impossible”.
After spending more than 16 hours cycling, he reached Kanzalwan, the first village of Gurez valley.
“The sun had set, it was dark and the road was invisible, but I continued to another village Niyil. On reaching there I was overjoyed,” he said.
Daniyal set up a tent there to spend the night and the next morning he rode off to Gurez centre.
“The people there greeted me warmly, for them it was a step which will attract adventure tourism to the place,” Daniyal said.
Daniyal has a Masters in History and is a nature lover who loves to explore places. For him, Kashmir is a unique place for adventurists.
He cycles to almost all the spots of attraction around Bandipora and hill stations with toughest terrains.
“Though some may say Gurez is the toughest, I found Doban in Bandipora the toughest of all, as the terrain is steep.”
His Gurez adventure has attracted some local boys towards adventure cycling.
“More young boys have joined me and drawn interest towards cycling,” said Daniyal, the only member of Jammu Kashmir Mountain Bicycle association from Bandipora.
His cycling adventures also involve cleanliness drives around Wular Lake, tourist spots and scenic landscapes.
“It saddens me to see the scenic landscape scattered with garbage and trash, every nature lover would be saddened, so my efforts always remain to collect and dispose of that trash. It gives me satisfaction and good feelings”.
Daniyal is content that more people are appreciating his cycling efforts, which he says have attracted a lot of young boys.
“Even I was joined by young Manan Wani from neighbouring Sopore Town of Baramulla District, who won praise after riding solo to Ladakh. We cycled to the Athwatoo hill station, it was an amazing experience,” Daniyal said.
Daniyal is looking forward to the solo cross-country ride. But it may not be likely any soon as it demands a more sophisticated cycle and the one he owns is worn out and can break anywhere.
“Let’s hope for the best, fingers are crossed”, hopeful Daniyal exclaimed.