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Old 1st April 2019, 12:05   #1
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Default Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

I love traveling in the Himalayas by a self-driven vehicle. I have traveled extensively in different regions of Himalayas in my own car (or a friend's car). During those drives, I got my own experiences of off-roading in different terrains like snow, slush, sand, rocky surfaces, uneven inclines, etc. However, I don't consider myself an off-roader. In fact, I have never done serious off-roading with a pure (mechanical) 4x4. Most of my drives to the mountains or sand or beaches are done with FWD vehicles. I have very little experience in AWD cars and almost nil in hardcore 4x4 vehicles. Saying that, I am always eager to face challenges. The quote in my signature actually suits me - "Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway. Lookin' for adventure, and whatever comes our way." In the quest of "whatever comes our way", I faced many unpleasant situations. However, that's a different subject altogether.

I love off-roading. I love watching hardcore 4x4 vehicles tackling the different obstacles. I have been to a couple of off-roading events, but both of them were joint events organized by 4x4 clubs and Royal Enfield clubs. So during those events, my entire attention was on motorcycle off-roading (with Royal Enfield).

I always wanted to participate in some off-roading events and tackle obstacles. Last Sunday (31st March 2019), I got a chance to do some real off-roading in a friend's brand new Thar 4x4.

I was following "Offroad Club of Gujarat" (OCG's) Facebook page. There was an announcement of their next off-roading event. It was just 40 km far from my hometown on a dry river bed (full of sand). It was a half day event, so we could be home before 1400 hours.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-55736453_2332070956816524_1117628323816538112_n.jpg

I immediately got in touch with them and showed my eagerness for registration. However, I don't own a 4*x vehicle. So technically. I could not register/participate as a driver. Friendly Organiser Avadh Amin asked me to remain present at the event and participate as a co-driver with one of the participants. I was a bit skeptical about that. Every participant always has his own plans and accommodating a complete stranger in the vehicle is always an uncomfortable situation.

After some days, I got in touch with an old friend and BHPian, Khalil Khan. I told him my dilemma of participating as co-driver. Khalil said "tu sirf location pe pahoch jana, baki sab dekh lenge (just reach the location)". I didn't ask any further questions. Khalil is a seasoned off-roader and one of the oldest members of OCG.

It was all set and I confirmed to Khalil that I"ll be there at the location. But then, I noticed something on the Facebook wall of OCG. One of an old friend and riding buddis was trying to get in touch with OCG for details of the event. I was aware that recently he had bought a Thar, but I was not aware if it was a 4x4. I called him. He wanted to participate in that off-roading event with his own brand new (without even an RTO number) Thar 4x4. He told me that he didn't know anything about off-roading and wanted to start from the beginning. That was interesting. We had done many long Royal Enfield rides together. We knew each other's mindset for long drives and adventures.

We discussed the "how, where and when" of the event. We decided to participate in the event as a team, wherein both of us will be driver and co-driver. We registered our selves for the event.

Every Man on his own OTR - Tamed The Sand.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-54728821_2332073266816293_2572499163342176256_n.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 5th April 2019 at 17:26. Reason: Language
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Old 2nd April 2019, 11:08   #2
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

I and my co-driver(and driver ) decided to wake up each other at 0430 on the D- Day. Both of us were excited about the event.

On D-Day, I woke up at 0400 and called my companion. He confirmed to me that he was fully awake and will start driving towards venue within 15 minutes. I got freshened up and started my drive to the venue by my MS Brezza.

The start time was 0600. I reached the venue at 0555 and registered our selves. Other vehicles were already there. All of them were preparing their vehicles for upcoming challenges. There were many familiar faces, friends from Motorcycle group, travel groups and photography group. I must say travel, automobile and photography enthusiasm go hand in hand.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-3.jpg

However, among those familiar faces and some of the familiar vehicles I was not able to spot my companion and his THAR. I called him up. He was running a bit late. I asked him to make it fast and reach soon. I talked to the organizer team, as per them they were accepting more than 50 vehicles and most of the vehicles did not arrive. I utilized that time to take some tips from experienced off-roaders.

Parth ( oh yeah my Companion's name is Parth) arrived with his brand new THAR. It was a brand new vehicle (with Temp number) and just 1000km on Odo. We pasted stickers on the vehicle and immediately after that, we got in the argument of who will wear OCG T-shirts . After some argument, I gave him the OCG t-shirt and I choose to wear my TeamBHP t-shirt.

Parth with his Thar.
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Me with my Team-BHP T-shirt.
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Note : As I mentioned above, there were many friends from a photography group. One of my old friend and amazing photographer Mital Patel was there. Mital graciously allowed me to use his Photographs for this report.

We were all set to start the driver. One of the important tip for driving in the sand was to decrease the air pressure of the tires. As per experts, We should remove air for 20 seconds from each tire(If the pressure is 30-35 PSI). We did exactly the same and got in the queue of the flag of.

flag of Ceremony.
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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

As mentioned in OCG's announcement, there was no trophy to win, it was not a competition. However, there was a time card for start and each and every landmarks/obstacle. We got our card timed and started the driver.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-9.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 11:18.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 11:49   #3
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

We got our card time stamped and zoomed pass the flag-of girls. This event was on a dry river bed with dry and loose sand. Some important tips were, don't use the half-clutch, tackle the sand with 1500-2000 rpm. I was driving the vehicle and keeping all the tips in mind. It was fun to drive a 4*4 vehicle in that sand with uneven inclines.

The quantity of sand kept increase and the vehicle 's responsiveness kept decreasing. I tried to recall all the tips and applied them on the vehicle. After 15 minutes, we got stuck in the sand. It was not major but then we were the first timers, it became major as we were not able to move at all.

We were not able to move.
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We were stuck at a strategic point, where all the other vehicles were passing us with healthy speed. We strongly felt that we did something wrong.

Other Vehicles at the Same Spot.
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We got out of the vehicle and observed the situation. Once again, I felt that it was not that major. First thing came in my mind was to put flat stones under the tires and get out of that mess. However, that entire route was full of that kind sand. The flat stone was a temporary solution. I wanted to understand what was wrong with us and wanted to rectify it.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-11.jpg

Some of the spotter and members of the rescue team came to our aid.

The rescue guy: Frist timer with a new vehicle?
We: Oh Yes!

He got on the wheel and got the vehicle out of the mess. He gave us some more tips and asked us to remove some more air from the tires. We removed some more air. That rescue guy gave some more tips and encouraged us to go ahead.

Some tips from Rescue guy.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-14.jpg

And some more tips.
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The rescue guys encouraged us by saying that this is off-roading and this kind of things keep happening. He told us not to blame ourselves neither the vehicle. The important thing is how you get out of those kinds of situations. Those tips and that small speech was a good morale booster for us.

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 11:21.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 12:54   #4
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

We moved ahead with boosted morale and less air in our tires. THAR was more responsive after removing some more air. We were able to maintain a nice speed. THAR was sailing like a boat in the loose sand between 1500-2000 RPM. We kept moving ahead.

We moved ahead.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-16.jpg

Thar was sailing.
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We joined other vehicles.
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We spotted many vehicles struggling or stuck in the loose sand. That reminded me of the rescue guy's statement. Struggling and getting stuck is part of the package and that's fun. However, we remained cautious. Spotter and rescue team were busy helping other vehicles.

A struggling Gypsy.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-20.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

and stuck.
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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

A Pajero.
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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

An Isuzu.
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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

And a Thar.
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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

That was one bad part of the route. We met BHPian Khalil there, he was guiding other vehicles. He asked about our status, we said So far so good and moved ahead.

BHPian Khalil Khan.
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Yes. We were also struggling in that loose sand. Somehow, Thar was responsive and we were maintaining enough momentum. Oh Yes, Khalil and other rescue guys told us that momentum is the key. And we were using that key to get out of that tough part of the route. No half clutch, 1500-2000 RPM and momentum, we were following these three things religiously.

No half clutch, 1500-2000 RPM.
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and momentum
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And we came out that rough patch. It was satisfying. We were excited. We stopped for a while and clicked some photographs.

We did it.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-25.jpg

that's what we tackled.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-26.jpg

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Old 2nd April 2019, 13:48   #5
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

After a while, we moved ahead. There were some villages on the bank of the river. Kids and villagers were there on the riverbed to see the circus. A group of kids welcomed us with clapping and shouting. It was amazing, It felt like we were part of Dakar or Desert Strom kind of rally and locals cheering us up. Overstated?? Well! don't forget we were the first timers.

kids Cheering us!
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After getting some amazing treatment from cheering kids, we moved ahead. We were approaching some more tough part of the trek. There was an AWD Fortuner, they were removing air from their tires to tackle the next part of the trek. They informed us that the next part would be more challenging with lots of loose sand. They also complimented us for finishing the previous part too early.

Moving ahead.
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AWD T-fort.
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Some Compliments
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The T-Fort guys were right. The next part of the trek was indeed tough. We were not able to gain any kind of speed or momentum. Yes, THAR was moving ahead but at Snail's pace. Once again we were not able to understand what was wrong. However, we kept moving at Snail's pace. Some of the local kids came to our rescue. They pushed our vehicles. That was helpful but then we asked the kids to stop pushing.

The Next part.
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Kid's Rescue team.
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Thanks, guys.
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Our progress was very slow. We were literally struggling. After a While, we spotted a stuck Gypsy. We offered our help. However, it was us who were in need of some help or some tips. The Gypsy guy told us that they would manage themselves and asked us to remove some more air from our tires.

Slow Progress.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-35.jpg

Some more tips from Gypsy guy.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-36.jpg

Ok... Remove some more air. We were getting this advice from the beginning. We kept removing air after every advice. We removed some more air. This time I removed air for 10 seconds. We actually forgot the record of how many time and for how many seconds we removed the air from our tires.

Remove some more air
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-37.jpg

Yes, Sir!
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-38.jpg

We lost the record of how many time we decrease the air pressure. It was confusing. In fact, it was irritating that each and everyone was advising us to remove air. However, each and every time we removed the air, it actually helped us. THAR became more and more responsive after every air removal. Thanks, guys, for the tips and advice.

Once Again, we felt the difference. We were able to maintain the momentum. We kept moving and reached one of the first obstacles.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-39.jpg

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 11:03.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 14:59   #6
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

It was a railway bridge on the river. It was one more time stamping point. The rescue guys and other team welcomed us with compliments.

Time Stamping point.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-40.1.jpg

Rescue Guys.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-40.jpg

There was a small passage at the side of the bridge with a 70-degree incline. We had to cross it and get another side of the bridge. At first glimpse, it looked scary. We got out of the vehicle, got our card stamped and observed the slope. It was looking scary but it wasn't tough. I had tackled these kinds of slopes in the Himalayas by FWD vehicles. I was sure we could do that.

We got in our vehicle and attempted the slope and failed. We tried again and failed again. Surprising! now, what was wrong?

...And then someone shouted from the rescue team... " thodi Hawa nikal do" (remove some air).

It was irritating. I shouted back..." airre par, thodi yane kitni ?( some means how much?)

We got out of the vehicle and asked (this time politely)..."kitni Hawa nikalu?". The rescue guy was a jolly chap, he understood my irritation and asked one of the spotters to get a gauge and decrease the air pressure to 15PSI. I apologized to that rescue guy for my irritations and explained the reason for it. We all had a good laugh at it.

Thodi Hawa nikal do.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-41.1.jpg

And it worked. We climbed that slope easily after decreasing the air pressure to 15PSI. We got up and got down and kept moving ahead.

Climbing up.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-41.jpg

Getting down.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-42.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

We kept moving ahead. THAR became more responsive. The quantity of sand kept increasing but we were able to maintain good speed. We were thinking that we should have decreased the air pressure to 15PSI from the beginning. However, it was a good way to learn the lesson which we would not forget at all.

Some of the hardcore off-roaders were coming back after finishing the entire route.

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-43.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-44.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-45.jpg


There was one more obstacle, one more stiff slope made of loose sand. This time we were confident enough to tackle it at first attempt and we did it. We stopped for a while to observe other vehicles.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-46.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-47.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-48.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

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Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-50.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 11:02.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 15:32   #7
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

After that slope, we had a 10 minutes eventless drive to the end of the route. Most of the vehicles were parked and waiting for their turn for the next obstacle.

End Point.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-51.jpg

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-52.jpg

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-53.1.jpg

We parked our vehicle, got our card stamped and settled at a point to understand the task.

Observing the task.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-53.jpg

Boy Oh Boy. That task was the most difficult one. It was a big slope made of loose sand. One needs to climb on it and then get down to an 80-degree incline, take a turn and climb up on another slope, stop in between the slope and remove a flag by remaining on(or in) the vehicle and climb that slope without getting back. It was interesting and challenging.

Boy oh Boy.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-54.jpg

We decided to observe how other vehicles do it. Most of THARs and Gypsys were doing it amazingly. We followed a Pajero and that Pajero also did it nicely.

Step 1
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-55.jpg

Step 2
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Step 3
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Step 4
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Step 5
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Step 6
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and done.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-61.jpg

Some more photographs of THAR and Gypsy.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-62.jpg

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After all of these observations, it was our turn. We took some tips from some drivers and rescue guys. And got in. We were able to do it nicely. Full marks to THAR. Unfortunately, we were not able to click any photographs, as both of us were in the vehicle.

Our turn.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-66.jpg

Some more tips
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-67.jpg

Get set go.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-68.jpg

And we did it.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-69.jpg

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 10:58.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 16:31   #8
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

It was time to head back to the starting line. We immediately headed back to the starting line. We understood the dynamics of the vehicle and air pressure was decreased to 15PSI, so we were able to maintain good speed.

Getting Back.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-70.jpg

Maintaining good speed.
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-71.jpg

However, before going back to the starting line, one more obstacle was waiting for us under the railway bridge. We had to cross that bridge by negotiating between big rocks.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-72.jpg

Once again, we stopped and observed other vehicles. It was not that tough but very careful maneuver was required to avoid damage to the vehicle.

We closely observed a THAR.

THAR1
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-73.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

THAR2
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-74.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

THAR3
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-75.jpg
Image Courtesy: Mital Patel

After that, the same obstacles tackled by Gurkha, Pajero, and some more THARs.

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-76.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-77.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-78.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-79.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-80.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-81.jpg

We crossed that Obstacle easily and rushed back to Starting line.

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 10:57.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 16:39   #9
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

At the starting line, organizers were waiting for us with cold drinks and other refreshments. Many vehicles were back after finishing the entire circuit. Some of the vehicles were still out there.

Back to Starting line.

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-82.jpg

Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-83.jpg

At the starting line, we came to know that some of the vehicles became victims of overheating and engine seizure. The rescue team was trying hard to get those vehicles back to starting line. Here is an interesting Video of the rescue attempt of an engine seized vehicle.



Here are some more random Photos clicked by Mital Patel.

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-84.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-85.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-86.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-87.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-88.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-89.jpg

Image Courtesy: Mital Patel
Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)-90.jpg

Overall it was an amazing Sunday morning for us, where we learned a lot about offroading. We decided to participate in all the future offroading events organized by OCG.

It was an amazing experience to deal with all the organizers and rescue team.

Our heartfelt thanks to Khalil Khan, Avadh Amin, Mital Patel, spotters, and amazing rescue team.

Last edited by SJM1214 : 3rd April 2019 at 10:54.
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Old 4th April 2019, 04:49   #10
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Default re: Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th April 2019, 08:14   #11
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Default re: Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

Nice write-up about our event Shreyas! We all had a great time testing the endurance of oue vehicles! See you at future OTRs!
Cheers
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Old 4th April 2019, 08:51   #12
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Default Re: Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

Nice Write up!

As I was reading your thread, I was wondering about why haven't you aired down more and half way through you mention that everyone told you the same!

Floatation is best in sand. Also always roll to a stop in sand rather than braking and digging in!
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Old 4th April 2019, 09:39   #13
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Default Re: Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

That thar in which you did the run looks like a late 2015 model. How did your friend get it new now?Or is it being kept unregistered for using purely off road?
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Old 4th April 2019, 09:51   #14
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Default Re: Offroading excursion with the Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG)

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Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Nice write-up about our event Shreyas!
Thanks, Adi. Looking forward to the next event.

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
As I was reading your thread, I was wondering about why haven't you aired down more and halfway through you mention that everyone told you the same!
Thanks, Tejas@perioimpl.

Yes, Sir. Everyone advised us to remove some air and we did exactly the same after each and every advice, "Removed Some Air". But the "some" part was confusing. The first time we removed air for 20 seconds, then for 10 seconds and then once again for 10 seconds. At last, the spotter came with a gauge and made the air pressure to 15PSI. This happened because we didn't have the air pressure gauge and I didn't read this Thread (Mistakes while offroading: List them and Learn from them) before going for the event.
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Old 4th April 2019, 11:04   #15
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Default Re: Off-roading with Offroad Club of Gujarat (OCG).

Superb pictures! Enjoying reading the narration of the event.

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I shouted back..." airre par, thodi yane kitni ?( some means how much?)

We got out of the vehicle and asked (this time politely)..."kitni Hawa nikalu?". The rescue guy was a jolly chap, he understood my irritation and asked one of the spotters to get a gauge and decrease the air pressure to 15PSI. I apologized to that rescue guy for my irritations and explained the reason for it. We all had a good laugh at it.
Nice one!
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