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Old 4th October 2015, 14:17   #91
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Originally Posted by r_nairtvm View Post
I am sure that it indeed would have been epic.

Curious to know how you coped with the brake pedal issue especially .

Thank the Almighty that you both are safe (I take it that your are fine as you are posting here)

Best Regards & Ride Safe

Ram
Ram sir,
Rode with just the front brakes (not recommended but there was no way out from Bhutan. Shipped the bike from Siliguri as didn't feel comfortable with riding back on the front brakes).

It's divine grace that I made it without a scratch in all those incidents. It's thanks to the gear. The AGV Sport Laguna perforated leather jacket and Spidi furious riding jeans saved me more than anything else. And to their credit, they're not even majorly damaged. The jackets titanium shoulder cap was damaged in the crash with the car but other than that nothing. Similarly for the jeans, a minor scratch where the car hit me. But the knee and hip armor saved me from any broken bones or bruises.
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Old 5th October 2015, 12:07   #92
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Seedha Jao

Day 1 of my first epic cross country ride. I hadn't slept a wink. All I was thinking about was my ride. Scared, excited, nervous, worried, happy - there was a smorgasbord of emotions running through my head. My girlfriend told me to go to sleep, but I just kept tossing and turning.

I was up before the alarm clock. Way before it in fact. I set an alarm for 4 am but by 330, I was showered, geared up, had loaded my saddle bags and tank bag on and sitting in the living room, wondering what the hell I was doing.

As soon as it was 445 am, I ran out of the house and was at the rendezvous spot at 451 am. Now, the long wait for everyone. By 5, the South Bombay bit of our crew was assembled. Then to the next RV spot (Mulund checknaka), where the North Bombay bit of the group joined up, and then the Thane toll where the western suburban contingent decided to show up.

So by 6 am, we were speeding down the road towards Nashik, with heavy rain lashing down. The rain accompanied us all the way to Nashik, which we got to at about 8 am. Taking the excellent series of flyovers, we were outside Nashik and munching bhajiyas and poha at a dhaba by 9.

The rain had stopped but my new Rynox gloves were causing some serious problems. My hands were blue with the dye that was coming off, and the leather started peeling off at the fingers, and the thumb bit was tearing inside. I had a weird pain in my right index finger as something was off. LESSON ONE: Don’t wait until the last day to buy an important bit of gear.

Not a good start then. A friend who'd come just to see us off to Nashik, gave me his gloves and we set off, having donated the gloves to a worker at the dhaba.

The roads were excellent. Beyond Dhule, the Maharashtra state border soon came up and the roads got even better, although there was significant truck traffic.

That was also the first time I realized how important GST was for the country, with every state border across the country seeing 3-4 km long traffic jams with truckers stuck for days trying to clear their cargo. A truck driver I spoke to said that it was advisable to drive on the wrong side of the road at the border because the traffic on the correct side had been stalled for many days. He was literally cooking food in the middle of the highway, next to his truck.

By about 2 pm, we were near Indore. We stopped at a dhaba for lunch. A group of trident wielding, saffron bandana wearing youth suddenly forgot what they were doing, and stood with open jaws looking at all the bikes. Everyone was staring at the Rocket 3, while one chap came to me and asked if mine was a modified bullet and whether a mechanic in Indore could make the similar mods to his own Bullet.

We set off by 330 and Bhopal, our stop for the night, was only 230 kms away.

Between Indore and Bhopal is an excellent road, marred by multiple dogs, cows and stray humans. There are also flyovers designed for people like Evel Knievel, with ramps but no middle sections, so you have to go under, where the roads were clearly built by the Maurya empire and left to nature, with the MP governments only contribution being speedbreakers of jumbo size.

On one such series of speedbreakers, I tried to put my foot down and finding a bit of air instead of terra firma, I began the first of my many falls, only this one felt like a brain fart. A shot of Red Bull later, I was back on the bike and we were on our way. We got to Bhopal at about 7 pm, exhausted and tired but relieved to have finished the first 850 km of our 3,500 km journey to Bhutan.
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Old 5th October 2015, 18:07   #93
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Day 2: Road Bahoot Achcha Hain

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-bhopalkanpur.png

Today's destination was Kanpur, 582 kilometers away. We started out late, thanks to a few of us sleeping in longer than expected. So I got my bike cleaned (yes, a noob tourer thing to do) and got geared up. And then took off my jacket, made shawarma from my belly, lubed my chain, waited, drank water, and more water, peed and finally, two hours later, we could set off.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-20150920_064627.jpg

The route we were to take was through Vidisha and then MP at large. Yes, not very forward thinking but well, at least we were off. So we set off in a long convoy, down the bumpy roads of Bhopal. Soon we were on a two-lane highway enroute to Sanchi of Stupa fame. On the way, we passed the Tropic of Cancer, but the sun beating down hard, nobody was in the mood to stop. So we rode on, past Sanchi, and through the villages of MP.
At a level crossing, the second of my fun encounters happened, although in this case, I didnít have a date with terra firma. Two morons on a bike decided to look right (at the rumbly convoy) rather than at the truck in front of them. As a result, both those gentlemen rear ended the truck and fell on my arm. Luckily the leather shod arm in question was a strong one and so no harm was done but I knew that someone had it in for me this trip.

Soon after, we were told to take a turn and at some place called Maltone, a 4 lane highway would come and take us all the way to Kanpur.

Soon Maltone came and the villagers werenít kidding. The highway was amazing. Arrow straight 4 lanes and no traffic. We gassed up and had some serious fun. We crossed Jhansi and suddenly the road started going wrong. First up, the road had grooves made from the constant passing of trucks. So getting out of the groove made you feel a bit iffy and then the grooves started getting deeper and deeper. We stopped for lunch at a dhaba and post lunch, the heat was oppressive. But we carried on. Soon, there was rain and then a rainbow. About 150 kilometers from Kanpur the road degenerated into a series of ruts. Deep, deep ruts that looked like someone had plowed the road. We decided to ride single file and together and ploughed on.

A stray dog suddenly appeared 2 feet in front of me, jumping out of the bushes in the median of the highway. It was dusk and the hedge was thick. Before I could do anything, I heard the dog yelp and I was rolling on the road. I thought that this was the end of the road, as far as my life was concerned. I prepared for the inevitable.

And then I stopped sliding and stood up. I was OK. No broken bones, no cuts, no scrapes. The riding jacket I was wearing wasnít even scratched. The speed hump saved my neck and prevented my helmet from touching the ground. My riding pants (Spidi Furious), which I spent 200 euros on were dusty but again, no abrasions or tears.

I ran to the side of the road and stood there while my riding mates picked up my bike and moved it to the side of the road. I immediately went to the dog to see if it was ok, but unfortunately it died instantly.

My motorcycle was saved from major damage by the crash bars I installed just before this ride as well as the saddle bags that bore the impact. The front rotor was warped from the impact and the brakes were not really working correctly.

I sat by the side of the road for what seemed like a long time and was both amazed and overjoyed to be alive. Amazed because in the morning before I left Bombay, I was toying between wearing my perforated leather jacket and my mesh jacket. In the end, my girlfriend said wear the leather jacket, it seems safer. I did as I was told and even at 4:45 am in muggy Bombay, I briefly toyed with going back home and changing into the mesh as I was sweating 5 minutes into the ride. I was relieved and overjoyed that I listened to her and wore the leathers.

Had I been wearing my mesh jacket, I'd probably have had to end my trip in Kanpur, and would definitely have broken a few bones and had some serious road rash.

We decided to stop for the night 30 kilometers from Kanpur, and call it a night. I'm still dazed. The brakes are a problem. With no front brake, itís the end of the road for me. Then I call everybody and try and arrange a front rotor. And then it struck me that I'm sure the rotor can be straightened out. So I ring Zubin. He speaks to Rajiv who triumphantly announces it can be done. I can fix it. I go to bed, wondering what's in store for me. Can we really fix the bike or am I going home?
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Old 5th October 2015, 19:48   #94
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Wow! Epic story unfolding. Enjoying every bit of it thoroughly. Glad to know you are back to write this story..unless this is your ghost!

Eagerly waiting for more. Dont want to sound like a sadist but any chance you caught these adventures on your camera?

Cheers, Sting
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Old 5th October 2015, 19:59   #95
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

sonnoffaggun! Day 2 of the ride and we already have so much action! Glad you are alive. Sad the doggie died. Mo please! Where have you reached now? Or should I wait for the drama to unfold?

Cheers!
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Old 5th October 2015, 21:49   #96
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sonnoffaggun! Day 2 of the ride and we already have so much action! Glad you are alive. Sad the doggie died. Mo please! Where have you reached now? Or should I wait for the drama to unfold?

Cheers!
I'm back in Bombay sir. Can't seem to get the pictures to upload correctly.





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Originally Posted by Sting View Post
Wow! Epic story unfolding. Enjoying every bit of it thoroughly. Glad to know you are back to write this story..unless this is your ghost!

Eagerly waiting for more. Dont want to sound like a sadist but any chance you caught these adventures on your camera?

Cheers, Sting
I got the morons falling on me on the camera. By the time the doggone adventure happened, it was dead. So no video of that.

Wondering if I should just post the trip diary without the pictures and upload those later.
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Old 5th October 2015, 22:57   #97
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Here's a link to the video of the dudes falling on me. It's howlarious!

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Old 5th October 2015, 23:27   #98
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Default Day 3: No Tunday Kebabs

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I wake up to serious knocking on the door. Bleary eyed, I open the door to see Rajiv standing outside. "The bike is fixed Sid. We've taken it for a ride and its working perfectly." I donít believe it. I run outside barefoot and in my boxers. Indeed, it looks like nothing happened. I'm excited. Today I'll ride safely I say. No more riding in the fast lane. The cow belt truly means the median is full of cows (and goats and dogs) and the road is strewn with road kill (which I now know the provenance of).

I change shower and gear up. We settle our bills and soon we're all set. We fuel up in Kanpur and realize we're on the wrong road. We take a U-turn and go through the hell that is the Kanpur bypass. 10 kilometers ahead we need to stop for a tea. We've waded through slush and the bypass is nothing but a pile of stones, paved with dust.

Tea ingested and safely inside we ride on. Suddenly the road improves and itís a smooth 4 laner (with premature grooving). We stop for lunch and have our first non-veg meal somewhere near Faizabad of Ram/Babri Masjid fame. While eating our meal, we noticed with amazement that all the patrons in the restaurant were bearing arms. And the double barrel shotgun was the clear favorite.

We were in Gorakhpur by 5 and since Kushinagar was only 70 kilometers away, we decided to stretch our goal and stay the night there.


The road from Gorakhpur to Kushinagar is an expressway like no other I've driven on. Well marked, elevated and 4 lanes throughout. We reach Kushinagar and there's curfew in the town because someone was run over by a bus. So Kushinagar is home to the carcasses of many burnt buses and platoons of policemen.

There are no hotels available in Kushinagar, as they only open in season (for the Japanese tourists) but we find a place thatís half decent. We crash for the night.

Last edited by djpeesh : 5th October 2015 at 23:28.
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Old 6th October 2015, 07:12   #99
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Hello sir. Your posts about your trip are excellent reading material. Just glad you're safe by the end of it all. Also, your video is set to private. Can't be watched.
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Old 7th October 2015, 14:41   #100
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

That's quiet an experience you seem to have had mate. Congratulations on making it through and your spirit to complete the ride even with all these unfortunate mishaps.

Can't wait for the story to unfold man.
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Old 7th October 2015, 16:49   #101
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Default Day 4: Lakhan Ne Phir Murder Kiya Hai

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-kushinagarsiliguri.png

Everyone is up and ready at 6 am. The bikes are loaded and we gear up. A quick session with the air pump and everyone is ready to roll. Iím driving the Thar today.

Todayís destination is Siliguri, 620 kilometers away. Before leaving, a few of us stop at the Stupa in Kushinagar, where Gautama Buddha breathed his last. A walk around the remarkably well maintained Stupa and weíre on our way.
We head in the direction of Muzaffarpur. The road is excellent until we cross the border to Bihar. Thereís 4 kilometers of trucks parked on the highway and we need to drive on the wrong side of the road. Another indication of the problems with various state levies.

The road goes to single lane and has massive craters. 20 kilometers away, it goes back to smooth as silk highway, with 4 lanes.

Near Muzaffarpur, traffics at a standstill on the road. Nothing is moving. Apparently Lakhan Bhaiya has murdered someone again and the people of Muzaffarpur are pissed. So the traffic on the road is blocked. No worries, a kind local takes us through the villages on a road that looks like a wrong turn will land you in someoneís house. Soon, weíre on the road to Darbhanga and cruising comfortably.

The roads in Bihar are amazing and the Thar cruises at 120 kmph comfortably.

A murder of crows (yes, I managed to use that word) is sitting on the road eating a dog. I honk and all the crows but one fly away. This oneís a particularly greedy chap. He continues chomping away till the last moment. Unfortunately (for him), he canít gain altitude fast enough and thereís a thunk and a crow is felled.

Soon after, K wants to drive again and Iím happy to continue my felling of the animal kingdom on my bike

he roads are excellent and soon weíre on the border to Waste Bengal, I mean West Bengal. Another hour and a half and weíll be chilling in Siliguri, we think as we stop for our first meal of the day (omelets and buns) at 330 pm. Everyoneís looking forward to reaching our destination while itís still not dark. VC is dreaming of lubing his chain and T is drooling at the thought of fulfilling his lifelong ambition Ė of eating momos.

And then, all hell breaks loose. The roads are so bad that even the toll booth looks like a spent minefield. The roads look and feel like an angry person with a jackhammer decided to take his grievances out on the roads. Thereís no way weather could make a road look like this. Or alternatively, the roads were bombed in World War 2 and are still awaiting enough toll collection to begin rebuilding.

The roads are so bad that the craters are large enough to be named. At one particular crater, the Storm loses its front wheel rim. Storm loaded onto a truck and Siliguri still 80 kilometers away, we ride slowly to our destination.

Finally, we reach Siliguri at 730 pm. We check into our hotel and after a quick shower and dinner, its lights out.
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Old 7th October 2015, 19:39   #102
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Wow! Those are way too many adventures in too short a time. One helluva trip this seems to be. Love the sense of humour in the posts, makes it so much more interesting.

I had a hearty laugh at that video after I watched it about 5 times; that's the number of times I had to see it to figure out what had happened. A pause at the right moment and I could see the guy clearly somersaulting into you.

Keep it coming..

Cheers,
Sting

Edit: More pictures please.. pictures delayed are pictures denied.

Last edited by Sting : 7th October 2015 at 19:41.
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Old 7th October 2015, 21:13   #103
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Reading Day 4 had me in splits! The quirky references are an absolute riot :-). Absolutely epic thread. I'm hooked.
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Old 7th October 2015, 22:41   #104
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

I don't want to sound like a retard, but the way those dudes fell on you cracked me up real hard. I pray they weren't injured too bad. I can only imagine your horror once you made the bike stable. Looks like something straight out of Takeshi's Castle.

Anyway, I'm glad that you and the Bonnie are fine and in one piece after this epic a journey. Your storytelling skills are remarkable, mate.

Like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting every new post made by you on this thread. A job well done, bud.

P.S - I second Sting. More pictures!

Last edited by barcalad : 7th October 2015 at 22:49.
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Old 8th October 2015, 01:19   #105
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Day 5: Elephants have Right of Way!









Today's planned destination is Phuntsholing, just across the border into Bhutan. It’s a short ride, the shortest so far, so we plan to leave post lunch. The roads are good apparently.



Post lunch, we gear up and load up the bikes. Today it's only going to be three of us riding as everyone else will fix up the bikes and then head out.



We head out of Siliguri and the roads are amazing. Single lane yet excellent blacktop and tea gardens on both sides of the road. The fact that there's a light rain helps things along and keeps us cool.


Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1444247121644.jpg


Suddenly, the dream is interrupted when we reach Birpara. The jackhammer dude has been here and he's even more pissed. The road is now a bunch of craters with a few bits of tar being the only unifying factor.



Near Hashimara, VC hits a pothole especially hard. And his tire blows out. We stop at a truck stop we passed earlier and try to weigh our options. It's now dark and raining heavily. The truck tire puncture chap tries to call his pal to come and look at the bike. Then M spots a tire shop where a (rightfully) confident chap called Titu Ghosh says he'll fix the tire. And fix he does. He quickly pops off the Bonnie's front wheel and puts a tube inside. He says that his fix will last 200 kilometers guaranteed.


Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1444247214274.jpg


A chap who's come to sell his lodge to us is a bit disappointed. He promises an elephant safari tomorrow morning and extolls the virtues of the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary to us. With the bike fixed and the rain stopped, we decide to decline his kind offer, and make a move.



How are the roads? we ask the onlookers. Good they say. Einstein's theory of relativity comes into play. Clearly they're referring to another time and place.



The roads get worse and worse. Hashimara sees a fork in the road to Jaigaon. The fork is literally a life and death choice. You turn left and it looks like the moon, if it rained there. To spice things up, the government helpfully also has signs put up saying that Elephants have right of way. And when we asked previously, we were told that when elephants cross, it's usually in herds of 50-60. So we keep our eyes peeled in three directions, in front and also on the sides, and headlights on full beam, just in case we need to give some elephants way.



After the road has sufficiently ravaged our motorcycles, we find a slightly decent stretch of road and then we encounter the slush. Unless these are national defense precautions, I don’t understand why Bhutan still maintains diplomatic relations with India.



After slipping and sliding through the slush and thankfully not falling off, we make it to the grand gates of Bhutan.


Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1444247382634.jpg


We enter the Kingdom of Bhutan and we realize that we didn’t take photos so to the amusement of the border guards, we exit and take photos and re-enter.


Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1444247087212.jpg
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1444247315699.jpg


We go to the hotel, which is right by the border. And pass out. Tomorrow we’ll have a leisurely ride to Paro, or so I think.
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