Cruise control

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Some do it for the adrenaline rush, some for the pure joy of exploring the outdoors. Gul Panag is clear about her love for the two-wheel drive. She is quick to clarify, “I love to cruise and not to race. People who race get a hunchback and usually only ride for shorter distances. While cruising, you need a comfortable ride to keep you on the vehicle for long hours without tiring you.”


An avid biker today, Gul clearly remembers the first time she got on a bike, “The feeling of being mobile on the road is like none other. I first learnt to ride on my cousin’s Enfield, who is in the army. He initially refused to teach me, so I told him I could ask one of the many hot young bachelors in his regiment to give me lessons. He eventually agreed,” she grins.

What began as a way to break free has become Gul’s favourite weekend plan. Gul has hit the road on the mean machine to explore many places. While Ladakh is one of her favourite biking destinations (she has even lived there for two years), a village called Van on the border of Uttarakhand is the most enchanting land’s end Gul has ever been to, she admits.

A proud owner of a vintage Enfield and a BMW F650, Gul is clear on her choice of ride, “I love my old Enfield for its design, especially the hump that the gas tank has.

Even my dad was an Enfield enthusiast in his younger days and is happy to see that I do things different from the herd. Though one cannot refute that the newer models are clearly more modern and sophisticated machines.”

Gul’s passion took a professional turn when she was invited to be on the jury of the Car and Bike awards, where she got to test drive some of the best wheels ever assembled. “For most people, test driving many bikes seems like a chore but I just love the wind in my hair when I’m on a two-wheeler. So it was like a dream come true for me,” she says happily.

Having managed to master the art of cruising, Gul believes it’s hardly a challenge once you’re on the bike if you have a basic sense of balance.

But every biker has tales of unfortunate biking trips that include nasty falls and Gul wasn’t spared her share of accidents.

Luckily they’ve not weakened her resolve, “Accidents are a part of the game. The falls usually happen when you’re riding through a difficult landscape and when you hit something like loose gravel or mud.

In such cases, even the most experienced riders can’t manage to stay on the vehicle. I’ve had some falls myself but then you live and learn,” she says.

I love my old Enfield for its design, especially the hump that the gas tank has

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