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Old 22nd February 2014, 23:16   #1
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Arrow Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-tripphotos_0060_resize_tbhp.jpg


Preface:

I look at this spot, desolate and no habitations of any sort as far as my eyes go.

Somewhere between Barog and Nahan, 6 Kms from a sleepy little hill town called Sarahan, I want a stop.

Nay, I need a stop.

I park, put the side stand on, and slide off the saddle. My lower back is slightly sore, and my jeans are soggy.

The helmet visor is moist and my socks are soaking wet. I take a look at him; it’s all muck and dirt everywhere.

The saddle bags are dusty and slightly wet from the snowfall at Shimla.

I take my helmet and the balaclava off; the visor is fogged up from the inside from my breath.

I do not take off the gloves; it is 4 degrees and the wind is strong.

I just look.

God is an amazing artist.

The world is his canvas and well, the easel has colors that we can only think of.

I close my eyes, and my view becomes slightly misty due to the fog settling down on the lower Himalayas in front of me.

My mind begins to wander and I start thinking . . .


Introducing my Best Friend:

Sometimes the best things in life come in small packages. Very small packages.
For me, that package was about 1/5th of a liter, and was gift wrapped in a beautiful mustard yellow cladding.
Yes, I am talking about my trusty best friend, my little Pulsar200 NS.

Sometimes bruised and sometimes utterly battered, however always ready for some action, my baby has already taken me places that I could only think of going to earlier. He has never let me down and whenever possible, I have treated him well to the best of my abilities.
However for all meaningful purposes, let’s cut short to the chase.


Overview & Planning:

It was the morning of 21st December 2013, when I was supposed to leave for Goa for the last wedding shoot of the year. My heart called out to ride to the party capital of the country, and my mind asked me to stay away, since it was a lot responsibility at stake. Leaving alone the fact that an untoward incident en route would leave me grounded for the better part of a month or more, the sheer thought of screwing up someone else's wedding by not being able to capture the most important day of their lives left me no choice but to take the most hated form of transport.

A Bus.

You see, trains are long and there is a lot of place to stretch. Not to mention the huge list of interesting people who you can start a conversation with, other than the fact that sometimes, there is a howling toddler who can keep all the passengers awake or a coughing old man who can infect the whole of Bangalore with one wheeze.

A flight gets there mighty fast. And sometimes there are these nice airhostesses. The in-flight menu has items reminiscent of food and they are served somewhat hot.

And then there are buses. A bus is slow, and the drivers are maniacs. Generally, I am a sober person at heart and in mind, and hate genocide, but as long as there are these buses around, I am sure there will be quite a few of 'em.

So, as I settled in between a college girl with earphones on, probably Honey Singh queued on the playlist and freckles fresh on her cheek, and the aisle in the center, I started toying with the idea of going back home for New Year. At such short notice, flights would be expensive, and well, a train was frankly out of contention.

"Why not ride?” I asked myself.

And that's when I immediately decided I should.

The journey from Bangalore to Kolkata, my hometown is about 2100 Kms as suggested by google maps and by some people who had done this route earlier. I planned to do this in 3 days, evenly spread out. Before anything I had to complete the shoot and I could return only by 28th of December. This meant that I had to leave on the early morning of 29th December if I had to make it back home on time for the New Year’s Eve dinner.

The shoot was a grand success, and the couple loved the photographs. They are currently in Australia, and having a whale of a time. A big shout out to them, for being very patient and lovely subjects in front of the camera!

I had all my gear ready and the bike serviced on 28th December when I returned, and wanted to call it an early night for the big ride ahead. Invariably, sleep gives me a miss, the nights before a ride. Some chemical locha (translate: instability) goes on inside my head whenever there is a ride ahead.

My mind goes into overdrive and adrenaline plays its part well.

So I start to think.

“Just Kolkata and back? Not good enough man!”

I open my ipad and randomly open a road map of India, and out of nowhere this crazy stupid idea strikes me.

A close friend was getting married in Jaipur, and his ping comes up on the screen, “ Dude, you coming right?”

I have no more shoots scheduled ahead. No work in the pipeline. So why not?

And thus the plan happened.

The Route:
Bangalore-Vijaywada-Bhubaneshwar-(Kolkata-Maithon-Kolkata)-Varanasi-Agra-Jaipur-Kuchaman-Shimla-Dehradun-Nainital-Delhi-Udaipur-Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore

NOTE: The original route was followed though the course of the trip, however the stops were altered due to reigning weather conditions at those times.

Calculated Trip Length: 8206 Kms
Actual Trip Length: 8407 Kms
Total Trip Duration: 30 Days
Total Days of Riding: 15 Days
Coverage: 15 States and 1 Union Territory

States:
  1. Karnataka
  2. Andhra Pradesh
  3. Orissa
  4. West Bengal
  5. Jharkhand
  6. Bihar
  7. Uttar Pradesh
  8. Rajasthan
  9. Haryana
  10. Punjab
  11. Himachal Pradesh
  12. Uttaranchal
  13. Delhi
  14. Gujarat
  15. Maharashtra

Union Territory:
  1. Daman & Diu


Riding Days:

Day 1:
Bangalore - Rajahmundry : 896 Kms
Day 2:
Rajahmundry – Kolkata : 1110 Kms
Day 3:
Kolkata-Maithon-Kolkata : 600 Kms
Day 4:
Kolkata - Varanasi : 706 Kms
Day 5:
Varanasi-Agra : 620 Kms
Day 6:
Agra – Jaipur: 268 Kms
Day 7:
Jaipur – Ambala : 500 Kms
Day 8:
Ambala – Dehradun: 296 Kms
Day 9:
Dehradun – Nainital : 350 Kms
Day 10:
Nainital – Delhi : 360 Kms
Day 11:
Delhi – Ajmer : 501 Kms
Day 12:
Ajmer – Ahmedabad : 508 Kms
Day 13:
Ahmedabad – Mumbai : 600 Kms
Day 14:
Mumbai – Pune : 160 Kms
Day 15:
Pune – Bangalore : 932 Kms


I chalked out the plan, the clock struck 1, and sleep slowly started to get the better of me. I drifted into sweet slumber.

Now, there is a lot to share.

I will write about each day and experiences of each and every kilometer travelled.

Everything is a vivid memory.

I will pen down my memories one day at a time so that it becomes easier to sink in, and also because I can relive all of it again.

One day at a time.

This is it for today.



Only thing I can say is this.

India is a beautiful country.

We look forward to going abroad, skiing in the alps, beaches off the coast of Italy, the Grand Canyon, The Niagara Falls, and in the process we fail to look at our own motherland.

She is indeed breathtaking.

Lots of Love
Preetam

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Some Important Details:



Riding Gear:
  • Helmet: SOL S68II Touring + M1 Breather Balaclava
  • Jacket: Spartan Helios, Mesh, CE Approved Knox Armor + Rain Liner
  • Gloves: Alpinestars M1 + Inner Thermal Gloves + Surgical Gloves
  • Knee Guards : Spartan Perseus
  • Shoes: Puma Sneakers x2



Motorcycle Luggage:

Total Luggage Weight : ~60 Kilograms

Total Luggage Capacity : ~110 Liters


Saddle Bags – Rynox Nomad v2.0 - Product Description Link

It has a Semi Hard case with 32.5 Liters of carrying capacity on both side and 2 thick Velcro straps act as primary harness points, one of which goes under the rear seat. The fastening and positioning varies from one bike to another. There are 2 netted elastic pouches on the front side of the bags, which are easily accessible when on the saddle. 3M high visibility lining and patches make sure that the extra width is clearly visible in low light conditions. There is a tightening strap that can be used to hold the two bags together. It isn’t much of a problem if this isn’t fastened securely, as the bags hold very well with the primary harnesses. It comes with full rain-covers, however it does not extend to the inner side of the bags, thus the splash from the rear tyre get the bags wet, more on that later.

Luggage Stuffed into it comprised of:
  • 4 Denims
  • 2 Shirts
  • 2 thermals for upper body
  • 2 thermals for lower body
  • 3 Shorts
  • 4 Tee shirts
  • 3 Pairs of socks
  • Sherwani
  • 1 Sweat Shirt
  • 1 Sweater
  • Underwear
  • Pair of flip flops
  • Extra pair of shoes
  • Bath Towel
  • Gatorade Pouches and Snickers Bars in the outermost zippers
  • 1L Motul 7100 20W50 on one side in the netted pouch
  • 1L Water Bottle on the other side in the netted pouch

Tail Bag – Lowepro Computrekker 350 AW - Product Description Link

It has 35 Liters of carrying capacity and comes with a heavy all-weather cover. This is not a specialized motorcycle luggage however for all realistic purposes, does the job quite well. This is my primary bag for carrying camera equipment during the shoots. This was held down by a couple of 3x heavy-duty bungee cords attached to the stalks of the rear foot pegs during the ride.

Luggage Stuffed into it comprised of:
  • Rain Liner of Riding Jacket
  • Spare Parts which included:
  • Foot Pump
  • Puncture Repair Kit
  • Clutch Cable
  • Throttle Cable
  • Headlamp Bulb
  • 3 Spark Plugs ( 1 Primary and 2 Slaves)
  • Tool Kit
  • Set of Allen Keys
  • Motul Chain Cleaner
  • Motul Chain Lube
  • Extra Ropes and Bungee cords
  • Diary
  • Pens
  • Chargers for Cameras and Phone
  • iPad in the rear sleeve.

Tank Bag – Viaterra Fly - Product Description Link

It has 12 liters of carrying capacity and the harnessing points are 3 in number. The front harness goes under the cone set of the handle bars, and the ones at the back are attached to the aluminum stalk of the rear footpegs. This is a beautiful bag and for its price of 2100 INR, does a brilliant job of keeping all essentials close at hand.

Luggage Stuffed into it comprised of:
  • Canon 450D + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
  • Canon 7D + Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8
  • 2x 8 GB CF Cards
  • 1x 16 GB CF Card
  • 2x 8 GB SD Cards
  • USB Transfer Cable
  • First Aid Kit
  • Volini Spray
  • 2x Deodorants
  • Small Hand Towel
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Trimmer and other Toiletries
  • Spray Cleaner and 3M Micro-Fibre Cloth
  • 2x 3M Double Sided Tape
  • Printouts of magnified Google Maps Routes
  • Wallet
  • Phone
  • Cigarettes and Lighter (Statutory Warning: Smoking is Injurious to health)
  • Documents

Documents Carried:
  • Vehicle Registration Card
  • Driving License
  • Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate
  • Copy of Insurance Papers
  • NOTE: No Objection Certificate (NOC) was not carried because my stay would not extend beyond 30 days.








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DAY 1

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Bangalore – Rajahmundry via Kolar, Chittoor, Tirupathi, Naidupeta, Nellore, Ongole, Guntur, Vijaywada, Eluru

Roads Taken : NH4 – NH18A/SH61 – NH5

Total Distance : 896 Kms

Total Riding Time : Approximately 16 Hours



Like I said earlier, before a long ride I cannot sleep for a long time.

Woke up pretty quickly by 3:30 a.m.

I wanted to have an early start, as early as possible. I was feeling fresh and the early morning air was chilly. Put some water to boil in the kettle and went to attend to nature’s call. I stay slightly on the outskirts of the city and I like it that way. The din and dust of the city does not quite affect the parts where I live and I can hear birds chirping at the wee hours of dawn.

According to custom and teachings by my mother from a young age, I lit a couple of incense sticks to appease the Gods, filled the plates with would be prasadam, and said a small prayer to keep everyone safe and in the prime of health.

Gear Up time was here. I already had my gear laid out the previous night, and proceeded to don it all.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-day1001.jpg


By 4:30 a.m. I have had my cup of tea, rechecked all the documents and bags, and headed downstairs to mount the luggage. With a little help from Avishar, a team-bhpian and also co-incidentally, my roommate, the luggage was on the bike in 15 minutes. Tried calling Avinash (aviorp on teambhp) who had very kindly agreed to see me off till Kolar, but he was nowhere to be seen! I left him a text about my departure.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-002.jpg


I thumbed the starter, and the motor cranked to life. Choked the engine for a couple minutes to get the oil upto temperature and I kneeled down in front of my bike. Funny as it may sound, whenever I embark on a journey I make sure to talk to my bike before I start. And this one could not be an exception.

“Hello Mate! Feeling fresh?” I asked.

He purred in agreement.

And why not? The previous day he had got a visit to his favorite mechanic and all the slight scars were streamlined.

“Okay dude. Listen. This is it. It is a long haul this, the longest we have done. I promise not to hurt you in anyway, and will keep you fresh as new all throughout. All I ask in return is you never let me down. Never.”

He agreed with a bright twinkle in his eyes.

That was all I needed to see.

Waved goodbye to Avishar and took his mother’s blessings, who was also incidentally visiting us. Felt bad that I was not there for most part of the time she was there.

Put the helmet on, felt the happilyy revving engine note with a slight twist of my right wrist and rode out into the night. It was 4:50 a.m. Daylight had not broken.

The roads till Tirupati were well known to me, since I had done this solo earlier in 2013.
That trip report can be found here : LINK (Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS : Ownership Review, 2200 Kms)

I had tanked up the previous night itself, and thus there was no fuel stops planned till the next 300 kms.

I crossed the city limits soon enough and was on the highway leading upto Kolar, Chittoor, and Tirupathi.

The NH4 was in great shape when I had visited Tirupati, and I expected the road to be in same great condition. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Till about Mulbagal the roads are good, after which continuous roadworks made it a big pain to ride.

Rode till Palamner, where I took my first stop, 130 Kms away from home, had a cup of tea and pulled a quick smoke.

Checked my phone and saw a couple of calls from Avinash.

Called him back and came to know that he started riding to catch up with me but was unfortunately almost 50 kms behind me. Bade goodbye to him and he wished me luck!


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-003.jpg


The sky was starting to become slightly orange and the fog was starting to lift.

I was slightly nervous, and a little scared to be honest. I had not done this sort of thing in sometime and after a major crash which had happened 3 months prior to that day, I was still a bit shaken from that incident. Dear Readers, I urge you not to ask me about that, suffice to say that I could have been killed that day and this trip would have never happened. I am lucky to be alive and don’t want to remember that mishap.

On with the story.

I resumed riding and the sun had risen. I quickly stopped for a photograph.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-004.jpg


Averaged less than decent speeds due to broken road conditions, and as most riders will know, dawn and dusk are the most difficult times to ride. The light is scattered and the visibility is poor. The headlamps don’t have enough power to light up the roads in front, and the haze in front makes it even more difficult to ride.

Reached Chittoor in an hours’ time and it had again become foggy. The sun was playing hide and seek with me, which meant that, the conditions would be temperate and thus easier to ride in.

Here is what it looked like at 8:10 a.m.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-005.jpg


Kept riding and reached Tirupati via the Chittoor bypass.
The roads here were in much better shape than those earlier and thankfully cleared the city traffic before the rush hour had properly set in. Headed towards Naidupeta, from where the main NH5 leading to Kolkata is reconnected to the SH61.

10 a.m.
Fuel level low, 320 kms away from home.


The hunt for a petrol station began. Strange thing is, a lot many fuel pumps in the area did not stock petrol. When enquired, a straight faced “No” came the answer from 3 petrol stations for no particular reason. The dispensers said Petrol but the stocks read nil! When further probed about a fuel station which stocked precious liquid gold, I was informed that I could get it at a place 3 kms away on the outskirts of Shrikalahasthi. Eventually found the petrol bunk, brimmed the tank and rode on. The bike did not hit reserve.

From this place to Naidupeta, the road isn’t a major highway. It’s a single road (SH61) that goes through a couple of small villages and connects to the NH5. Some cattle and school children aside, the roads were pretty much deserted. The road condition was decent but had to be dealt with caution because of the narrow width.

The first encounter with someone giving me weird looks and suspicious glances happened at a Railway level crossing further down the road where I had to stop because of an oncoming train. An old farmer carrying back his produce from his farm kept looking at me as though I was an alien of sorts. The riding gear was to blame, I presume. To reinstate his belief in my human form, I took off my helmet and gave him a smile. He scurried away like Jerry from Tom! I looked left and saw lush greens for the first time on this trip. I guess a part of the land there belongs to that farmer!


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-006.jpg


I smiled to myself. The train had passed and the barriers had risen, permitting me to go through. I stopped at a tea stall to ask for directions, because the road did not seem like one which would connect to a national highway. I was informed that the route was correct, and there was no fear of getting lost. I found an auto stand down the road, and cross checked with the drivers, and sure enough I was seemingly on the correct road. The road opened up and joined the NH5. I took a left and the highway story began.

It was here that I saw the first signpost which showed the distance to Kolkata, 1666 Kms.

I could not stop to take a photograph as I was doing good speeds, but also decided to stop at the next sign which indicated my destination.

It was 11:30 a.m., the sky was blue and the temperature was pleasant. I spurred on.

The NH5 looked in good shape, and I was averaging good speeds.

Bumblebee seemed happy with the conditions around which was evident from the way the gear shifts happened. Hot knife through butter!

I have always said this. The NS suffers due to 2 things. Bad quality stock rubber and bajaj 10000 dtsi engine oil. Happily, I had taken care of both the things and the bike purred on like a satisfied well fed kitten.

100 kms later I came across this huge milepost that said, “Kolkata, 1566 Kms.” Stopped and clicked a couple of photos.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-007.jpg


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-008.jpg


The roads till now were in great shape and I was hoping for it to be like that for the rest of the journey ahead.

Found a scenic cool-down spot and stopped to click a couple of photos. Mixed myself a refreshing drink and got re-energised! It wasn’t anything else, Chill! Tang! It was!


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-009.jpg


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-010.jpg


I pushed on.
As luck would have it, the good road turned bad, and then ugly within the next 35 kilometres. Right after I crossed Nellore, the NH5 was undergoing repairs and 6 Laning work was in progress. Diversions galore and the average speed dropped. Till that time I had averaged about 70 Kph, which steadily dropped to about 50 Kph and to 40 Kph by the next 100 odd kms!

Met a guy on a bullet here, and gave him a thumbs up. He lifted his visor and we exchanged pleasantries. Srinivas was travelling from Chennai to Hyderabad. We rode together for the next 50 kms, where we parted ways after a quick chai break.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-011.jpg


Post this point at Ongole, the roads became better, however there was severe ridging on the roads.

In a car this would be no menace but the bike started tramlining like crazy.

I hit the first patch at almost a triple digit figure and I scared the bejesus out of myself.

The bike was skipping about like a mad dog, there was barely any traction and the light was starting to fall.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-012.jpg


By now I had done about 500 Kms and I was absolutely unhappy with the roads. The NHAI website had told me earlier that the NH5 was at 99% completion except for a few flyovers which was at the end of completion stage. That however was far from the truth.

I suppose the best way to know about existing road conditions is to ask fellow travelers who have done the same roads in the near past. That way you don’t have to rely on useless sources, your best bet of knowing is the HVK forum. However, I came to know about HVK forums only after the completion of my trip and was cursing myself that the bike was in pain.

The roads started to even out in a while as I spurred on towards Vijaywada. Filled up at a petrol bunk and moved on.

I was supposed to meet my cousin Debdutta Guha at Vijaywada, an avid traveler himself who was coming back from Kolkata by car that he'd recently bought.

In fact, the original inspiration for doing the trip was him, who had done the Kolkata leg solo on a bruised and battered 3rd hand Pulsar way back in 2009. He still has that bike and after 75000 Kms on the clock, still pulls like crazy. He is by far one of the very good riders I have seen. Respect.

The diversions started to become rampant just before entering Vijaywada, and I initially thought I would stop there for night. I reached Vijaywada at ten past 6 and the sun was going down.

I crossed the bridge on the Krishna River, took an U-turn and called up my cousin. He was 10 minutes away, and I quickly snapped the sunset.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-013.jpg


Met my cousin over tea and a quick smoke, discussed some details about the road conditions, and took the customary happy peppy photograph.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-014.jpg


According to him, the road from Vijaywada to Vizag was well laid out and there were no road works. I toyed with the idea of closing in on my destination that evening by a couple of hundred kilometers more, and decided it best to make Rajahmundry that very night. Bade goodbye, exchanged pleasantries and soldiered on towards the halt for the night.

As informed, the road was good, and I covered the distance to Rajahmundry of about 220 Kms, in 2 hours and 20 minutes. It was dark and I did not bother with photographs. The roads were well patched with high visibility stripes and the median crossings were well marked, thus maintaining good speeds was possible even after darkness.

Crossed the bridge over the Godavari River before entering Rajahmundry, and was averaging good speeds when I hit a big pothole bang in the center of the road!

Clang!

A metallic sound reverberated in my ear! I feared a bent front rim.

It was more of a crater and pothole is a definite understatement.

I feared the worst at that moment, parked the bike to a side and slid off the saddle to check if things were alright.

The bike seemed fine, however my right shoulder had taken severe impact and I was starting to singe in pain. I took out the volini spray from the tankbag and applied. Cooled down for a bit, and had a smoke.

It was 9:00 p.m. and I was 18 Kms out of Rajahmundry.

Got on the saddle, the pain was slowly starting to mellow down, and rode of towards the halt for the night.

Took the detour from the main highway 16 Kms later to reach Rajahmundry.

The road was pitch dark and even though the stock headlamps on the bike were powerful enough, it was not quite adequate to light up everything in front. However, I kept going.

The road started to widen and I saw a circle with a statue on it, which demarcated habitation. From the circle to Rajahmundry is about 2 kms, and the road was bad. Potholed and battered, the bike took a few more hits and I ultimately reached a small inn, Hotel Ashraya.

Parked the bike outside and went to the reception.



The following conversation ensued:

Me: “Saar, Bike ka covered parking hai?”

Receptionist: “Yes Sir,” came the answer, “Security bhi hai raat bhar ke liye”

Me: “Good! Room Rent kitna hai?”


Picked out the cheapest room and paid the full amount since I would be leaving early the next morning.

I am not a sadist to wake up an elderly innkeeper from sweet slumber at 4:30 a.m. in the morning. Not everyone is as crazy I am! They have families and health problems.

Ordered some food, paid for that as well and parked the bike inside.

With a little help from an attendant, took off all the bags and wiped the dust off from the bike. Checked the ODO, and it read 896 kms for Day 1.

I was happy.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-015.jpg


My bumblebee had a companion for the night, a bright orange scooty pep. A lot might have happened through the night, of which I have no clue. If these two were upto something, I need to find out in about 9 months’ time.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-016.jpg


I went up to the room and slotted in the key. The lights came on.

The room was well appointed and for its price or 896 INR per night, was pretty decent.

The washroom was clean and the linen was fresh.

I took off all my gear, hit the shower and soaked myself in hot water.

I sprayed a whiff of deodorant, the name of which was very apt for the journey, took off my watch and attended to the door.

The waiter had come up with the food, gave him a tenner and eagerly gorged on it. Fried Rice and Chilli chicken never tasted better!

For long days of riding, I don’t eat much through the day. Snickers Bars and Tang are my general consumption. Rice makes me sleepy. And fat. And well, yeah, chocolates don’t.


Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul-017.jpg


Checked the phone for messages and replied to the ones that mattered.

NOTE: My parents were unaware of my ride. They were opinion that I would take the last flight out of Bangalore on 31st December and reach Kolkata by late night. However, I had kept my brother and all my friends posted about my whereabouts.

At precisely 11:17 p.m. I hit the sack, as I needed a good sleep to cover the distance on Day 2.

I started dreaming.

Ride on | Ride Hard | Ride Safe

Goodnight!




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END of DAY 1

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Last edited by preetam_KORG : 24th February 2014 at 14:25. Reason: Formatting
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Old 22nd February 2014, 23:26   #2
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Wow! I am just awed by your experience. Covering >1000 km in a single day and that too on two wheels is nothing less than a feat. Looking forward for your wonderful experience. I must say "YOU ARE A BORN BIKER."
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Old 22nd February 2014, 23:31   #3
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Love the "intro" pic. Now that I know that photography for you is a profession rather than a hobby like most of us, let me just say, keep 'em comin'! Write up is nice a swell!!
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Old 23rd February 2014, 00:44   #4
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Wow wow wow! I am out of words to type here! Fantastic start to a long pending log! Popcorn, drink and a good internet connection ready. I am all set to see the story unfold! Bring it on man!

Massive Respect!
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Old 23rd February 2014, 09:42   #5
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Wonderful Preetam Da. The moment Avishar (tbhp handle: avishar) told me that Preetam is on a solo ride to Kolkata with just one-stop at Rajmundhary, I had been awaiting this travelogue. 8407 kms across India couldn't have got better it seems.

I also learnt from Avishar that not even a single puncture happened in the entire ride and that the 200NS started off at the first crank in -5 degrees.

Please share more pics and info about the trip, more about the 200 NS too. Ride safe.

Last edited by //M : 23rd February 2014 at 09:43.
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Old 24th February 2014, 14:35   #6
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Mod note: Thread moved from Assembly Line To Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th February 2014, 14:49   #7
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100kmph View Post
Wow! I am just awed by your experience. Covering >1000 km in a single day and that too on two wheels is nothing less than a feat. Looking forward for your wonderful experience. I must say "YOU ARE A BORN BIKER."

Thanks 100kmph!
Born Biker or not I have no clue.
Infact I started riding pretty late, only after I joined my job.
There was a strict embargo against riding due to mommy darling and her talks with the family astrologer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by neel385 View Post
Love the "intro" pic. Now that I know that photography for you is a profession rather than a hobby like most of us, let me just say, keep 'em comin'! Write up is nice a swell!!
Thank you Neel! The photographs on Day 1 wont WOW you!
Infact the write up is pretty factual as well for Day 1.
Please subscribe to the thread and stay tuned for the Riding Day 3 onwards where the fun begins! Cheers mate!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Added_flavor View Post
Wow wow wow! I am out of words to type here! Fantastic start to a long pending log! Popcorn, drink and a good internet connection ready. I am all set to see the story unfold! Bring it on man!
Massive Respect!
Respect to You Sir!
Thank you for the kind words, please hold those horses till the start of Day 3 for the actual fun!


Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Wonderful Preetam Da. The moment Avishar (tbhp handle: avishar) told me that Preetam is on a solo ride to Kolkata with just one-stop at Rajmundhary, I had been awaiting this travelogue. 8407 kms across India couldn't have got better it seems.
I also learnt from Avishar that not even a single puncture happened in the entire ride and that the 200NS started off at the first crank in -5 degrees.
Please share more pics and info about the trip, more about the 200 NS too. Ride safe.
Thanks Bhai!
Avishar is also my roommate in case you didnt know!
It was a trip of a lifetime! For realistic purposes, I will post one day at a time, cos the whole log will be too much to chew as a whole!
I will say this though, that the 200NS is a blissful tourer, absolutely reliable, rock solid, slightly heavy, and a good tank range. All throughout the trip, there was no major glitch.
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Old 24th February 2014, 17:46   #8
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Superb narration, excellent write-up,photos.....Congratulations.....Hats off to your epic journey.......Good luck to you.........
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Old 24th February 2014, 17:47   #9
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Woah, finally the log is out. What a ride bro, take a bow! Takes a lot of courage and determination to do something like this. Kudos to you and your beloved bee. Eagerly waiting for the rest of the log. Love the way you write.

So, from all the way to Naidupeta to Vijaywada, the roads are not that great? What would be the alternate option?

Last edited by aviorp : 24th February 2014 at 17:50.
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Old 24th February 2014, 19:16   #10
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Wow. This is stupendous. Respect Dude!

Thats a hell lot of mile munching for a single day, that too on a bike and that too on a NS 200. I never thought these urban bikes would ever have the touring ability.

Subscribed and waiting to catch the rest of the action from you.

Cheers,
Raj
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Old 24th February 2014, 20:19   #11
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Quote:
Originally Posted by preetam_KORG View Post
Thanks Bhai!
Avishar is also my roommate in case you didnt know!
It was a trip of a lifetime! For realistic purposes, I will post one day at a time, cos the whole log will be too much to chew as a whole!
I will say this though, that the 200NS is a blissful tourer, absolutely reliable, rock solid, slightly heavy, and a good tank range. All throughout the trip, there was no major glitch.
Ofcourse I do know you both are roomies.

I mentioned his handle for other's sake. I guess I should have mentioned fellow bhpian Avishar.
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Old 24th February 2014, 22:00   #12
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Simply mind blowing!

I even think twice before travelling 500kms in a day in a SUV. You travelled more than 1000kms in a single day! Thats really amazing a kind of feat. I think that would means driving 18 hrs in a day.

Really inspiring buddy! Way to go.
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Old 24th February 2014, 22:24   #13
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

To sum it up in a word, insane! (BTW people have called me insane too, when I rode to BLR solo a couple of years back when I was 18) This thread is a motivation, because I plan to do something similar (Mum-Leh-Mum), hopefully this year itself.

Not having any punctures is great, but in case there would be one, do you know how to fix it? I don't have any clue on how it is fixed, and I shuddered at the thought when I was riding.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:08   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Man! This is insane!!
Kudos to your passion bro! Good point-to-point narration along with some awesome pictures! Thanks for penning down this travelogue buddy, so that all can have a glimpse of our beautiful country.

One question just out of curiosity: Did you ever have a feeling of boredom, especially riding on straight long highway stretches?

Last edited by nishantdlv : 25th February 2014 at 10:15.
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Old 25th February 2014, 10:30   #15
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Default Re: Discovering India : 8407 Kms | 15 Days | 15 States | 2 Wheels | 1 Bike | 1 Soul

Brilliant inspirational T-log Preetam!! Hooked on and eagerly waiting for more.

1110 kms on 2 wheels in a day, Massive respect man!!
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