Note:- The following article is based on my experience from September 2013, my first ever inter city bike ride.
After riding my 150cc Honda Unicorn for good 8 years I decided to let go and welcomed the 223cc Hero Karizma. While I was getting comfortable with my new ride, the folks in the office were preparing to relocate everybody to Hyderabad on a permanent basis.
After 4 months from the date of purchase, my Karizma went into deep coma and lay unused at my base in Pune while I was having a firsthand experience of public transport in Hyderabad.
For anybody who owned a 2 wheeler for majority of his life, dealing with public transport is a punishment, at least in India. Having your own vehicle to travel around makes you feel like a king. Therefore I have immense respect for people who use public transport every day. After the traumatic 4 months of public transport, I decided it was time to get my bike to Hyderabad.
If you think of your bike as a machine that runs on petrol and gets you to places, then it is a straight forward choice. Call the courier service guys, who will pick up the bike, pack it up, transport it to another city, unpack it and deliver it to your door step. Pretty simple 😀 .
If you don’t belong to the above category and love your bike a little more than the normal folks, then you RIDE IT to another city.
I had discussed this idea with around 10 people around me and everyone seemed excited. When the day arrived, I was only ONE to ride. With one fully packed Nike Backpack, LS2 helmet, Addias jacket and Converse sneakers, I left Pune around 6 am in the morning with excitement and fear.
There was nothing more exciting to know that I will be riding my bike all day long. And afraid because, one mistake on highway and you don’t know where you will be spending the night, if you are alive!
So here I was riding on Pune-Solapur 4 lane open road. 100 km/hr was easy and there were no red signals, no blind intersections, no speed breakers; nothing that will stop me from going fast. But then for how long? I realized that in the quest of riding fast I was missing all the scenic beauty around, I forgot to breathe the fresh air, (Realization-1) I FORGOT TO RELAX AND ENJOY THE RIDE.
So, I decide to slow down a bit and live every moment of the ride.
I was smiling inside my helmet, having a great time until I saw this dog on the extreme left corner and before I could blink my eye he started charging towards me like a bull. I said to myself….WTF!
At that moment I think my mind and body went on an auto pilot mode because I DO NOT remember instructing my myself to do any of following things and that in order !
- Press both the brakes
- Ride to extreme right of the road
- Anticipate which part of the bike will the dog hit.
- “The dog will hit the rear end”, pull the throttle and get moving FAST.
The dog hit bike on the on rear mudguard but somehow I kept riding. After the episode I came to my senses. I thanked myself and good lord for the narrow escape but also understood (Realization-2) that on the highway you are not alone, and things can wrong even if it is not your mistake.
I did a good 150 km before I took a halt for breakfast. Things were going good if not great and I was very happy about myself. Though occasional thought of “What the hell I am doing? Let just ride back to Pune” did cross my mind but it was one of those times, when willpower drives you (should I say rides you) than the common sense and the logical decision making system.
It was 10 in the morning and I started feeling the heat of the Sun. My hands were burning (Realization-3: One should wear gloves) and so were my eyes (Realization-4: Tinted Helmet Visor). Knowing that it was too late to think about missing the gloves and the visor I kept riding and hoping that I will soon be rescued by the shadow from trees on both the sides of the road.
But here is the thing, building multi-lane roads is part of development. These roads are safer than 2 way roads and provide speedy transport. But such development (or any development for that matter) is not achieved until Mother Nature is axed and abused 🙁
Post 200 km, my butt started aching. Thanks to the bright sun I started feeling tired and weak. I decided to stop after every 50 km wherein I would get down from the bike, splash water on my face, take a few snaps and then would start again.
Around 12 pm I reached Solapur and kept checking for a good restaurant for lunch. I think I was too choosy and in no time I ended on 2 way road leaving Solapur behind.
I saw one dhaba with quite few people and decided to halt. The place was far away from good but I was in no mood to push my luck any further. Ordered simple DAL and ROTI which were pathetic but enough for my hungry stomach that had something to churn on while I rode !
[Part2 is coming up soon, stay tuned !]