Day 0: Inception

Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions.

 

Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth – Mike Tyson

I had a dream to ride across India for a year. But as they say, a dream is just a dream until you convert it to a goal. And we all need a plan in order to achieve that goal, however bad the plan is! My plan was simple – 1. Get a motorcycle; 2. Ride 😀

I know, that’s not even a plan (You can’t blame me; I was just a college kid). But at that point, that was my plan. I had to get a motorcycle first and for that, I needed money (and who has got the money in college, I am not talking about Bill Gates’ sons here). So the plan just went in a hibernate mode. I never discussed it with anyone. Then I got a job, it was not a lucrative one but enough for 3 meals a day. And I am not one of those guys who keep track of every penny I spend. But I worked hard and saved enough to book the motorcycle. I still remember that day; it was 25th December 2013. I got my motorcycle after a waiting period of 6 months. And that was it, I had accomplished – Step 1 – I had a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 350 between my legs.

If you go by my plan, half of my job was done and the second half was just to Ride. Sounds cool and simple huh, just like buying a packet of bread from the baker! Was it that simple, hell no. I was literally broke after buying my Bullet; I had no money what so ever to survive for a year long ride. And no one is gonna provide me leave for a year, that means I had to quit my job. I did what every guy who is broke does – switch on the realistic mode. I decided to look deeper into the second half of my horrifying plan and I realized that I can’t afford to lose my job (my parents would book me into a mental asylum if I do that). So I had to cut short the duration from a year to a month. And where I was working, if I had asked for a week’s leave to my manager he would look at me as if I had asked for his kidney. The only way to get a month’s leave was to find a company where I could work out my plan. I struggled for few months and I finally found a job in a suitable company where my plan was pragmatic. I started planning for the leaves as soon as I completed my probation in my new company; I also dropped a word to my boss regarding my dream. He was all thrilled too until I spoke about the leave plan. Anyway, I convinced him to initiate the discussion on the leaves with our US counterparts.

In the interim, I told my roommate about my plan and being a rider himself, he was all fascinated and we decided to team up for the ride. We created a group in Whatsapp where we started adding fellow riders who we thought might be interested in joining us for our grand expedition. I planned the budget and organized the itinerary for our ride. (It was not as horrifying as my previous plan, you can check out the itinerary and the checklist at the end of this post). It had enough details for us to put things together.

Everyone was pumped up and excited at first. As the days pass by, people started backing out one after the other. Meanwhile, after few discussions with my boss, my leaves were finally approved. At one point, I thought I would be riding solo. But a week after, my roommate’s leaves were approved too. So that confirmed that I won’t be the only one on the ride.

We were a few weeks away from our dream trip. And we had to prepare a checklist so that we don’t miss on essential things (apart from the motorcycle and the riding gear). There were quite a few things on my mind, I wanted time to prep up the man and the machine for the job, but time was the only thing I was lacking.

I serviced my Bullet 2 days before we started our ride (yeah, I know, my plan was a mess. I wanted to do it a couple of weeks before but you know things never go according to the plan).

And the day had finally arrived.  There was some issue with my motorcycle’s chain link lock too, which I resolved, first thing in the morning on Day Zero (Friday, July 29th, 2016). Since we had a plan to camp at few places, I got a tent from one my friends. As I was leaving office, my buddies at work came to wish me luck (I don’t know why they were acting as if it was my last day on earth).

I reached home by evening. I dragged out everything which belonged to me, pulled out the checklist and started packing.  I was done by 12:30 AM. There were just a couple of hours to go. My friend asked if I was actually ready to ride for the next 30 days, and I said “Only mentally” – and mind is the only thing that matters.

When I was all set, I lied on my bed and my gut whispered –IT’S HAPPENING.

To be continued – Day 1: The Bandh (Click here)

 

P.S. I wanted to write this on the same day of the events, but me being me, it never happened. But it’s always better to be late than never 😀

You can also find below the itinerary and the checklist which I prepared, it might be helpful, you never know

Itinerary:

S.No Date Day KM Time Route Places to visit
1 30-Jul Sat 560 9:14 Bangalore – Goa
2 31-Jul Sun 449 9:15 Goa – Malvan – Ratnagiri – Mahabaleshwar
3 1-Aug Mon 325 7:32 Mahabaleshwar – Pune – Khandala – Matheran – Bombay Pune – lavasa
Bombay – gateway of india;  marine drive
4 2-Aug Tue 418 6:45 Bombay -Surat – Vadodara Bombay – haji ali dargah; bandra worli sea link;
Vadodara – Sursagar Lake (optional)
5 3-Aug Wed 514 7:52 Vadodara – Kutch (Camping) Vadodara – Lakshmi Vilas Palace;
Kutch – Rann of Kutch
6 4-Aug Thu 502 8:09 Kutch – Mount Abu Guru Shikar
7 5-Aug Fri 350 6:15 Mount Abu – Udaipur – Haldighati – Pali – Jodhpur Udaipur – Lake Pichola, Kumbhalgarh fort
8 6-Aug Sat Jodhpur (Servicing) Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort
9 7-Aug Sun 286 4:30 Jodhpur – Jaisalmer (Camping) Jaisalmer – Sam sand dune
10 8-Aug Mon 478 7:45 Jaisalmer – Suratgarh
11 9-Aug Tue 348 6:18 Suratgarh – Amritsar Punjab – Wagah, Golden Temple
12 10-Aug Wed 203 4:10 Amritsar – Dalhousie Dalhousie – Shivkul
13 11-Aug Thu 305 9:00 Dalhousie – Killar – Kishtwar Killar – Kishtwar
14 12-Aug Fri 209 3:35 Kishtwar – Srinagar (Bike Tuning) Srinagar – Dal Lake
15 13-Aug Sat 8:00 Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil Drass – War Memorial, Drass Valley
Kargil – Drang Drung Glacier
16 14-Aug Sun 8:00 Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
17 15-Aug Mon 6:00 Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder Hunder (Camp) – Lahaul Valley
Nubra Valley
Khardung La
Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
18 16-Aug Tue 8:00 Hunder / Diskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh Sumur – famous monastery to check out
Panamik – hot water springs
19 17-Aug Wed 6:00 Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake Thicksey
Pangong Tso (Spangmik or Lukung)
20 18-Aug Thu 6:00 Pangong Tso Lake – Thicksey Monastery – Shey Palace – Leh Hemis
Shey
21 19-Aug Fri Leh Leh – Shanti stupa,  Leh Palace, Moon Land
22 20-Aug Sat 8:00 Leh – Tso Moriri via Chumathang Karzok Monastery
23 21-Aug Sun 11:00 Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang – Sarchu  
24 22-Aug Mon 11:00 Sarchu – Baralacha La – Keylong – Rohtang Pass – Manali Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal
25 23-Aug Tue 538 10:40 Manali – Delhi Solang Valley
26 24-Aug Wed Delhi (Servicing) Delhi – India Gate, Red fort, Qutb Minar, Lotus temple, Chandni Chowk
27 25-Aug Thu 464 7:44 Delhi – Jhansi
28 26-Aug Fri 594 8:11 Jhansi – Nagpur
29 27-Aug Sat 501 7:25 Nagpur – Hyderabad
30 28-Aug Sun 575 7:53 Hyderabad – Bangalore

 

Checklist:

Essentials:

  • Spare Keys
  • All Documents – Driving License, Registration Certificate, Photo ID (Passport), Insurance, Emission test
  • Bungee cords, Jerry can, Plastic Bags (to safeguard your belongings from rain)
  • Toolkit – Hammer, Spanner (Size: 10 and 25), Adjustable Spanner, Screwdriver, Scissors, Plier, Tire Lever 2 Nos, Foot pump, Valve-pin-driver
  • Spare parts – Spark plug, Clutch Cable, Accelerator Cable, Tire tubes

Tip: Leave a secondary clutch cable for your convenience

Travel Kit:

  • Itinerary Printout (at least 2)
  • Download Offline Map / Map Print Out (at least 2)
  • Liquid Cash
  • At least two Copies of Photo IDs for all members
  • Mobile and power bank
  • Mobile Charger
  • Earphones
  • Pen and a small Diary
  • Bag locks
  • Torch
  • Small Scissor or Swiss Knife
  • Watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Multi-Plug ports
  • Water bottle
  • Cigarette Lighter
  • Plastic Bags

Cloths:

  • Clothes as per the schedule
  • Lower – Denim + lower thermal + track pant + rain suit pant
  • Upper – T-shirts + upper thermal + rain suit top
  • Scarf/muffler for protecting your throat and neck
  • Flip-flop
  • Crocks
  • Hands – Woolen gloves + leather riding gloves
  • Feet – Normal socks + Woolen socks + shoes

Eateries:

  • Bread
  • Biscuits or Chocolate

Toiletries:

  • Tooth Brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Soap / Sanitizer
  • Towel
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Tissue Papers
  • Face wash
  • Moisturizing / Cold Cream
  • Sunscreen SPF 45 or higher
  • Lip Balm

First Aid:

  • Glucose / ORS
  • AMS tablet – Diamox – Acute Mountain Sickness
  • Pain Relief Spray
  • Betadine – Antiseptic cream
  • Combiflaim or Flexon – Pain Killers
  • Crocin or Paracetamol –Fever
  • Avomine –Dizziness, Motion Sickness, and Vomiting
  • Digene – Indigestion
  • Entroquinol – Diarrhea
  • D-Cold Total / Vicks Action 500 – Cold
  • Cotton and Dressing Bandage
  • Eye Tone for soothing eyes
  • Nasivion for blocked and dry nose
  • Ongoing Regular Medicines, if any
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38 thoughts on “Day 0: Inception

  1. This is simply awesome and borderline crazy too. I am an aspiring rider. Just bought by electra 350. Btw.. What is the rear tyre you’re using? I’m planning to go for an alteration. Mrf 110 90 19. The bike comes with lean 3.15 19 tyres.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how I LOVE this post …today of all days …I have just been thinking of my own god damn stalled plan …and no am not telling what it is …it might not come off …or I might jinx it or something:D:D:D …but your post has made me think not to write it off altogether …at least as something to aim for ….cheers JD an impressive itinery ..30 posts in 30 days too?

    Liked by 1 person

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