Pursuit of Happiness

Off-Road Bliss

For Ranjeet Koul, country manager APAC at Aeris Communications, off-road biking keeps his mind and soul in sync

Ranjeet Koul, country manager APAC at Aeris Communications, misses no chance to go off-road biking on Aravalli hills with his group of friends. 

Biking was not a hobby he picked up early on; but, he had always been interested in cars and bikes. “My father was in defense forces, and he loved going for shooting and camping. Those were things that I enjoyed too. As a kid, I had always been a sports enthusiast but I can say that, in my family, I was the first to show a keen interest in automobiles.” He was part of several biking groups in Gurugram and, from one of them, a friend introduced Koul to off-road biking more than four years ago. Since then he has been hooked. 

Initially, he did biking only around Gurugram and Manesar and, being a person with a spiritual bent of mind, he remembers how his first biking experience was an eye-opener. “I wanted to expand myself outside myself and, my first off-road biking trip up Aravali Hills and down Manesar helped me do that,” he says.

Off-road biking destinations in Aravalli are developed by biker groups, he says, and that there are just two seasons to ride. There is the winter season that ends in December and summer that ends in May, which is when they take their Bullets out in the morning around 5 am. 

Now, as work keeps Koul busy, he prefers taking out his bike out only during weekends. “As a leader, you need the weekend to take your mind off the daily grind and return with a refreshed mind. These biking sessions actually help me think more clearly on how I can grow my company. I am in sync with myself when I am biking,” Koul says. 

He owns two bikes at the moment — Harley Davidson and Royal Enfield 500 cc – and the latter is his favourite. “I believe Harley is not made for off-road biking in India since it is a very low bike. Royal Enfield is a tough machine and has a good grip, which is needed for doing off-roading here. I also have emotional value attached to this bike, sometimes I feel there are decisions that we both take together,” he says. 

His most serene stretch off the road, in the past four to five years, was at Manesar. It was when he, along with two other friends who are also business leaders, went 10 km uphill. It was certainly not easy since it had rained the entire day. It was only their strong spirit that kept them going.

After climbing 10 km uphill, the three friends spend half of their day inside a picturesque, hot-water lake. “I am always out of words to explain the feeling of reaching the lake by the end of the day. You feel satisfied that your strategy worked,” Koul says. 

Though Shimla is also a much-liked destination, his first love will always be Aravalli, he says. It is here that he goes for his endless rides to appreciate life.