Monday, February 24, 2020

2500 km ride comes to an End , till we meet again , adios

Is it a bike or a Truck ?

I was up at 0700 hours. We had planned for an early start. We were   6 bikes by now returning to Jamshedpur, more the bikes, more the chances of something going wrong, and that would slow us down.

 Only to realize another rider had a flat tyre... oh well.. all happens for a good reason I am sure, so we took the opportunity to fill our self with food, one less stop to make once we start to ride.

All saddled up, YA


Did I mention I have bought a fairy bell..these little bells keep the bikers safe from spirits and other little creatures that might want to ride on our shoulder as we cross their territory. I love the sound of the bells, it is so 'musical'. Hope the bells don’t actually attract these spirits that it is supposed to keep away and us safe as we ride through.

Breakfast consisted of chana, samosa and litti. I was hoping I had not eaten too much that it would make me sleepy since we had a long way to go and GOD willing we would do the full 500km today itself without much adventure.

While riding through Bihar we came across scenes that one would expect in Bihar, and is just so charming.

The rains, the country side, the people and their warmth. 

As we took shelter from rain and waited for the rains to pass.. it made a very pretty sight. 

The roads via Dehri are better we were told and so we decided to give Patna a skip and ride on the rad as suggested by a few truck drivers. Except for 3 wrong turns we did fairly okay for most part and did not lose much time as we had realized our mistakes quickly enough.

As we reached Bodhgaya, the rains were once more on us, and we decided this would be the right time to take a break for lunch. It was 1300 hours and the breakfast had been well digested by now. I for one was not too keen to ride in the rains and if we could wait it out and let the rains pass us by, it would be just ideal.. 
 Food done we started out, we had also regrouped by now and all 6 of us were riding together.

Our next stop was at around 1730 hours where we met two riders from Koderma who had come to share a glass of tea and Samosa, and a few minutes of chit chat. Our short chat lasted for 45 minutes but it is always a pleasure to see familiar faces while on a ride. 

We were at Hazaribagh by 1900 hours and looked like it would be midnight before we reached home. We had decided we would ride through till we were back home. We took a break to call up home and let our folks know not to wait for us as would be really late, and also to call up some friends and let them know our ETA as they planned to ride out (like a 130 km) to meet us on the way and we would all ride back together. It was going to be like a big homecoming with only music missing else it would be a reunion of fellow riders from Jamshedpur on the highway near Ranchi 130 km away from home.

Well another hours riding and then disaster struck. One of the bikes suffered a broken bolt of the handle. While thankfully there was no accident, the bike was completely incapacitated and the only way out further was having to truck the bike back. So we waited by the road side and after a 2hour long wait we managed to get a truck. Finally by 2200 we started out again.

Till then we just sat by the roadside and chatted and laughed about the silly antiques we had faced. The cheerfulness was infectious and even the one whose bike suffered the misfortune was soon one with us...having a good laugh and ready to get on with the ride.

Along the way we did meet a few friends, Rakesh, Ravi and Navin who had come to greet us, in Ranchi and ride back with us towards Jamshedpur. We rode on, taking a break for a round of Tea and Coffee before we were home.

It was 0330 hours on next day morning when I managed to reach home. The milometer read: 21067. It was a great ride and thank you all for your good wishes as we reached home and prepared for our next adventure.

We had ridden 2500 km on this trip approximately and all riders back home safe and sound sans one bike, needing serious servicing. 

All in all a great ride.. thank you FORE Nepal for being a great host!

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc #silcharthumpers #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #brspatna
#forenepal #michelin #loneranger #BOBMCRMNEPAL #RM #MOTULINDIA #GOLDENRIDERS

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Penultimate Day and a slow day

Sun at 0700 hrs
Next morning we woke up leisurely at approximately 0700 hours, yes we have turned into early birds by now. We were well aware the morning would be foggy and it would be risky to try and start out too early. Also the local news agency had contacted us asking for a meeting and the local councillor wanted to flag us off as we started back into the heartland of India.

Battery being jumped 

Zahr Bhai and Raja at work

But before the flag off, we had to figure out the issue with one of the bikes, its battery seemed ready to give up and we just wanted to see if we could get to Gorakhpur before we were forced to purchase a new battery (the border did not seem to have a battery shop open until 1100)
A candy sure gets their attention

We spent sometime with the kids at the local school where we had stayed for the night.
We walked over to the border to exchange our Nepali currency
 that we had left over. It seems with demonetization many Nepali traders suffered as they were left with Indian currency which couldn't be exchanged. 
These traders were not too keen to accept Indian currency. They preferred to accept Nepali currency and there was a general air of wariness against the Indian currency.

Strolling back to India
Back in India

Finally we were back in our country and time to get on with our day. We stuffed our self with freshly made samosa chaat, jalebi and ginger tea, post which we were ready to hit the road.

 Ginger tea is also a laxative sometimes I feel 

Our bikes were well adorned with Flowers by now as we started out from Sonauli, with the local councillor
Flagging off our entry into India, the crowded streets and roads were teeming with people who greeted us. We were in Uttar Pradesh, and the state has its own flavor.

A journalist took a short interview of the riders and he asked me why i rode a bike?
My answer to that was ,'' It teaches me respect and patience."

We did not manage to make it to Gorakhpur but had to stop and get a fresh battery by 1600 hours. A little before Gorakhpur we got stuck in traffic and as we entered Gorakhpur the traffic worsened and it was soon a nightmare! It took us 4 hours to cover 2 km of city roads! 
Sorry people of Gorakhpur who live here and have to deal with this situation on a daily basis. So bad was the traffic that a friend from Gorakhpur came to our rescue. He took us through some back roads and ally ways to get out of the city. 

It was already dark as we departed from Gorakhpur and the tummy was beginning to growl but we needed to put a few mile’s behind us and get away from that crazy city before we would stop for a late lunch / dinner.  We planned stop at Buxar in Bihar which  was approximately  200 km away .

It was an interesting ride. The roads were quiet and heavily foggy. 
I had a near miss of running into a Black-buck, as it cantered across the road. 
The roads were good, and we made good speed. It was hard to stop on the way as there was no place that we felt our bikes would be safe for the night. 
Especially since our luggage was on the bikes, we did not want to take it off the bike. 
Other than a stop at a dhaba for a lunch/dinner we rode through. 
We kept going right into the night and soon it was 2350 hours before we were at Buxar, the odometer read 20528.

We had only covered 350 km this day because of all the bike trouble that had happened. We had started the day hoping we would cover 500km on 27th January. 
Well seemed like the next day we would still have 550 km to cover, would be a full day of riding again... 

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc  #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #brspatna #inddiethumpers
#forenepal #michelin #loneranger #BOBMCRMNEPAL #RM #MOTULINDIA #GOLDENRIDERS

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Setting up a bathroom in a field and more

Moment to ponder

Shower stalls with warm water

Labyrinthh of pipes to stalls

I am always awed by the major work that goes on with setting up a place and making it comfortable and I think having running water (sometimes hot) in cold places are just a blessing, and to be able to figure it out and make it work is just amazing. Hats off to the FORE guys at Nepal... to work out the bathroom and running water scenario and keep it working all the way... right up to when the event got over,
is a major achievement in my books!!

We all remember Nagpur and get visions (called nightmares) of how not to run a event, and Nepal was just amazing in their water management. 

Breaking the fast

Blessed are these kids whose parents get them to these...what a great learning experience it must be for them..on how the world is, and what a great place the mountains are!
Rains predicted today 26th Jan

We spent the next two days in Pokhra and the weather Gods were with us. On 26ththere was prediction of rain and we were eager to put a few miles between us and the rains, so we were up early and saddled up. Breakfast done,  we were on our way back to Sonauli border, where we were to meet two more riders who had failed to make it to the event, but would join us on the way back to Jamshedpur.

Thank you FORE for the wonderful food and memories

Okay... before I get too sentimental and start crying, I started my journey back to India, to leave my friends behind but not before a wonderful breakfast.

1000 miles a 1000 miles to go
Yes I am still a 1000 miles away from home, according to GPS, and maybe some more adventure along the way will take us around some more. We are looking at 2 – 3 days more to reach home. We need to make it back within 3 days since a friends wedding is on the horizon, and 29th January we had vowed to be at the venue to help in the wedding.

All said and done we started out by 1030 hours and a couple of hours of steady riding with just one break saw us at Mugling by 1445 hours. The roads were wonderful and we could make good speed. Thank you Nepal for being nice to us.

Along the way
We were at Dumkholi, the same dhaba where we had momo of Nepal while on our way into Katmandu; we once again stuffed our self with momos and bought some knick-knack for friends and family back home.
Bulls at the Temporary Pen

Interacting with locals 

A lovely Temple

Evening saw us encounter fog once more but we kept going and by 1930 hours we were once more at Somali, we would once again enjoy the wonderful hosting by Stuti's family, this time it was eve more enjoyable.
Riders at Sonauli exploring

We stepped out to try and explore the little outpost of Sonauli but fog and 26th January being a holiday saw us return home after a quick meal of biryani by the roadside. We spend a wonderful evening with our gracious hostess and her family.

There was delicious food, warm fire, and a guitar with a few who could sing really well. 
A wonderful evening which went on to 2300 hours before we trooped off to find a bed.

our ride indeed coming to an end, as we entered night in INDIA

#biketaleswithrajat #rkmc #silcharthumpers #bobmcrm2020 #bobmcrmnepal2020 #rajatghoshphotography #rmNAGPUR #bathroom #forenepal