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Old 2nd February 2012, 17:52   #1
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Default Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

2011.
I missed Rider Mania.

I was expecting an awesome personal development and had absolutely no time for anything.

It was unfortunate that the RM I was missing was being hosted by my very good friend from the Eastern Bulls.
But I honestly had no choice. There was simply no way I could attend it.

RM 2012 was going to be hosted by the Royal Beasts.
The announcements came and went. The email invites came by.

But I was completely undecided.
Life had become extremely busy on both the personal and professional fronts.

BUT...........

My good friend Chatt was visiting Hyderabad.
We planned a simple lunch. Just a normal guy thing. Eat and talk.
Over lunch everyone is talking about the upcoming RM.
They keep going on and on about it.
I am getting very uncomfortable.
I want to go to RM.
But I will need to make a lot of adjustments.

After lunch, I go home.
My wife immediately senses that something is wrong. I told her about the RM discussions at the lunch meet.

She very innocently asked me why I was not going.
I had no answer. She said, why don't you go.....

The next day, my ride plans were all confirmed.
Everything kicked into motion. The bike scheduled for service, leave plans finalized in office.

My poor wife had no idea that such a innocent remark would trigger everything.

She must have known better than this.

By the middle of January the bike had been serviced and reservations made.

A week before departure my bike developed a mild thuck thuck kind of sound. It was caused by a slightly worn out chain and sprocket.
I did not want to change it. My mechanic was also sure that we would be able to cover RM without any major issues.

The date of departure was scheduled for the 26th of January.
The route was via Indore.

My friends Viju and Sudheer left on 25th. They would keep on providing valuable updates on route conditions.
Also thanks to lazybiker, who was on the same route and kept sending me sms's.

Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 14:58.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 18:01   #2
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Default Day 0

The bike on the 25th of January.
Picture taken at the Shell Bunk in Somajiguda.

The tank was topped up. Air pressure checked.

All system green.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-img062.jpg

I set my alarm clock for 3:00 AM. The scheduled time for meeting my co-riders is 4:00 AM.

I am very excited but somehow force myself to sleep.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 18:05   #3
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Default Day 1: Ride till Sanawad.

I reached the M&M Showroom at Panjagutta around 4:20 AM. While waiting for Manish and Swaroop to join me, I did a final check of my luggage.
It involves a highly complicated series of shaking and pulling everything.
Just to be 100% sure that everything is secure.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010001.jpg

Swaroop arrived.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010002.jpg

Followed by Manish.

The other riders would meet us along the way.

Its cold. But we know this is nothing compared to the conditions around Delhi.
Anyways we settle into a good rhythm and keep on riding.
Srinu, Avinash and Sridhar join us around Kompally.

We barely skip a beat and continue. There is a long ride ahead of us. Everyone is quite excited.

At Dichapally, we crossed a railway crossing.
Parked by the roadside and waited to realign the group.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010003.jpg

Some bad news.
Sridhar's bike had conked off.
He turned back and it was now just 5 bikes.

On the way to Nizamabad, we stopped at another railway crossing.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010004.jpg
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010005.jpg

Breakfast at Nizamabad.
This place was recommended by Manish and the food was good.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010006.jpg
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010007.jpg
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010008.jpg
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010009.jpg

We got LOST. Luckily Swaroop figured that out within a couple of kms. He raced ahead, stopped all of us and got us all regrouped. The RE 500 rocks with its ability to outrace all of us. Swaroop is an awesome rider, who can tame that beast.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010012.jpg
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010013.jpg

The roads so far had been quite decent. But now we were on two lane roads. The tarmac was decent and we were able to maintain good speeds.

I had a encounter with cops.
They were interested in know why I was wearing army fatigues. Wanted to see my id card, voter id card and so on.

I showed them my DL and my pan card. They let me go after wasting around 10 mins.

When I recounted the story, Manish felt it was harassment. Anyways, I just think they were a bunch of immature jokers with too much time on their hands.

By around 1 PM. We started feeling hungry.
Stopped at a restaurant close to Washim.

One of the BEST naan's, I have ever tasted. We ended up spending close to an hour over lunch.

The roads towards Burhanpur had a LOT of traffic. Bumper to bumper with trucks.

We then entered a Ghat section.

My headlight was proving to be completely useless. I could barely make out the edges of the road.
Decided that I cannot ride like this. My bike being a thunderbird, allows me to twist the headlight up and down.

I stopped my bike and it switched off.

The darkness that night was so enveloping. It was like I had gone blind for a moment.
Fumbling with the stand, I managed to park the bike and change the headlight angle.
Much better.

Now my low beam was hitting the road a good 20-30 feet ahead of me. My hi-beam was going to blind the opposite traffic.
So if someone refused to dip-dim, I had a good weapon in store for them.

With the lighting issue resolved, I managed to speed up. Caught up with the rest of the guys.

We found ourselves a seedy sleazy hotel for the night.

The hotel charged us 1100 for two rooms. Shared between the 5 of us.

I slept with my riding clothes on. Did not want any part of my body touching any part of the bed.

The distance we covered on Day 1.
Approximately 750 kms.
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Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 15:04.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 10:56   #4
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Default Day 2: Jaipur

It was a cold morning. I woke up or rather got woken up by a loud Swaroop. He wakes up at 4 AM, no matter what.
Damn him, we want to sleep.
But we have to wake up. Luckily there is no hot water. So we don't even have to pretend that we want to have a bath.

I really need my sleep.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010014.jpg

There was a tea shop outside the hotel. Early morning tea and we are off towards Delhi.

We crossed a railway crossing near Mhow and then stopped for breakfast.

We ate jalebi's, poha, kachori, samosa. The jalebi's were awesome.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010015.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010016.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010017.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010018.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010019.jpg


Our run with the good roads comes to a adrupt halt.
For about 6-7 kms, there is no road.
What we have is hard packed earth with rocks studded in it.

A bone jarring ride. But worse, Avi's chain guard comes loose and jams up.

We get to know this while waiting at the end of the bad stretch.

Srinu and Swaroop ride back to help Avi. Manish and I eat some tasty Rabri from a shop nearby.

We are loosing a lot of time. But we don't really care.

Things are about to get better. As soon as we enter Nh79, speeds pick up.
Its a very good 4 lane expressway.

We are flying low. We are riding hard.
Jaipur should be along shortly.

But as I cross Neemuch, Manish has some bad news.
Swaroop's bike has packed up.

The 500's piston is busted.

Avi has already ridden back and Srinu is with Swaroop.
They are around 80 kms behind us.

Manish and I continue with our "lets eat while they figure it out" idea.

A long lunch at a roadside dhaba.

Swaroop has found a Gati courier service in Ratlam. He will be riding Avi's bike. Avi is now a pillion. I actually feel sorry for him. Being a pillion is a butt buster.

We leave Neemuch at around 3:30 PM.

Back to the hard and fast riding. But the roads have become single lane.

My stomach does not feel good.
I cannot do this in the bushes. I need a proper toilet.

Luckily we found a good hotel in Chittorgarh.
The helpful hotel manager not only let me use the restrooms, but he also gave us free tea.

Manish and I are now back on a 4 lane expressway.

We had received reports about bad road surface. The middle lanes were scrapped out. The bike would wobble like crazy. But Viju had warned us to not ride on the good corners. These corners would suddenly go bad and if you had good speed, the bike would fishtail uncontrollably.


Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010020.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010021.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010022.jpg

Around Krishangarh, I started shivering. It was very very cold.

I was barely able to hold the handle bar.

I pulled over into a petrol bunk and took out my raincoat.
By now I was wearing
t shirt
mesh jacket with armour
leather jacket
raincoat
2 pairs of gloves

Include my knee guards etc and I am carrying at least 8 kilos of extra weight.

By midnight we reached Jaipur after covering some 720 kms.
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Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 17:47.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:26   #5
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Default Day 3: Arriving at the venue

We spent the night in the RTDC hotel near the Jaipur Railway station.
Opposite the Station was a hotel. I picked up some stuffed paratha's for dinner.
Manish was not hungry. But I ate well. Loved the Mawa paratha. The allo and gobi were good as well.

The next day morning with just some 200kms left, we woke up relaxed. Indulged in a heavy breakfast.

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010023.jpg

Stopped at the famous market street in Jaipur. These pillars are supposed to have some historical significance. Because I am a rider and not a tourist, did not bother checking out the Hawa Mahal etc.
Will return to this city sometime in future. Have already promised the same to my wife.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010024.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010025.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010026.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010030.jpg


The ride till Manesar was almost uneventful.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010031.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010032.jpg

But I had a bad encounter near a toll gate.
A guy with 2 kids and his wife on a motorbike.
They were riding in the extreme left corner of the road.
There were heaps of sand all along that corner.
Manish crossed them with at least 2 feet to spare.
The rider got distracted. He swerved right. That brought him very close to me.
I was somehow able to curve right and avoid an impact.
But the guy on his overloaded bike, over corrected. He went straight into a sand heap.
Lost his balance and fell down.

I was seeing this happen in extreme slow motion. Manish was oblivious to this entire episode. He had already raced ahead.
My first instinct was to stop and help them. But decided against it.
There were a lot of people. A non-local like me might not be of any assistance.
Plus the possibility of someone blaming me for the crash.
Decided to ride on. But I hated doing that.


With around 4 hours or so of Riding, we were at the venue:
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Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 17:58.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 12:01   #6
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Default Rider Mania

Eating like a boss.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010033.jpg


Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010034.jpg

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Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010052.jpg

Last edited by bblost : 4th February 2012 at 09:37.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 12:07   #7
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010053.jpg

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Swaroop, Srinu and Avinash arrive. Swaroop's bike had been couriered to Hyderabad from Ratlam.
Avi had ridden pillion the entire distance. Despite the setbacks, they had a better time average that most of the other bikers.

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010070.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010071.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010072.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010073.jpg

Topping up the oil. My bike had lost close to 500 ml over this 1700km long ride.
Also the chain was a little loose.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010074.jpg

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010075.jpg

Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 18:02.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 12:08   #8
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Viju and Sudheer had already booked return train tickets.
Swaroop's and Avi's bikes were out of service.

Manish did not feel like riding back. So he also booked himself on AP Express.
Srinu was not in the mood for a 2 bike return group.

I had a choice.
I could either find some company or return by train.

I am a fairly decent rider. Have decent technical knowledge to take care of my bike.
I asked around if anyone was keen on riding back to Hyderabad with me.

Found no one.

Also I don't take long breaks when I am riding. Consider this, Manish and I took 2.5 days to reach the venue from Hyderabad.
If not for the leisurely stay in Jaipur, the time lost at Neemuch, we would have completed the trip in 2 days.

Not many riders are willing to do ride like this.

Meanwhile I met up with a rider from Madbulls. That guy had just ridden 2,700 kms solo. I decided to chill out and just ride.

Spent the Sunday afternoon relaxing. The hotel rooms had a nice hot water tub. I soaked myself for almost an hour. Emerged fresh as a baby.

Thanks to some miss-communication and my reluctance to explain, my family was under the impression that I am riding back with the same group.

By night fall, I packed up my bags and was waiting for Monday morning.
All systems green.

My only worry is the cold.
Its freezing.

Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 18:10.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 13:43   #9
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Default

The return route.
1500 kms.
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My plan was to reach Jhansi or Sagar by nightfall.
I had heard some bad reviews of this road. But it was almost 200 kms shorter that my alternative.
Plus the Indore route was boring.


This picture was taken on 30-01-2012 at around 7:30-8:00 AM in the morning.
Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-cold.jpg

I left at 6:00 AM.

To say it was cold is an understatement. It was cold and there was fog.
Plus I was riding across farm lands. The riding gear held up very well.
Except for my palms and feet, I was comfortable.

I was holding the handlebar so tight because of the cold, that they continued to pain for 3 days after the ride.

I crossed Meerut and stopped for some tea.

A long boring expressway with traffic. When all of a sudden a bull jumped out from the road divider. He just stood there in the middle of the road.
I braked real hard and came to a stop just 2 feet away from him. He turned, snorted and walked away.

Some 40 kms before Gwalior, I stopped at a restaurant. The time was around noon.
A couple of rotis and I am back on the road.
The road quality was steadily declining.

I entered Jhansi and a helpful guy guided me to the Sagar highway.

After Babina, I left the single lane road and entered the Nh26.

Its still under construction. The tarmac was excellent. The road was straight with a few curves. The weather was perfect. I am having a lot of fun.
The bike is running full throttle.
Its getting dark.
Soon, I am riding in pitch darkness.

There are no signboards. My bike has no odometer. I have no idea how far away from Sagar, I am.
All I have is my watch. I am guessing that given my top speed is no more than 110. I have not crossed Sagar.

The road has a couple of diversions. These diversions force you to ride on the wrong side.
I wait at the edge of the road. Till some other vehicle enters the wrong side.
Then follow it.

Luckily there was a white i10 going the same way.
I tailed it for a long time.

Finally I reach Sagar. I asked around for a Hotel.
Found Hotel Deepak. They charged me Rs 400 for a room.
I had my dinner there itself.

At around 5 AM, I wake up shivering. There is a broken window in my room.
The temperature is very cold.
I am too tired to do anything except pull on a extra bedsheet.

I woke up around 6:30.

Had some hot tea, settled my bill.

Packed my bike and then decided to check the oil level.
The oil dipstick broke.

The head just came off in my hands.
Anyways, I used some feviquick to stick it back.

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010076.jpg

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It had rained last night. All the roads were damp and the weather cold.
But it was beautiful. It was like riding in special part of heaven.
My India is Incredible. Saare Jahan se Acha Hindoostan Hamara.

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010079.jpg

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I reached Nagpur.
Called up my good friend Sandeep. He had reserved a room at the NIT Guesthouse for me.
We went straight to the RE service station. Bought a new dipstick.
Also my chain guard had broken a joint. Removed it.
The roads around Pench are really bad. There are just potholes. Deep potholes. Nothing that can be called a road or even a track.

Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016-p1010092.jpg

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I left Nagpur at around 8:00 AM. Reached Hyderabad at 3:00 PM.
A fantastic ride back.

Stopped at my mechanic before going home. I wanted to thank him.

Last edited by bblost : 3rd February 2012 at 18:31.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 18:41   #10
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Default A lot of time to think!

Riding solo, across a deserted road, does something to you.

Its like the bike, the earth, the road everything that is a silent spectator wants to talk to you.
Maybe its just the ramblings of my insanity.

But I was asking myself some very interesting questions. I have no answers. I have very trivial questions.
Read on....but I warn you...its just the ramblings of a madman.

Love:
Why do we love anyone or expect anyone to love us. There is absolutely no reason for love. It cannot feed you, clothe you, satisfy you.
It asks for a lot and what it gives in return, is something that no one can measure.
But we fail to understand the simple truth in the above line.
It asks for a lot not just from you, it asks from the person who loves you as well.
And where my dear friend does that go?
Love is a cycle that neither gets or gives. It only creates a cycle, that feeds itself. You love, you get loved. Its as simple as that.

God:
He does not ask for you to fear him. He has no need for your respect or adoration. God blessed you with life. All he asks from you is to love yourself. Be yourself. He does not want you to live someone else's life. Try and find what you love. Work on it. Be awesome at it. That is the true meaning of life.

Money:
You need it. There is no denying it. But realise that it will never be enough for your wants. It will be enough for your needs. Spend the money you earn on good things that you enjoy. Give money in charity. A large house that is empty has no value. It may be worth millions in the market, but does it have any warmth. Do not sacrifice your family for money. They want you not the things you get them. They are but a cheap substitute.

Work:
Never be unemployed. Always find some work. Be honest in all your dealings. All the work that you do is part of a big game. You must play your role in it. Do not engage in any negative work. Negative work is any work that removes more than it gets. If your employment is destroying homes...for instance if you are a peddler of drugs or alcohol. You will suffer the bad karma it brings you. Work that is based on the sufferings of others can never do the worker any good.

Pride:
Be proud. It is very important. If I am able to ride the way I have been riding the past few days. I have earned the pride, I feel. But don't turn arrogant. You never know when your source of pride will be taken away and you will be humbled. Don't try to be the better rider, better husband, better father and so on.
Try to be a better person. A better person than what YOU were yesterday. Life is just a series of days. One after another. Learn from your past. The future awaits you fresh everyday. You sleep and wake up. Let your body heal in your sleep. Let you mind be cleaner in the morning. Accept the day not as a challenge. But rather as a new beginning. Put aside your arrogance and start by bowing your head and humbling your heart.

Food:
Food is important. But its duty is to merrily sustain your life. Not to tantalize your senses. Appreciate good food. But ask god to give the power to find flavors in the blandest of morsels. Don't ever waste food. A lot of people from the farmer to the trader have worked hard to bring it to the cook. The cook has worked in front of a fire to make this for you. Chew your food. Ever the hardest of breads will turn sweet in your mouth. such is the power god has given us. use it.

Gratitude:
Two functioning hands. A pair of strong legs. Eyes that can see so much beauty. Ears that rejoice in the melody of the winds. Have you thanked God. Can you thank him enough. To be alive. To be loved. To be wanted. To just be...isnt that the greatest blessing you have.

Anger:
In time it fades away. If you hold it for too long. Nurturing and feeding it. It burns only you. The source of anger may have long gone away.

Speed:
You can run at top speed. But time and distance are both two sides of a coin. The distance you cover is not influenced by the speed of your journey.

Death:
It happens to everyone. You will die. Everyone you know will die. Accept it. Don't be afraid of death. Embrace it when it comes. Protect yourself from hurt. Wear your armor. But don't let the fear of dying prevent you from doing whatever it is you like. Life is temporary.

Fate:
One key difference I see in myself as a rider. When younger, I would by some incredible stroke of luck avoid a major crash. Then scoff at fate. Now I thank fate.

Last edited by bblost : 4th February 2012 at 00:10.
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Old 4th February 2012, 00:13   #11
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

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Old 4th February 2012, 04:53   #12
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Good write-up! Congratulations on completing a 5K ride without any moajor incident.

I was wondering why you took the Indore route while going but understood the reason later on in the log. BTW in 2008 the section between Jhansi and Seoni was absolutely bad. Looks like nothing much has changed.

Cheers
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Old 4th February 2012, 05:36   #13
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Wow, what a ride, amazing. You did the right thing by riding solo in the return leg as its most enjoying, but slightly risky nevertheless. Excellent write up.

It is refreshing to read the ramblings of your insanity, all of us have a few and its not insane or being mad man, but it surely takes courage to talk about them in public. I also have a few but i prefer not to talk about them to anyone for fear of sounding weird.
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Old 4th February 2012, 09:19   #14
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Terrific. Its almost like a running commentary of the journey.
Nice write-up! Also thanks for the road updates.
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Old 4th February 2012, 10:46   #15
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Default re: Rider Mania: 2012. A lot of time to think! EDIT: Added pics from RM 2016

Super stuff Imran. I agree totally about something unique that happens when you, your vehicle are alone on a long drive - its the best form of peace on earth. I experienced similar on my solo drive a few years back.
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