Sopkai Zimik’s solo cycling expedition from Shillong to Ukhrul; camping at Dzükou

A YOUNG TALENTED photographer and content creator from Ukhrul Town is on a challenging yet adventurous expedition to paddle all the way from Shillong to Ukhrul, putting trust on himself, the road, people he meet en-route, his gut and his bicycle.

Horzak Zimik a.k.a. Sopkai Zimik is a YouTuber, photographer and videographer from Ukhrul District. He is on a solo cycle ride from Shillong to Ukhrul, covering a distance of approximately 570 km. He took on the journey from Shillong on September 6 and is expected to reach his destination, Ukhrul on September 13.

“Trusting myself, trusting my bicycle, trusting my guts, trusting the road, trusting people” as his slogan, Zimik’s solo cycling has spurred much interest in the internet.

He took off from Shillong at around 3 pm, in the afternoon on September 6 and reached Guwahati on the same night at 9 pm. After taking shelter for the night at Wungmaya Lunghar’s place in Guwahati, Aran Chihui, a graphic designer, and his family came to greet him and wished him well. Zimik resumed the journey around 7 am the following morning, his 2nd day journey through Naogoan.

Sharing his ongoing journey to Ukhrul Times, Zimik said that the ride was harder than he anticipated as he faced language barriers and also lost his flashlight on the way.

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“It took me approximately 6 hours to reach Guwahati. Usually it takes me 4 hours but it was raining heavily so the road was not visible, inspite of the bright flashlight. It was risky to ride fast as most of the terrain was sloppy hills”, he narrated.

Moving towards Brahmputra river he felt the weather rapidly shift from cold Shillong to hot and humid Assam by all standard.

Zimik further narrated while on the move, “Since the weather was hot, I could not ride fast. It’s not the leg not being able to paddle; it’s more of the arm, the sunburn and the heat. Even though I drank lots of water, I sweated it all out. I was completely drenched and it was not possible for me to make it to Nagoan that day, moreover my flashlight’s battery died and it got too dark to make any progress that day.”

Zimik said he experienced the altruistic side of people when he first set out to ride. An auto driver helped him find a resort to stay over for the night at Roha. The owner of the resort (East West Resort, Roha) showed her kindness by letting him set up his tent in their hall and also offering him dinner. The innate goodness of stranger he met on his cycling expedition did not stop there. In Dokmoka, he was allowed to stay in the Tourism lodge for just Rs 500 (which was actually Rs 1500 per person).

On the flip side, trust in his cycle is not going the way as planned owing to multiple tyre puncture. The silver lining out of the tiring fixing of tyre several times is finding trust on himself, he said. There was also times when he nearly passed out due to heat and dehydration. Staying hydrated to stay put on the road meant drinking 2.5 liters of water, food as fuel, which helped him regain his focus.

He reached Dimapur on September 9 and and set out to Kohima. Zimik is already on the way to camp at Dzükou today– his 6th day into the solo cycling expedition.

Also read | Ukhrul-based videographer Sorenzan Vashum wins ‘Big Shorts Challenge Northeast India’ hosted By ABC Talkies

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