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Old 15th September 2014, 15:51   #1
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Post A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar

On a pleasant Wednesday morning in March, I woke up a little sad and gloomy. Why sad and gloomy? Because I could not go on a Goa trip with my friends due to some family commitments. Their updates on facebook were not helping either. After being in that state of mind for almost half an hour, I realized that I could do a short solo trip for 3 days somewhere nearby. The wanderer mind started racing. While I was looking for options, I thought why not to go on bike? I have been planning a bike trip for long. Sometimes, the weather played spoil sport and sometimes the company was not right for bike rides. This time, as I was on my own, and the weather was nice, I decided that it has to be a bike trip only. Otherwise, once summers set in, I wouldn’t be able to do it for another 6 months minimum. Another hurdle: I don’t own any fancy riding gear. But, have my basics in place- a rough and tough jacket, cool leather gloves, a reliable helmet and a sturdy pair of shoes. That’s it. I was sorted. I immediately jumped out of bed and went into action mode. Got ready in a jiffy and went to the nearest Bajaj sevice centre to get a general check up done. Got it washed and some minor issues were fixed.

A rare sight. Shiny and gleaming beauty:
A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140313_005.jpg



A task that has been long pending was done today
A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140313_007.jpg


After coming back, took out my backpack and started strategizing on how light I can pack. I wanted to do this without any additional luggage. Just a backpack on my shoulders. By afternoon I was all set. In the meanwhile, my mind was racing for options even though the destination didn’t matter that much anymore. Still, I had to finalize something to tell to my parents. That was another major hurdle- convincing Mom for it. It turned out to be easier than expected. Maybe because they have got that trust in me after 8 years of riding. Finally, I zeroed in on Pushkar. I had been to Pushkar in December last year, and fell in love with the place. That time, it was a train journey and was in a group of 12. This time would be very different. I called up the owner of Bharatpur Palace Guest House, where we had stayed last time. Unfortunately, all rooms were occupied there. I decided to do this after reaching Pushkar. In the evening, I left to meet a few friends but skipped alcohol or heavy dinner in order to keep myself fit for the journey. Came back home by 11 and tried to sleep. But, sleep was nowhere in sight, as is always the case before journey day. Finally, got to sleep by 1:30.I
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Old 15th September 2014, 23:34   #2
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Post Day 1

Woke up with a heavy head at 5. A cup of strong Coffee took care of that. Was ready by 5:45. After goodbyes to the family, started the bike and was finally out of home. Seeing the world at this hour, which I rarely do, is always a pleasant sight. Birds chirping, people out for morning walks, children ready for school etc. Within 15- 20 mins, I was crossing India Gate.


Its so rare to see these kind of empty roads in Delhi.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_001.jpg


A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_004.jpg


Stopped at BPCL outlet at Race Course Road to get a tankfull of petrol. Fuel filled worth rupees 850. Resumed the journey but couldn’t resist the urge to stop within 5 mins and click this.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_005.jpg


Started again for NH-8. Crossed Gurgaon within half an hour and was at Manesar when the madness started. Trucks jamming the road. Progress was painfully slow for the next half an hour. Just when I was on the verge of losing it, the jammed stretch ended. Thanks to being on a two wheeler, I could make my way out of it. Next fifty or so kilometers were smooth with good roads and pleasant views. Stopped at around 8:30 AM for a break. The sun was now in its full glory but still bearable. Drank water from the half litre bottle I was carrying, gave a 10 min rest to the bike and clicked a few pics from my cellphone.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_008.jpg

Journey resumed. After some 150 odd kilometers from home, stopped for breakfast at a nice looking dhaba on the way. (Have forgotten the name now) After a hearty meal of paranthas, butter, dahi and chai, resumed my journey at 10:30. Soon, I was crossing the intersection where the highway to Jaipur gets separated from NH-8. I could see a drastic change of road quality and scenery immediately after crossing this intersection. I could cruise easily at triple digit speeds from here. What rush man. I was loving every bit of this journey. Couldn’t resist to stop and click this.


A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_010.jpg


Someday in future, I will be heading to Mumbai for a road trip. If all goes well, maybe this year only in December. But, in a car of course.

By 1 PM, it was time for another break. Stopped at a spot with shade under the trees. Had a smoke, drank water and recharged for 15 mins. Clicked this in the meanwhile.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_011.jpg


Resumed the journey with the intention of stopping at the destination now. Again, brilliant roads for the next 80 kms or so. And, the icing on the cake was: no tolls for 2 wheelers. I was enjoying every bit of the ride. After 6 years of ownership, I could finally get a return on my investment in this bike. I fell in love with the bike once again. A little history- my bike has been neglected for long. It was bought only for my love of bikes and was an upgrade from a Pulsar 150, which, in fact was used a lot in 2 years of ownership when I was in college. Due to work pressure, I was not able to make good use of this bike. All trips were done by car or other public means because all my travelling was either on business or for relaxation from business. Apart from a trip to Chandigarh, this bike has not seen any roads outside Delhi and has been primarily used for running nearby errands or occasional weekend rides only. While I was contemplating all this, I came to the realization that fuel level is low and I need to tank up soon. I thought I will take care of this once I reach Ajmer. Soon, I could see signs that I am nearing Ajmer. I saw a decent looking fuel station and decided to tank up there. Had to take a u turn after 400 metres into the service lane to get there and when I stopped at the fuel tank, the guy told me they were out of petrol, only diesel was available. There was nothing to be alarmed though, as I had plenty of fuel to reach Ajmer easily (even Pushkar for that matter) but my mindset is to always tank up before the fuel level drops to 1/4th of the tank capacity and this was way beyond that. Anyways, with a firm resolve to stop at the next available fuel bunk, I moved on. Within 10 mins, I had reached the outskirts of Ajmer and was relieved that I will definitely find a fuel bunk very soon. I saw a sign directing me to take a right to go to Pushkar. I did that. What I saw after wards was a drastic change of scenery. Single lane but smooth black tarmac with rocks and desert- like terrain all around. I stopped twice to check if this is the route to Pushkar. It was indeed. Why I was so surprised was because on my last journey, I had gone through a different route which passes through Ajmer city and reaches Pushkar. But this was a byepass which lets you avoid the entire rush and traffic of Ajmer. And boy was I enjoying the scenery. It was a feast for the eyes for someone who has never been to a desert before. But, a small part of me was worried because of low fuel. Even the reserve light was on now. And chances of finding a fuel station here were slim. Getting stranded here was the last thing I wanted because it was a pretty deserted stretch with some engineering colleges here and there and some occasional villages. I stopped for the last time to click this.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_017.jpg

Stopped again. This milestone deserves to be captured.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_022.jpg

Enjoying every bit of the terrain, I was soon nearing Pushkar when I saw a rural Rajasthani old man in a traditional attire waving at me for a lift. I stopped and asked him- “Kahan jaoge Chacha??” He said something which I couldn’t understand and I said “main Pushkar jaa raha hoon, wahan tak chodd du?” to which he nodded his head. And we moved ahead. It must have been an amusing sight for passersby to see a biker guy and this man sitting behind. I tried asking one or two more questions but then realized he is speaking some language which is absolutely alien to me. Hence, I lost hope of any conversation and moved on. Encountering such people always intrigues me because you get to know certain random things which you cant otherwise. 10 mins later, we were entering the town of Pushkar. The old man patted on my shoulder, signaling me to stop, which I did. He got off and folded his hands to thank me. I smiled and folded my hands back in a Namaste sort of way. Back to reality, with only 1 bar showing on the digital fuel gauge, I stopped and asked a local for fuel pump, and he directed me to it. Got a tank full and headed to Pushkar town. There are numerous entry and exit points to Pushkar and it’s a maze of small lanes, making it tough to find your way to the heart of the town. My first stop was Bharatpur Palace (which I had called last night) to check once again and see if I could find a room for myself there. I absolutely loved that place. The owners are charming and its terrace looks out onto the sarovar, giving a good view of the entire town. To my disappointment, I got the same response- “we are full for the week.” Surprisingly, the owner instantly recognized me from my last stay 3 months back. He greeted me warmly and apologized for not being able to provide any accommodation this time. I asked him to recommend something nice for me which he did. The place was neareby. I reached there within 5 mins after getting lost twice. It was Mama’s guest house. They had a room and asked for INR 1800 for 2 nights. After some bargaining, we settled for 1500. So, at quarter to 4 PM, I was finally in Pushkar and settled in my room comfortably.

After resting for a while and taking a shower, I locked my room and went to the rooftop restaurant of the guest house. Ordered a pasta for myself and settled down comfortably. Food at most places in Pushkar is made from scratch with all the organic ingredients possible. So, it takes a good deal of time to get served to you. I waited for almost 45 mins with dinosaurs in my stomach and finally I was served with this:

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140314_026.jpg


It was evening time when I decided to go for a stroll down the lanes of Pushkar. Though I did explore the place extensively on my last trip, I decided to do it again. The place is always full of foreigners. And its full of establishments catering to foreigners. Some of the establishments are not even interested in entertaining Indian nationals. I think a major chuck of their revenue comes from foreign nationals. All the food served by these establishments is prepared according to the palate of foreigners and even the music they play is all Western. Actually, there are two highly contrasting sides of Pushkar. One which is full of hippies from all over the world and an entire industry running well to serve them, and the other is the hindu devotees coming from all parts of india to visit the famous brahma temple which is in the centre of the town. All in all, I like the serenity of the place. Even the guest house where I was staying played german music. After an hour of roaming around, I headed back to my guest house as I was tired and wanted to relax. Went straight to the rooftop café and ordered a pizza for myself along with a diet coke. Had a long chat with the chef while my meal was being prepared. The pizza turned out to be excellent and I enjoyed every bit of it. Also got talking to 2 german nationals sitting there in the café. At 9:30, I decided to retire for the day. I don’t remember when I went to bed so early in recent times. It was a very peaceful sleep for me.
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Old 16th September 2014, 12:21   #3
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Post Day 2

I woke up fresh at a leisurely 8 AM. Got ready and left to have some good English breakfast which comprised of butter toast, pancakes, hash brown and coffee. It was bliss to eat at some rooftop café overlooking the sarovar. The music being played and the cool breeze made the entire experience wonderful. Sorry I don’t remember some of the names now. Also ate some daal pakwaan at a cart and got some malpuaas packed to binge on later. After some more roaming around town and stocking up on essentials such as coke, water, chocolates, I headed back to the guest house for a while. After keeping all the purchases in my room, I went straight to the rooftop café and settled down in a comfortable spot to read a book. I sat there for close to 4 hrs, and had some food and shakes in the meanwhile. When the sun toned down its harshness a little, I decided to venture out on bike with no particular agenda in mind, just random riding to nearby areas. Right outside the guest house, I saw this:


A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140316_001.jpg

This was still a work in progress and this is the best shot that i could take of the huge wall in a narrow lane. And guess what, this entire thing was done by a foreigner.

I left soon after this and rode for a while in a very relaxed manner, clicking photos here and there and observing the locals.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140315_004.jpg

After an hour or so of doing this, went back to town and headed to one of the ghats on the sarovar which provides a very good view of the entire sarovar and the town behind it. I decided to stay there till sundown. There were a few tourists, but I was not bothered. I was having a great time, soaking in the serenity and the calmness of the place. I clicked a few photos of the entire view at different times and from different angles.

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140315_009.jpg

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140315_015.jpg

A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar-wp_20140315_020.jpg


I headed back to the guest house at 7:30. The 2 Germans I had befriended the other night were sitting there at the rooftop. I joined them in. We lost track of time in the middle of random conversations and lots of food. When I checked my watch it was close to 12:30 AM. I decided to call it a day and go to sleep as I had planned to leave by 9 AM the next day. Said my goodbyes to the awesome new friends, exchanged mail IDs and came down to my room to sleep.
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Old 16th September 2014, 12:35   #4
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Post Day 3

Woke up at 7 AM, got ready and went to have some light breakfast in the market. Came back and settled my bill at the reception. Packed up my stuff and was out by 9:15. Once geared up for the long ride back home, I decided to cover the first half of the journey fast, i.e. the stretch from Pushkar to Jaipur as I had to be home by 7 in the evening because I had to meet someone later in the evening. This particular stretch is quite nice with butter smooth tolled expressways all the way. Within a few minutes, I was out of town and onto the byepass road. Crossing this stretch, I was on NH 8 once again and doing triple digit speeds all the way. I rode for close to 2.5 hrs non stop when I had the urge to take a short break. The sun was quite harsh at this hour and I could feel my energy getting drained faster due to it. I delayed my break for 30 minutes due to various reasons- firstly, my mind was in a hurry to be closer to home before being relaxed and secondly, I could not find any decent spot whenever I had a strong urge to stop. Hence, it kept getting delayed. Finally, when I could take it no more, I stopped. Took off my jacket and boy, what a relief I felt after that. Took a leisurely 20 min break. Gulped down all the water I was carrying and smoked a cigarette. Also ate an energy bar I was carrying to get some strength back. Resumed the journey and I was feeling much better after this. When I was nearing Jaipur byepass, my fuel gauge was at around half a tank. Decided to tank up at a decent looking fuel bunk. I started feeling hungry soon after that. But could not spot any decent looking eatery. 1 or 2 eateries which appealed to me, were crossed before I could make up my mind. This happens with me always. Whenever I intend to stop somewhere, I pass that particular place in the process of deciding. Almost an hour passed in this whole drama in my mind. Finally, I saw a sign of a dhaba 1 km ahead. I slowed down and stopped at it. Looked nice to me. Parked my bike in a shaded spot. It was 2:00 by this time. I also realized that I had stopped exactly opposite to the place where I had my breakfast day before yesterday. Ordered a Rajasthani thali for myself along with some aerated beverages and water. After eating all the western style food for the past 2 days, this desi meal appealed a lot to my tastebuds. I resumed my journey at 3:00. Thankfully, I didn’t encounter any major jams on the entire way till Manesar. By 5:15, after riding hard for close to 120 kms, I decided to take a final break before I enter the madness of Gurgaon and delhi at rush hour. Stopped at a dhaba near Manesar. Took a 15 min break with some butter toast and tea. 7 PM target was easily achievable now. Resumed my journey. When I crossed Rajeev Chowk on Gurgaon expressway, I was still doing triple digit speeds which, my mind registered in sometime, was risky. It soon struck to me that I was experiencing the phenomenon of velocitization, where in, if one has been driving at high speeds for too long, he/ she tends to maintain that speed even on busy city roads and be comfortable with it. I eased down on the throttle and deliberately set my limit to 80 kmph, so that my mind can re-calibrate with it. Soon, I was crossing the IGI Airport, where I was supposed to come back later in the evening. Thankfully, being a Saturday, I didn’t encounter any major traffic jams anywhere and was home by 7:15 PM. I had made it in time for fulfilling my commitments. Took a 15 min rest, showered and left for work in my car, leaving the bike back home for a long rest.

Thank you for reading through my journey. I hope you all enjoyed it. Please excuse the mistakes I made, if any. I am still a newbie to writing you see

Here are a few statistics for the trip:

Total distance travelled: 890 kms
Time taken for one- side of the journey: 10 hours (Including 1 meal break and 2 short breaks of 15 mins each)
Total fuel consumed: 29 litres
Cost of fuel (approx): INR 2100
Mileage delivered: 30 kmpl

--THE END--
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Old 17th September 2014, 11:36   #5
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Default Re: A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar

Hi Shanky,

You did the best use of the bike a Delhi-wallah could possibly get.
I am sure you had a wonderful time. I would be using this stretch this month-end for my drive to Baroda.

Why didn't you stop at Jaipur.
I am sure you could have visited the City Fort (Can't remember the name) at least.
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Old 17th September 2014, 15:02   #6
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Default Re: A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar

Glad to see a good trip narrated well.

Recently I had to reach Baramati from Mumbai before 6 hours for attending a funeral. My car was already at baramati as parents drove it a day ago. Only choice I had was to ride the 250+kms directly from office, in formals.

Started in the afternoon and returned late at night. Covered over 600+kms in a day on the P200 Dts-i

Attending office the next day was such a pain. Had to take a half day and go home as the pain in inner thighs was almost unbearable.

I think, the P220 is not a very comfortable bike for long rides. Have done Mumbai Pune rides and had to adjust the riding position as lot more often than required.

How was your experience about the riding position?
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Old 17th September 2014, 16:35   #7
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Default Re: A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanderers View Post
Hi Shanky,

You did the best use of the bike a Delhi-wallah could possibly get.
I am sure you had a wonderful time. I would be using this stretch this month-end for my drive to Baroda.

Why didn't you stop at Jaipur.
I am sure you could have visited the City Fort (Can't remember the name) at least.
Im glad I finally took my bike on such a journey. It was an amazing experience for me. And after this trip, I have resolved to undertake at least 2-3 such trips in a year.

I have been to Jaipur numerous times and have visited all the popular landmarks already so didn't really want to do that again.
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Old 17th September 2014, 16:48   #8
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Default Re: A short, impromptu ride to Pushkar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratzgh1 View Post
Glad to see a good trip narrated well.

Recently I had to reach Baramati from Mumbai before 6 hours for attending a funeral. My car was already at baramati as parents drove it a day ago. Only choice I had was to ride the 250+kms directly from office, in formals.

Started in the afternoon and returned late at night. Covered over 600+kms in a day on the P200 Dts-i

Attending office the next day was such a pain. Had to take a half day and go home as the pain in inner thighs was almost unbearable.

I think, the P220 is not a very comfortable bike for long rides. Have done Mumbai Pune rides and had to adjust the riding position as lot more often than required.

How was your experience about the riding position?
Thanks Pratzgh1, my experience with the riding position was just fine as I was mentally prepared for it and didn't stretch myself too much except on 1 or 2 occasions. Of course I cant compare the ride comfort with that of a Royal Enfield, but I think it was fine without any major stress on my body. The key here is to go in a relaxed manner and take frequent breaks. Of course, in your case you had to rush due to time constraints and there was no other option. I would love to undertake more such journeys again.
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Old 17th September 2014, 16:56   #9
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Default Re: Day 3

I enjoyed reading the travelouge, job well done by your Pulsar and of course you.
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Old 25th September 2014, 01:46   #10
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Default Re: Day 1

Hey Shanky,

A well done solo ride mate!! . It takes guts to do a solo, no matter what the distance or destination is, the hardest part being convincing parents. I was in a similar situation last year wherein all hell broke loose when i told my Mother about my plans to go solo to Kausani. It was one helluva task. Also, a special mention for maintaining your P 220 in a MINT condition. It speaks volumes about the care with which it has been looked after. It reminds me of my P 200(bought in Aug 2008). I too take very good care of the naked beast.

Looking at the ODO pic, i see the air filter warning sign. That usually comes up when you have a clogged filter. Did you check that?
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Old 25th September 2014, 11:57   #11
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Hey Shanky,

A well done solo ride mate!! . It takes guts to do a solo, no matter what the distance or destination is, the hardest part being convincing parents. I was in a similar situation last year wherein all hell broke loose when i told my Mother about my plans to go solo to Kausani. It was one helluva task. Also, a special mention for maintaining your P 220 in a MINT condition. It speaks volumes about the care with which it has been looked after. It reminds me of my P 200(bought in Aug 2008). I too take very good care of the naked beast.

Looking at the ODO pic, i see the air filter warning sign. That usually comes up when you have a clogged filter. Did you check that?
Thanks AstaAddict. Going by your handle, we have another thing in common apart from the pulsar: The i20 Asta. Mine is the 1st gen i20 Asta CRDi.

I have been attached to all the vehicles I have owned till date and take great care of all of them.

The warning sign came on when I was midway in my journey , it was indeed a clogged air filter. Took care of it as soon as I came back to Delhi.
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