Going off the beaten path

“Zor laga ke…” “Haisha…”

“Come on… push!!”

“Harder!!”

“HARDER!!”

“Just a little bit more…”

“Yes!” “YES!!” “YEESSS!!!!”

“Woohoo!!”

Yes, we really made all of those noises, and more, yesterday.

No, we were on a biking trip.

Yes, there was one girl, but S. was with someone. And she was with the Mumbai group.

No, she was not the one making the noises.

If the above phrases are not what you hear on a normal biking trip/xBhp GTG, well, that’s because we totally redefined both with the trip to Rajmachi this Sunday.

But I am skipping forward. Let me start at the beginning.

The Beginning

Woke up at 5 past 5 (finally), after snoozing my 3 alarms at least 5 times each. Still managed to fall asleep on the pot though. (My previous day’s helmet hunt had really taken a lot out of me :P)

Got to Chandni chowk CCD (C4D) at 5:45, and blurted out my apologies to MG, Kashif, Ram, Sameer, Mayank and Ankur. (Someone told me MG had come from Satara, and that he had gotten up at 3:30 to get to C4D on time. If so, <Samudra stands up and bows>). They told me they were still waiting for a couple of other guys. Phew.

Samuel arrived shortly, but we decided not to wait anymore for Inder, as most of us were inexperienced. So we split, agreeing to meet at the tapri at the junction of Dehu road split.

Then, began the lovely ride to Lonavla. The weather was just fine. The cool wind, made only cooler by the mud spray from vehicles in front of you. The rain, wiping off the mud from your visor. With Inder and MG, who had caught up with us at the tapri, leading and sweeping respectively, we had an absolutely safe and uneventful, but beautiful, ride.

Then came the right turn to Zapper hell / off roading heaven.

The Middle

After some initial doubts as to whether our bikes would be able to take the terrain, we decided to go for it. Of course, our morale was not helped by the fact that Inder’s bike developed some kink, and he and MG turned around soon. Nor by the couple of bikes coming down, who took a look at the one TVS victor in our midst, and wished us all the best.

As we kept persevering, however, we did find more company going up. Members of the Bullet-riders group, the Roadshakers, soon began overtaking us. We of course had no option but to stop our 15kmph rides, to let them thunder past at speeds exceeding 60-70kmph. We all silently said a prayer for all the crabs that these guys must have squashed.

The couple of tough (or so we thought) patches that we encountered, we managed to get through them without much damages. We helped each other through, we pushed, we pulled, we cheered. And we waited to see how the RoadShakers handled these tough patches, but they seem to have had enough. Well, xBhp-1, RS-0 :D.

Once we reached the “base camp”, we had awesome poha, and cooled our heels a bit. We were joined by a few of the Roadshakers , and the whole of the Mumbai group of xBhp here.

The next couple of hours, we trekked up to the fort, where a few of us were looking to begin their modelling careers, and the rest were just content to stop and rest after every 15 minutes. (Lugging a 120 kg bike up to that level is no easy feat, I tell you!)

The 1 hour trek was well worth it though. The fort was good. The view even better. The fog that moved in below us, made us feel like we were walking on clouds.

And then began the trip back.

The Beginning of The End

While we were busy feasting on the excellent almost-home-made food, and chilling, the Gods must have been having a conversation something like this:

Loki(Norse god of mischief and evil): I am bored. Let’s do something.

Rain god: You wanna play poker?

L: Naah.. did that last millennium. Lets do something different!

RG: Like what?

L: You see those bunch of guys with bikes down there at Rajmachi?

RG: Wait let me put on my contacts… Yes, I see them. What about them?

L :Well, they think they are going to go down very easily.

RG: Well, so? It does look easy now. I mean, its even starting to dry up.

L: HeehaaahAAAHAAAAAAahaaHAAHAAAAHAAAAAAHAAAAAA…

Any hopes that any of us might have been harbouring about the way down being a lot easier, were quickly dispersed when it started raining. To top it all off, Mayank’s FZ’s brakes got locked. So while a couple of us left to help them out, the rest parked by the side of the road, and waited for them.

Rain, and daylight, forced some of us to move ahead however, while DK and a few others waited for the rest.

Within a few minutes, we hit our first “tough” patch. It was as expected, except that we had forgotten to take into account GOATS and COWS. But we all managed to navigate the mud, the stones and the livestock without any mishaps.

(Loki: Damn! The goats and the cows did nothing to them! I must step up the game! Rain god! Please make it rain harder!!

Rain god: Heehee! This is gonna be fun!)

Have you ever had your bike go to the right, when you turned left? AND, turn to the right, when you turn right?

And go back, when you have applied all the possible brakes, including your feet? And turn perpendicular to the line of motion, while it is doing that?

Yes? Really? No, I meant in real life, not in a nightmare.

Well, that’s what happened to all of us. We slid. We fell. We got up. We fell. We fell when we tried to get up. We got up when we fell.

The laws of physics did not apply on those 50 metres of not-a-road.

By the time we finally managed to get everyone’s bikes up and across the patch, I had lost 10 Kgs. I thought Sameer had disappeared.

Me: Looks (huff puff) like (huff puff) the worst (huff puff) is over. (huff puff)

Ram: I (huff puff) think (huff puff) so too.

Loki: Hahahaha… that’s what YOU think!

Well, to make a long story short, soon, we were no longer on roads. We were riding our bikes on rivers of red mud. Actually, “riding” is probably not as accurate, as “navigating”.

I can proudly say that during this stretch, I fell only twice. I could blame it on the cakes of mud that somewhere had my shoes inside them. I mean, I was without any brakes!!

The End

After what felt like decades, we got to the rocky patch. We finally managed to put our bikes in 3rd gear, as we flew over rocks, splashed our way through newly born streams, skidded through mud patches. And in the process, got ourselves the best ass-massages that one could ever dream of.

We soon reached civilization however (which just means that we found some semblance of what used to be roads at some point of time). We got lost, we found our way. We caught up with MG, and the rest of the bikers, had some chai, and all too soon, it was time to go.

Final damages:

  • 1 Pulsar with broken mudguard (broken intentionally, as the last option, because the mud got stuck and the wheel just wouldn’t turn).
  • 1 FZ with a twisted handle and a broken leg guard.
  • 22 people with slightly broken egos, and a renewed respect for the forces of nature.

The ride back to Pune was fun too, and for different reasons, but that’s another story altogether ;).

UPDATE: Pics are here

(Coming soon: A video of the easiest part.)

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7 Responses to “Going off the beaten path”

  1. […] this is what counts as "logs" but it sure as hell gonna be on my mind for a long time Going off the beaten path Mousses, Muses and Musings Any comments are absolutely welcome. My apologies if i upset someone. My apologies for the delay […]

  2. Just a lil correction: its wasn’t FZ whose brake were jammed, actually it was pulsar..Just because of which we had to break the mudguard as the sticky mud was fixed like cement between Pulsar tyre and mudguard.

    We tried everything possible to free the tyre from mud but failed. At last we had to break the mudguard. It was really hard convincing the guy to allow us breaking his bikes mudguard. Who will like to see his bikes mudguard getting smashed by stone? It was painful for the Pulsar guy, but he understood that it was very necessary as the time was passing by, rain on head and we had to cover a lot of distance before it gets dark. Finally he agreed and we had to brutally break the mudguard with a stone.

  3. Dude M dying to see pic from your cam.

    • Dude… i think I should mention that the pix that i have, are mostly of those situations, when I COULD take out the cam… so most of the good stuff is NOT there, as I was too scared/busy trying to stay up straight, to be clicking pix.

      I will try to upload them by tonight.

  4. Dude,
    It was adventurous enough through Ram’s mouth but your write up makes it the only blog i have read top to bottom…
    Cool stuff & congratulations to be in one piece (Though some bends might still persist).

  5. Lovely writeup bro. U didnt publish this on XBhp. Got to knw the pune side of the ride from this blog.

    Itz was a lovely ride. Planning to do it again in october. It wont be tht much fun but a lil fun atleast.

    • Thanks cosgeo 🙂
      I did put it up on xBhp. I guess it should be there somewhere on the Pune thread…
      I somehow keep missing the GTGs now…. for 1 reason or the other. Looking forward to riding with you all again 🙂

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