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Thread: Day 28: Lucknow to Delhi

  1. #1
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Day 28: Lucknow to Delhi

    We had turned in late for the night in Lucknow, once again buoyed by the promise of the brotherhood that they’ll be there to see us off out of the city. And they sure were, getting in a tad earlier than us while we were yet to load our stuff into the back-up Fortuner. The Benelli’s were pretty eagerly inspected now as we had arrived the previous day only after dark. And the reactions, especially to their build quality, looks and very especially to the TNT 300’s aural music were memorable. Soon we were riding in formation back to where we’d met them the previous evening. Motorcycling as a common bond brings up a strange familiarity even with the ones we have not spent much time. The very fact of sharing a life on two wheels breaks the ice, the barriers and brings forth a comradeship that’s hard to beat in quality and quantity anywhere else on life’s varied canvas. The goodbye’s said, we headed back to our tryst with Kanpur on the vastly smoother side of the highway. Crossing the bridge an hour and a half later had us riding smack into the middle of that dreaded jam! The queue of trucks ahead seemed endless and we felt blessed to be on two wheels that do not demand much space to wriggle past stopped vehicles. Still it took us more than a half hour to do that 2 km stretch, take a right again from under the flyover and climb up to ride above and beyond the usual Kanpur rush. There some road widening work going on for some 60-70 odd initial kilometres which leave the route pockmarked with diversions and so interruptions. But thereafter the diversions get progressively less and we started making good time homewards. There though that proverbial slip between the cup and the lip to be contented with, especially on the road and it showed up in all its glory at a fuelling stop. The 899’s key broke and got stuck inside its tank lock! Wow! No refuelling and no starting the bike. The slips and cups notwithstanding, where there’s a will there’s a way they say and so it was. Out came the tools and a bit of ingenuity peppered with a dash of struggle and the tank lock was open. We removed it from the bike and Sunil rode off with Mohit as pillion to find a key-maker in a small town’s weekly bazaar that happens to be on a Friday. An hour and a half later they rode back not just with the key but the key maker too sandwiched between them both! The ignition lock happened to be built with levers on both sides unlike the tank lock and our man for the day conjured up a twin-sided key in another hour and sent us on our way. Needless to say, we paid him handsomely and dropped him off at his village in the air conditioned comfort of the Toyota Fortuner. 3 hours lost on a 570 km day means we needed all our experience and ability to make up for the lost time. Lunch happened at 5 PM with an old-time xBhpian Abhishek Gupta driving in from Agra 80 km away to give us company. Bodies and bikes refuelled, we rode towards Agra where Abhishek saw us off at the start of the famed Yamuna Expressway. Heaven was ahead now – beautiful world class 8-lane highway all the way to Greater Noida and within touching distance of home. It was a great home run befittingly on one of the best roads in the country and the ride had a welcome break for a couple of days before we hit the road again for Pune to complete the full circle.

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  2. #2
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Day 28: Lucknow to Delhi

    Must have been a pleasure to ride the Benellis on the Yamuna Expressway.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Day 28: Lucknow to Delhi

    Hello All,

    (I hope the this post finds the right place with help of admins. )

    Lucknow to Agra Travelogue - Agra Lucknow Expressway Review

    As a motorcycle enthusiast hailing from lucknow and Working in NCR, I have traveled by road and by train to Lucknow many times.
    In fact, last Diwali, amid much speculation (only speculation though) regarding opening of the Agra Lucknow Expressway (ALE), I decided to get there by Motorcycle.
    I ride Mahindra Mojo, which is rightly called a sport tourer, relaxed posture, but responds well to reach speeds of around 150 with ease.

    Five months later, that was 5 days ago (12th March), I had no intent of motorcycling yet again, as I had less time (Motorbiking takes half a day otherwise).
    However, out of the three tickets, the railways confirmed one for me, and the train started getting delayed and progressively so...

    So I started my Mojo and reached Lucknow :-), also discovering that the complete expressway had finally opened 2 days ago (no off route diversions now).
    So On my return journey on 14th March 2017, I decided to take the full ALE and then the Yamuna Expressway.

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    So here's how it went...

    I took about 25 minutes to traverse onto the expressway near Mohaan.
    So, I was greeted by a nice anticlockwise interchange bridge at 7:35 am and entered into the elevated expressway leaning hard since the surface gave me the liberty to do so.
    3 hours later, I had traversed 312 kms until Agra and Delhi decided to part ways.

    The surface was butter smooth.
    Even on the bridge joints, I tended to slowdown, almost expecting a bump, but I simply didn't feel a thing.
    In the complete stretch of over 300 km, I felt a couple of very mild bumps, which most cars may not even acknowledge.

    To be honest I am no SP fan, but was forced to praise Akhilesh Yadav and the task masters for this highway.
    The Yamuna expressway, which is supposed to be one of the unofficial "Top speed testing" arena's in India, clearly fades in comparison to the ALE.

    The surface is Tarmac, so you don't have to worry about potential tyre overheating/bursts.
    The only exception is 2 very short stretches, that give me an idea that this expressway will probably have a total of 3 toll booths in the future.
    One near Mohaan, One just before Agra(in construction) and one near Etawah. For now, however, the route is completely toll free.

    There are Police Patrol vans available at regular intervals, and car parking spaces are also secure.
    However, a full fuel tank (and perhaps a tyre pressure check) is a necessity before getting onto this road. Infact, KTM guys would definitely need to carry extra fuel.

    This highway for now has NO petrol pumps. One pump I was able to explore was at a 5 km detour near towards Tirha at the Kannauj intersection, i.e 120 km from Lucknow.
    Also, night travel on this route is a strict no-no as of now, unless you want to put yourself and road crossing animals at risk.

    Yes, road crossing animals. Though there is barricading along the complete highway, locals seem to have created entry points for their two wheelers.
    Due to this, you can find warning signs (read Dead dogs) every 50 km or less.
    Do also watch out for a few diversions onto different lanes of the highway, however they are well marked and do not pose any risk to an alert driver/rider.

    The lack of traffic on this route is a boon (not sure for how long it will remain so).
    The riding for me was so strain free, that I did not feel the need to even slow down, leave alone stop, till I reached the first toll booth of the Yamuna expressway.

    Also, while I maintained triple digit speeds, the max speed for me was 116 kmph. So the riding AVERAGE of 100 kmph seems to be achievable even on a good 150cc commuter. (The surface easily allows you 200 kmph)
    This road intersects the Agra Kanpur highway some 15-20 km before Etawah giving you some flexibility.

    What I do not support is the claim that Agra to Lucknow travel has become drastically shorted due to ALE as claimed by some politicos.
    The distance I saved in travelling through ALE compared to an earlier route through Kanpur was a mere 40 km approximately.
    For those travelling during rush hours though, the avoidance of Firozabad/Shikohabad and Kanpur/Unnao will potentially save you 2 hours of time.

    The transition from the ALE to Yamuna expressway could use a more advanced sign before the split. It is about 20 kms away from the under construction toll booth.

    So I entered the Yamuna expressway through the Inner Ring Road of Agra and took a 30 minute break after the first toll booth.
    From here on till Delhi, petrol pumps, restrooms and restaurants can be found are regular intervals. Though the price of food is expectedly a bit higher than the quality.

    So I continued my travel along the road and took a refueling break, in addition to 20-30 minutes the three toll booth tend to waste.

    A total drive time of 5.5 hrs at modest highway speeds, and a total halt time of 75 minutes I entered Delhi, feeling fresh enough to conceive the idea of this travelogue.

    So thanks and Happy Driving
    Last edited by maksrivas; 03-17-2017 at 04:06 PM.

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