Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cross Country Ride - Greens to Browns to Whites

Got to hold Sand & Snow in the same trip :)

CrossCountry? Well almost, baring a few hundred KMs north and south of the map. 2 Guys, 2 bikes, 8 states, 9 days, 4300 kms. Barren lands of Rann, Thar desert sand dunes, Rains, Himalayan Snow peaks and high altitude trekking all in 1 trip.


Click here for a Write up on the trip by Vicky

Ashvin has a go at Kutch and unfortunately couldn’t make it. But this inspires Vicky to ride all the way from bangy. Vicky puts it up with me and we have a ride on our hand. I suggest IBA Saddle sore attempt along with it :D. Started with bangy-kutch-bangy plan. He wants to go now but I have a track day at Kari. He sets the plan to start 16th evening. He gets hold of the India map and suggests if we can take 1 more day we can check out Jaisalmer Rajasthan. Well wats the point in coming to office for 1 day, let’s take 1 more day so we get 9 days I say. Now Vicky plots on a kettta(bad) plan going way up till manali!. Builds out a master plan working his way through to every available map. Why ride bike the whole way can aswell continue and get ourselves back by air and train. Boy do we have a big ride here that’s starts with a 1700km day. We hardly publicize the plan as it seemed outrageous and tight. But that kept our interests on.

Though I was skeptical of taking on such a physical abuse, the thought of crossing states and riding to far distant lands, checking out desert dunes and snow peaks all in the same ride was too tempting to be logical. As suggested by Vicky, got myself cramsters, got the bike coil winded to support a 100 watt bulb (not much use cos the stupid faring lens design). Vicky gives me his hella lamp to go along with it. Felt short of time and kinda felt that exams are approaching!!. Realize too late that the disk pads and chain set may not last the whole trip. With short of time I carry with them with the hope I would just make it.

Day 0: Odo:56650 Trip:0
16th come to office all packed to scuttle out by noon. But Vicky is held up more than expected. Arun sees me off from office wishing us luck. I get to shell petrol bunk and Santoosh comes to be a witness for our not to be Saddle sore attempt. Its 5 pm by the time we start. Vicky looses enthu for the SS attempt as we could not start by 2pm and have to do the worst stretch between davangere and hubli in the dark. I still wanted to give it go. Vicky also wants to try it out and we speed towards to tumkur highway. I am slow. Dunno if it’s the cramsters, or the tires or the wind whatever, I am moving 10-15 kmph less than wat I usually do. 90 being luxury. Loose Vicky many times only to find him waiting.

Day 1:
Reach hubli by 12.30 am with hopes of SS attempt not looking good. Get casual on the food and loose more time. Let’s keep the SS attempt for next time. I kinda feel like I failed in exams :D Couple of red bull breaks. We have thick fog on the roads after hubli, thick enough to slow us down. Then I loose Vicky. Dunno y the bike's behaving like that. At one point the bike was stuck at 70 with full throttle. Waste time of looking for fuel in dead of night with 300 kms range not particularly help full. Even the center stand is misaligned. Vicky is in pune by 7 am and we want to take break for few hours. I take it more casually taking pix from my new toy the fone cam. The Approach to pune was simply awesome. The awesome curves, bridges, tunnels etc. Was confused weather to rip the roads or stop and take pix. Did a bit of both and was in pune by 9 am. Ashvin and PraveenS join us in our few hours break. It happens that the chain is damn tight with no play at all. Get it fixed and also the center stand. May be that was the reason for the bikes unruly behavior last night. I take a bit of rest at PraveenS's place while Vicky at ashvin's place. Have a lazy lunch and we start off by 3.15 pm. It’s very hot around. But the roads out of pune as much fun as the roads approaching it. We are in panvel by 5.15 crossing the khandala ghat with trip meter 941. Wow that’s my highest in 24 hours ever. Hope it counts though it’s got a few hours rest inbetween. I loose my goggles here as I rode off keeping it on the cramster starting of from a break :(. This is where the torcher begins. Have to get to Ahmadabad highway crossing thane but for this we have to go through mumbra. One horrible stretch going through ultra crowded narrow town. Real frustrating ride out of the mumbra area and I take a wrong turn and enter Mumbai and get stuck in traffic jam. Loose half hour by the time I get back to Vicky. But we are not off the hook yet. 8.15 by the time we get on to open highway. Ride for 3 hours and stop for dinner.

Day 2:
The lazy dinner break stretches to the next day. We find the food very delicious and the waiters very polite and courteous, even though it was a small hotel. Very unlike in other states. Disappointed that we are still not in Ahmadabad. Have to ride through the second night in trot to catch up with the schedule which got messed up on day 1. Now its not gonna be ne easy as the Vicky’s tire had a puncture and not surprisingly found a puncture shop nearby. I guiltily sneak out a 20 min sleep on the ledge while Vicky is working on getting the puncture fixed. We get on the road and that’s a lot of truck traffic in this route who can change lanes quite fast ne time. But all of them follow traffic rules as in letting faster vehicles overtake from the right be it even our bikes. Couple of more Red bull breaks. Me thinking all the time how nice had we reach abad earlier so that we could have been sleeping now :). 4.45 am we get to bharuch 150 kms short of abad and Vicky cant ride ne more. Trip 1359. We shack up on a highway motel. It was quite nice and comfy and crash for a few hours. 12.30 We start moving after having some grub. We have some rest but still no lettof by the trucks. As Hitanshu has said its mayhem of trucks in this road. The roads have become bumpy with continues truck movement. It’s like have to dodge trucks on and on for hours. Reach a'bad by 2.30 very tired and get into a nice AC hotel for a long lunch. It seems we would get to Rann of Kutch at just sun down and can’t go ahead. So we decide stop at a small town called 'pathidi' for the night so that we could check out rann and move out in the morning. Gujarat roads are simply awesome. Not long before we get to the town of virangam. Damn wat is that place, very dusty and dirty and horrible. Looking at the approach roads I thought it does lead to a big city compared to KA standards. Vicky says pathidi also similar small town. There goes my hope of resting for the night in nice comfy hotel!!. The interior road from virangam to pathidi in late evening was fun to ride. We felt euphoric. Though nothing special around to describe, but we were exited cos it looked completely different to the country side we are used to in KA. Get to Pathidi by sun down with trip meter 1610. A small dusty town as I feared. This town has got the only guest house kinda stuffed deep inside the meandering crowded streets. The room nothing to say about, but that we were lucky to have a fan at least. Vicky befriends the young witty caretaker Manis. Have dinner. Gujarat hotel food is simply awesome be it a highway hotels or small dusty town restaraunts. Too good food. Then we chat with Manis and his friend for some time. Will have to get whatever rest possible in that room kind of holdup. Get calls from friends asking intriguing questions like "wat the **** are you guys still doing in pathidi ?"

Day 3:
As usual get lazy on getting up. Heady towards Kharakoda which is on the edge of Little Rann. Had we reach morvi the previous day as per schedule we could have attempted the great Rann crossing which also included risk of get lost. But Vicky says lil Rann is enough to get the taste of it. It seems the salt cultivating season has just opened and there is continuous traffic of truck in and out of rann. The path is only visible as the depression caused by the truck movements. We get in like 10 kms which was enough to take us away from ne significant land marks and could see the mostly the horizon. The ground dry and cracked open for miles in every direction. And we get click happy. Vicky wants to shoot a few Wild Assess locally known as ‘khachhar’ that live around Rann. Not long before he finds a local who would escort us to the edge of the Rann where we spotted 4 Wild assess. Vicky is happy that he caught the only large animal that lives around rann. The local pleads for ne memento as remembrance for visit to his home. Vicky gives his sunscreen cream, to the overjoyed local. We try some speed dash, vids and also jump on small salt water canal'et. After a couple of hours play its time to get back on our journey. Wats the fun in entering rann if u don’t loose your way and that’s wat I did. Thanks to the confusing truck movements in different paths. Manage to get to Vicky waiting outside. Vicky shows of the pix to the intrigued Manis. Manis also takes us to a place in the town where we could see nesting storks and trots. Offers to take us to the wetlands nearby to spot flamingos, but we don’t have time and we skip it.

Have lunch and start as late as 1.30 pm with trip meter 1653. My center stand is off again. Finally fix it, but is has scraped of a lil rubber of the side of the tire. Vicky uses the map which Ashvin gave us in pune, to find the route to jaisalmer and consults a local to find a shorter route which is not even on the map. Gujarat roads awesome as ever are a pleasure to ride. We even spot colorful wild peacocks by the side of the roads. Which only run away by the time Vicky could get his SLR's focus on them. Stop n number times for the pix. Really enjoying the ride in the lands we never rode before. By 6 pm we come across the Gujarath/Rajastan border. Feel the excitement, yet another state we gonna set foot for the first time. More so for Vicky as had never gone so north on the map in his life. Being coaxed by Vicky, I click pix on my expensive fone while on the move. I simply love the tank bag which is coming in so handy. I could keep the fone in one of the pockets and pull it out for a pic on the move. Click the last possible glimpses of the day before sundown. We stop for a sunset pic and find decorated horse being ridden by the owner. We wanted to take some pix sitting on it. Vicky goes in first. But the horse not happy with ne 1 other than the owner riding it shuffles here and there and has go on unsuspecting Vicky with a kick on his lower stomach. He drops to the ground in pain. It takes some time for him to recover. Talk about challenges in riding!. That must have hurt real bad. Helplessly nothing much i could do but offer water. After some rest he feels like he can ride now. It’s dark now and let there by light. But no lights, my bike's complete AC system has failed. Nothing is working. Man not on this trip!. Only the auxiliary lamp is running with DC which is not bright enough. Now Vicky with his ultra bright luminator head lights is the eyes for both of us. Super smooth rajasthani roads and hardly ne traffic, means I can ride parallel to Vicky riding by his bikes light. This works well, though Vicky has to ride slower now and limited to 100-110 kmph :D. Get to Barmer by 9 pm but not before a supposed race with a car. Fueling up at the barmer the lads from the car come to us and say that was amazing riding on the highway and they had never seen ne thing like that. They said like we over took their car when they were doin 125kmph!!. Funny my 5kmph error Speedo never crossed 110 :D I change the blown fuse but its no use. Electrical system is still dead. Do the same tandem riding and get to Jaiselmer covering the 150 kms in 2 hours by 11 pm. Vicky finds a hotel as soon as we enter the town and get straight into the room. Have food and crash out for the day.

Day 4:
This day is a roam around jaiselmer day. Mentally get ready for a hot sunny day, but for our pleasant surprise Jaiselmer in Rajasthan is not hot!. Its temp is much comfy compared to Bangalore. Looks like we are there at the right time. Our first place to see the Jaiselmer fort near to our hotel. Vicky selects a guide from n number of ppl that approach us. The old yet energetic guide shows us around the living fort where the 3000 ppl actually live in the fort. It was fun roaming around in the narrow streets inside the fort. The whole fort is made of yellow sand stone and so are most of the buildings outside the fort. A view of the city from atop the fort has all houses made from the same yellow stand stones. Then we hook up the same guide to show us around the jaiselmer. We visit many places like, Gadisar Lake, Patva haveli. Have a rajasthani lunch and head to khurdala ghost town as suggested by Ashvin. Was a nice place and the desert road was fun to ride. Rajasthan is simply much greater than my expectations. After the ruins it time to visit the Sam sand dunes. First time in life am I gonna see and feel sand dunes. That’s 40 kms from city. The moment we get there, we are assaulted by competing camel rider who want us to pick their camel for a ride. They don’t even give us few mins to see the sand dunes. One guy whose camel's name is 'Michael Jackson', himself decides that if am gonna ride on a camel then it would be his. But Vicky more unlucky as 8-10 ppl pull him around to grab him for their camel. The guide in the fear of getting beaten up absconds. We soon feel like to head back. But a cop show up and clears the mob and puts us onto a camel. Finally some peace. This camel’s name is 'ShahRukh Khan' it seems!!. Have to learn the balancing act to stay on the camel when ever it gets up of sits. It was fun on the dunes. We even test rode the camel, though it seemed to listen more to the commands coming out from the owner’s mouth. Stay there till sun down. It was amazing. The cool breeze all the time. Get to the parking only to find the cribbing guide waiting for us, who had came out of hiding. Ride back to the town. We realize we are still behind schedule by 1 day and wanted to make it to Amritsar by 4 pm the next day to catch up on the gate closing ceremony at the waga border. And even contemplate on starting then and ride through the night to get the Amritsar and catch up with the original schedule. But were too tired for that and decide to start of very early morning.

Day 5:
Our scheduled departure or 3.30 am materialized at 6.00 am with trip meter 2243. We needa ride hard to make it to waga border by 4 pm to catch the ceremony. Day breaks riding through Rajasthan and we hafta to stop for a few pix. Then it should be nonstop ride. But a few kms more we needa stop again. Awesome Rajasthan roads and amazing vistas around not letting us ride long. Not long before we Vicky spots some sand dunes a lil off the road. 1 more stop and we offroad near to the dunes and play around. Glad that we din ride the night else we would have missed all this. We get on to the road and only to stop again not long after. The ride through Rajasthan is turning out to be the highlight or our trip. Thought Rajasthan would be very bland and nothing much to see around. Couldn’t be more wrong. Long straight roads, very lil traffic, eyes could catch stuff quite far from either side of the road. Reaching Amritsar early evening seems farfetched. Having a gala time on the empty highways. At one point Vicky says he is running out of the fuel. I so wanted to lend fuel to his 700 kms range machine, where the fuel for meant for my 300 km range bike: D but a fuel bunk was found soon. alas! :D. We are in Bikaner by 11 am avging less then 50kmph thanks to our n number of pic stops. Don’t find Bikaner as nice as jaiselmer and head towards to Amritsar. The sand on either side of the road turns yellowish compared to reddish tone before Bikaner. The vistas mind blowing none the less. Forcing us to stop ever more number of times. Really liked the arrow straight empty long highways which we hardly see riding down south. Since this route is close to Pakistani border, we see quite some military activity as regards to parking of trucks tanks, and military vehicles moving on the highway. We stop at a place which was like mini base, with bunkers and tanks hidden under camouflaged covering. Obviously were denied the opportunity for clicking ne pix. We hardly have ne food saving time :D

At around 5 pm we take a right turn towards Punjab state, riding to a town named Abhor. With in a few kms the scenery changes drastically as we get away from the desert. It’s now green on either side and could even see the threat of rain. It was disappointing a bit. A green drape on either side of the road after a ride in the desert should seem very welcome, but for me at least it was like coming back to my own territory after and outlandish ride. Cos it all seemed like Home. As we entered Punjab we are stopped by the cops for a routine checkup. These cops were very friendly and on knowing our journey offered us and few grapes and chatted with us for some time. We even had a pix session. Bid adieu and started riding, after getting directions from the cops. Punjab welcomes us with a dust storm. Signs of rains ahead. Though Vicky is exited at the possibilities of riding in rain, I am no mood to get wet. The roads turn bad, the road discipline non existent, and continuous crowded towns. Soon I stop Vicky as I need to water proof myself and my luggage. We stop at a fuel bunk just as it started raining. The fuel bunk owner a very nice person offered us tea and even went out in rain to get the milk. How ever the roads, what ever the road discipline the ppl of Punjab are very friendly and helpful. I fuel up again 1 of the thousands of times I do on the trip cos of the short range. Every time I get the same questions as where we come from and we get increasingly surprised reactions as we get away and away from home. Its dark now and even the DC lights fail. The battery is completely dead. Feel like my bike is falling apart. To my hard luck Vicky’s tail lamp too fuses. Now I gotta run 200 kames in dark, rains, bad roads without lights. Tandem riding like previous night not helping as the roads were pathetic and Vicky needed to swerve to avoid potholes. We improvise and I ride ahead. His head light is so powerful that I get sufficient light riding 20 feet ahead of him. Much brighter than my stock light before :D. This stretch taking a toll on me and I could say it was the worst session in my entire biking life!!. Was not any easier to Vicky as he had to take care of both of us with his head light. At the end of the bad stretch I drop my bike while taking u turn and burn my leg on the silencer in the process. Ride on none the less and get to Amritsar by 11 pm with trip meter 3093 covering around 850 kms for the day and shack up in a nice hotel near golden temple. We not gonna sleep so soon are we? Have dinner and get inside the 24 hour open famous Golden temple for Vicky’s night photography. It was damn cold and had to walk bear foot on the chilled marble. It was amazing to be in the temple complex. So peaceful. It was nice to be at place which I has only heard and seen in on TV. Crash out late for the day.

Day 6:
We have to get to manali today. As usual get up late. We visit Golden temple again in the day time. Spend quite some time there. Even get into the sanctum sanctuary. Even though thousands of ppl visit each day the whole temple complex is kept very clean. We buy the kirpan(traditional Panjabi knife) as a souvenir. Back in the room by 12 pm. But feel coming so close we have to check out waga border ne way ceremony or not. It’s a 40 km ride from Amritsar. But first we see the Jalianwala bag where thousands of ppl lost life during freedom struggle. We start towards waga border dodging the highly crowded Amritsar city traffic. Road discipline non existent. Then we get on to the highway leading to the border. As expected we were not allowed past the first gate. It was possible only after 5 O clock. Though tempted to stay back we had to move one, else we would not catch up the schedule. We were supposed to have done this a day ago. Take a few pix and have photo shoot at a milestone near by. Well it said "Lahore 23 kms!". Start of from Waga border by almost 2 pm. Next stop was to be Pathankot. But the horrible Punjab roads and traffic continue. It was a taxing 2.5 hours till we get to pathankot and stop for lunch at 4.30 pm. Trip meter 3295. After a lazy lunch we get on to the task of get the lights in my bike to work. We semi dismantle my bike much to the curiosity of the onlookers. The call with the electrician did not help much. Finally Vicky found a line which got power directly from alternator and connected it to the hella lamp. Voila Let there be light. But it’s almost 8 pm now. Takes some more time gets things fixed and packed and we start by 8.45 pm. But the traffic and roads not gonna let us so easily. Still have 300 kms to cover to manali. Now my chain is slipping from sprockets. Almost at the end of its life. We dodge through the traffic and get on the mandi highway. Now we get some peace and traffic eases out and roads improve. As we get to the foot of Himalayas at 10.30 pm we break for dinner. But also tighten the chains of our bikes ourselves using the tools of a car mech near by.

Day 7:
The dinner again stretches for the next day. Looks like we gonna have one more night ride. The temperature is falling rapidly. We pack ourselves with all the winter gear we brought along. My light shines every brighter as all the power from the alternator is going only to the 1 light. N there ends my front disk pads and it metal metal scraping the rest of the trip :(. Its all twisties from now reducing our avg speeds. All the time wishing we would have done it by day time and feared that we missed lot of scenic vistas. We take n number of breaks to get our senses back. Even though we were cold and tired it was actually fun riding in those twisties close by. We get lost in mandi and take quite some to get back on to manali highway. Its slow progress and it’s almost 6 am by the time we are in manali. Trip meter 3601. Now wats the point of looking for room when its day already. Have omelet and noodles basking under the early morning sun, by the edge of the road and a river below. We directly head to rothang pass. This is Vicky’s first visit to snowy peaks and to feel the snow. We are stopped by cops at Solan saying that it was too risky for two wheelers ahead cos of black ice and Glacier (he meant avalanche actually :D). We stop there park our bikes, hire some warm coats and boots and hike up the rothang a bit. Vicky is not as happy with the snow as he thought he would be. He is missing trees. But I liked it ne way. Was fun walking on the snow and gazing at the snow filled rothang. After another round of noodles we start back to kullu to check out bijalinath temple as suggested by Hitanshu. While I come down quickly and wait for Vicky, he deviates to Solan valley to check out skiing activities. By the time I get there, there seems to be a huge traffic jam on the narrow road and I am advised not to enter. Vicky is stuck in the jam and it will be an hour and half by the times he gets out of it. Damn tired and ready to sleep ne where I could rest my head on.

We get back to manali looking for a hotel where we could park our bikes, finding none we ride out till kulu to find one. It seems the path the bijalinath is risky as it’s unstable due to heave rains recently. Manali and kulu hot under bright sunshine, which had forecast of heavy rains for that time!!. Though Vicky was disappointed, me too happy not having to get wet :D. After lazy lunch we head to ghiyagi town, in the himachal mountains as suggested by Hitanshu, who is constantly keeping track of our movements and helping us in stay and route possibilities. It’s to be an 80 kms ride before we rest after our 30 hours on the move. Just after we take a deviation to banjer after auit, it’s the familiar himachal hill riding to me, where we would be riding on narrow roads with wall on the 1 side and abbeys on the other. Finally Vicky likes something on the Himalayas. We make frequent stops for pix in the fading daylight. Soon we are riding in the dark. We are continuously on the climb and can hardly ride about 30s. The kms take longer to cover. Since it’s completely hilly, we don’t get a clue of a live town till we are actually are in it. We ask directions for the next town and the moment we are out of the town we feel like we are lost. Even get a bit panicky not know whether we are on the right track. Finally we get to Shring Vatica guest house by 8.45 pm. Trip meter 3721. This guest house was a welcome retreat after of 30 hour run. Had cozy wooden room promising a nice view in the day. Have nice dinner cooked by Mrs pammi. Send out of daily SMS update to friends. Then we learn that cos of late snow fall this year the Jalori pass near by is still not open. It under the snow of 12-15 feet. That blows our hopes of getting to narkanda on the other side through interior routes. Tired and confused at wat to do we crash out for the day under bed thick Razais.

Day 8:
The cozy place made sure we do get up pretty late. The view from the room din turn out to be of spectacular valley but still was green. We have a lazy break fast of sandwich and thupka. Mrs pammi also taking her own time in cooking for us. They concerned that we try to cross jalori riding on the unstable snow and suggests us against it. Now it’s too late to take the longer route through mandi-simla-narkanda. We thought we will check out pass road as far as we could go and check out of the guest house. With time now in hand we stop for quite a few pic sessions on of climb up to the pass. Not long before we found snow on either side of the road and soon we are stopped by the 3 feet high snow on the road ahead. We can ride no further. Quite disappointed that we could go no further no clue as to how to utilize the day. After a few pix we head back to town called 'Sujha' which is at a height of 8000 + feet. Thinking of wat to do with a hot cup of tea. Now Vicky strikes the plan of doing to high altitude trekking to jalori pass. He orders, pleads, requests to send some 1 along with us. Finally the shop keeper calls a boy from near by town to guide us. This is amit who is enthusiastic to take us around his play area(the pass). We decide to stay at the tourist room of the shopkeeper which had nice view of the mountains just outside the room. Its almost 3.15 by the time we start and getting to the top of the pass seems unlikely. But we try it ne way. Hop on our bikes till we could get to the unrideble path. Take some pix and start of trek on the snow armed with sticks for support. It’s like there is a path way made by ppl crossing the pass and the snow is pressed down. If we step out side the path our legs would sink into the snow. Walking on snow is hard work and actually feels sweaty inside our layers of winter gear even though it’s freezing around. We make slow progress taking our own time getting click happy. It was awesome walking on the snow path with long trees like deodhar etc, and also mist showing intermittently. Vicky is in love with Himalayas now. As we get higher we walk on thicker layers of snow. At places the snow had bulged out of the road area and ppl had walked on it. There was risk of snow slipping and we could tumble into the valley. 4.30 And we are still short of a Km from the pass. Amit the guide now suggests its bettor head back as we need to get back in day light. As it would be very tough get back in dark. With only the satisfaction that we had trekked at least as high as 10000 feet we turn back. We rest for some time. Now we realize how cold it is around. It seems a bit easy while climbing down but we sink our foot in the snow more number of times. Getting our shoes wet in the process. We play catch the snow on the way to get pix of us diving to get hold of the snow ball. We roll snow balls of the edge to see it gather more snow and become a big disk before falling over. Weather deteriots and we get lot of mist and wind. Its 6.30 by the time we get back to our bikes and it start to rain. Cold ok or Rain ok, but cold and Rain together a big no no. we hurry back to the shop and just escape the rain. We are not going ne where now. So settle next to the shop where fire was put for soaking heat. Hot tea, noodle, fag and booze (no me though ! ok jast a lil :D). We stay there till 10 pm in the night. With the Shop keeper GopiChand giving us company and keeping the fire burning. It was fun soaking heat from the fire with sub-zero temperature around. Vicky couldn’t have enough of it. Crash out for the day with promise to start early tomm for Delhi. Hardly 20 kms we rode that day.

Day 9:
Again get lazy on waking up sleeping under the cozy thick razais. But we don’t packup after we get up, but rather go photographing the view just outside the room. We just can’t seem to have enough of it. There was snow around the place. We had the shopkeeper’s two fluffy dogs to give us company. Finally its 10.30 am by the time we start for Delhi. We take it easy going down the himachal hill to mandi taking pix every now and then. Get to Mandi highway by 11.30. All good things come to an end. Its time now to get ourselves and bike home and be in office the next morning. But first we needa get to Delhi. Vicky wants to make a nonstop ride to Delhi, while I take it a bit easy snapping pix. The twisties which I enjoyed to the max last time did it now so fun now, with improper tier setup and worn out front disk pads. As I near Chandigarh I hear the chain slipping from the sprocket. What now?!?! In a small town the mech says the sprocket is done for and won’t last another 100 kames. I go in look for sprocket in the next town, when another mech tightens the chain to max and say not to worry and it will reach Delhi. I hope so! I get to Chandigarh by 4.30 trip meter 4006. Just crossed 4k kms. Call up Arun who suggest to pack the bike from Chandigarh itself but I need a search the packer first and Vicky has gone ahead too. So I too rip to Delhi. I am near amabala by 6.15 and get a call from Vicky he is waiting 50 kms short of Delhi. He is 150 kms ahead of me. Now as I gear up the night ride, I see the light now working again. That was scary. When I opened up the doom, found a connector loose. phew! Put it back on and we have the light. Now on it’s a straight ride on the grand trunk road zipping past the almost the continuous traffic. Cajole my bike to take me till Delhi. Praying that the chain sprocket sets lasts just a few more 10s of kms. Finally in Delhi by 9.30 pm with the trip meter 4258.

Catch up with Vicky in mehpalpur after zipping through Delhi streets. He has already arranged to ship our bikes to bangy through Leo packers. Suggested by Hitanshu. With bike handed over have a dinner and crash out hoping to get up early to catch the morning flight to bangy.

Yes that was the adventure we had. That’s the longest trip I done so far. Bikes gave no trouble except minor chinks in my bike. Thanks Vicky for carrying out the ride plan with me, though I feel I have been a drag with not keeping the bike up to the mark for this ride. Thanks Hitanshu constantly being in touch with us and helping us out in our route and accommodation and packer suggestions and our gooba friends who were constantly in touch with us encouraging us get on with the trip.

Even after a couple of days now, when I get up in the morning I feel like hurrying up and getting on the bike to catch up with the schedule :D


Anonymous Andrea said...

I hope I'm not intruding by leaving a comment.

I enjoyed reading about your travels and your photos are great. Makes me think I should be out travelling more.

March 31, 2007 3:22 AM  
Blogger Vinod said...

WOW...thats some trip you guys did...incredible mileage and great pix. Glad everything went well and there were no major mishaps.

I'm planing a similar cross county trip this summer. The plan is to ride out from Ohio all the way the california coastline, through the Rocky Mountains, Utah, colorado etc and loop back through arizona/new mexico. I'm slowly making preperations for it ( accumulating gear, getting the bike set up, planning the roads etc)

April 02, 2007 9:19 PM  
Blogger Arun said...

Nice update pkm..
thats one crazy ride!

April 07, 2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger Praveen said...

@Andrea: Of course now! Glad you liked the logs. Yes, after all the truth is out there :)

@Vinod: Thanks Vinod. I guess bigger the country, the definition of 'cross country ride' changes. Thats a kool big trip you have ahead covering all those places. All the best for the trip. I will be watching your blog for updates.

@Arun: Yeah it was arun. You should have really made it along with us.

April 07, 2007 5:26 PM  
Blogger Kam said...

Yow PKM! That was a great 'crazy' ride mann! Zimblee ossum! Loved the write up (Ramayan :P) and the pictures.

Ride ON!!

April 09, 2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger ankurindia said...

wow its really interesting and daring to travel so much by bike

April 15, 2007 12:03 AM  
Blogger Sachin K said...

That was one thrilling experince!!
Can u please give me ur mail id.
I'd like to get in touch with you, since I'm planning something similar.

You can mail me at

Sachin K.

September 12, 2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger Prem Arora said...

Well, it is quite late to comment on this trip of yours. While you are already doing the mother of all trips.

Still this ride of 9 days was fantastic and zipping. I had fun reading it all in one go and I feel you must have had a blast doing it.

Keep riding....


August 05, 2009 7:41 PM  

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