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Thread: GIR 2012 - The Full Circle

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Default GIR 2012 - The Full Circle

    FULL CIRCLE

    Like all good things, this too comes to an end. The Grand Indian Road Trip 2012 shall complete full circle tomorrow when the team reaches Delhi from Agra sometime in the afternoon. Wow! What a ride it has been. 46 days on the roll, some 12000 plus
    kms and uncountable memories later, we ride home. Triumphant and nostalgic. The entire country has been imbued within, we’ve lived and talked and loved the cultural variety, reveled in the richness and warmth of the humane Indian and realized that despite such apparent diversity in life-styles and cultural nuances, we essentially remain the same at the core. The values, the need for contentment and the desire for peace of mind remains universal and closest to the surface. The fisherman in Kerala and the farmer in Gujarat, the miner in Dhanbad and the artist of Lucknow just look different, speak different and eat different. But inside he is the same father, son, brother, husband and friend. And yes quite a few of them are bikers too. That’s a distinct and decidedly separate social position – ain’t it eh?

    We started from Delhi on the 11th of March amidst some fanfare. The send-off elevated the ride to the level of not just a ride but a responsibility. The need to live up to those cheers and best wishes (yes, one does live up to these) added impetus to our motivation and we were on it from day one. The places we rode to and through became a canvas we painted with a background dark grey of tarmac. The ride became a life of its own. The entire conversational lexicon changed and the clock and calendar became intimately intertwined with distance and destinations. No date or hour stood alone without being identified with a different place, a different city. Change became our unchanging companion and much to everyone’s surprise, the asymmetry was fun. We met new people each day, some old friends and acquaintances, others new introductions. But there was a universal and constant background hum of engines at idle as they sound when two riders meet by the roadside and talk routes, weather, road and food.

    The team has grown up meanwhile, both as a collection of talents and as individual elements. Boys have become men in the sense that a couple of thousand miles is ‘okay’ for starters for them by now. Sunny is a veteran of the road, a ‘global veteran’ actually to coin a new term. For someone who has rolled rubber in countries you need to go beyond your fingers to count in totality, he still retains a remarkable amount of enthusiasm for circumnavigating our own nation the third time over. He is a rider par excellence who quite unusually combines quickness of pace with huge safety margins. Of course you shall get to see most of this country through his lens as he has been clicking the pictures at a more furious pace than he’s been changing gears on his beloved FZ 1. Sunil G is the quintessential chameleon of motorcycling – as adept at handling widely differing cc’s of engine capacity as he adapts to mountain roads, the open highway or the urban jungle. An old hand at going around the country, Sunil is the next fixed point on the changing horizon of xBhp after Sunny. His actions are chronically understated and camouflage the immense experience he carries within, which has been added to during these past few weeks.

    Abhishek Bhatt was a lone tourer when he was chosen for the ride. A young man who loved riding in the hills and wouldn’t wait for company to get visible before straddling his Pulsar 220 and riding off for a weekend. This ride though was different. The ‘loner’ had to the anesthetized and a new Abhishek emerged who effortlessly merged with the team. The riding became welded to blogging, updating, co-ordinating and helping manage the myriad activities that come allied to a ride like this. He is someone anyone would want to ride alongside, anytime and anywhere. Shivanshu Singh was another of the same creed as Abhishek. Drawn to the twisty mountain roads like a thirsty elephant to water (hope that slimily gels with the lean mean SS here), he was the Mr. Unruffled even at the end of a long hot day spent on arrow straight four-laners. The GIR 2012 probably gave him more straights that he’d ever imagined he would ride but he did good. Quick at lending a helping hand, he has been another of those lynchpin personas the team comprised of. And of course his signature ringing laughter shall be ever remembered by the other seven. Himanshu Gupta – our friendly neighborhood ‘Rambo body builder’ is one who has been transformed from a rookie tourer to a battle-hardened high-miler by this GIR. Ever willing to learn from the more experienced members of the team, he absorbed all he was told and by the third week none of us ‘oldies’ were any longer worried about his well being on the road. He has returned a changed man – possibly forever. Ashish Guliani joined in as the team’s videographer and video-editor rolled into one. And by now you probably are familiar with his slick and amazing short docu-videos that have been uploaded. For someone who was less adept with the bike than he was with his Mac while editing videos, he caught up well from whatever learning he was offered and completes the GIR as a seasoned rider.

    Your’s truly is a changed man too. However much and for however long you’ve been riding, the road yet has something new to teach you. Each mile rolled adds its own value and flavor to the ones you’ve done and it never ever gets monotonous. That I think is the eternal charm of travel and all the more so travel by motorcycle. I loved each minute of these 6 weeks, each mile of the thousands we have done and each moment of togetherness with my team-mates of the uncountable we have shared. I was the ‘old man’ of the team, both in the figurative and the literal sense of the term. Different people thrown together into a high-stress and long term activity like this ride tend to have rough edges at fusion points. It takes the clout of age and seniority and admittedly the heartfelt affection for each member of the team to intervene, smoothen and emplace the feelings and motivations into a common channel. And I bow to the respect that has been shown towards me and my such efforts. Thank you guys for being there for me as much as I have been for you. Maybe you together score over me by quite a bit.

    This is a farewell note to what we have known as The Grand Indian RoadTrip. And farewells are necessary for us to meet again. And meet again shall we for sure as long as the engines hum, the rubber rolls and the tarmac beckons. The black ribbon connects places and people bringing within its fold an urge of togetherness and sharing. Together shall we ride as long as there’s something to ride. Together shall we become the individual we call I, the Biker. Together shall we bind this nation amongst our brotherhood. Let’s say Hurrah for motorcycling!!!

    Endnote: Our arrival in Agra held a great and humbling surprise in its fold for us. We were welcomed by Kaleem sir of Hyderabad who had ridden all the way from his hometown to Agra, a distance of 1350 kms all done in 3 days on his Bajaj Platina, to be with us here. We were spell-bound, happy and humbled by this 'Grand Old Man of Motorcycling in India'. (I think I am in for a dressing down from Kaleem sir for using the term 'Old Man' here ) But helmets off to his indefatigable spirit and may the Almighty bless both us and him with innumerable more miles on the road in the years to come. We have been blessed so close to the full circle.
    Last edited by Old Fox; 04-24-2012 at 02:53 PM.
    I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

    Join xBhp On


  2. #2
    Rusted aargee's Avatar
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    Sir, its not only you people enjoyed the trip; I personally looked forward meeting you, which , if I say a dream of my life, you wouldn't believe it, but its a fact.

    Quite sad, we couldn't spend more time; but like I keep saying, there's always next time & Dr APJ's words & Honda's slogan...dream drives everything. I'm looking forward to meet you all next time & possible spend a lot more time

    Ride home safe, please put up lots of pics & a mother of all T'Log here at xBhp
    Skill is what keeps you on a Motorcycle
    Awareness + Skill is what keeps you out of harm's way
    ATGATT + Awareness + Skill means you might Live To Ride another day

  3. #3
    Moderator B7ACKTHORN's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    It was just a bliss reading your post sir. The yearning biker in me has just been more honed by the GIRs presence in my little town, your advice, your temperament towards fellow bikers and the little trip I hitched along with you guys; one word: FANTABULOUS.

    I hope, if there is a penultimate GIR, I hope to cover at least 1000+ KMS with the elite.

    Cheers!
    Vijay
    Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'
    The girl said, 'NO!'


    And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and watched sport on a big screen TV, went fishing and surfing, and played golf a lot, and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.


    THE END

  4. #4
    Rookie neeleshray's Avatar
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    Sir,

    It was indeed a pleasure meeting all of you twice over !!

    Wish I could have ridden along with the GIR... And looking forward to meeting ya'll again on the trip to Delhi....

    And BTW, thank for the ride on the Bandit !! (I am still grinning from that experience)

    Neelesh
    Highways gives me a H.I.G.H., Roads are the Rhythm of L.I.F.E.

  5. #5
    Addicted parry122's Avatar
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    Immaculate words sir! And I cant express my regards on xBHP's efforts into transforming Riding in India, in any words.

    Helmets off to all the GIR members & very heart felt congratulations on a succesful achievement of journeying around the Indian Peninsula.

    I met you all in Lucknow on 22-Apr (sunday), & since then the insurgence of a Rider has taken a new high in me. I see my office, my job & my boss no more a constraint in riding down a few hundred kilometers.

    Want to thank each member of GIR team, for letting me have the privilegde of witnessing this Grand event in person, and being a part of it indeed.

    regards
    Paramjeet
    Every time i am able to change my bike's engine oil, i feel like passing another semester amongst thousands, of being a proficient rider.

    A Thump addict gets Leh'd on a Ninja 250R in June'12

  6. #6
    Addicted aloksingh15's Avatar
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    Smile

    Sir,

    Pleasure meeting u all the folks on GIR. i always want to meet u guys and it happens with GIR. I salute every one for the passion of biking and wish to continue with it. your articles act as an agent that elicits a physiological or psychological response.



  7. #7
    Super Moderator Old Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aargee View Post
    Sir, its not only you people enjoyed the trip; I personally looked forward meeting you, which , if I say a dream of my life, you wouldn't believe it, but its a fact.

    Quite sad, we couldn't spend more time; but like I keep saying, there's always next time & Dr APJ's words & Honda's slogan...dream drives everything. I'm looking forward to meet you all next time & possible spend a lot more time

    Ride home safe, please put up lots of pics & a mother of all T'Log here at xBhp
    Thanks Aargee. It was wonderful catching up with you however short the time together was. And yes, we will meet again no doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by B7ACKTHORN View Post
    It was just a bliss reading your post sir. The yearning biker in me has just been more honed by the GIRs presence in my little town, your advice, your temperament towards fellow bikers and the little trip I hitched along with you guys; one word: FANTABULOUS.

    I hope, if there is a penultimate GIR, I hope to cover at least 1000+ KMS with the elite.
    Vijay
    Hey Vijay! it was great to have you around. I've been thrice to Ooty before and only this once was it like home - because I already knew someone there

    Looking forward to hearing of more of your rides and meeting you in person again. Ride long and safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by neeleshray View Post
    Sir,

    It was indeed a pleasure meeting all of you twice over !!

    Wish I could have ridden along with the GIR... And looking forward to meeting ya'll again on the trip to Delhi....

    And BTW, thank for the ride on the Bandit !! (I am still grinning from that experience)

    Neelesh
    Neelesh - my human GPS You were delightful in the manner you'd pop up at different places. And yes, the Bandit does elicit grins...lots of them actually Do keep in touch when you come to Delhi.
    Quote Originally Posted by parry122 View Post
    Immaculate words sir! And I cant express my regards on xBHP's efforts into transforming Riding in India, in any words.

    Helmets off to all the GIR members & very heart felt congratulations on a succesful achievement of journeying around the Indian Peninsula.

    I met you all in Lucknow on 22-Apr (sunday), & since then the insurgence of a Rider has taken a new high in me. I see my office, my job & my boss no more a constraint in riding down a few hundred kilometers.

    Want to thank each member of GIR team, for letting me have the privilegde of witnessing this Grand event in person, and being a part of it indeed.

    regards
    Paramjeet
    Glad to have had such a positive influence on you Paramjeet. In fact the entire ride becomes not just possible but meaningful and worthwhile only because of you all biking brethren. We did not feel like strangers in any of the cities we visited or stayed in - all because of this community and you people who make it what it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by aloksingh15 View Post
    Sir,

    Pleasure meeting u all the folks on GIR. i always want to meet u guys and it happens with GIR. I salute every one for the passion of biking and wish to continue with it. your articles act as an agent that elicits a physiological or psychological response.


    Thanks Alok. Both for those good words and the good wishes. And yes I do promise to keep sharing all that I have learnt over the years both through this forum here and the magazine.
    I don't let my motorcycles interfere with my motorcycling...

    Join xBhp On


  8. #8
    Moderator antz.bin's Avatar
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    It was really nice to finally meet up with you guys. In hindsight, I feel it was my good luck that I actually met you guys on the day I did, and not alongwith a crowd of over 300 people .

    Maybe I will ride be able to ride with you guys next time we manage to meet up, I mean a bit longer than I did this time.
    Advice is a form of nostalgia.
    Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

    Antz Travelz!! | South India Exploration Ride | Leh Triplog (Work in progress)

  9. #9
    Rusted Brat's Avatar
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    OF Sir
    Had a good ride with the GIR team. Had many questions regarding aerodynamics and wanted to catch up with you over the FnF session, but couldn't.

    There's always next time.
    ______________________________________
    [SIGPIC]http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=42084&dateline=133684 8790[/SIGPIC]

    Dream big and Dream hard,
    coz life's all about chasing down ur dreams and living them...


  10. #10
    Rusted BloggingWheels's Avatar
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    This was my first personal one-to-one interaction with the team and it was nothing short of being completely awesome!
    I am happy that I requested my boss to give me the day off a tad too early and I didn't waste time to come down to your hotel on 17th April evening. After I came to the hotel, I was given the room number where Ashish had put up. I did not know Ashish and that was the 1st Interaction with him! A great person indeed.

    Then I met Sunil G and Sunny at their room, chatted and asked about Old Fox and Abhishek. Shivanshu had gone out for the bikes' servicing and tune-up, so met him late in the evening. Himanshu also had some work so he dashed off in a hurry!

    When I met Old Fox, I just couldn't believe my eyes - my role model was right in front of me!!! Guys, how does it feel to have a personal interaction with your icon/role model/idol and that too just you and him (and 2 others -Vishal (fireblah) and Abhishek)!!!
    And oh boy, I was on cloud 9!! ~Respect~
    All the while, sitting opposite to him, I just forgot the world around - it was only the Old Fox and his experiences that he was sharing. It was an emotional moment for me. Unforgettable!

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