Tuesday, July 17, 2007
MR #1: Narkanda, Hatu & Shimla
And yeah, it marks the start of rides for me, finally ;)
I'm not sure how it would feel to you if you were in my place - sitting so close to himalayas, flagging off friends to Ladakh almost every weekend, getting frustrated with the unending heat in Delhi, no rides happening in the clubs and stuck in office for things that don't seem to be going in any direction!
I had an engine rebuilt towards june end (Yes, too soon! Shit happens, I just happened to be that unlucky fella!). Sumeet proposed this ride to Hatu peak and I joined in without any hesitations.
A day before the ride Sumeet called up to tell that it was only me and him turning finally for the ride :D (of the 11-12 guys). No issues. We had plans to beat the heat by starting verrry early in the morning! I got up at arnd 2.30 after 2 hours of sleep and after getting ready started for AIIMS, Delhi - our meeting point. It started pouring before I could reach there, and while waiting for Sumeet I screwed up my mobile in the rains.
It was a rainy ride in the first half of the day. Sumeet's avenger refused to start as the wiring went kaput some 20 kms short of kurukshetra. To get the jugaad wiring done it costed us a delay of 5 hours! Lack of sleep and hunger were pressing the need to open up the redbull drinks and it was a relief. After getting the wiring done we stopped by a Dhabha to have our lunch. A very tasty lunch indeed!
We moved on towards Chandigarh on NH1, after Ambala it was a diversion to NH22 from where we rode in two lane highway. The traffic situation was hopeless in highway near Panchkula because of the ongoing flyover construction. It was very hot to negotiate the way through that traffic having the riding jacket and helmet on!
5 minutes of gruelling heat at the railway crossing after Panchkula and after that it was an easy ride till Kalkaji. Refuelled and more redbulls bought.
First photo cum butt break. Some pix clicked and we rode again.
Ghats begin and as usual its time for me to rock and roll :D kept on riding. After Solan one butt break and catching up with Sumeet and we were good to reach Shimla in time. Found out the way to Narkanda, crossed the Shimla concrete jungle and stopped at Kufri to fill in our stomachs.
We got another rider Navneet a.k.a. Nav here, he was riding solo to Ladakh (For 3rd time) on his Pulsar 200. From here it was three of us riding together in the night to reach Narkanda.
Riding in those ghats in the night brought back the memories of night driving in Uttaranchal in my Mahindra jeep. It was cold when we reached Narkanda.
And what a place, after ages I could see a clear and star studded sky. We got a room in HP PWD guest house and it was time to sleep after 500 kms covered in the day.
Next morning we woke up late and after breakfast it was time to ride to Hatu peak. The three of us riding to the top of Hatu peak in a road just wide enough to accomodate a car/sumo and with a good inclination. Soon we covered the final 6 kms of this ascent and we were there on the top! What a sight!!
Time to pose next to the board. Yeah yeah.. it does not look great in comparison with all those high altitude passes but wat the heck! We had a great time up there and no use comparing it with anything else :D!!
It was cold up there and totally worth it! Thanks to Hitanshu for suggesting that to Sumeet! We were running short of time and so we pushed off to Shimla while Nav pushed off on his ride to Ladakh. It was nice meeting you Nav!
I caught up with Boodie a.k.a. Shashi and Redbull a.k.a. Kartik in Shimla. A great evening spent in Shimla with my SB buddies.
On the way back the ride was mostly okayish. Except for the flat tyre which took one and a half hours of our time and drained us in mid day sun! Most of the ride back to Gurgaon was done in night time and it was done well! By 11.45 PM we were in Gurgaon, back home. To the same insanity of the same old city woes!
Adieus till MR #2.
Click here for pictures ;)
Riders with me:
Sumeet on Bajaj Avenger
On the way back:
Shashi on R.E. Machismo,
Kartik on R.E. ThunderBird.
Gurgaon - Delhi - Sonipat - Panipat - Karnal - Kurukshetra - Ambala - Kalka - Solan - Shimla - Kufri - Theog - Narkanda - Hatu peak
Overall ride distance: 996 kms