Rides

Cry me a river

At this time last year, I was reading tales of others who rode to the world’s highest motorable pass (You can read mine here).

At the REunion West, I was told that I had another shot of tripping with RE at this year’s Himalayan Odyssey (to register, click here). Yes, as a part of their 10th anniversary celebration of the ride, they are allowing the previous participants ride with them again.

But due to some unforeseen circumstances, I won’t be able to join. Boo fuckin’ hoo. So I’m passing my time looking at the pictures I made at last year’s Odyssey and weeping myself to sleep.

Now, I’m determined to join them at their 20th anniversary celebration. I’ll just have to keep myself in a shape that is not round. Simple!

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REunited with the Road

The last long ride took a huge toll on my bike. Mary Jane spent almost a month at the mechanic’s and in terms of damage, it cost me an engine overhaul and 20k to get her out of there. That’s why I was extremely nervous about setting out to Mahableshwar for Royal Enfield’s REunion West.

Bike shot just before entering Mahableshwar

Once I was on the NH17, I realised, there was nothing to worry about. The engine was smooth as makkhan and the roads were a treat to ride on. I covered a distance of about 280 KM in 7 hours. The only negative was that the scenery wasn’t to die for. Not every place can offer you a setting like the Himalayas and I’ll have to live with that.

The first day was spent getting drunk out of my skull and the second was spent catching up with old friends and watching bikers slug it out in (the same old) events like slow race, carry your bike, beer drinking, arm wrestling etc.

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I am quite bored of seeing the same competitive events at every RE gig I go to. But, at the moment I’ll keep my mouth shut as I have no alternatives to offer.

The highlight of my trip was sharing a toke with the only rider to put a Royal Enfield on the podium (He stood 3rd in the bikes category) of Raid de Himalayas. Em says I might I have a man-crush him, but can you blame me? I mean the fucker raided the place where most of us can hardly ride.

Moving on, the return journey was just a monotonous ride on the NH4 with the Unison gang. If you are a Mumbai Bulleteer, then do like their page. Noel, a fellow rider from the Himalayan Odyssey organises some amazing rides, which include a fair bit of off-roading to places close to the city.

My next ride might just be with them. If that doesn’t interest you, then check out Royal Enfield’s Ride Journal. There is one really tasty ride that I want to be a part of. More on that later – I need you to come back to the blog, don’t I?

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It’s time to be wild

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It’s time to get the motor running and head out on the highway. The highway in question is NH17. The destination – REunion at Mahableshwar. The motor (or the engine, if you will) is brand new. My mechanic did a great job with the overhaul and (hope I’m not jinxing it) my bike’s better than she earlier was.The downside is that I have to ride at an average speed of 40 KMph for the next 1000 KM.

I will be riding alone to the venue as one member from the Breakdown Gang is now with Royal Enfield (I wish him the best) and the others are hesitating to come. Interested Mumbai bulleteers can register here and join me by leaving a comment or contacting me on facebook or twitter.

But be warned. I’ll be watching the world pass me as I’ll be riding at a pace of 40 KMph. Those who join me can take the world in a love embrace and fire all of their bullets at once.

Those words have been shamelessly lifted from here:

Next post will be after the REunion. Ride safe.

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New Year Resolution

Whatever resolutions you make this year, remember Dan Bellack’s quote and get out. Ride. Trust me it’s brilliant.

This New Year, ride.

This New Year, ride.

Have a trippy New Year.

The Freewheeling Fool

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25 Hours of Rider Mania

Well, it’s no secret that our group, now popularly known as the Breakdown Gang, took 25 and half hours to reach Goa. The journey usually doesn’t take a bike more than 14-17 hours.

My bike delayed us by over 4 hours thanks to a charging coil failure. Harhil’s Standard 500 had its tappets jammed near Nipani, delaying us by over 2 hours. Dipesh’s bike refused to start just 10KM into Nipani. Sameer’s bike smoked its way to Goa from Satara. He had to spend about INR 15,000  to replace everything inside the engine. Manan fell asleep umpteen number of times – once at Ambala Ghats, once in Sawantwadi – almost crashing into a truck. And to top it all, Vishwajeet took a slightly longer route (Pernem-Arambol-Siolim-Anjuna) when we entered Goa, setting us back by a good half an hour.

But we made it!

Rider Mania was susegaat (as the Goans would say). There was something for everyone. I was there to try my hand at concert photography and shoot some action at the Dirt Track. Manan showed off his side-car at the Custom Bike Competition. Kyron came to wander and I accompanied him almost everywhere he went.

After three days of cheap beer, some awesome food and lots of South Indian testosterone, we started back to Mumbai. This time it took us exactly 17 hours to get home, with zero breakdowns. To be frank, I was missing the 25 and half hours we spent on the road.

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*The technologically-challenged me still needs to figure out how to insert a slideshow into a blogpost, so please excuse the way the images appear. But do check each one out. *Update: Thanks to an upgrade, you can now see the images in a slideshow format. I’ll update the captions and stuff later. When I find the time.

Update: The ride to and from Goa took a toll on my bike’s engine. It needs an overhaul, setting me back by INR 15,000. What’s worse is I’ll have to ride at 40KM/hour for the next 1,000KM.

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Rider Mania – On the Highway to Swell

In my last post I mentioned that I had two ways, rather highways to reach Rider Mania, Goa. Now, thanks to Vishwajeet’s boss, we will be taking the NH4. So, Mumbai to Vagator, will be done via Pune, where we’ll be joined by a few of the Pune boys who rode with us at the Himalayan Odyssey 2012. From Pune, we’ll head to Kolhapur, where we exit towards Goa. Apparently, the road through Nipani is riddled with pot holes, which is why I have suggested by many to take the Ghadinglaj exit.

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In terms of preparation, the bike has just been serviced. A setback of around INR 6,000. I had a few pending jobs like a speedometer change and fitting of new rims and spokes to be done. Everything has been carried out with precision and my bike is just purring like a well-bred feline; capable of handling a 600 KM ride. My body though has other ideas. Last night I had to pop a Cold n’ Flu to help ease, well my cold and flu. I hope I’ll be OK in time for the ride.

Talking about time, I leave my house at 3:00 in the morning (i know it’s going to be 3:30 by the time I leave). The Bombay riders meet at BKC at 4:00 AM and Manan has given us strict instructions to not faff around and leave the rendezvous point by 4:15. He is riding is beautiful Indian (pictures soon) with a side car. This is going to hamper the speeds at which he rides.

The plan is to reach Goa in 12 hours so that we are there before the sun sets. I have bought a new Cramster saddle bag, which allows me to carry a laptop. So, if time and a sober brain permits, I’ll keep you guys posted with the happenings and pics from the event.

Till then, ride safe!

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Rider Mania – the Dilemma

Making 60 odd friends at the Himalayan Odyssey 2012 definitely has perks. Vishwajeet, a photo-journalist with Auto Car India, just rang me to ask if I could join a friend and him on their ride to Goa. I am yet to confirm but I must say, his route has me sold.

The guys that I was to ride with (Manan, Kyron and Shakti) want to cover the 600 odd kilometers from Mumbai to Goa in a day using the NH4 highway. This route will be fast, helping us make the entire distance in 12 hours. But will kill our backs.And, that’s the reason why I have been skeptical since the first day this plan was announced.

What is enticing is Vishwajeet’s proposition of riding along the coastline. We will do a distance of 490 km to Tarkarli Beach, rest there overnight and then head to Hill Top, Vagator, Goa. This route will also give me a chance to photograph and if possible, shoot a video documenting our ride to Goa and back.

What’s unnerving is how do I break it to the others that I’ll be ditching them for a far more scenic route (suggestions welcome). I’ll keep you guys posted on how that goes. let’s hope I don’t get run over by Manan’s 500cc Machismo.

Meanwhile, if you own a Royal Enfield and want to register for Rider Mania, click here.

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