'Adventure Keeps Me Alive'
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Swati Sharma
Adventure has always been a part of her life since she was a child. Saiyami Kher has learned to swim in lakes, climb mountains, and trek in the Himalayas. "I have learned how to surf and I think adventure is something that just keeps me alive," says Saiyami.
The actress, who was last seen in the movie 8 A.M. Metro, recently finished filming a documentary with Rannvijay Singha about riding a bicycle across the country’s various terrains. "While filming the documentary, I travelled through the Italian mountains on a mountain bike," says Saiyami, who came up with the concept of this documentary herself and took on this project because of her love for sport and adventure.
TWO WHEELS AND A WILL
Saiyami says, "We cycled over 300 kilometres. The distance wasn’t an issue; it was the uphill climb on a bicycle with all my luggage that worried me. I finished my first pass, which was about 2000 metres long, in a single day. We climbed around 4000 metres in total, including 2,000 metres in one day. So the climbs were extremely difficult, and I believe that the hot weather, followed by rain and hailstorm, contributed to this." Bike packing, or multi-day bike trips with your gear strapped to you and your bike, is also gaining popularity among the daring.
"I wish I had taken much more time to prepare... I felt rushed because of the shoot. I used to go to Cane Road and perform as many climbs as I could as I trained for two months on hills. At home, I also had a stationary trainer bike that I frequently used. There are only hours and miles spent on the saddle. For me, the most challenging parts of the ride were the climbs because I’m used to riding on flat terrain. I had never really done gravel biking before, that presented another challenge. Thus, riding on gravel was a first for me," she adds.
BIKE PACKING IS THE TRAVEL TREND
The allure of foregoing luggage carriers and carbon-emitting transportation for multi-day adventures on your bike has attracted a new generation of tourists. She spent 2.5 weeks in Italy, visiting towns, mountains, beaches, and countryside. "The goal is to spread awareness about the new bike packing trend in India. Bike packing is a popular activity among adrenaline junkies who travel across a country with a bicycle and a bag, exploring and taking short breaks in between," says the actress, who also plays a cricketer in Ghoomer, a para athlete with one arm amputated. She is also excited for Agni, in which she will play a firefight- er.
ON MY SIDE
"I’ve bike p a c k e d before. I’ve always thought that exploring a new place is best done on a bike. I previously bike packed from Berlin to Prague and fell in love with exploring new places by bike. That’s why I couldn’t wait to embark on this bike packing adventure in Italy. On difficult days, my motivation was finishing so I could eat pizza and gelato," she laughs adding, "I have the best team on my side. That added to the enjoyment. Rannvijay Singha and three other cyclists were riding along- side me. While two of them have previouly transitioned to bikepacking, the other three are all professional cyclists. Thus, there were five of us in total."
NEXT ON BUCKET LIST
"I really want to do the Ironman that I’ve been training for, but it takes a lot of dedication and time. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but it’s been pushed back twice. But, hopefully, the Ironman will be next on my list, and after that, I’d like to learn how to snowboard. So snowboarding comes next, and then there’s kite surfing, which I’d like to learn. So these three things are what I hope to accomplish in the next three years," she signs off.