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Thread: Chasing our Dreams...

  1. #1
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    Default Chasing our Dreams...

    This is an account of my first solo bike trip from Noida, (where I live presently) to Lavasa, a place of my dreams (broken).

    Why Lavasa?
    No doubt there are many hill stations towards the North which being my native place have always fascinated me. But there is something in the western ghats which has a certain magnetic pull over me. Especially in the monsoon season the ghats truly come alive with an almost fluorescent green spread all around. And in stark contrast to it the black rocks and soil make for a mesmerizing, almost hypnotic setting.
    Those were the main reasons why my wife, Manu and I decided to purchase a place in Mugaon, the second town to be developed in Lavasa. That was in the first year of our marriage. There had been some disturbing news lately about the project being shelved and all construction stopped and sites abandoned. This wasn't the dream we had believed in and I wanted to see all this for myself. Thats why Lavasa.

    The planning.

    There really wasn't much to plan except to check routes online and get some gear for the trip. I had ordered a Givi tail bag, a new Caberg helmet and a radiator and oil cooler guard set by Evotech Performance. The guards arrived ahead of schedule but I was getting nervous about the delay in other items. Just 2 days before the planned date of my departure GiviXS313 tail bag and Caberg Drift full Carbon helmet arrived to calm my nerves. I knew that even with a smallish 20L bag I could carry almost everything I needed on this trip. I was unsure about carrying a small backpack for sundry items and kept it as a secondary piece of luggage. More about the gear and their performances later.

    I transferred the Sena 10C bluetooth set from my existing helmet to the new one and tested it the night before departure. All gear seemed to be in order.

    The plan was to utilize the week when Manu and our daughter Kripa would be visiting Dehradun. Thus roughly 21-27th August. I was taking inputs from a fellow Ducatisti, Zeeshan. He rides the Multistrada and has done 1000 odd kms in a days ride in the past. I was going to keep the ride a not so open secret with Manu and was trying to do everything as covertly as possible. Which apparently wasn't covert at all as I came to know later. Anyways, got their tickets booked for 20th August in Tatkal. Early morning Shatabdi to Dehradun.
    Manu had made elaborate arrangements to keep me well nourished while she was away. The fridge was loaded with fresh fruits and she even made arrangements for our maid to do some cooking for my lunch. I kept quiet about all this and thought of handling this when the time comes.
    The weather was going to be wet all throughout the week ahead as per the multiple weather apps installed on my phone! It wasn't very confidence inspiring news but I was feeling strong from within about this and some minor flooding or inundated towns and highways weren't going to dampen my spirits!!! I had no rain gear.
    Had fixed appointment with AMP gurgaon for 20th to get the bike checked for the trip.

    Dropped Manu and Kripa to the train station in Ghaziabad and watched them leave with a heavy heart. Then got stuck in horrible traffic all the way from.the station to home. There is some kind of an accepted opposite direction lane on the one way hapur bypass NH24 road which really irks me.

    Anyways, reached home late. Waited for the maid to come at a revised time slot. She cleaned up the kitchen, house etc as I made some adjustments to the knee/shin protectors. Had to sew the straps to shorten them and fit me snugly.
    I packed some fruits for the journey and rest all packed for the maid to take away. Locked the house after last minutes checks etc and handed over the keys to our neighbours in case I get delayed or Manu had to get back earlier than the plan.

    Reached AMP Ducati in Gurgaon at around 1400 hrs. They checked the bike for any niggles. Tried to fix the recurring horn problem by cleaning some terminals etc. Checked the brakes,coolant, engine oil etc and realized that the engine oil was a bit lower than optimum. Hence topped up. Apparently the Ducatis eat up certain amount of engine oil and need to be topped up every 1000 odd kms by about 200-300 ml. I was advised to carry a spare 1L bottle with me for the trip which I purchased from them. But the no.10 Allen key required to Open/Close the filling cap wasn't there in my tool kit. I asked the workshop guys to hand me one for the trip which they had two pieces of. But the floor manager refused. Anyways, I didn't think that to be a very big hinderance and thanked them for all their suggestions and help. The guys on the floor seemed excited at my plan and offered me their best wishes and safety tips. The guy Pankaj told me that I could trust my machine completely and the trip will be great fun. I wanted to hear exactly this and he couldn't have said it at a more apt time.

    I was staying the night at my childhood friend Devender's place in Gurugram. Once done from the dealership I went straight to his company's guest house and waited there for him to get free from work.

    During this wait I realised that my plan to wear my knee/shin guard inside my trousers was not that great and made me quite uncomfortable after only a few hours. So even though my bike's tank paint was in danger of getting scratched by the hard knee guard I had no other option. Sigh...

    Anyways, Devender came to the guest house soon enough and Zeeshan, my friend from the Ducati club joined us there for dinner. Zeeshan is a great guy and has plans to conquer many long distance destinations on his strada too. Just that his health is a bit down lately and he is recuperating. He was excited about my trip too and checked my gear etc for approval. Dinner done, all set to go home, pack one last time and sleep early for an early morning start.
    Slept late as we chatted for a long time in bed...But I woke up right on time. Showered, freshened up and got geared up. Tied up the tail bag securely.

    The tail bag had a spare 1L bottle of engine oil, Tyre inflator, puncture repair kit and all my clothes. I was quite impressed by it. It even had a high visibility rain cover which I decided to keep on all the time.
    Devender woke up too and handed me a high visibility cycling jacket to be worn on top of my riding jacket. It was loose but a good addition to my safety equipment list.

    I decided to keep my wallet, bike documents etc in the small shoulder bag that I had been unsure to carry to this trip in the last moment. And in this made a blunder that I would come to know about later in the day.

    We said goodbyes and I left feeling amazing...

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    krishna77 and Harshit Dave like this.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Chasing our Dreams...

    Thread approved.
    Waiting for the rest of it and a lot of photos.
    Ride safe.

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    Default Re: Chasing our Dreams...

    Nice start!
    Waiting for the rest.

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    Default Re: Chasing our Dreams...

    I need some assistance in posting my log...i have saved the writeup in a word file along with pics inserted at appropriate places...but when I copies pasted the same here the write up eas arranged as it is but the pics are showing as small green boxes...no images...how to know if the pics will be visible once I send or post the reply???

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    Default Re: Chasing our Dreams...

    Day 1 Route and reroute:
    Approx 810 kms but I stopped at Jhalawar.
    Gurugram -- Neemrana-- Jaipur--Tonk--Deoli--Boondi--Kota--Jhalawar--Ghatiya--Ujjain--Indore.


    I planned to reach up to Indore covering about 810 kms. The exact target was hotel 7th cloud in Indore which was a bit away from the city center hence offering easy entry/exit as per my understanding. I topped up fuel in Gurgaon close to where I was staying in Sector 40 and enjoying the lovely overcast weather and empty roads I thought this will be not so difficult to accomplish.
    I had fruits in my bag to keep me well nourished and didn't really plan to stop anywhere unless felt absolutely the need for it. And thanks to amazing roads I was doing really good time too. Didn't stop at many places for pics as to do that I have to take the phone off the mount and remove my gloves etc making it pretty much tedious. But I did take a few pics just to capture the terrain I was passing by.

    The highways in Rajasthan are owned completely by the trucks plying on them. They keep all lanes to themselves and leave the task of finding a way through their chakravyuh to us little ones. They change lanes without any warnings to fellow road users and one has to be absolutely on guard at all times with them around. This probably worked in my favour as the early start and lonely roads were getting quite disengaging.

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Somewhere on the way to Jaipur
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]The raod passes through a National park area...

    Weather remained calm and pleasant up untill I reached around Boondi I guess. After which the roads remained wet and traffic speed reduced considerably. But it was still smooth going untill I reached a place called Suket on NH52. The roads were being laid over a stretch of about 20kms and traffic was being led in a group transit system by local volunteers. The surface was truly worthy of an offroad adventure event and due to the rains the slush and thick layers of mud made life miserable for me. Due to the big rear wheel, my bike doesn't really like uneven surfaces and has its own way to counteract them much to my surprise and horror at times. So for these 20 odd kms I had to wade through rows of trucks sunk deep in mud and gravel and somehow managed to get out of all this unscathed. Full marks to my devil truly.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Shoes..waterproof outside...soaked wet inside

    I received a low battery warning on my Sena 10c and realized that due to some video tagging experiments I had depleted the battery faster than usual. I didn't like the idea of having to read google maps continuously if the unit shut down hence had to charge the unit asap.
    The rain became heavier after this and I decided to take a break at the first decent place I come across next. So I stopped at a nice Resort on my side of the road and went in totally covered in mud and soaked silly. But the staff was nice and welcomed me warmly. There were just two more girls eating in the restaurants at the time and I felt they might be staying there. I ordered food and hot chocolate and gathered my thoughts as to how much I could travel in such weather! I was still about 250kms short of my target destination and it was around 1530 already. I do not like driving/riding unknown roads after dark and decided to revise my target to Ujjain instead.
    I also realized to my utter annoyance that the two powerbanks that I was supposed to carry on the trip were not in my bags!! I must have forgotten them at Devender's house. How stupid!!
    I was not carrying the charging cable for the Sena too. Hence had to ask the kitchen guys to put it on charge using any mobile charging with C pin charge connection. They willingly obliged. So after thanking the kitchen staff for a lovely meal and for paying my bills I left the place in slight drizzle with my spirits and Sena still charged.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    The moment I left the resort the rain picked up to turn into a downpour. The roads quickly became submerged and I had to take shelter at a petrol pump in Jhalawar city on NH52.
    My phone also started acting funny. The battery life was around 40% and when I tried to connect it to the charger on my bike it gave me the alarm that"moisture has been detected and I must disconnect the charger immediately". The petrol pump guys were really nice and they even tried to blow dry the charging ports using dry compressed air. But the warning kept popping up nevertheless.

    With all this and time already 1630 I decided to end the days journey here at Jhalawar. The petrol pump guys suggested a hotel called Krishna Palace nearby and I thanked them for all their help. What a nice bunch of strangers indeed. I didn't really like the parking lot of the hotel and decided to stay in another hotel just 100mts from it. Hotel Dwarika in Jhalawar. An unplanned stop at an unplanned location. What fun!!!. I called up Zeeshan and told him of this development. He said that I must sort out the phone issue before I think of travelling further. Which really made sense. In this world, I am but my phone and the number. What a disaster.
    The reception guy at the hotel asked sharp questions about who am I , from where, to where, what does my father do? But once satisfied by my credentials he was pretty nice. He tried to tell me how Indore is a straight forward destination which I could easily make without google maps and any phone. I got tempted and called up Zeeshan again but he said it will be dangerous. What if there is some problem with the bike etc. So I decided to stay the night at the hotel. At 900 rupees a night, it was an alright place to get the much needed rest.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Hotel Dwarika in Jhalawar

    It did not have a full service pantry hence I ordered for whatever was available and put my clothes and gear for drying.
    Due to the tiny tail on the bike all the mud from the roads was on my clothes and even on my helmet. The tail lights were completely covered with thick layers of mud and I realized they weren't visible to others on the road. Something that I would have to be wary of for the rest of the journey.
    I also came to know that the tail bag even with its rain cover isn't 100% water proof and that my clothes were all slightly damp inside. So I had to spread them all in the room to get them dry. A practice I'd follow everyday now. Sigh...

    Thankfully the phone started charging and I breathed a sign of relief. Did some quick search on google maps and decided to make it up to Nashik on day 2. A place about 250 kms short of my final stop, Lavasa.

    Day 2

    The route: Approx 658 kms.
    Jhalawar--Susner--Agar--Ujjain--Mhow--Palasner--Dhule--Nashik

    I woke up in time while it was still dark. Freshened up, packed my bags, again. Looked for a water hose around the garden area to clean up the bike a bit but there wasn't any. Carried a bucket of water from my room and cleaned up the brakes, tail/headlight area a bit. Woke up the reception guy to settle the bill etc. It was daylight by now so after clicking a couple of pics I left feeling excited about the road ahead.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Toruk Makto

    It wasn't raining but everything bore its recent presence. The greens looked greener, the black of the tarmac, blacker! The air smelt of incredible excitement ahead and the bike sounded heavenly on the empty roads. Missed one turn to Jhalarpatan but google auntie corrected my mistake witnin a few 100 mts and I was on the right track again.

    The moment I left NH52 and took SH27 the ride became a bit of more engaging. The sights were so beautiful around but every 100mts or so there was a sizeable crater of a pothole on the road making me constantly on the lookout. But I soon realized that the way trucks own the roads in Rajasthan, it was the holy cow in MP who ruled them!!
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]This sight repeated itself at every 500mts or so..

    It started raining in between and I decided to change the riding mode from Touring to Urban. This engaged a bit more electronics to keep me safer in these wet conditions. And really after this I really could go faster than before feeling a lot more confident.

    Somewhere in between I saw a lot of windmills and it reminded me of a drive I had taken a few years back from Prague to Vienna. It somehow seemed much more beautiful here in India. So I stopped for a few pics again.

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    There were some stretches of unlaid roads in between but there were some beautiful smooth surfaces too. I was doing good time and the weather was just right when it did stop raining.

    I stopped for lunch somewhere near MP / Maharashtra border at a place called Parmar Dhaba and restaurant. The ghats were about to begin and it was going to be raining so I needed this break. The people at the restaurant were really nice and I requested them to put my Sena on charge. Enjoyed a full sized thali with relish. Booked a room at Treebo Abode serviced apartments at Nashik on Trivago and felt good about it.There was a crowd gathered near the bike and everyone wanted to get clicked solo. So in obliging everyone it took about 10-15 minutes. And once I did get ready to leave I found that one of the rubber bushings to mount my phone on the Ram mount was missing. Couldn't find it anywhere around the bike so had to make do without it. The mount works wonderfully well indeed and not once have I feared the phone falling off.

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Parmar restaurant...

    Anyways, I rode on and soon enough I was hitting good speeds on NH60. Fantastic roads and lovely weather buoyed my spirits. One crazy family on Creta kind of got in some silent race to keep up with me and I saw the guy put his family in danger by not slowing down even at crossings and rumble strips just to stay ahead of me. What a moron indeed. Anyways, I knew he won't be in such mental state for long and let him be.

    At one ghats section a bunch of weird looking guys in a car kept coming very close to me and tried to strike some sort of conversation. I ignored a couple of times but the third time I did try to hear what they were saying. The driver seemed to be drinking while driving and his teeth seemed kind of gold plated to me. Anyways, I did get a bit apprehensive of them from their looks. But I looked closely and saw disposable glasses of Jal jeera in everyones hands. And they were quite a nice bunch just trying to tell me how nice I looked on the bike!!!! I really shouldn't try to judge the book by its cover I guess!

    I tried to look for a fuel station once the range on my bike showed 70kms as a practice on this trip. Though there is no dearth of fuel stations almost anywhere along this route I realized. But it just gave me sufficient safety net mentally. Once the tank is full it consistently shows me a range of 365 kms which is pretty accurate as I found out multiple times on this trip.

    Entry to Nashik made me pass through some mesmerizing sceneries which really made me stop and admire. Only a month ago we were travelling in the UK and we took a drive to the scottish highlands. The scenes there were not very different from what I got to see in our very own westen ghats. Simply superb.

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Oh the western ghats...I love thee...

    It was a wet ride in Nashik city and reaching the hotel was quite a task as google auntie didn't warn me enough whether to get on a flyover or go under it a couple of times. Somehow managed to reach the hotel and checked in. Asked them to arrange for some bike clean up and realized that the rear number plate had fallen off somewhere!
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]

    What a disaster. I checked some pics to try to find out where it might have happened but it wasn't going to be of any help really. I did come to know that it happened somewhere in MP!

    Anyways, the room was spacious and clean. The shower started giving hot water after a while and I took a long relaxing shower. There wasn't any room service but there were plenty of food delivery options around so I ordered food quickly and set out my clothes and gear for drying under the fan.
    The next leg of my trip was much shorter hence I planned to start late and enjoy the breakfast which was complimentary with the room booking.

    Checked on wifey and daughter having a good time in Doon. Spoke with Zeeshan and Devender for a while and then slept.

    Day 3
    The route: Approx 269 kms.
    Nashik--Deolali--Sangamner--Peth--Pirangut--Lavasa.
    Had a nice breakfast of idlis, poha a banana and some milk. Checked the bike for any apparent damages, faults and fixed the tail bag.
    There was Sula vineyards just 4 kms from where I was staying so there was temptation to visit. But I resisted and continued with the original plan. The route was fairly ordinary now on and passed through a lot of small towns/villages thus never really allowing me to push the bike hard.
    The exit from Nashik was equally scenic as the entry was if not more. Beautiful indeed.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    I was not planning to stay overnight at Lavasa but in Pune. So I had a couple of hours to spend there before riding back to Pune. But the slow progress due to rains, traffic and poor roads made it a bit difficult. Once I reached the ghats of Lavasa it started raining heavily. There was dense fog everywhere and riding the twisties became difficult even at moderate speeds. But I loved every bit of it. There was some apprehension in me as to what sights will I see once arrive at Dasve town. But decided to cross the bridge once I get there.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]Entry to Lavasa...
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]

    Reached the town center to find out that the once so impressive visitor information center lay abandoned now. I was directed to the town hall to meet some official. Once there I was told that there was no one in the sales office that day. Everyone had been transferred to the Mumbai office and all I got was some phone contacts of such people. I was disappointed but there were a few people around me talking of being in the same situation. I spoke with them and they told me to join a petition to the authorities asking to adjust our investments to some ready to move in properties in Dasve town.
    I saw a lot of tourists in the town enjoying the beautiful surroundings but didn't feel like staying there anymore. It was not the dream place I had last visited with Manu. Sigh...but it was raining heavily again and was getting dark pretty fast. So I decided to stay. Got a room at Mercure hotel and checked in to retire for the day.
    Mixed emotions, gloomy/foggy weather and temperatures much lower than the rest of the places I visited , kind of made me a bit down. I took an early dinner and retired to bed.

    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    Here I received a Whatsapp message from Zeeshan telling me how Manu, my wife knew my each and every move from the day I left for the trip. And that she was not happy about it. Then I realized that all my credit card alerts go to a number which is in her phone. So she knew all along where I was and what I was up to. Soon after this she called me up and we had a word about this. We agreed upon my safety being first concern and to discuss the matter once we both are back home. She is sometimes too lenient on my mischiefs I must say. And I am glad for that.

    Day 4:
    Lavasa--Pune. Approx 65 kms.

    Plan was to get the bike checked at Ducati Pune before commencing on the return leg of my journey. The rear tyre was my main concern as it was nearimg the end of its life(6000kms). It is only in a small strip in the middle profile where most wear had taken place and since there had already been 2 punctures on it last year I was unsure about it.
    I woke up to a groggy throat and fever. It was still raining outside. I knew of Apollo hospital in Lavasa so decided to visit it before leaving. Had a nice breakfast at the hotel lounge and checked out after settling the bills. The bike was totally covered in dirt and there was no arrangement to wash it at the hotel. I waited in the lobby for the rains to atleast slow down a bit so I could leave.
    Had a quick stop at the hospital and got some anti biotics and paracetamol for the condition. Ride to Bavaria Ducati Motors at Boat Club Road was uneventful but passing through Pune reminded me of 4 glorious years of my life spent there. What a wonderful feeling indeed. Nothing much had changed in Puneites,though Pune itself had changed a lot. No 2 wheeler rider wears any protective gear except for the women riders who protect their faces with a stole of some sorts.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    Reached the dealership and on initial inspection found the front right fork seal leaking. I was surprised as I had checked the bike before starting everyday and cleaned up the fork area before starting off. So it must have happened this morning when I couldn't clean or get the bike cleaned. The dirt damaged the seal. The job would take time untill the next evening hence I booked a room nearby and asked the workshop guys to have a review of my rear tyre too after a proper wash. I left the bike in their able (I thought) hands and went to my hotel. I had made it up to this far without any rain gear and decided to look for a rain jacket and pants for the return trip.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]

    Day 5:
    A day spent meandring in Pune around Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar, MG road etc. Had bhurji and bun maska at an Irani cafe. Bought a basic rain jacket and pants at MG road. Got a message from Mr Rajiv Nayar from Ducati Pune telling me that the front left fork seal was also about to go and they would change that too. Visited the workshop at around 1700 hrs to check the progress of work. The rear tyre was changed already and for good reasons. The old tyre had very thin sheet of rubber remaining at the center and certainly was at risk of imminent failure. They had topped up the engine oil to optimum too. Seemingly a good job done!!!

    Couldn't really go for a proper test run due to the traffic and rains and rode to the hotel after filling up the tank. Didn't find anything amiss with the bike at slow speeds so slept peacefully with plans to leave at around 0530 next morning.

    Booked the return train tickets for Manu and Kripa and after small chit chat went to sleep.

    Day 6:
    The route: Approx 750kms
    Pune--Sangamner--Shirdi--Manmad--Malegaon--Dhule--Shirpur--Sendhwa--Dhar--Ratlam--Mandsaur

    Left as planned and in light drizzle and light fever. Took the final dose of anti biotics and other medicines. With proper protection now against the rains I was a bit more relaxed. Soon my relaxed ride turned a bit stressful as I noticed the front of the bike dipping a bit too much on applying the front brakes. The same happened over speed breakers also with some knock observed too. I suspected the front fork oil not filled up to the right amount. I didn't like this one bit but adjusted my riding a bit to continue ahead.
    I knew these roads by now so the going was not that eventful. I was doing good time indeed once I hit NH60 and Nashik was the first big city I'd cross. But google aunty somehow saw a 2.5hrs delay on NH60 and diverted me to an unknown road instead. I reluctantly followed her instructions and was led to some interior villages with not so smooth roads and nothing but slushy fields all around. I hoped that one of these roads would join a main road soon but it just kept sending me from one village to another.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com][file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    After about 3rd such village I decided to not follow Google auntie for a while and after 2 intentionally missed turns I was led to NH60 once again. I breathed a sigh of relief and tried to make up for the lost time in next 100kms or so.
    I did not feel like stopping anywhere unless really required as I had had a nice breakfast of eggs and fruits before leaving the hotel. The rain jacket kept my upper body dry though the pants rode high above my ankles and my shoes and feet were wet as ever. But it was far better than riding soaked wet and kept me energized longer.
    Roads were good all along and I made it to the point where I had to leave the highway and turn towards Mandsaur town. Just as I made the turn I saw a nice hotel called Yashodharman Highway Treat at the fork. I went inside to find it very clean and quiet. Booked a room and as it was still daylight asked for some bike/car wash services nearby. It was just around corner I was told and I got the bike cleaned up before retiring to my room for the day.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    Had small chit chat with Manu, Zeeshan and Devender and after the routine spreading of clothes, gear etc for drying I went to sleep.

    Day 7:
    The route: Approx 712 kms
    Mandsaur-- Neemuch--Chhittorgarh-- Bhilwara--Kishangarh--Jaipur--Kothputli--Neemrana--Gurugram--Noida
    The last leg of the journey and I was feeling a bit of mixed emotions really. It was exciting to be home and with family again but it was also the end of a wonderful trip. Anyways, in settling the bills and having my breakfast at the hotel I got late to start. It was only by 7 that I could make an exit on to the highway. But since I was ok with riding on Delhi-NCR roads in the night I didn't really bother much. Left with about 100kms range on the display and good roads ahead I enjoyed the feeling.
    Roads were good and weather remained dry all throughout the day. In fact I had to take off my rain gear which I had put on as a precautionary measure in the very beginning. Stopped for lunch somewhere on the highway. And by 1630 hours I was passing Gurugram. Really easy after this I thought. But the rain gods were visiting GGN that evening and with what ferocity I must say. I was soaked wet in 2 minutes flat and took shelter in a fuel station to on my rain gear. But it was too late really. The roads were submerged in water and I was unsure of the potholes which are strewn everywhere on GGN roads. Really a shame. But the rain stopped and whatever slow progress I was making became slower due to traffic congestions everywhere. By the time I was in Delhi it was 1800 hrs. I stopped at a fuel pump to too up the tank one last time. And just 5kms after that on August Kranti Road my bike display gave me engine high temperature warning!!!! What a disaster. I was so close to getting home. I checked for the air flow through the air vents but didn't sense any. There was no perceptible sound of cooling fan cutting in too. So I suspected the fan failure. Called up Pankaj from AMP GGN and aftet a few checks over video call we decided to get the bike towed to the service center. Fixed up the rendezvous point with the RSA guys and waited for them to arrive. What a sad end to such a spectacular performance from my machine.

    The bike was picked up by around 2000hrs and I bid the devil goodbye. Hailed a cab and reached home by 2100hrs.
    [file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com]
    Thus a journey of roughly 3000kms, give or take a few, ended on a low note really. It brought back the reliability issues that have plagued Ducatis around the world as per the general understanding. So I was keen to hear what went wrong with the machine. Zeeshan suspected the fuel I last filled up to be the culprit, possible. But when I heard from Pankaj a couple of days later I was relieved. It was the new radiator guard that I had installed before the trip. It prevented cleaning of the radiator fins really while they kept getting dirty accumulating all the slush which later dried and blocked all the air passages. I must say I felt happy and immensely proud of my machine. Also came to know that the Pune Ducati workshop had not really filled up the forks properly and the right fork seal had even started leaking again. Shame really.

    Anyways, this was an account of my trip. What I could recollect. Not many pics but many memories.

    Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.

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