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|3rd February 2010, 15:27||#1|
Rider Mania X : Bad Boy Report on the ride,Some MORE pics added.
23-ONE: My way is the HighWay
It is the time of the year every Royal Enfield rider looks forward to.
A long ride, open roads and meeting friends.
When spending 4 days on a bike to spend 2 days with friends makes sense.
Rider Mania X, was hosted by Inddiethumpers at Vikramgad.
The registrations started in December and I promptly signed up on the last day for the initial low price.
My first hitch occurred a week later.
My bike's tank sprung a leak and the smell of petrol would permeate as soon as the bike was left alone.
The bike went in for repairs and the tank was welded shut.
A trial highway run showed the repair job as inadequate.
I fixed Sudhir’s old tank on my bike.
My tank went in for more repairs and its storage upgraded 18L.
I needed to get my seat fixed as well. 6.5 years of usage had rendered it hard.
But decided to put off till my tank is ready and I can undertake any modification to the plate.
Big mistake as it later turned out.
Sudhir, Vasant and The BlackJack took off for Vikramgad on Thursday.
Kashyap and I left Friday morning.
My ride story starts from Friday morning
Swaroop had told me that although he would not be able to make it to RM; He would like to attend the take off.
So at 5:40 AM, I meet up with Swaroop and we ride towards Kothaguda.
Kashyap joins us there and we have some tea. The weather feels really nice and by 6:00 AM we ride into the highway.
No cold is something I can tolerate. This is freezing. I give up overtaking some trucks as it’s too painful to move my fingers and pull back the clutch.
Our initial plan was to stop somewhere around Zaheerabad and have tea. But with this cold weather, I signal a stop opposite the MRF factory.
We warm ourselves by the fire and get some hot tea. It’s the first tea for the shop guy and hence it’s quite nice. Fresh tea powder.
But looks like our plan of stopping at Zaheerabad was heard by someone else as well. And afraid that we might not stop, providence sent a Hero Honda in front of Kashyap's LB500.
An idiot was taking a U-Turn from the wrong side of the road and facing the other way.
His front tire met Kashyap's foot rest.
Luckily Kashyap's experience and alertness saved his foot. He moved it just in time. The foot rest however bent at an awkward 90 degree angle.
Making it parallel to the bike.
The Hero Honda lost its entire front. The fork and tire got twisted. The mud guard, headlight console broke.
We later stopped by at Humnabad. A puncture shop guy used a long steel pipe to wring the footrest back into place.
Hungry! We stopped at a small restaurant after Solapur. The time was around 11 AM. The restaurant actually surprised me.
The daal+roti were simply too good and the aloo parathas spectacular.
A leisurely lunch break later we rode into some nasty traffic.
The traffic jams spanning kilometer after kilometer.
Some idiots decided to break the line and accelerate like crazy into us.
Wearing a helmet puts a check on your vocabulary. There is no point cursing when the only one who can hear it is you.
We finally left the cursed jams behind at Tembhurni. Our next destination was Ahmednagar.
It’s a lovely state highway road. There is traffic but not a lot of it. We entered Ahmednagar and stopped at a sweets shop.
I love food and like to try everything.
We had some nice samosas, kachoris and sweets.
The roads had begun changing by now.
It was a lot of curves and riding was getting fun.
The temperature started dropping.
We reached Otur and as we stopped for dinner at about 8PM, got a message from Sudhir.
He warned us to not ride in the night. Sudhir would never warn against riding unless the conditions were really bad.
So we called it a night and checked into New Monica hotel.
The name was a little sleazy sounding but the place was excellent.
The room tariff was 700 for a night.
Tried watching TV but sleep overcame us really fast.
I must have changed my seat before I left. A nasty ache in my back and every bump was getting magnified. Quite confused on how I will handle the ride ahead.
But God takes care of children and bikers.
We woke up late and continuing with our eco friendly mode, decided to not waste any water for mundane things like bathing.
A freak accident in the parking lot had my bike drenched in water. Maybe fate itself was trying to make a point.
We stopped at a nearby restaurant for breakfast. The Maharashtrian cuisine is so different from what I am used to.
We had a Vada Pav, Misail and some sweets. I am loving it!
The ride took us past a beautiful lake. This is the Malsej ghat. I found a lovely resort on the bank of that lake. Su Shant Resort.
I have no idea how the place is, but its location is very good.
The ghats are nice and roads fairly good.
Feel like a bird flying the sky.
We keep on riding thru some narrow roads. This is supposed to be a shortcut of some sort. But we are getting tired. Our attire is more suited to cooler winds. My bike seat is really being a big pain now.
Can barely wait to get off as everything that can hurt; hurts.
We finally reach the venue at about 1PM.
Kashyap needs to complete his registration. We finally get to our rooms. The bathroom is clean but there is no hot water.
I wash my face and decide to suspend all personal hygiene stuff for the next few days.
As I mentioned earlier God does look after bikers. Among the stalls put up at the venue is my namesake. Imran.
He sells custom seats for bikes. I get a new split seat for my tb. It’s so soft and comfortable.
I inspect my old seat. The foam inside has actually gone so hard that it turns to powder.
Anyways my return trip will be more comfortable and it was.
The food at the venue is basic fare but it’s very good. I load up on the meat and deserts.
Apart from riding, I love reading. I care two hoots for music. But give me a book and I am glued to it.
So as my friends watch the rock show, I am lost in my book. The rooms have hammocks on the trees outside them. I make myself comfortable and read till almost 3 AM.
Then the cold starts getting to me.
Ended up sleeping with almost as much stuff as I would while riding.
I wake up shivering with cold. The thin blanket was useless. There is hot water available. But it needs to be fetched from outside.
The bucket we have is too small. So I continue with the wash face and base and forget it routine.
Not feeling hungry, my breakfast is pav roti dipped in tea.
In the background a lot of events are going on. But I am not really interested in them. In fact I am horrified at the high revving sounds.
Decide to visit the workshop instead.
Found that a chain link in my bike had broken. Got that replaced. Made a couple of nice friends while getting my bike fixed.
More events going on in the background but I try not to let them disturb me.
Everyone is having so much fun.
Met Amip and her husband in the afternoon. Met throttleking later in the day.
Since we have a long trip coming up, decide to retire early.
But that is not going to happen.
Some bad news, Kashyap lost his wallet. Most of his money and all his cards are lost.
We suspect it was lost in the dirt track trail. Walk up and down that trail but we are unable to find it.
The entire luggage is packed, goodbyes said and we are set to leave.
A rider from roadshakers has a flat tire. They did not bring the entire kit as the distance for Pune guys is too short. Anyways, my tire removal kit comes in handy.
The tube is replaced in no time by Baljeet. Now we finally roll out at about 10 AM.
Sudhir and the two others would leave a little later. They would then break up into two groups. Sudhir and DJ rode non-stop and reached Hyderabad at 4 AM on Tuesday.
Vasant the sensible guy stayed over at Solapur for the night and rode alone into Hyderabad.
Kashyap and I have planned to check out Mumbai. It’s my first visit to this city. The last time was during the night for a connecting flight and I was too young to remember anything.
Mumbai sets an example on how traffic must move. The people extremely friendly and more than once we were helped out with directions.
The difference in Hyderabad traffic and Mumbai is simple. Here everyone tries to prevent the other from overtaking them. In Mumbai they help others overtake them.
I meet up with GTO, Rehaan, Stratos and Ported head. Free lunch at Not Just Jazz by the Bay.
Discussions on cars, bikes and food. Was very nice meeting you guys.
Visit Gateway of India, The Taj Mahal hotel. The view is spectacular.
We ride past the Leopold cafe and the CST.
My mind brings back images of the carnage the terrorists brought here. I remember the feeling of impotent rage against them as they attacked my country.
The anger I felt against them when the bombs exploded in Hyderabad. Inside the Mecca masjid, in gokul chat and in the park.
My prayer to God is simple. If I have ever done a single good thing in my life, may you take account of it and destroy those who split innocent blood.
May their souls always burn in the hottest part of hell.
We meet up with Kashyap's classmate. Our free food streak is still on. Get some ice-cream inside in preparation of the long ride ahead.
Ride on till we reach Lonavala. Stop to pick up some of the famous chiki. It turns out that no matter how much you pick it will always be less than what will satisfy you.
At Pune we stop at a restaurant that served the worst soup ever. Lousy service and not so great good. Luckily the company was great. Again free food courtesy Kashyap's friends.
It’s about mid night by the time we hit the road. The sky is clear but we are ready for calling it a night.
But there is no place to stay. We reach Lone. No hotels anywhere. Puttering on we finally reach a hotel in Indapur. The time is almost 3 AM.
300 bucks and a bed that I guess sees a lot of action.
We did not even remove our jackets and riding gear except the helmet.
Woke up fresh. Stopped from some breakfast. Stale pav and sad misail later we were on our way. Riding on we reached Solapur. As I need to get lost, so I did. Ended up going about 2 kms on a wrong highway before asking for directions and returning.
We stopped for some decent lunch. Mutton and roti. The day was warming up and we were riding on comfortably.
Kashyap owned a tb before he sold it and got the 500 lb. He and I are almost equally matched in riding skills. He is a little more aggressive and generally takes the lead. But with the 500 lb under him, it was very difficult to keep up with him.
Around Humnabad, I find a crowd forming up by the side of the road. After our earlier incident in Zaheerabad, I have my heart in my mouth.
It’s someone else. A biker who was riding without wearing a helmet. The helmet had rolled far away and was safe. He however broke his head.
I found him lying down, trembling and shivering. Leaking blood from his cracked skull. I don't think he survived the crash. The ambulance was called and I think the local people there knew him.
He had tried to avoid a bicycle. Skidded out of control and smashed head down on the road.
500 people die of motorcycle head injuries in Hyderabad. At least half of them would have survived if they wear a helmet.
As I ride on, my speeds are drastically reduced. The biker who died was less than a kilometer in front of me when he smashed. He was about my age. Its a little unnerving.
But I keep reminding myself that I have not skidded of my bike in ages. That I practice high speed braking. My helmet is very good and I ride a lot more than most others.
I enter Hyderabad. A lot of road shows are going on. There are demands for a separate state.
The entire civil life has been turned upside down.
People kill themselves in support of a cause.
People kill others in support of their cause.
But they don't wear a helmet and hence die for no cause.
I reach home at 8 PM.
Thank god for a good ride.
Life goes on.
Pics will follow. I did not take my camera along. So am waiting for other to upload the pic, which I will post here.
Last edited by bblost : 5th February 2010 at 11:56.
|3rd February 2010, 16:23||#2|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2010
Thanked: 2,115 Times
The bull bearing AP9 headlights looks awesome. Is that a custom make? The front handle bar support from the forks without the speedo & the chrome turn lights gives an impression of HD.
|3rd February 2010, 18:28||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Thanked: 694 Times
Nice writeup, Imran! The AP28 bike has a nice seat. Would love to get something like that done.
|3rd February 2010, 18:52||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Great read there bblost! Makes me nostalgic. It was freezing that morning - wasn't it? - never thought Hyderabad could get so cold - colder than anything i remember from many high altitude trips - which is rather strange..
It must be painful to witness an accident that bad - but sometimes i think that people who refuse to wear a helmet are asking for it!
Your new seat was very comfortable - I'm going to check out the foam in the seat of our steed - wonder if its turned to powder - certainly felt like it & not in a good way - lol!
|3rd February 2010, 22:01||#8|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Thanked: 10 Times
Wow, love the seat on the LB. I should look at getting something like that for long rides. Nice log BBlost.
|4th February 2010, 01:07||#10|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 16 Times
your write up makes me want to sit up and go for a ride myself, very well narrated. waiting for more pictures .
|4th February 2010, 02:28||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, Texas
Thanked: 9 Times
Damn! very well written Sir!I almost lived through the riding experience with you.Superb detail orientation, I must say!.
This is something I'd always long to do when I was in college. But no bike (just a Kinetic),and not many adventure-ladden friends. Someday, I hope!
|4th February 2010, 10:55||#12|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 0 Times
The LB would be me.
Seat is a custom made split seat with removable backrest that can be used on the front as well as the back. Bought it from BB's namesake at RM.
It was a great trip overall. I was sleepy for 2 days after getting back :-)
Did anyone notice the Phantom in the first pic ?
|4th February 2010, 17:06||#13|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Thanked: 163 Times
Awesome narration there. You guys seemed to have had a blast. Feel bad for having not made it to lunch that afternoon, wasnt keeping well. Waiting to see pictures from your trip.
P.S : I see a Phantom in the first pic.
|4th February 2010, 17:51||#14|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jan 2010
Thanked: 2,115 Times
The thing is, most of the bike looks odd when the ODO's are being removed, but here it fits in well into the bike. I think its mainly because of the silver colored raised tank & surrounding chromes( I guess its due to the HD). In addition, if you buff the clutch & front brake levers with silver coat (or if you want to chrome) that would be even awesome.
Last but not the least, the fuel cap placed at the corner of the fuel tank will be the ultimate one.
|5th February 2010, 10:24||#15|
I will try and upload such a shot. Am still waiting for the pics from rider mania.
A frontal shot of my headlight can be seen here. https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...ml#post1715699
No plans on buffing the levers etc.
However, I do intend to remove the rear split seat and put in a carrier instead.
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