Midhun Khosh, a 22-year-old native of Ottappalam in Palakkad district, had been looking forward to this ride for months, preparing hard for the task he believed wasn’t easy. But unfortunately for the avid biker and engineering student, it turned out to be his last ride.
Midhun, a fourth year student of Nehru Engineering College in Pambady, met with an accident early on Wednesday morning in Karnataka’s Chithradurga, when his bike collided with a lorry. He died on the spot. According to his family, Midhun was taking part in a riders’ challenge by the US-based Iron Butt Association (IBA). His target was to ride 1,610 kilometres in 24 hours.
Midhun had not informed his family about taking part in the riding challenge. He left home on Tuesday evening, saying that he was going to Coimbatore to buy some things required for his project work. Naturally, the news of his accident and subsequent death in Karnataka came as a shock to his family back in Ottappalam.
Midhun’s body has been sent to Ottappalam after post-mortem procedures and is expected to reach home by Thursday night. His uncle Ashokan told TNM that the family had no clue about Midhun’s plan to take part in the biking challenge.
“He was very interested in riding and used to go on trips often. When my brother (Midhun’s father) got a call from the Karnataka police informing about his death, we went to his room and checked. It was then that we found a hand-drawn map of India, in which a route was marked. From Coimbatore to Bangalore to Hubli and back to Ottappalam. His target was to cover more than 1,600 km in a day,” Ashokan said.
He said that if Midhun were to complete the riding challenge, then his name would be put up on the association’s website and he would receive a certificate of appreciation.
“One of his seniors in college had completed this ride and that’s how Midhun got inspired. He had told his friends about it. When taking part in such challenges, their only aim is to complete the task on time and safety goes for a toss,” Midhun’s uncle said.
In fact, Midhun had gone live on Instagram during his ride from Ottappalam and said that he was not able to maintain his speed due to heavy traffic. Midhun used to regularly share photographs from his bike rides on his Instagram profile. A post from February this year says that he completed a 1,000-km ride from Coimbatore.
Other riding challenges by IBA include SaddleSore 1600k – 1,610 km (1,000 miles) to be completed in 24 hours, SaddleSore 2000k – 2,000 km in 24 hours and Bun Burner 2500k – 2,500 km in 36 hours.
According to the IBA website, there are five steps to earning a SaddleSore or Bun Burner 1500 certification.
1. Choose a safe route, 2. get a start witness, 3. collect and track receipts, 4. get an end witness and 5. copy and submit your documentation. Since safety is our primary concern, no pre-registration of your ride is needed. Our goal is to give you added flexibility to decide on any given day whether the combination of weather, your motorcycle and most importantly, your attitude, is ready for a big ride.