Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lansdowne LionHearts

The weather was near-perfect to plan a ride to a cold destination and this time BOP wanted a place close by to Delhi so that we could enjoy a relaxed ride this time…there was only one option in our mind…Lansdowne it was…just 245 kms. from Delhi and the weather there was extremely pleasant based on the first-hand feedback received…

The mails were floated…hundreds of replies were received…close to some 300 odd!!! Yes you are reading this right…300 mails even before we started the ride…so much for the Internet Movement within BOP…we are mail-friendly people…anything for some level-headed Bakchodi!!! Be it offline or online…all of BOP is game for it…after this deluge of mails 13 riders confirmed within the first 5 days after some cancellations & confirmations…the Hotel was booked by me…the route plan decided and all the other preparations completed well in advance…what remained was the wait for the D-Day!!!

The Lansdowne LionHearts were:

1. Dips on his Black Electra 4S
2. Chadha Paaji on his Black Standard
3. Jagmeet on his Silver/Black Electra 5S
4. Saran on his Green Standard(which is NOT A BIKE)
5. Ravi on his Brand New Silver Electra 5S
6. Pravin on his Marco Polo
7. James on his Black Bull-T
8. Diwakar on his Black TB
9. Tarun on his Brand New Black Electra 4S
10.Che on The Mighty One
11.Vihans on his Orange FZ-16
12.Gyan on his Red Karizma
13.Nilu on his Red Pulsar-200


Day 1 – Friday - 15th May 2009 – Gurgaon – Delhi – Ramraj – Kotdwar - Lansdowne

This ride had lots of new things in store for us…some which we knew and some which came as a pleasant surprise; first the known ones : 7 riders who were riding with us for the first time on a long ride & a new route which nobody of us had covered…

The first big surprise was that all the 13 riders reached the designated venue sharp at 4 AM…Bingo…me & Dips were blinking our eyes and just could not believe it, I am sure my strict sounding mails helped and ensured that people reached on time, we started the ride as planned at 4:15 AM…

We had decided that this time we would be riding in a formation, with me leading & Dips trailing the group but our plans were soon to get smashed…then the first expected BOP Phenomenon…going on the wrong way…I guess Jagmeet got really excited and went towards the DND Road and James went behind him to catch him…we had to wait for some 20 mins. after some frantic calling and Diwakar continuously blaming James…we started again and took a totally new route towards Meerut which was surprisingly shorter and full of potholes but we didn’t mind and then we were riding on the Meerut Highway with no traffic whatsoever and the Sun trying to break-out…the weather was pleasant…all we could hear was the thumps of the 10 bullets and all we could see were the smiles & awestruck looks of people standing on the roads…and as you all know we love the gazes of people around…some of them think how their life has gone to a complete waste after watching us and some of them surely get inspired…both ways we make changes in the thinking of people!!!

We took a breakfast break at a peculiar named place at 8 AM…RAMRAJ…I am sure the name has something to do with previous BJP governments…started with Bread-Pakoras & Tea and followed it up with Paranthas served with Salad and Dal…nothing tasted really good but nobody made any complaints as 5 hours had gone by since we woke up we needed something to eat badly…after that the customary Bike Formation pic was taken and we started the remainder of the ride through Bijnor and Najibabad…



The heat was going up, up & away and we needed to refresh…and the best refresher on the highway is chilled beer…and if one finds Kingfisher then it makes it even better…we found a Theka situated right behind a large tree with loads of shade…obviously we needed no further invitations…I was the first one to stop and then bottles were opened…another Bakchodi & Pics session started…Saran utilized Jagmeet’s new DSLR perfectly by clicking some amazing close-up shots…and by now you very well now that its one of the most important endeavor of BOP to explore all the Thekas of this wonderful country…we are going pretty strongly towards our goal…please support our initiative by suggesting some more thekas!!!



The roads were surprisingly quite decent except for some stretches which we didn’t mind as it felt like we were offroading!!! But the Paranthas in our stomach were playing high-jump and it didn’t feel very good…we stopped after the sports-session for a Sutta break before starting again towards Kotdwar…and then stopped for a Ganne-Ka-Ras break just before the 40 kms. Hill-Riding was to start…this drink is one of my favourite non-alcoholic drinks and I rarely miss an opportunity to enjoy it in the heat while riding…

The next 40 kms were quite enjoyable…the ever-winding roads where I was leading the pack reaching 70 kmph speeds at times and scaring the shit out of the people following me…I love riding fast on the mountain curves and the kick is unbelievably exciting…





We reached Lansdowne at 1:30 PM…another historic BOP moment as this was the first ride when we reached the destination on-target and before sunset…all the other rides we have reached always close to 8-9 PM…we reached the GMVN Tourist Bungalow…checked-in & freshened up and went straight to the Legendary Mayur Restaurant which was to witness food-gorging at the very best for 2 days to come…we ate like hungry Somalians and the order size kept getting bigger & bigger each passing moment…all kinds of cuisines were ordered…best part was when Chadha told me that he had already ordered "STARTERS"…when probed further he told me that he had ordered Gulab-Jamuns…I mean where on this heaven-Earth sweets are ordered as Starters but our very own Chadha Paaji is allowed to do everything and everybody accepts his orders as duties !!!

We kept gorging for the next hour & a half and came out of the restaurant no more as 13 famished souls but as 13 well-fed & over-eaten bodies!!!

We bought our stock of Liquor as the next day was a dry-day as the that was the Votes-Counting day…Saran Paaji volunteered to carry the 12-beer carton on his light shoulders and walked all the way-up…man this guy has got some strength…unbelievable is the word…I hope he goes with me to Ladakh…he would be of great help!!!

We went back to our hotel, ordered for the Dinner and then everybody had a late-afternoon siesta…I could not sleep so decided to enjoy Beer all-alone…after enjoying the beer I lied down for a bit going through all kinds of myriad thoughts…

I woke everybody up at 7 PM as the dinner was to be served at sharp 9:30 PM…we started the Beer-Rum-Bakchodi session and were broken up by the dinner call…the dinner was also enjoyed and was finished in no time…everything served tasted well…after being well-fed again we again proceeded for another BRB session which stretched late into the night…laughter flew like River Ganges and beer was also flowing like the Bhulla Taal which was to be visited the next day…nobody was spared and everybody’s ride was taken…it was another night to remember…and then at 12 AM some people started trickling out to sleep but some of us stayed on like true warriors drinking like there was no tomorrow…we finally called it a day at 1:30 AM and slept off…

Day 2 – Saturday - 16th May 2009 – A relaxed day in Lansdowne

We woke up lazily the next day to find some people already missing from the beds…maybe the BRB session didn’t do wonders to their sleep the same way it did to us!!! We left the hotel finally at 10 AM and obviously The Mayur Restaurant was our first stop to feed the hungry bodies once again…this time as well, hundreds of Gulab Jamuns were snapped up in no time…we left the place to do some sight-seeing and reached the Tip-in-Top view point through some great winding roads…another routine hill-station spot but after visiting so many hill stations these view points don’t excite me much…I took over the role of the photographer and then reached the Bhulla Taal where some of us got busy with Boating…important to note was Chadha & Vihans Paaji took a boat for themselves and became very cozy while boating and at times stopped to engage in some intimate talks…I was feeling very nervous & jittery as I have the sole right over Vihans…but Chadha Paaji was not much interested in him and we came out to have a small bout of Coffee & cold-drinks…



After that we decided to visit the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Museum about which I had heard some great things but it was closed for Lunch so off we went for a short Mountain Ride of some 60-70 kms…we went through Gumkhal on the road towards Pauri…amazing roads & great weather combined to give us maximum pleasure…we stopped and I used that opportunity to enjoy a dumping session at a spot nestled amongst the hills…I enjoy dumping out in the open and its really blissful…believe me...try it out the next time and you would sense the Nirvana you experience by relieving amidst the mountains & bushes...Vihans & Nilu went ahead as Cadet Scouts looking for a nice place where we could engage in another BRB Session on a hill-top and they came back with some great news, they had hit the bulls-eye…we reached that spot and soon bottles were brought out with all the cameras and another session started!!!





But then again it was stopped by the hunger pangs of the group and off we went for a late lunch to Mayur…where we again traumatized the waiter but for his great hosting abilities he never got pissed even once and kept serving us with the widest possible smile!!! This is a tribute to all the Hill-Towns of India where you get the best service from everybody around and nobody is snooty like the people in big cities…

After that another fantastic moment came…the Congress had scored a tremendous victory in the General Elections and Dhols were being played to celebrate, Vihans didn’t waste time and asked the Dhol-Masters to play and started to dance merrily…Saran, Ravi & Jagmeet joined them and I also did a small jig…the best part was when Dips suddenly came out of nowhere with a 10 Rs. Note and jigged all the way to the Dhol-Master before handing him over the money…the entire town gathered to see some mad bikers dancing…and what a crowd it was!!! Felt really embarrassing…



We also met some fellow Bulleteers who were also riding from Delhi, we gave them some advice about the place and wished them good-luck for the rest of their ride…

And then the first & only disappointment of the ride(atleast for me), we went straight to the Museum but it had closed down for the day…I always wanted to see the beautiful artifacts which had been displayed there…but no sweat, some other time maybe…

We reached the Hotel to start the BRB Session again with the IPL & Jab we Met movie playing on the TV keeping the non-drinkers busy…Tarun & Pravin were sleeping all this while and were woken up only for the dinner which was once again served sharp at 9:30 PM…enjoyed another great dinner and then moved to the rooms to sleep early as the next day we had to wake up really early to start the ride back home…but then Chadha Paaji was in no mood to sleep and started a profound discussion which went late till 2 AM and believe me he introduced me to some amazing theories which are extremely practical and would surely help me living my life in a much better way in time to come…

Day 3 – Sunday - 17th May 2009 –Lansdowne - Kotdwar – Najibabad – Kiratpur - Meerut – Delhi – Gurgaon

I woke up first and then broke everybody’s slumber so that we could start the ride back at sharp 7:30 AM as planned…surprisingly everybody got ready in no time and our plans were being met!!! This is also rare in BOP rides but things are getting better each new day at BOP…I was not feeling particularly well and stopped for a Vomit break just 20 minutes after we started…felt a little better but still was not at my 100%...this was the first time in the Riding History of my life that I was not feeling well during a bike ride and I hated the feeling…kept on riding and stopped again for a Dumping Break…and then felt much better…Dumping makes me feel alright…now you know!!!

After that it was riding through the dusty roads of UP and also it was getting very hot…I kept waiting for he group but majority had taken a different route before Najibabad to reach Bijnore…we finally met at a Dhaba in Kiratpur where some of us had a Beer session but surprisingly I didn’t have any beer…just didn’t feel like having it…also ate nothing and was on a total liquid diet!!! The group got divided after the Lunch Break and 10 of us stopped to enjoy some fresh Watermelons, another way not to get dehydrated and a natural way of doing the same…



The best part of the ride back home was that the Meerut & Modinagar roads were empty as if there was some curfew had been imposed…the fact that it was extremely hot & it was a Sunday surely helped our cause…we sailed through the 2 dreaded Traffic Crossings of Modinagar and reached Ghaziabad where all hell broke lose and there was traffic all the way then till Gurgaon through Delhi…also the traffic had made the temperature to go up even further and my bodyw as burning when I stopped...

I took the Dhaula Kuan route as its sans any Traffic Crossings and I could ride much faster…I stopped enroute my home at Zaheer’s Shop to meet him but sadly he had gone out…reached home sharp at 5 PM…and my parents were pleasantly surprised to find me reaching home so early and that too without a bruise!!!

Unlike the 2 previous BOP Rides to Chakrata & Mcleodganj, this ride was completely Accident free for me and I reached home without any bruises to my Bike or Body!!!

This ride would be surely remembered for the following reasons :

1. 13 Bikes in total
2. Starting the ride and reaching the destination on time
3. The amazing food at Mayur Restaurant
4. The economical & cozy GMVNL Tourist Hotel
5. The Bhangra Jig in the Lansdowne Market
6. Supreme 50000 Beer
7. Chadha Paaji’s amazing one-liners
8. The BRB Session on the hill-top
9. The relaxed manner the ride went off

So this way BOP Lansdowne LionHearts conquered the small-little place called Lansdowne...there are many more detinations to be conquered...

Che would be back on the road again…

Till then ride safe & have safe sex…

Hasta la Victoria Siempre…

16 comments:

Prashant said...

hey this time u didnt had pics of the gourmet and the names were missing too.....and time is not for bikers ....time waits for them

Arunima said...

I like the part bout the food...true bikers!And yeah,this has to be the most legendary bike ride of late,given the number of "firsts"...cheers to more being added soon!

Sunder Sankararaman said...

'Godfather', 'Thunderbolt' and now 'Supreme 50,000'... The beers that you guys get up north never cease to amaze me ;-)

Marcopolo said...

Never thought my first ride would be so adventurous. Amazin support .. Thanks to Dips and Saran , divakaran , Tarun and You ofcourse for havin a close watch on me whn "marcopolo" broke down !.. Gr8 experience .. this motivates me for one more ride ..Jaloki Pass ,comin my way !-- Cheers Pravin" Marcopolo"

Marcopolo said...

The best part was -- all were extremely down to earth -- no show offs .. ,, mean no hassle individuals !!!!!!

"People are like Motorcycles: each is customized a bit differently."

Cheers - Pravin " Marcopolo"

Jagmeet Singh said...

bhai maaza aagaya......but u took 1 thng wrong.....it was saran wh took those close-up shots and not praveen.......rest all good.......cheers waiting fr d next ride.

LADAKH said...

That was great Che ,,, road hard but safe ... keep it up .....

MAT@Rahulchauhan

sandeep singh said...

Your initiative in writing the blog is worth appreciating. Itcan be saved by us along with our pics for future use. Great work.

Sachin said...

neat note Nishant. must plan aride with you folks soon

Siddharth said...

cool.... as always awesome .... keep it going .... when i come back to delhi "for good" .... count me in

Sanket Tomar said...

Great ride...and blog....can't wait to be back on my bike....

Ravi Kumar said...

CHE Paaji blog awesome hai. par aap Sprite ko bhool gaye..

Ken Slayer said...

Jha bhai, i would have to revisit my blog now. so much detail i miss.

dhruv said...

Nt happy wid dis one as it din keep up wid d interest level...also d fact dat der iz no fun in ridin wen evrytin falls in d ryt plaz...hope evn u wud agree to dat.

Still wish u wud hav njoyd much moree dan wot u wer able to pen down.

Lukin forward to d nxt blog naw wid higher xpectionz!

fenilandbollywood said...

Wonderful post as usual! Felt really bad to see your health deteriorated while returning. But good to know that this was ur accident-free ride!

Great work...enjoyed reading a lot!

FENIL

FoolOnTheHill said...

Hey Che! I will leave for Lansdowne tomorrow. Your blog was informative and fun to read. :)

May you have many more trips amigo! :)