Duo Cycles From India To Makkah Ahead Of Hajj

by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
Duo Cycles From India To Makkah Ahead Of Hajj

Under 140 Characters

Muhammed Saleem and his friend Rizwan Ahmad Khan are on a six-month cycling adventure to the holy city of Makkah, all the way from India. Here’s their story!

The Story

Two friends from Bangalore recently shot to fame as they took up a mammoth task of cycling their way from India to Makkah for Hajj. How cool is that!
Muhammed Saleem, 53 and Rizwan Ahmad Khan, 42 pedaled 3800 km through three different countries and are now on transit in the UAE. The duo have their eyes set on their final destination, with little or no importance to age, health or anything that comes their way.  In fact, the holy month of Ramadan did not deter them from cycling towards their destination. Muhammed and Rizwan braved the scorching heat, hours of fasting and pedaling.
Credits: Khaleej Times
And, to top it all, they even lost their cycles while they were on their way to the UAE. “”Our bicycles got lost on our ferry boat ride from Bandar Abbas to the UAE. I was a little frustrated because it was the first day of fasting and it was too hot,” said Saleem. However, authorities in the Sharjah port went out of their way to help find the cycles.
Muhammed and Rizwan pedaled 1,300 km in India, 700 to 800 km in Oman, and 1,700 km in Iran. Initially they planned to cycle through India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. However, getting visas to Pakistan and Iraq turned out to be difficult and they had to alter plans. With the detour, the initial 9000km ride, was cut down to 6300km. 

The duo is now half way through their journey and are likely to reach Makkah by July 25, just in time for Hajj. “From here, we will go to the Saudi border. Then, we will go to Riyadh, to Madina, and then to Makkah. My dream is to travel in Ehram cloth to Makkah, that is why we are going to Madina first,” Saleem said.

Prepping For The Ride

This is not the first time Saleem has embarked on such a journey. Earlier in 1989, Salem cycled in Europe and once from from Kuwait to Dubai. However, cycling for over 6000km required some prior preparation. Saleem and Khan pedaled 75 to 100 kilometers per day, for six months. However, no matter the preparations, hardships are part of the journey and the duo are very well aware of it.