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Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

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  • [Photo Feature]: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

    Introduction:
    It's been years since I penned down another travelogue. A time comes when Life gets to you and priorities change. Memories of my Ladakh trip still linger in the back of my mind. My rides are spontaneous and have no reason. I thought it was worth sharing this short ride because being a Royal Enfield rider, I am impressed by this small machine.

    It was late December 2017 when I took a break from work and flew up home from Hyderabad. I was always fascinated by Darjeeling. The hills call you, its got a rich history, and will always mesmerize you, cause you to dazzle and show you what peace actually means. I told my wife that I wanted to go up hill. It was 11 degrees and cold. Most people would just settle down beside a warm fireplace or a modern day room heater.

    After doing Sarchu enroute Leh, I have never challenged myself much after. Wife as usual was ready for any ride. In-fact she would be waiting at the scooter in few minutes. I remember being one of the first in town to purchase this Honda Activa BS4 with AHO. Had a very hard time explaining fellow townsmen that I do not have a switch to turn off the light. Most gave the expression "Why in the world...etc"

    My Ride:
    Honda Active 125cc with
    Stock Features:
    - Combi brake system.
    - Drum brakes all round.
    - Tubeless tyres
    - LED DRL & AHO


    The Ride and Rider

    My mission was to test the scooter to the limit. By the time this travelogue is over, I have done Darjeeling half a dozen time already. But this ride which I am posting is about my first ride uphill.

    Load on the ride:
    - 110 Kilos of myself
    - My ride partner
    - 1 bag of pair of clothes for the night
    - 2 litres of water bottle stored under the seat. (Heated space, keeps the water warm)
    - Full tank fuel of 6 Litres.

    Riding & Essential Gear:
    - Sikkim woolen jackets to beat the 6 degree temperature uphill.
    - Pair of Studds open face helmets.
    - DSG Tundra riding gloves (Tested in Ladakh) - Numb hands will be a disaster in a hand brake motorcycle.
    - Sikkim woolen gloves for riding partner.
    - Umberella - old ways, if it rains, stop and stand under it.

    Route taken and planned: Target Destination 61 Kms
    My house is situated at the foothills of Darjeeling. The highway is the back door exit. The only plan I did was exit from the gate and ride all the way up hill via Rohini Road
    - Matigara (Siliguri) to Kurseong via Rohini toll gate (Elevation 88ft to 4921ft)
    - Kurseong to Ghoom - (Elevation up-to 7299ft)
    - Ghoom to Darjeeling - (Elevation up-to 6700ft)

    Terrain:
    - 5% Plains
    - 95% Ghats
    - 1 rule - Don't get yourself rear-ended and give way to downhill traffic.


    The ride towards Rohini

    We started at 8AM on a very cold morning hoping to reach Darjeeling by 11am. In 15 mins we soon hit the Rohini road which was slightly inclined uphill. The scooter would not cross 30Km/h . It was very funny for a moment, take a look at the bright side. Now you actually start enjoying the ride. You see the nature and start to appreciate the beauty of it.


    Beauty of Nature

    It immeditately becomes apparent that the hill traffic gets annoyed with a two wheeler with blaring headlamps. I Sigh! Oh this stupid AHO.


    The Darjeeling hills in view

    The Scooter would not budge above 30Km/H but I was surprised that it did not let me down. It climbed every hair pin bend with ease. Slow and Steady but it did the job with no hassle whatsoever. I constantly kept watch in the rear view mirror for traffic. Used the right indicator at the correct time to let them know when they can overtake or use the hand when geography was complex. Very respectful drivers up there.


    Somewhere near Kurseong (You cannot mistake this landmark, the TV tower)


    I decided to take a break

    - After an hour we decided to stop for tea. It was super cold, thrilling and me and Poli was thoroughly enjoying the day.


    We stopped by Margaret's deck;


    for a cup of hot Darjeeling tea and priceless family time.


    We lazed time for an hour and another shot before we left

    With a good time spent, we rode up to Ghoom, expecting frosty weather and little bit rain.


    Riding full fledged climbing at 30km/h


    The hills en-route, they beauty never stops mesmerizing you



    The Path climbed

    - Expecting freezing weather in Ghoom and slight rainfall we rode nonstop till we reached Darjeeling, and popped into the warm Cozy Kunga Restaurant.


    Winter is incomplete without a hot Tibetan Thukpa

    - After lunch, we checked-in to our warm room at Little Tibet.


    I took a moment to capture life - the gift given to us. No words can explain the feeling..


    Time stands still, while you ponder over, the good, the bad in your life. It was all worth it for what I could see out my window..


    After an hour's rest, I was getting warmed up to take a walk with Poli. My once a year smoke.


    The Stroll in the park


    The Walk to Darjeeling Mall and the mighty Kanchenjunga Peak


    As the evening set in, the ride was all worth it.

    - The next day morning, I was in for a surprise. Clear sky and we walk to the mall again...


    To be greeted by Kanchenjunga again.


    After break fast we head back early. The sky is super clear. The locals are ecstatic on a cold morning.


    We take a few short breaks, but nothing to ponder over.


    A conclusion shot from the previous evening.

    Total Distance covered:
    125 Kms
    Scooter performance top notch, adequate braking, solid body.
    - I returned home with a sense of satisfaction. It dont matter what ride you take, a horse, a mule, a camel, they all take you to the same destination. The Journey is all that counts. I hope you enjoyed my short Picture blog. I will try to post some of my other rides some time. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by madelikeagun; 08-18-2018, 01:19 PM. Reason: removed Typo error
    Honda Unicorn 150 (2007- 2011) - 55000 Km
    RE Thunderbird 350 UCE (2011 - 2015) - 30500Km
    RE Classic 500 (2015 - 2016) - 10100Km
    Suzuki Gixxer 155 - (2016 - 2017) - 17500 Km
    Honda Activa 125 - (2017) - 3200 Km - Darjeeling
    RE Thunderbird 350 - (2017) - 12200 Km - Hyderabad
    Yamaha FSZ3.0 - (2019) - 5012 Km
    Motorcycle Trip log - Summer ride to N. Sagar | Leh 2012 - A story told in pictures | Winter in Darjeeling 2018 | Summer in Goa 2018 |

  • #2
    Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

    Thread approved.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

      Your writing style - simple but so beautiful!
      Thumbs up!
      A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

      Weekend Rides Around Kolkata
      My Ride To Sunderbans -
      Hemnagar & Samsernagar
      Saagar Kinare - Bakkhali Calling

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

        Originally posted by krishna77 View Post
        Your writing style - simple but so beautiful!
        Thumbs up!
        It's encouraging to hear your comment. Thank you.

        Originally posted by xBhp View Post
        Thread approved.
        Thanks for approving my tread. I appreciate it.
        Honda Unicorn 150 (2007- 2011) - 55000 Km
        RE Thunderbird 350 UCE (2011 - 2015) - 30500Km
        RE Classic 500 (2015 - 2016) - 10100Km
        Suzuki Gixxer 155 - (2016 - 2017) - 17500 Km
        Honda Activa 125 - (2017) - 3200 Km - Darjeeling
        RE Thunderbird 350 - (2017) - 12200 Km - Hyderabad
        Yamaha FSZ3.0 - (2019) - 5012 Km
        Motorcycle Trip log - Summer ride to N. Sagar | Leh 2012 - A story told in pictures | Winter in Darjeeling 2018 | Summer in Goa 2018 |

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

          Pictures are just awesome. You became an inspiration!
          Finding Life

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

            Riding to mountains is indeed a refreshing experience.

            Thanks for the nice, crisp ride report and beautiful photos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Winter ride - Siliguri to Darjeeling - Jan 2018

              Wow , you put the small ride under a big test (with load on the hills)

              I would suggest to add few more riding gears (atleast jacket+knee guard)

              Keep it up
              Benelli 302 Owner Experience
              LAMBORGHINI Experience
              Mustang - Death Valley
              Exploring Bali on scooter

              Thailand -Phuket : Big Buddha
              GREAT OCEAN ROAD

              Comment

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