Four friends traveled the country in 5 days by bicycle

Arman, Mehdi, Sadiq and Badhan are four students of Animal Husbandry Faculty of Bangladesh Agricultural University (Bakribi). Traveling is their passion. Again and again they go out on bicycles to far away destinations. May they get unlimited joy in traveling.

Suddenly, while sitting in a tea shop sipping a cup of tea, they decided to go on a cross-country trip. The story of their cross country challenge is presented by Rayhan Abid, a student of the same university and a campus journalist.

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Day 1: Exciting start from Gobrakura border in Mymensingh

Their journey started from Gobrakura border at Haluaghat in Mymensingh. Bangladesh-India border is located 57 km from Mymensingh city. They left for Haluaghat from Bangladesh Agricultural University at 9 pm. Haluaghat reached the market at half past one.

After reaching there at night, we left for the border. Because their cross country challenge will start from Gobrakura border. There they faced a terrible experience.

Ahnaf Sadiq said in the description of the incident that day, “Unknowingly, because there was no BGB on the Bangladesh border, we crossed the Bangladesh border on bicycles and stayed in the ‘no man’s land’ near the Indian border or on the road passing through the unoccupied area between Bangladesh and India.”

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It was around 3 pm. The environment there is very tidy, lights on both sides of the road, but very slowly. So slowly that one starts to feel fear for no reason. Suddenly BSF sirens started ringing. Then we realized that maybe we were taking the wrong road. Maybe this siren was sounded to warn us.

Hearing the sound of the siren, how the inside of the chest was pounding at that time. We were really scared. We cycle at maximum speed and after covering the previous 100-150 meters we see Bangladesh Zero Point writing. From there it was 8 o’clock in the morning to reach Mymensingh city. After resting for a while in Mymensingh, I left for Dhaka in the afternoon.

Dhaka Mymensingh highway is the most affected by auto, CNG, motorbikes coming from the opposite direction on the color side. From Mymensingh, Trishal, Valuka left for Dhaka, but on reaching Gazipur, it was 1 am. Stop to take pictures in front of Bhawal National Park.

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We chatted with some police (SI, Constable) there for a while. Everyone was afraid to hear about them robbing and reckless driving on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway. Then decided to stay night in Gazipur.

Then I contacted Mehdi’s friend Shanta at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University and stayed in Gazipur. But it goes without saying that we are quite impressed with Shanta’s hospitality.

Day 2: Avoid accidents and police chases

The next day they left Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University at 11 am for Amara Mawa Ghat. On the way to Dhaka, he was saved from a major accident. Recalling the incident of that day, Arman Habib said, we left for Mawa Ghat by bicycle. Mehndi was saved from a big accident that day.

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A local bus of Dhaka named Samrat hit Mehdi’s bicycle from the side. Fortunately, there was no major accident during the journey. I was watching the whole incident from behind. Both mehndi and me are very afraid of this incident. We went forward and sat for a while. The policemen stationed there approached us.

They were a bit surprised to hear the details about our introduction and cycling trip. He also said that he is an athlete. He served us tea and breakfast very sincerely. Chatted with him for 40 minutes. He told us about the Ironman (Running+Cycling+Swimming competition) competition.

It was 10 pm to leave Dhaka. Dhaka-Mawa 8 lane highway is the best highway I have seen in Bangladesh. We were keeping the tripod to take pictures in front of Keraniganj Central Jail. At that time a policeman agreed to take our picture.

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We were taking selfies with tripods. The policeman got angry and ran with a stick. He came and threatened to delete the picture. Later I deleted the picture.

Then it was 3 o’clock in the night to reach Mawa Ghat. Trawler at 8 o’clock next morning. I couldn’t find any hotel nearby. After eating hilsa from Mawa Ghat, I sat in the hotel and rested till morning.

Day 3: Cross the Padma by trawler and face dire conditions

The third day starts with departure from Mawa Ghat to Barisal. First they crossed the Padma river by trawler. They were going by bicycle along the walking road after seeing the Google map. An interesting incident happened. The road took them to the mustard field. They saw a few houses in front of them.

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They took the road of the house yard and went up to the highway. Narrating the third day of the journey, Mehdi Hasan said, I came to Madaripur via Shariatpur. I was cycling in Kalkini upazila of this district. Seeing us, some asked with interest where we came from.

After listening to the description of the bicycle journey, he asked for tea and breakfast very sincerely. After tea and breakfast, I left for Gournadi. From Kalkini we took the Dhaka Barisal highway. This was our worst situation of the entire journey.

Buses running at 80-100 kmph on one lane Dhaka-Barisal highway, overtaking, dark night, crooked highway. I was facing dire situations every moment. When the bus was overtaking at a speed of 80 km, it felt like it was going to crash.

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It also happened that while overtaking the bus from the front, we had to drop the bicycle down the road without finding a way. From Kalkini to Barisal, after crossing about 45 kms, I entered Dhansindi hotel. The road looked like a nightmare.

The hotel owner’s rude behavior there was very insulting to us. A surprise was waiting for us after reaching Barisal. A friend of Badhan called us to his house. Going there, the home food looked like nectar.

Day 4: Departure for Patuakhali University of Science and Technology

Describing the events of the fourth day, Badhan said, ‘Due to the fatigue of the three-day journey, leg pain and body ache, we decided to ride the bike less on the fourth day. After lunch that day, I left for Patuakhali Science and Technology University.

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‘We didn’t know who we would be staying with at the university but we had faith that an arrangement would be made. Finally, with the help of Mehdi’s friend Tanmay, Rocky, Rifat and I stayed in Rifat’s room and Armaan and Mehdi stayed on the 2nd floor.


The fifth and final day: the story of reaching the destination and a new experience

They left for Kuakata around 6 am from friends of Patuakhali Science and Technology University. As they had not cycled much the previous day, they set out on the fifth day to complete the remaining 85-90 kilometers of the destination.

Not to be forgotten is the embarrassing situation created for consuming date palm juice on the way. For the last 50 km the wind was against them. They cycled all day and reached Kuakata zero point around 9 pm.

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Ahnaf Sadiq said about the experience after reaching the destination, ‘Our cross country journey is over. According to the calculation of Strava app, we have traveled 600 km by bicycle.

‘Cycling 610 km was really challenging. I met different people. Sometimes it was scary and sometimes it was exhilarating. Hopefully next time we will go out of the country by bicycle.’

Author: Shikathi, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh


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2023-06-01 09:02:36