Pune duo create record – conquer Saddle Sore 1600 K on Royal Enfield Classic 350


Shalaka and Ajay Zad 2

A good rider has balance, judgment and good timing, so does a good lover! Biker couple Ajay and Shalaka Zad who have been married for 15 years created record recently by becoming the third couple in the country to successfully attempt the Saddle Sore on February 12, 2015. For this feat, the rider rides a minimum of 1,610 km or 1,000 miles in a period of 24 hours. The duo started from Pune, rode to Bangalore and returned on the same route covering the stipulated distance.

The Saddle Sore 1600 K ride, is recognized by Iron Butt Association which is dedicated to safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. Based in the United States, it has more than 50,000 enthusiastic members across the globe.

The duo set out on their Royal Enfield classic 350 on February 11 at 22:20 hours from Shell Petrol Pump, on the Pune-Bangalore Highway in Warje, Pune. They reached Bangalore the next morning at 09:14 hours. They took  a turn and reached back Pune, at the same petrol pump at 21:39 hours on February 12, 2015.

Shalaka zad and Ajay Zad IBA

Ajay Zad, an avid mountaineer who is equally passionate about riding and has been on the roads since more than 20 years says, “My wife Shalaka did the Saddle Sore 1600 K ride last year, since then even I wanted to go for it. It gives an adrenalin rush when you are awake for 24 hours, criss crossing the speeding traffic, with a pillion rider as your wife.” “I have been preparing in my mind since then. Such long ride needs a strong determination, steady and calm temperament and passion to complete the distance” smiles Zad. The ride is very taxing on physical and mental level, as one has to compete with time and speed on a two wheeler.

Zad recalls, “At some places the road is very bad, so I had to reduce the speed. Thankfully we did not face any traffic snarls or major breakdowns. On certain stretches the highway lacked good eating places” Zad was in constant touch with professional biker Devjeet Saha, who guided him on the nuances of the long ride and the selected route.

Shalaka, an interior designer by profession and a mother of a 11-year- old says, “This was my second attempt and a good experience. For a change I was on the pillion but it takes lots of challenge and patience to seat as a pillion on bike for 24 hours”.

Shalaka zad and Ajay Zad IBA saddle sore

The two have already submitted their documents from the ride in order to obtain a certificate from this prestigious association. The duo were in complete safety gear and gadget for the ride, which included helmet, riding jackets, knee guards, elbow guards, riding boots and gloves.