RAIDING THE HIMALAYAS LIKE A BOSS
Raid de Himalaya is one of the most challenging Motorsport rallies across the world. The rally runs through some of the highest altitudes from Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Ladakh and Srinagar among many other toughest motorable roads in the world. Forget winning Raid de Himalaya, even completing the raid is considered as a matter of pride for people. The temperature is ruthless dropping way below zero degrees, the roads are full of gravel, slush & running river streams and then there is always a danger of 500 ft vertical drop even if you miss the dirt by 6 inches. This annual holy trip has been around for over 15 years now.
Meet Sarah Kashyap, a 31 year old adventure enthusiast from Delhi who works full time for a motorcycle company. She is the first and the only Indian woman to complete the grueling Raid de Himalaya. Achieving this feat was in no way an easy task. She was the only girl among the 147 participants, out of which only 40 were able to cross the finish line (Sarah was one of them). On the sixth and the last day of the ride, Kashyap slipped on ice and had the 180kg motorcycle on top of her leaving her with a cracked collar bone. It was sheer determination and her bravado that pushed her to cross the finish line after taking strong pain killers from the emergency medical support team.
Sarah’s journey began way before accomplishing her attempts at SJOBA rally and Raid de Himalaya. She started riding at the age of 16 and is breaking all stereotypes since then. She calls herself a rebellious daughter and her parents have complete faith in her decisions and ability to deal with situations. She has been on all the National Highways of India covering all the states over years on her motorcycle. Being a woman doesn’t stop her. In 2014 Kashyap rode from Bangalore to Ladakh and back to Chandigarh covering a mammoth distance of 6000 kms in 20 days. On an average that comes up to riding 300kms every day at high altitudes, which can put even the toughest men to shame.
On her roller-coaster journey in life she says “Women in India think too much. We should just stop thinking and start doing. By taking one thing at a time, we as women can achieve everything that we want to. People in India are supporting. I mostly get thumbs up when they see me on the road”.
Sarah Kashyap is a perfect example of ‘Live Before You Die’ and will be riding to the North East of India soon.