Thursday, December 4, 2014

My 2 wheeler Odyssey

A Prologue

Have always preferred two wheels over four, as four wheels seemed too balanced for my unbalanced thoughts. And India was just perfect for a two wheeler Odyssey, hence I ventured on my Yezdi 250Classic in 1982 with four friends on their Yezdis for a successful parikrama of India. This was followed by many other rides over the next twenty years after which life took over and had to dump the two wheeler for a four wheeler to continue travelling with the family.
And then it happened. I retired from my day job, the children grew up and got busy with their own lives, wife still had a couple of years before retirement. It did not take long before my passion for two wheel travel took over as the thirst to explore India had not been quenched and Ladakh beckoned. Royal Enfield had launched their 500cc bikes with Unit Construction Engines and Electronic Fuel Injection. I was left with no option but to go ahead and bring home the beauty to accompany on my Indian Odyssey.  So I got the ‘Desert Storm’ a 500cc Classic Royal Enfield.

Though basically I prefer riding solo, I joined ‘Bisons Ride Hard’, a motorcycle club exclusive for
Royal Enfield Bullet riders and rode with them to learn the finer nuances of riding the Bullet.
As fate would have it, my first ride with the club happened to be the first club ride for AdityaRaj Kapoor too. The importance of this coincidence will be revealed soon.
I started targeting my goal of being astride on my bike atop the highest motorable road in the world at the Khardungla Pass on my 60th birthday. But fate had other ideas. Just three days before I was supposed to leave for my memory making ride, I could not get out of my bed due to a severe attack of sciatica. I did feel disappointed but did not give up and decided to go for it next year. Visited a couple of doctors (homoeopathic and allopathic), got medicated, practiced yoga and moved towards my rescheduled date with Khardungla pass.
About four months prior to the ride, AdityaRaj Kapoor approached me and expressed his desire to join me. I agreed as he seemed to be a nice positive thinking bloke and would be good company too. It would also relieve some tension for my wife and mother who were quite worried at the prospect of me going alone.
Within a couple of our meetings to plan for the ride, the Mumbai-Khardungla-Mumbai ride turned into an All India ride with a couple of neighbouring countries thrown in for good measure!
At the end of the entire detailed route planning with HV Kumar (the last word on Indian roads), our final route plan involved a ride of 14000kms in 70 days.  His Central Hotel Desk team would track us on GPS and book hotels for us enroute.
Dr.Alap Mehendale, also a prolific rider, who was supposed to join us but dropped out due to professional exigencies, listed and procured all medicines we would possibly need on such a ride with detailed explanation of what to use when and to call him if in doubt.
Our bike technician Vinod, would also be available on phone 24x7 in case of any bike emergencies.
Finally my family physician, Dr. Subodh Kedia, gave me the permission to go ahead after ensuring that my blood pressure and sugar was under control.
And then the day dawned. All my bags were packed and strapped on to the bike. The dream ride would begin soon.
There was a huge gathering at the Bandra Kurla Complex to bid us goodbye on our epic ride 

Photograph courtesy Kaushal Punatar

christened #Indiahai. Bisons Ride Hard members, HVK Forum members, friends and relatives had come over to see us being flagged off by the evergreen Hero Jackie Shroff.

Photograph courtesy Kaushal Punatar

At 1400hrs we were flagged off and we rode all the way to Vapi in pouring rain accompanied by Shree Vinayak Rath (founder President of Bisons Ride Hard) and Ceejay Ferns.
The epic ride had begun!
In Vapi we were hosted for the night by Aditya’s classmate, Mr.Sraw, and his charming wife, who took us out for a wonderful dinner and saw us off the next morning when it rained.


  1. Hari Om
    Great preliminary report..... now for the ride!!! Looking forward to this. &*> YAM xx

  2. Sounds like a wonderful adventure!

  3. Yes! I'd been waiting to read about your 72 - days expedition. Looking forward to all the stories.
    Congratulations on the completion of this epic ride. :)

  4. Have been waiting to read this epic journey. Lovely start!

  5. There is nothing as Royal as the royal enfield, surely the most macho bike that I have seen.

  6. Stumbled here from STW group and again from IB. Amazing start to a brilliant travelogue, I say. Bring on the rest! :)

  7. Nice pic post of trip enjoyed with friend circle ..!

    United-21 Kanha

  8. Was waiting for this to begin...looking forward to follow the journey once again after the snippets on Facebook...

  9. I was following you in your trip in FB. Now follow here also. But you didn't come to Bangalore :(