So after about four months of getting my bike, today I took it for its much needed spin(read long drive). The decision to do so was pretty much made in 5 minutes and hence there was no question of when to do it. Hence at 2.45 am today(sunday), I geared up, set the odometer reading to zero and just left. Obviously Gurgaon wouldn’t let me go so easily without a bit of scare. So a gaping chasm(read pothole) was thrown my way out of nowhere on an otherwise perfectly smooth road and needless to say, the landing wasn’t any smooth. Had to stop and check the bike for any visible damages. Thankfully none. Could proceed. After another few kilometers, the bike refused to start after I had turned it off at a long red-light. Payback for the pothole assault I guess. After two or three rounds of trying the kick had to seriously consider giving up the entire plan. But a Royal Enfield rider isn’t supposed to give up so easily(yea, that was me being smug 😛 ). So did some tinkering with the throttle regulator and miraculously the thing started working. Guess it decided to cut me some slack after all. Anyway, reached Delhi-UP border in an hour, thanks to the time I chose and the empty, well-lit, awesomely wide Delhi roads. That drive was a pleasure in itself. Going via India Gate and other nice places and then finally ending up at a god-forsaken place called NH-58(Delhi-Hardwar).
The first stretch is from Delhi to Meerut. Again, the timing helped and even though most of the times that is one congested road to travel on, I manged to cover that fairly quickly. Was scary at first riding at about 70-80 on pitch black highway but after some time, you just get used to it. Plus some sections are lit decently. The next stretch, and the most amazing one, is from Meerut to Muzaffarnagar and again, the timing was spot on to ride on this section. Next to zero traffic on a perfectly smooth tarmac. On 90 it seems like you’re crawling if the visor is down, because there IS nothing to compare the speed with. There are just the speedometer and rpm needles that indicate what’s going on in that machine beneath your butt. Its about 80 Km section and is absolute heaven to drive on. The weather gods were also with me and I was treated with an overcast sky and a cool breeze throughout the journey and lush green fields on both sides of tarmac on this leg especially. Got pulled over by cops for a routine check at the toll booth, but soon it turned into a conversation about the bike. Spent a good 15 minutes talking to them and hence caught another much needed break.Took the pic below there only as the sun was just coming up.
Completed this leg fairly quickly but now the worse was to come.
The final let is between Muzaffarnagar and Roorkee in which the road turns into a mars-like landscape most of the times and the number of lanes get reduced to two, which is effectively one as there will be trucks, tempos, buffalo’s, cows and other related things/beings parked on either sides of the road. This one is the smallest leg but the most irritating and very time consuming. There are no smooth stretches and you can expect surprises to pop up, like absence of road for 100 meters or so. Only one advice- stay alert and awake. Reached there at around 7. So it was approximately 4 hours. Not bad actually.
After spending some time there left Roorkee at exactly 12.30. Had a Red-Bull to keep my senses in place as I had already pulled a night out the previous day. Also had few coffee’s just to make sure I don’t doze off. The return till Delhi took longer. Its expected as the traffic it more now and the stretches that went by like a breeze earlier now take significant time to cover. The weather also turned sour with growing humidity and heat. But eventually ended up entering Delhi in 4 hours. Only an hour was left(max) till I was snuggled up in my bed. I was a happy person till the time I decided to just experiment with one seemingly small detour and after a long time I was compelled to recall Murphy’s law. This ‘small’ detour landed me into a dead-end after an hour’s drive into a village. And trust me. It WAS a village. Oh, and did I mention the jungle I had to cross to get there. Google maps gave also gave up. Asked around to find that had taken a wrong turn(…yea right). Treading the reverse path, finally Maps started working and showing a path to my destination. Again I was a happy person and that bed of mine seemed so close, till the time I figured that this time technology fubar-d things up. Won’t get into it much except that it reassured the fact that GMaps cannot be blindly trusted. When I finally got my bearings right, I was 8KM’s off my destination and finally ended up at home at 7.30 and reading on odometer as 475KM. I guess thats a lot for the first time, although many of my body parts are feeling the effects even now.
Obviously, it was all worth it and now that the summers are finally gone, will be attempting to do more such trips, with more preparation of course.