Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Spectacle that is Laddakh ..!!- Gettin Leh'd !

1. Intro.  Whenever a biker makes a bucket list of the trips that he has to undertake, Laddakh  surely comes on top. I started my biking journey in early 2011 when I bought the first fully fared sports bike launched  in india, the Yamaha R15. Although the bike is not a choice that people make for long tours, I had a special liking for lightweight and nimble sports bikes than the big, heavy tourers. After taking few local trips ranging around 100-200 kms and than increasing the range to 1000Kms in 3-4 days, I realised that going long distances on my R15  was'nt a problem at all despite of the racing riding poture that it offers. My friend Abhinav also bought the Royal Enfield bullet electra which at that time was one of the best tourers around. We both planned to do the Laddkah trip in june that year. Considering that we just started biking it was a huge step for us. So we made sure we are fully prepared both mentally and physically.

12 Feb 2011- When I got my baby home !! Who says money can't buy happiness?

Abhinav with his Royal Enfield.

2.  The Preparation Stage .  We had done few rides as long as 200-300 Kms per day locally around Indore, where we were based at that time and we both were quite satisfied about our ability to ride these long distances. However nothing could prepare us for the terrain in Lahaul and the Laddakh region. We had never ridden in such high altitudes before. So we wanted to make sure our bikes behave well even when our bodies loose their efficiency. We reached Delhi on 5th of June 2011, five days before our flagging off. We visited the famous Karol Bagh market every evening to learn few tricks and basic repairs and replacements on our bikes. These basic tricks included repairing a puncture, changing of throttle cable and clutch and brake wires and changing of fuses and spark plugs. In the process we met many riders who had either done the trip or were about to do it . We discussed all the issues that we might come up against including the harsh climate and the rough terrain. I also got a pair of projector headlamps installed on my R15 and Abhinav got a pair of fog lamps and the loudest pair of horns he could find, installed on his Electra. In terms of luggage, I didnt get any of the saddle bags or the tank bags that time, a decision which I ended up regreting later. For that trip I just managed by tying my rucksack to the back seat by bungee chords and it did work quite well. Abhinav, however, got the frame installed on his bike to keep his bags tied. 

The Projector Headlamps

Instalation of the Loud Hooters in Process.

The Frame Can be Bought on Rent from Karol Bagh.

3. Day 1, 11 June 2011.( Delhi - Manali 550 Kms)   Finally, On 11th June 2011, we were all set for flagging off of  what was going to be a life changing trip. Emotions were on a high and both of us stayed most of the night awake at Abhinav's home in Dhaulakuan. We planned to leave Delhi as early as possible to avoid the traffic. So we set out on the road by 0530 hrs. It took us around 30-40 mins to get out of Delhi and on to the Delhi-Chandigarh highway, the NH44. The road was one of the best in the counrty so, by around 1100 hrs we were in Chandigarh after having our breakfast at one of the famous roadside dhabas in Ambala. After taking a small break at a restraunt on the outskirts of Chandigarh, we started to ascend towards the hills. Our destination for the day was  Manali, which on the map was around 550 Kms. We however got lost in between when we took a wrong turn and ended up travelling around 60 Kms extra. Road from Chandigarh to manali was mostly smooth with patches of under construction road and narrow, busy streets through the cities that came enroute. We were expecting to reach Manali before dark but it turned out that 550 Kms in a day was an overambitious target that we set, specially knowing that 1/3rd of the road was in the hills. We managed to reach Manali by around 2030 hrs that day. Another mistake that we made was not catering for the change in weather at Manali. Just as we crossed Chandigarh it had started to get cold and we had not kept a riding jacket within easy reach in our luggage for that day. By the time we reached Manali, I had already caught cold and a mild headache. Abhinav on the other hand seemed unaffected. We checked into one of the Hotels there and rested for the night. 

Abhinav's Mom Flagging off with her Wishes.

Breakfast Halt at Ambala.

Somewhere Between Chandigarh and Manali.

 The Road Mostly wasVery good.

Before Manali.

First Day's Journey


1. A Beginner's Guide To Travel.
2. Traveller Deepak- The Opener

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A beginner's guide to travel.

1. You are Never Too Old to Start Travelling.   Living with my father, who served in the Army, we as a family were habitual to changes in landscape, language and climate in every three years. When I started pondering about my career choice, Army was the only fitting choice that came to my mind. So atfer getting commisioned into Army, I started my voyage at a decent age of 24. But there is actually nothing like an ideal age for traveling. However, one has to make sure he/she does all the experiments he/she can while they still have the youthfull body. Make ur trips more adventurous, moke instantaneous and more crazy while you can!! Once the age picks up on you, You can take those lazy and luxurious trips anywhere.

2.  Its the Journey That Counts not the Destination.  First of all, I would like to make it clear that travelling does'nt really mean anything if you just pick a destination and pay a visit . That  would simply be called as visiting, is'nt it?? To actually realise the fun and essence of traveling  one has to take a trip, burn the tarmac, munch the miles and feel the joy of covering distances by ownself. Be it on two wheels or on four wheels. Personally, I believe there is noithing that comes close to the feeling of adventure when you travel on two wheels. As its said, 'in a four wheeler you see an awesome movie with the best seat but on two wheels you are actually a part of that movie'. There are obviously exceptions when you can't help but book a flight and reach the destination.

3. Always Remember to Capture the Moments. Once you have done a particular trip. Only feeling that comes close to actually bieng there is when you go through the pics and videos. So folks, dont forget to capture as much as you can.  Buying a good camera is always recommended but i suggest you also buy a decent camcorder or an action cam if you are a bike enthusiast. Other than the moments when you intentionally stand and pose in front of the cameras, buying a good action cam means you can fix it on a mount, switch it on and capture those unexpected moments which in most cases make the best of memories. It is always a good idea to keep your pics from every trip sorted and if resources permit make a nice little movie out of every trip that you take compiling the best of pics and videos. Thats how I keep my memories of every trip fresh. If u dont have a high performance movie maker, the defualt one which comes with  windows is good enough in most cases.

4. Always Share Your Moments.  It is nice to see people appreciate your pics and videos and share your excitement. So do share your moments on the social media and keep finding new and innovative ways to put forward your travelouges. Remember, you do have to make people feel that you had an awesome time, even if you didnt !!

5. Do Your Homework Thoroughly for Those Planned Trips.  Unless you take an instant and unplanned trip, which in most cases becomes more adventurous and memorable, you should always search the travelouges on the internet and prepare accordingly. Depending on the level of luxury you want you can pre book your hotels, cabs or other activities.  It is always good to be prepared for what is to come your way, specially fot those adventure trips like trekking, long bike rides into the remote areas and roads trip accross other countries. Knowledge about the region, language aspects and availabilty of basic needs in and around  your route always helps you to have a better trip.

6. Keep Those Distances Per Day Under Control.  When travelling by road, keep your destination distances  within an easy reach as much as possible. Relentless travelling by road affects both the mood of a traveller and the mood of the machine adversely. Do take breaks every two hours, specially when riding on your bike. While driving a four wheeler, take enough refreshments along and do take frequent halts to keep urself fresh. Indian roads are as diverse  as the country itself. Your distance to be covered per day (DCPD)  will vary according to the roads you have. On most highways in central, south  and west India and in Plains in the north, you can keep it at 300-400 Kms per day. Anything above this should be avoided even if you have a wonderfull road and you want to drive/ride more. In the highways in the mountains, your DCPD should come down to 200-300 kms per day for a comfortable ride/drive. Ther are offcourse remote areas like  far north in the Himalayas and in the north east with little or no roads where it comes down to 100-200 Kms per day.

7. Wear Proper Gear Always and Everytime.  Bieng a biker, one has the responsibility of carrying the image and reputation of all the bikers around the world. Unfortunetly due to some posers, the biking community is seen in a bad light. But Iam glad all that is changing now and a lot of responsible bikers are coming up in our country. So guys, whenever you ride, do wear a proper gear. Helmets are a must. Other than that a pair of gloves, a good jacket and elbow and knee gaurds are neccesary for a long ride. I personally dont like to wear the elbow and knee guards over the clothes. So I bought smaller ones which I wear under my jacket and my trousers. That makes me look less fancy and keeps me protected as well. Its with my personal experiences that I know how important these guards are. They have saved my limbs and life on three different occasions. So folks, If you are going to be a biker than it is important that you become a responsible one.

8. Do Buy those Saddle Bags and Tank Bags For Your Bike Trips.  When I first started riding, I used to tie whatever luggage I had with the bungee chords on to my bike. But soon, I realised that it leads to poor management of stuff and more importantly, poor presentation. When You are riding as biker, it is important that you look like a professional biker. Do buy the saddle bags and the tank bags for effecient management of luggage. These things help you keep ur stuff safe and within easy access. Moreover, in most cases they end up making your bike look even better and you look like a professional. Is'nt the most important thing?

The Dirstsack Saddle bags  and Tank Bags are wonderfull Options 

Sony HDR AS30V Mounted on a Spartan Progear Helmet.

9. Well guys!! This is all I can think of right now. If there are any questions or queries please comment. I will try to resolve to the best of my ability. Happy and safe travelling!! God Speed!


TravellerDeepak-The Opener

Hey everyone!!

This is deepak here. People say time lets you know the true purpose of  life some day or other. I grew up in a middle class family with little aspirations about life and no special dreams or fantasies. I always took life as it came to me and made the best of what I had. When I finally got a job and started to earn on my own, I found a new passion in my life. I bought my first two wheeler , the Yamaha R15 and started to go around long distances. It was something that instantly made me fall in love with. I started travelling on my bike, sometimes with fellow rider's and otherwise alone. The feeling of bieng one with mother nature and experiencing the changes in landscapes and the demography on the move made me ecstatic. Me and my bike share some of the best moments of my life. We have travelled the lengths and breadths of the country. From the urban highways in the metros to some of the most remote areas like the Spiti and Leh valley. Travelling became a new obsession for me and it went along perfectly with my thirst for adventure and love for bikes. I bought my own DSLR and  a Sony action camera and started recording my experiences.  My photos and videos were only limited to my friends who loved them when i posted them on Facebook or Instagram until recently one of my friends advised me to start my own blog. So, here I am, a small fish in a ocean full of bloggers aiming to share my love for travelling and my experiences with you all. I hope you all share the fun, excitement, craziness and the adventure I had in all my travels. Please do share ur comments and suggestions and help me improve.