Biking Down to Happiness

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I left the cool Tuesday morning. I had been planning for it for a while and was looking forward to it very enthusiastically. That morning is when it hit me, I had over 750 kilometres to cover on the bike. I did not pay much attention to people when they told me how far it was, was more like fuck it. It’s not too much.

I had slept only for a couple of hours that night, and I started my bike and heated the 350cc of metal for a minute before I finally started.

Mumbai is pretty cool in the mornings and the express highway within the city is smooth and fast. I hit Navi Mumbai in a less than an hour. Now this is where I started facing the same issue as before where the engine started losing throttle.

Remington, don’t lemme down now. Please, you can do it boy. I promise, we’ll show you to a nice doctor once we reach a town”.

He went on for a while longer and finally gave up. Now this is when I read a chapter of Sai Satcharitra on the highway under a tree. The bike started this time and went ahead for more than 100 kms and stopped again.

I met a certain Dhavde at this point, who came as an angel who was heading for his morning shift in the government office. He tightened a few screws here and there, and flushed the carburettor, and I was good to go again.

I stopped for lunch at Uruli-Kanchan 40 kilometres off Pune at a dhabha and had a couple of pegs and a few chicken legs! The waiter was especially nice, and got all the house specialities. Gaekwad, married recently and that too a love marriage with a girl from Hyderabad. Reminded me of Sania, don’t know why.

At the same place, I got some tinkering done on the bike as well. The mechanic did it for free.

80 kilometres from Sholapur, under the hot sun, the Remington, gave up again. This time, I called my mechanic and with some advice, was now opening the spark plugs and the carburettor. Finally figured out the issue, and was a relief. The fuel tank was generating too much vacuum for the fuel to reach the carburettor; so I removed the rubber valve and was good to go. All the way and back!

I found a nice place in Solapur for the night, for 800 bucks in an AC room. I slept like a doll and left for Hyderabad next morning at sunrise. 50 kilometres from Hyderabad I saw a bike accident; the biker was dead in a pool of blood.

With God’s name on my lips, I continued to reach Hyderabad at 2 PM. Udita had made some special food for me just like I had requested. Naina came home in the evening only for a priceless look on her face!

I started on Tuesday sunrise again. But this time, I had less than an hour of sleep. I was driving half-awake/asleep and just wanted to reach Solapur as soon as possible and crash. I reached Solapur in record 5 hours. I was averaging 60 this time. I slept at 3 PM after a hearty meal and a beer only to wake up the next day at 6 AM. That’s the most I have slept in ages.

The rest of the journey was smooth with the engine finally set in. I was doing up to 80 an hour now with ease and Remington was taking it well with minimal vibrations. I stopped at the same dhabha on the way back as well. Another round of country chicken and I was good to go.

I reached home, all tanned and tired. When people ask me, if it’s worth all the trouble to bike all the way to Hyderabad and back on bike. I just say – HELL YEAH!

Fond Memories of the trip

  • Meeting an angel in the form of Dhavade, who fixed my bike for the next 200 kilometres.
  • Giving a ride to two school kids who were on the way to school and getting late. I hope they did well in the test they were having that day!
  • Kids waving to me in just about every village I passed on the way, cheering me on. I guess through the trip driving solo, that was the only company I had.
  • The cigarette breaks after every hour when I had to cool off the engine, and people asking me then – “kitna mileage deta hai?”
  • The Enfield mechanic – Godbole in Uruli who hugged me after learning about the trip, and that it was solo and all about self-discovery.

Memories I want to erase from my head

  • Almost running into a cow at Indapur. It would have nothing less than holy shit.
  • Seeing a dead biker on the road, in a pool of blood near Hyderabad.
  • Near Bidar, I ran into some traffic when I was trying to maneuver the bike from the left just when a lady crossed the road. I almost avoided her, but only to have my foot stuck in her saree. I went ahead with the saree stuck in my foot for a good 2 meters before I shook it off and fled the scene. Sorry Ma’am, it was really not my fault! Had not intention to let loose your saree!
  • I stopped after Lonavala in a village, I forget the name though. I was hounded by a mad man, who came after me with a stick. I fled the scene just in time.

Lessons Learnt

  • I am very religious. It was faith in God that kept me going through the perilous routes.
  • What I again reinforced was I am better off alone and in solitude without uttering a single word.
  • I met a lot of people on the way and made friends easily on a quick conversation over tea.
  • People are generally nice, unless you rub them on the wrong side.

Quirkiest moments on the trip

  • In Hyderabad city, a biker was majorly irritating me by constantly cutting here and there and making a mess on the road. At the next signal I asked him, “Are you a software engineer?” He said Yes, and how I knew. I just said, “You make such a mess of things and expect others to clean up after you”.
  • When I entered Pune, on the way back there was a guy on Pulsar who was hinting at a race with me. Now Pulsars are fast, and rash and personally I don’t have much respect for Pulsar riders. He kept revving his engine next to me. I just looked at him and said, “Excuse me, does this bike have gears?” He sped off, in a tearing hurry. I was happy doing a 40 thumping away on the green.
  • I met a random Bulleteer near Lonavala. Not a highway rider but a local I guess. We both gave each other company for a good 50 kilometers before we parted. We did not know each other, but a mutual admiration and respect for Bulleteers is remarkable. Riding at a decent speeds together was just a sign of reassurance.

The solo bike trip was to organize the Hyderabad Blogger meet, after almost two years. You can read the entire reviews on the event here. I am yet to write an account of my own by the way. Will be up shortly.

34 Responses to “Biking Down to Happiness”

  1. Riyaz UsmanNo Gravatar says:

    WOW! Cool One. That reminded me of some long pending tasks. Pen down my Solo riding experience as well!

    • vinniNo Gravatar says:

      Will surely look forward to it man! After meeting all of u and successful conclusion of the blogger meet the long trip was really worth it! Nice meeting you there!

      Lemme know when the post is up!
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  2. ShilpaNo Gravatar says:

    VInni, Your trip reminded me of all the driving I used to do by myself everyweekend to see Savi. Solitude on the road is the best thing. Clears your mind heart and soul. I miss it at times.

  3. snehaNo Gravatar says:

    good one..
    best part is the quirkiest moments obviously

  4. HashirNo Gravatar says:

    Nice travellogue…… I was there at the Hyderabad meet as well :) .

    BTW, in Hyderabad it is not just the software engineers who drive bad, the general driving sense is as if unke baap ki road hai, n sab Nizam ki aulaad hai.

    • vinniNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks man, anyway the official blog on the meet is up already. I just remember the burqa! I never knew two wheelers were that bad. I used to drive a car in Hyd, till i sold it off!
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  5. RamNo Gravatar says:

    Saale.. you yourself were a pulsar driver once … And I am sure you were no saint on that road ;) But I get the idea that sitting in the high seat of the bullet you have a new unique perspective .. Nice stuff dude.. Learn to fix the bike before you take it out and do not mix beer and driving

  6. PratsNo Gravatar says:

    Great trip it would have been….

  7. RatzzzNo Gravatar says:

    u went on a bike trip and me went on a Bicycle trip…

    to each its own.. drive down sumtimes Vinnie.. or i ll come up there to kick u :)

  8. UditaNo Gravatar says:

    Good one..loved the way u ve described every bit of ur trip in such a meticulous way

  9. RichaNo Gravatar says:

    Good one..Liked your fond and erasable memories bit. and yeah, feel sorry for the poor Lady who crossed your path!

  10. AnchitNo Gravatar says:

    As I hoped, the trip would have left a part of you changed forever! Just 3516452. km of adventures left.
    Go Bulleteer!

  11. tikuliciousNo Gravatar says:

    Finally on your blog ;) .
    This is one amazing experience Vinni . Biking has something special about it which can not be replaced by anything in the whole universe .Agree?

    You describe it so well. I can see where it came from ;) . Thanks for taking us on this wonderful journey
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  12. Rama RajuNo Gravatar says:

    One of the best chronicles I have read of a bike trip. Interesting read.

  13. HarguneetNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff dude. Was waiting for this update. Dint know you’d been calling ur bike Remington though. :)

  14. janeNo Gravatar says:

    Haaaaa :)
    like seriously, i’m sure ya’re having a fab tyme bikin around. i’m waitin to take a trip soon. WORK- B.O.R.I.N.G.

  15. zephyrNo Gravatar says:

    Solo????!!!! and I thought you had some 4-5 of your friends with you!

  16. RidhimaNo Gravatar says:

    Lovely text pal…

    I can sense the happiness which comes with this Solo Trip. From almost bumping with a cow, taking a female’s saree, getting a beating from stick, or meeting a biker aka software engineer. The ride seems lovely!.

    I enjoyed reading it… and you gave me a high to go on one trip!. I wonder how will i try my hand on a Bullet! lol
    My brother keeps on going for bike riders. He never informs anyone, we only know once he is back!. And i mostly come to know by his Orkut or Fb pics! When will I have my ‘drive of lifetime’??, Only god knows.

    But truly , u need Guts to go on a solo ride… and mroever u need to have that feeling to do it, which comes within the heart.
    Honestly this is one bloddy f..g life.. man.. You will have lots of stories to tell your grand children. Its great confidence booster. Never put yourself in ‘what if’ shoes. Never ask yourself ‘What if so and so happens?’ Nothng will happen, just take the machine and head where you want to go…
    Keep riding and keep posting such exciting travalogues!!!

    “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

    Hugs,
    Ridhima

  17. MagaliNo Gravatar says:

    Lovely account of your trip. My Grand dad had a royal enfield so I get to hear a lot of stories about it. SOmetimes I wish I could bike but I know that’s one thing my parents would never allow. I don’t mind it that much though.
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