True Wanderer 3 – Talks at India Bike Week 2015

My brothers and sisters from the biking fraternity, before I give my presentation let me first explain what true wanderers ride is about;

Every year Wrangler launches the TW platform where motorcycle travel enthusiasts like you and me can submit a travel story; a story which you think has been most exceptional in your life. Nothing less than a thrilling saga of adventure.

Hundreds of entries pour in and after the deadline; only 10 best stories make it to the top ten. Most people assume the judgment is based on popularity and voting but truly it’s on how you write, what you write, the photos and videos, the aesthetic feel and the inspiration factor …and the overall presentation.

I too submitted my entry and found myself among the top 10 travelogues.

The next stage comes in. We 10 are then required to ride anywhere we like, any destination of our choice and route we want to undertake and live blog for 7 days a fresh story. Main rules remain the same best photos, videos, inspiration and motivation factors but above all the best write up, the story.

Only 1 winner will emerge and he or she will be awarded a grand motorcycle. (In my case the Kawasaki Z800 )

Allow me to share a fun fact, on a different contrast. In my schooling days my English teacher used to get very angry with me. Would always shout, “Mr. Vaikul you’ll never be able to write a proper essay. Your stories are non-sense. ” And she use to throw my paper in the dustbin. I felt very bad at times. 🙂

Here I stand today because the motorcycle travelogue I wrote in 2014 stood first among hundreds of entries. If only my English teacher could see this.

So here is,

LESSON 1 of Life – In your quest for success and learning, there are going to be obstacles and challenges only. Some situations are going to stop you and beat you down. But the only thing that can truly stop you is your conscious itself. Your will is the only thing you need to hold on to, to keep moving forward. By your dedication, your fate is compelled to open the doors of success in your life.

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When I earlier mentioned that one has to submit a motorcycle travel story to participate in the contest, it’s obvious I also submitted an entry. But the story that I submitted, I had no intention of writing it down in the first place. I left my job and undertook a 36 days trip in the Himalayas on my motorcycle and it was purely for my pleasure. A much needed break.

A friend of mine, Anahita Pagdiwalla, knows me by the skin, insisted to write down this story and submit in the True Wanderers 3rd edition. I was not keen, least interested. But knowing her its best to do what she says than face her fury.

I did what she asked me to do and here I stand today as the winner of TW 3 and proud owner of a 4 cylinder motorcycle.

So LESSON number 2 of Life – Behind the success of EVERY man there’s always a woman. She can make you, she can break you. Please be nice to her; she will stand by you through thick and thin.

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Coming back to my ride story;

The first thing I did was checked who are the other 9 finalists. And to my disbelief, 7 out of the 9 guys I knew well. By well, I mean they are excellent photographers, good in writing, creative in video shoot… basically serious competition.

I felt discouraged, the final ride had not even begun and I already had my hopes killed. Beating these guys was like going after Osama Bin Laden with an air gun.

But then again I remembered how a small candle can brighten the darkest room. And every champion was a rookie at one time.

The 3rd LESSON – The world fears a rookie, for they know what new will be unleashed and nervousness kicks in among the champions. For the rookie, he has to focus only on giving his best. Concentrate only on the bulls eye. (Those who follow MotoGP, you know what Marc Marquez did.)

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So now when the stage was set and I had a fair understanding of my competition, it was time to chart out a route. When readers come on my blog I wanted them to be amazed from my act. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for me and I wanted it to have a grand opening.

Hence I picked a route that would endure my mind and body to a level further. I chose to ride from my home in Mumbai to a place called Chandrashila in the Himalayas. Its at a distance of 1800kms from my residence, going over 4 lane highways, few cities enroute, mountain roads and a trek of few kms.

On paper it’s not quite practical but to do something extraordinary was my determination.

For the first time in my life I prayed to God in desperation to bring me back alive and safe from this one.

And yes he did, on the night of the 7th day I came home; tired, exhausted …but at peace.

route map

The 4th LESSON – To taste success hardship is the only way. Shortcut will only give you temporary boost, but to experience heavenly glory, your metal has to go through the process of seasoning and sacrifice. No other way.

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What happened in those 7 days, time is too short for me to narrate the true episodes and experiences. I’ll share the ones that are very dear to me and I hope you find them inspiring.

This ride started when the summer was at its peak. On day 1 itself the wind was warm and the temperature was close to 45 degrees Celsius. Not quite a pleasant day to ride and a mammoth of 1000kms I had to cover to keep with the schedule.

Just covered roughly around 300kms and stopped to capture the sunset. The theme of TW 3 was ‘chase the sun’. So I took some pictures of the sunset but the next thing I remember is I’m lying down on the side of the road. Out of fear I got up and realized that I think I fainted a while back. Is it that Hot! Or Am I not feeling well? Many questions hit me hard. And the most important of all, should I continue to ride on? (If this would have happened while riding then I was a goner!)

5th LESSON – Body is the temple of God. Adequate care should be taken to maintain its normalcy; Be carefully careless.

So did I ride on? Of course I did.

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Another episode.

Many of us have heard this, ‘Lord works in mysterious ways.’ In this episode I actually got to live it.

I was fixed on my route and had no intentions of altering it midway. But when I took a random halt to relax my muscles, just in the middle of nowhere, I read a sign board saying picnic spot and view point 6kms left. Since I was seeking interesting stories, I took the chance and went ahead to see what’s this place about.

Upon reaching the site I realized that it truly was a scenic place, very pleasant and peaceful; and I met a guy there who takes care of the tourists who visit the place. Cooks food, makes camping arrangements, looks after the plants and trees around.

When he got to know why I was there and what I was doing, he took me to his house, gave me food and told me some interesting facts about the trees around the place.

I’m glad that I met him and today I have shared his name and contact details on many travel forums. Some of my friends from north have made a visit to this place after reading my story.

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LESSON number 6 – ‘Lord truly works in mysterious ways. When two souls come together there’s always some purpose to it and when two souls are brought together against all odds, there’s always a divine purpose at play. What is the finest education in life? Is to understand how nature serves its own purposed through you. Our lord has written the play, your job is to act well and retire.’

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Here’s one short episode,

One of the places I visited on this ride was Lansdowne. It’s the home of Garhwal rifles — Finest soldiers of India and expert in mountain warfare. There is museum maintained by the army and I went in to check out the place. No camera is allowed inside so left my pack with the guard outside.

The place is filled with mountains of information, stories and artifacts. I really wish I could photograph some.

And just when I was pondering over the letters and documents kept for viewing, this one line I read that really brought tears in my eyes. My feeling of empathy was quite shaken.

Let me read out, ‘‘To those who read this scroll, ………….for he left his loved and dear ones by the call of king and country, to face hardship and danger and later pass out of sight of men. He sacrificed so his people can live. May his name not be forgotten by the time ahead. For we breath in freedom and price was paid by his blood.’

The 7th LESSON – A soldier fights for the people he doesn’t know, he dies for the people he doesn’t know; all he knows is that he gave up his today so we can have a better tomorrow. The freedom we enjoy today must not be taken for granted, for someone is paying the price by his blood.

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Moving on to another short episode,

What does an old lady do? Nothing but cares for the young ones.

On the narrow lanes of Lansdowne an old lady spotted me strolling up and down many times and finally stopped me to ask if I was looking for someone. I explained her why I was here and what I was doing. She was glad to hear me out. She gave me a cup of tea and told me to be careful on the road ahead from the town. It’s all downhill and steep. Don’t ride after dark and stay alert. For someone who had met a stranger, all she showed me was care and guidance.

The only frightening thing to come from her mouth was a blessing that I get married soon. 😛

Old Lady

My LESSON number 8 – Our elders want only the best for us. Though we may disagree with them on certain times, but their care and love for us is immeasurable. In their old age, our unconditional support acts as boon their life and living. When you go home tomorrow show some love to your elders.

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Coming to my most favourite episode,

Chandrashila is a beautiful peak high in the Himalayas. The trek of 3kms looks small but takes some effort to reach the top. And the last 500 meters steep slope is always covered with snow.

At that altitude, I was told that it’s easy to spot a Himalayan Mongal. It’s the state bird of Uttarkhand. And while going up the trail, I met many enthusiasts who were able to capture some photos of this bird.

Here I was, reached at the summit, took some photos and videos but no bird. I was happy with what I experienced till that time but was hoping to photograph the bird for good finish.

First time in my life I prayed in desperation and cry; gave myself a silent 2 minutes… and voila, a bird just ran in front of me and went behind some rocks. I got to see it for split second but realized that it was surely a mongal, its outline is distinctive. Slowly I went closer to the rock and in that 3 second moment I was able to capture 1 photo of this beautiful bird.

Himalayan Mongal

So here is the LESSON 9th – A true prayer can bring magic in your life. Keep praying with faith and gratitude. A prayer can get you long way.

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The last one,

On the 6th day while returning from the Himalayas, coming back into the plains it was past midnight. Since I had only 1 day to reach back home I had to reach the mainland anyhow before I start my final run.

At 3.am when finally my body was giving up, I felt it’s time to check into a hotel but what will I find open at 3 in the morning.

3 hours prior, at midnight when there was a chance I didn’t take it.

For the first time I thought Himalayas are divine, people of the mountain treat it as their father. So let’s leave it to him; he shall take care of me.

In the next 20 mins just upon a turn I was surprised to see a lodge open. I immediately checked in; they also gave me some food and nourishment. And I learned that due to election campaign going on; they have been told to keep the lodge open till late hours.

Most important LESSON – Sometimes in Life you have to take a LEAP of Faith. Then rest everything falls at the right place automatically.

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Thank you MTM and IBW for giving me this platform today; my utmost respect to my parents for supporting me always in this journey. I would like to conclude with this small video I made during this ride.

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10 Interesting, Surprising or Shocking things from my True Wanderers Saga

The best day of the year 2014 — the day I was announced winner of wrangler’s True Wanderers ride.

From a thousand plus participants I emerged at the top. And the trophy was boy oh boy, what a beautiful machine — The Z800 by Kawasaki.

A brand new superbike and the recognition that followed, is the ultimate achievement of my life. I don’t know what can come close to beat this.

For those who have not read the winning story yet, here is the LINK. Give it a read and come back here for some more bonus stories.

For those who have read my blog, here are few addons that you won’t find there or anywhere else.

Presenting 5 interesting — surprising — shocking things that are products of my True Wanderers Ride timeline.

1.) Did you know I won this contest because of Royal Enfield –

Sounds surprising? but its true. You see much before True Wanderers 3.0 revealed itself, I had bought a Thunderbird 500 for my solo 36 days ride in the Himalayas. It was a long pending dream and since I was about to take a sabbatical from work, I thought this is a perfect window to fit this ride plan in. And so I left for the longest ride of my life on the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500.

It was a good trip. Regardless of how people keep talking about mechanical issues the brand faces, I had no single problem with the bike. Covered 5000+ kms and came home safe and at peace.

Just a week past by and I penned the travelogue of this ride. It was not easy to find the right words. And the write up, edit, rewrite and proof read… all went on for couple of weeks. When finally it was ready, I shared it here and in few forums for my friends and readers.

To qualify for the final round of True Wanderers, participants had to submit a travel story of any of their past rides. And when my friend insisted to participate, I submitted this 36 days Himalayas entry for the competition. You all know what happened next. So if Himalayas on Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 did not happen, Z800 wouldn’t have happened.

2.) Did you know half of the photos of this ride was shot on iPhone 5 –

I was carrying 2 DSLRs on this ride. One for the wide and the other for telephoto shots. Carrying 1 DSLR and interchanging two lenses would have become a bit of a time wastage. And time was very precious for this ride.

Removing the big cameras from the bag also takes a minute, so I had every intention of using the iPhone too, quite frequently, where I cannot lose any important moment. And it’s the moments timely captured that make amazing and winning photographs.

So at the end of the day when I use to select the best pics from the lot to upload on the blog, I realized most were from my iPhone.

3.) Did you know for the first time in my life I was frighten to get on the motorcycle –

What I planned for those 7 days was something stupid in theory. Right from the first twist of the throttle it was a drag all the way to the end. I was aware that every time I ride the bike I’ll have to push my limits to save time, which was very precious for this feat to complete successfully. And over that, the WTF incident right on day 1 near Surat brought all my confidence to almost zero level.

Thinking of all this was only making me afraid of going ahead in full surety. For the first time I felt an emotion that I thought I was immune to when it comes to motorcycling, …Fear.

4.) Did you know this ride gave me a serious injury on my shoulder –

In this mad rush type of ride, I had to also make myself aware to be careful about the damages physically I may incur. Not that I intend to hurt myself but its my theory that such rides always tend to give you some kind of injury. Mostly a minor one. Least I was expecting that I might get a serious shoulder injury.

This so happened that while coming down from Chopta, one corner had little black ice and slush. I couldn’t spot it from far and the rear tyre went in on the curve; this slid the bike against the hill side of the road and my shoulder brushed against the hard surface at a little high speed. The pain was there just for few immediate hours and gone; but upon returning home and checking up with the doctor I got to know that few tendons have been snapped. I’m still in recovery mode and it hurts when I raise the shoulder back and up. But hey, no pain no gain… I have a 10 lakh rupees supersport bike parked in my garage as my winning. Covers up much of the pain. 🙂

5.) Did you know I almost faced an unrecoverable breakdown of the bike on day 2 itself –

The packing for this ride went almost till the flag off time. Everything was done in so much of hurry that I had a feeling I forgot something important to carry. When I was reaching the flag off point, in my mind I was going over the checklist and wondering whether I forgot, or what I forgot that’s bothering me right now…!

Only when I covered 100kms it hit me that I forgot to carry the chain lubricant. It was very important for the ride. Already I was running on the last setting and lubricating the chain every 500kms was a must. The moment I reached Jaipur the inevitable took place. The chain started making hell of a noise and I couldn’t find a dam shop of motorcycle accessories on my route. Over that my preference was to buy a spray bottle so I can carry it on the ride ahead. Just lubricating with those local oil sprays won’t be enough. They barely stick on the chain (gets thrown off at high speeds.)

With that cranking noise I rode from Jaipur to Meerut and wondered that if I don’t find anything here then I’m officially thrown off my schedule. Staying exact on time with my itinerary was very necessary to work everything out for my story.

One, two times I event felt that the chain might snap or jump off from the sprocket. It was now totally dry. And just when my mind was preparing to face the breakdown; …spotted a good shop which sells exactly what I was looking for. A big can of chain lube; not Motul though but as if I was in a situation to complain.

In fact I almost came at a point where I was considering to apply my hair oil on the chain 🙂

6.) Did you know mosquitoes are responsible for the write up of day 0 and 1 –

If I have to win this thing then surely right from word 1 everything has to be awesome. Bullshit has no room in the story.

Day 1 & 2 involved in me covering far distances in short time so I kept the writing for last on day 2. After almost 48 hours I reached close to Lansdowne, found a hotel, checked in and thought of taking a nap first before I start writing the blog in the wee hours of morning. Just when I was tucking myself in, I realized the room is fully invested with mosquitoes. Not even half an hour I was able to sleep at peace.

These rascals were even coming under the bed sheet and tearing into my flesh. (I was just wishing for the mosquito bat over here.) Fuck the sleep I decided to start writing now itself. And decided to put whatever words that come out immediately from my heart and mind. I didn’t even proof read and straightaway published it.

I now realize that if there had been no mosquitoes, what content that arose from me that day would have been different. And that different would have not been the winning one because the winning one was from the mosquitoes incident.

Sounds so stupid but that’s what the chain of events show.

7.) Did you know on the last day I slept on the bus stop for an hour, only to be awakened with the title ‘Ghost’-

On Day 7 I had to ride from Meerut to Mumbai in less then 24 hours to complete my 7 days circuit. Meerut to Mumbai in 24 hours is pure stupidity. Even with my pushing endurance level, I was sure somewhere close to home I might snap. My sleep will take over my mind. But I decided to worry about it when the event nears. And so after 18 hours of rigorous riding, finally somewhere ahead of Modassa I was not able to hold on to. Physically I was so tired that I close my eyes and I would fall asleep.

I decided to give myself few mins break or atleast an hour’s sleep. So like how Dr. Arnob Gupta does, I found the perfect bus stop, parked the bike close to me and slept on the bench. Idea was to refresh myself with a power nap but I opened my eyes to something weird and funny. You see there was a marriage happening close by and the “Baarat” was going from the road where I was sleeping. They saw my bike and me lying on the bench, wearing all these weird things (gears), so they stopped to check this curious sight.

Just when they came close (within a feet) my eyes opened and I got up suddenly. In that dark ambiance I don’t know what happened but I clearly heard someone shouting ‘bhoot bhoot’ and they started running away. It was a LOL moment for me; I quickly spoke and calmed them down. Once relaxed they seem pretty annoyed with what happened and started telling me ‘Aisa koi kidhar sota hai kya…’ Once the show was over I hit the road once again, but this episode didn’t get out of my head till I reached home. Whenever I felt sleepy I thought of this scene, giggled and paced myself.

8.) Did you know I’m struggling to reach the ground when sitting on this bike (Z800) –

This is a funny one. I was not totally aware that this machine is so tall. I’m a good 5.8″ but despite, when I sit on the motorcycle, my feet struggle to reach the ground. So now I cannot move the bike if it’s stationary position and off. It’s heavy and massive.

And me regardless of being a huge person, have to be careful with this mean machine.

9.) Did you know as a prayer to almighty I rode on my bicycle from Mumbai to Shirdi –

I’m not very much in religion but my perspective of prayers and connection with Baba have always had a unique identity.

For some reason I felt a strong urge to be in Shirdi on the day of the announcement. I was already anxious and nervous.

For me riding to Shirdi from home is not a difficult task on my motorcycle. It’s just 3 hours ride from Mumbai. But again for some reason I had this feeling of putting my mind and body through rigorous levels to understand this unfamiliar urge I was experiencing.

So I decided to pedal my way to Shirdi this time. I anyways had a bicycle expedition in the Himalayas coming up, so pedaling to Shirdi will just become a perfect training thing for me.
What happen next, you all know. 🙂

10.) Did you know I cried like a baby when I saw this video –

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5 WTF Moments from the Spiti Valley Bicycle Ride

You read my Spiti Bicycle Ride Notes, your saw the photos; you liked it and appreciated it. Many thanks…

Now on a lighter note, here are my favourite WTF moments from the Spiti Valley Bicycle Ride.

1. 21kms for that 3kms We had taken a couple of days halt at Tapri; and at least I in my mind was relaxed because next day we had to cover only 25kms to reach Reckong Peo, of which only last 5kms is uphill. Rest all just a cruise parallel to the river.

But when we began this day, within exit of Tapri we saw a 21kms uphill diversion to Chooling due to landslide. Chooling my friends was just 3kms away from the diversion via the regular route.

For a mere 3kms we were off on a uphill path of 21kms.

WTF; Shoot me now.

2. Why Pedal Downhill! All this time we were enjoying whenever there was a downhill stretch. It was a moment to take a breather from the constant pedaling. But here after entering Spiti Valley I don’t understand; why on some downhill paths we had to pedal.

Despite the decline the bike was not catching up any speed.

It was strange and silly experience.

WTF; somebody give me a rocket booster.

3. Wind in My Face, Please No Thanks On a motorcycle the wind in your face is quite pleasing; but here on 0 BHP wind in face means pedaling against the wind to the last light.

Post Rampur we always got head wind after 3pm until Manali.

WTF; The feeling was like pedaling on the indoor cardio cycling machine with constant level 10 mode.

4. Where the Hell is All the Food Going By day 8 of the ride we could feel a shift in out metabolic rate. Whatever we eat was getting instantly digested.

We were hungry after breakfast, we were hungry after lunch and… we were hungry after dinner.

WTF; We were craving for sweets and beer always …and liquids throughout the ride.

5. Mr. Turkey Somewhere in the middle of the ride we got this pride and ego in ourselves. Any motorcyclist who use to pass by raising a thumbs up, we were enunciating ‘Bitch Please…’; 🙂 LOL…we were finding it very funny. Everyone tends to glorify their motorcycle rides in the Himalayas nowadays and we were like Bitch Please do it on 0 bhp.

It all went fine for few days until we reached Tabo. Upon reaching a cyber cafe we met a guy from Turkey who rode all the way on his bicycle, weighting 80kgs. (A Grand Bitch Please to us.) And over that he says I don’t feel I have cycled enough until I cover at least 20000kms. Our jaws dropped upon hearing this.

After this incident we were brought back on the ground; and in Abhilabh a Russian spirit came in (though the guy was from Turkey :-D) Hence onwards Abhi spoke everything in Russian accent. It was a ROFL acts to the end of the ride.

Why WTF!? …its because every time we were climbing steep slopes, he would do his Russian accent and smash all the focus and enthusiasm accumulated. I myself slipped on my own pedal once.

Hilarious it was..

10 Kinds of Bikers I Have Met Till Date

The social media has really made new speed records in connecting people. I started motorcycling 3 years prior to the time when social media kicked in.

Platforms like Facebook and Online Forums has connected us with like minded people around the country; for some even around the globe. With its help I too was able to get in touch with so many bikers than I ever could have.

The journey began from riding with a close group of college friends to big group rides, rallies and festivals. I realized we are so many in numbers.

As years went past, so did my liking for keen observation; I kind off figured that we have a breed among ourselves in this two wheeler world.

Based on my observation, here are 10 kinds of Bikers I have met till date.

1.) The Obvious Showoff

show-off

Somewhere in our time all of us have been in this category for a span. Showing off intentionally or unintentionally was the first days of our biking. Be thankful if you exited this category sooner than ever.

These kind just love showing off, forever. They are into biking for nothing more than seeking attention. The word ‘Showoff’ is enough to give you the whole picture.

You can spot these guys easily when they are in front of you and usually are dum dum.

2.) The Wrong Company

wrong-company

Pure criminals; they ride Motorcycle for the only purpose of theft. They even steal them and participate in petty to moderate crimes in the neighborhood. A shame and nuisance to the society and give a bad name to the ideology of Bikers.

Beware of these kind. Don’t get yourself in trouble.

3.) Know it All

know it all

These kind have done some biking. By ‘some’ I mean a 2-3 years of active riding. They are in the primary standard but act like they have PH.D; they love to project that they know it all. They dwell on half knowledge and try to act winners by demotivating the fellow rider. They only make wrong decisions and justify why it was right thing to do. Never a team player and insecure riders. Very weak and jealous emotionally. Pure backbiters.

Beware and don’t bother to argue with them. Otherwise the idiot will bring you down to his level.

4.) Fame Gamer

fame

They have nothing much on biking, but they know all on how to stay in the limelight and be the most talked person. These kind have huge fan following and you wonder how the hell that happen. Rarely you’ll see them riding but find them very active on social media.

Riders love them, hate them and can’t ignore them.

5.) Dhoom Effect

dhoom face

These guys are purely into biking because of Dhoom movie. John Abraham is their ideal or Aamir Khan off lately. The character which these actors portray becomes their role model. They know shit about motorcycling and most of the time land up crashing.

You’ll find them after dark, indulged in some illegal street racing activities. A menace to pedestrians, society and to the men of law enforcements.

6.) Newbie Rookie

rookie

These have just started biking and have great potential. World is often unkind to them and don’t welcome in the group easily. Some are even ragged by elder riders and most of them are treated with the kids attitude. ‘Bacha hai woh’; Let me rephrase, ‘Naya hai woh’.

But these are the ones who turn out to be great leaders and trend setters. They surprise everyone with their performance and make the competition worry about.

They enjoy what they do and don’t get bothered by what the world thinks of them.

7.) The Professional

professional

The fastest of the lot. These guys are here purely for the sport. They have enrolled in racing schools, learned from the best and practiced on the track to be the awesome in racing.

Motorcycling is passion, motorcycling is their profession. They are the real celebrities of the two wheel world.

8.) The Stunter

stunter

Each one from this category have weird looking motorcycles; but that’s because they have done exclusive mods for pure stunting. Believe me when I say, this is a tough category. Each one of them has fallen, broken, hurt themselves and risen from the ground to get back at it again… and again.

The best ones practice daily and are creative in making something new happen on two wheels. They have no interest in any other kind of Biking.

9.) Adventure Junky

adventure-junky

These kind are the coolest. Motorcycle means adventure to them. Finding new routes, exploring new trails; traversing across the land is their only Mojo. They respect everyone around and expect nothing back. They are strongest when it comes to endurance and are quite seasoned.

You see them walking or taking public transport when heading to work and going to local places around; the bike only comes out when it’s the weekend and time for some adventure ride on the offbeat track.

10.) The Real Deal

PHOENIX-RISES

The hardcore and the elite group. These guys have seen it all and done it all; they have even been to the dark side and returned to tell the tale. Their lives are legend and their lifestyle a reason of inspiration and envy for the others. They are often great role models and guide a fellow rider aptly.

The average people refuse to believe such personalities exist in today’s time. These guys have a genuine fan following and are often soft spoken. Modesty and kindness are their natural traits.

Not all of us who began our two wheel endeavor, reach this position.

P.S. You’ll definitely meet many assholes who declare they are at this level. 😛 — Beware… 🙂

5 Things to Learn from the Movie ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’

Critics will view this Ben Stiller movie, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty‘ from various angles and present you with deep analysis on the theme, subject, performances and I don’t know what all they bring in to make their piece long and meaty.

I on the other hand would just like to mention 5 things we all should learn from this movie. Most of us are well aware of these 5 things, but from time to time we tend to forget them or ignore them. So here is something to refresh and remind us of life’s oldest formula to success and happiness.

1. Dreaming is Important

I have attended many personality development sessions, speech improving classes, participated in leadership programs and various other seminars that teaches us to be a better human being. Of all the wisdom given to us, the one thing common in everyone’s curriculum is the concept of ‘Dreaming’. They all say, dreaming is important, dreaming gives you a vision of your future. You have to see yourself in a picture 10 years from now.

It all sounds dramatic but honestly it takes quite a significant about of time to realize the Dreaming part of those teachings. Initially we all take such guiding lessons as entertainment. Only in time we realize the importance of Dream — A Vision.

Ben Stiller’s character, Walter Mitty, dreams of many things he wants to do in his life. He got the first gear right and it acts as an invitation to our destiny to bring on the next… This is how our Almighty works.

2. Chasing Dreams is Even More Important

You are the person who is dreaming day and night. You are seeing a vision of betterment for yourself and the society. Well you are no different; we all are on the same track. What sets you apart is when you begin the pursuit of your dream — the pursuit of happiness. One has to go through hell in chasing the dream — trying to make the vision a reality.

Takes a second to have a dream and years to realize it. The race has begun. Chase your dream and beat it at the finish line.

To find that one negative Ben Stiller goes through an epic journey of a lifetime. He is not ready to stop until he accomplishes his mission. All this time what dreams and visions he was imagining, he is now turning them into reality.

3. Adventure is a Must

Adventure is embedded in our DNA. There is no soul in the world who is afraid of a little adventure. Even the people who say they are not adrenaline junky, are dying from inside to do something adventurous. Its the logic of mind that they don’t let go… and bow down to the fear the heart stimulates.

In life, adventure is must. Its the most effective way that brings the best in you. Makes you realize the unseen value of life — that higher level you didn’t know existed…

What Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) keeps dreaming about something awesome, truly goes after it and lives an adventurous thrilling expedition. His personality blooms up and he becomes the phrase, ‘Just be yourself’.. ‘Your True Self’.

4. Why Not to Give Up

In the lost scriptures of ancient India, there is a simple saying about the human mind and body. A person will excel in any task he undertakes for all the right reasons instantly, over the wrong ones. Let me illustrate with an anecdote. There is a guy I know who use to like a girl in his college. He had sweet feelings for her but never took a moment to express his fondness for her. It was not that he was afraid but he felt he was not suitable for her. The only cause for him to think so was his over weight built. He gave a shot at working out and getting back in shape. In a year, there was no significant improvement. Years passed; this chapter was closed. And one day I met him near my residence. I could hardly recognize him. He had lost tremendous weight and was lean now. When we got talking, he narrated me what he felt all this time. He said that in a bid to woe her, he was trying to get in shape. But when that phase passed, he started working out only to make himself happy; to make himself proud of what he has created. He attained the results in just 6 months.

There is a fine line between the right and wrong reasons. The moment you hit a wall and lean on the feeling of giving up, you need to push through that wall; for success lies just beyond it. Its the only fastest way to reach for the heavenly glory.

We all start from the level zero and ascent slowly up the ladder. To reach the top level, it takes time, patience and a pinch of faith.

In the chase to find Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn), Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) comes across many difficult situations. Some even gigantic enough to make him turn back. But his determination to find Sean is so unshakable, he dives through all the challenges and only keeps moving forward.

5. The Answer Lies Just Under the Nose

The game play of karma is a funny one. Many a time the answer to our problem is right under our nose. Just because our eyes cannot see that area we tend to ramble here and there in search of solution. Call it God’s ingenuity or his miracle, its the mystery in finding these answers that takes us on life altering endeavors. Teaches us about the higher value of life and fellowship; and brings us back home right where the answer always was. Only the journey we set on to seek, makes us wise enough to understand these answers.

Walter Mitty finds the film negative right at home, in the gift he was presented with; the message had mentioned look inside (for the negative) but Walter mistook it to be some quote related to the motto of Life magazine. His mistake takes him on a ride of his lifetime. Makes him a better human being and life brings him back home to the one thing he was looking for (negative). Only this time, he is a New Man.

Passion to Ride: Dadasaheb Shankar Bote

In today’s time, people complain and keep whining about how social media has made you a slave of technology; I tell them, ‘Always see the brighter side of everything, not just social media’. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made speed records in passing on message to a large audience, over the conventional methods.

On that note, let me show you a video I stumbled upon today morning. A biker from Bangalore (Nagendra Surya) was passing from Satara and stopped at a wielding shop. What happened next, he could have never ever guessed.

Go through the 8 minutes to know about a good man’s potential, his passion for riding and exhibiting ‘Impossible is Nothing’.

There are many senior riders who have done similar feat but what inspired me the most from Dadasaheb Shankar Bote is the bike he chose, the knowledge of places, the fact of riding all the way from here, returning via a different route and making it sound so Casual.

He explored quite a chunk of India. People don’t expect such endeavors from small town guys. Its how cynical we get sometimes. None the less I felt worthy to mention him, so other senior riders get inspired and motivated to do the impossible.

The expression ‘Passion to Ride‘ can generate enormous will power at times. It becomes the driving force for our Mind and Heart — Body and Soul.

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend India Bike Week

India Bike Week has been promoted as the biggest biking event to ever happen in India. Riders arrive from all parts of the country to experience the grand event in Goa. Over two days there is a wide range of activities that takes place throughout the day. A biker group or a solo seeker will find his plate full and ample things to do here. And if nothing works out? Hey! You are in Goa. Even the loneliest of all souls can find solace here… 😉

Although like any other event, this one too has its flaws and setbacks. The first edition was even criticized a lot on various issues. However, based on my experience at India Bike Week, going once solo and another time in a group, I would like to give you 5 reasons why you should attend the IBW fest.

1. Knowledge –

We always see the entertainment part of such events but what you should try and perceive is how much knowledge unknowingly comes by your side for your benefit. Let me share a few instances; at the IBW 2013 edition, many great biking personalities were invited to be honored for their work in the two wheeler industry. One such personality was Subhash Chandra Bose a.k.a. Bullet Bose. Of the 5 minutes he spoke on stage before accepting an award, each and every single word from his mouth was inspiring. His quote, “Accidents don’t just happen, you are always at fault. Work on your errors and misjudgments.’, still remains my motto on the highway.

Hidden under the coat of entertainment, many such knowledge and wisdom is present at the venue, all you need to do is become a keen observant and sharp on ears.

For 2nd instance, at IBW 2014 edition, I went in the big cinemas section where Bharadwaj Dayala was giving a speech on his solo ride across the world. The very next program was First Aid on the Highway by Dr. Arnob Gupta. I was not knowing this and since it was something that I always ignored, I decided to sit through the session to gain some first hand knowledge.

Some educative info I received about first aid. Some important facts that I was not aware of, while some tips and techniques that can be applied on, in case of emergency. A safety protocol and experiences shared by others from the audience — Totally worth it.

It’s said so, ‘Knowledge is power, knowledge is golden.’ Then why not gather as much as you can to master yourself in the biking arena.

2. Contacts –

If you are coming from business point of view then surely you’ll make lot of contacts here. It’s believed, no matter how educated and rich you are, without the right contacts it’s next to hell working up the ladder. One phone call from the right person can do wonders for your business.

IBW is attended my many media groups as well as known personalities and your competition. So it’s an ideal ground for building contacts that will come to use may be later. Get acquainted with important people, share your ideas with like minded enthusiasts, grab hold of one PR representative to keep you updated on further events.

Idea is to be mutually beneficial to both parties.

3. Brotherhood –

There was a time when people use to call me crazy for what I was doing. And I thought I was alone in it. When social media kicked in, I got connected with infinite networks and so many of you bikers got linked. IBW is a cool place for all of us from far corners of the country to gather at one place for meet up, quick ride or just talks. Many a times we have so many in our network that with most we only have corresponded on the social media platform. Meeting up in person is a whole different emotion. A feeling of brotherhood naturally emerges. There is more respect and gratitude for the person, for the biker.

(One can always ring for help or assistance. When you are far from home, you know there is a rider at the closest town who can back you up.)

P.S. You also get a reality check on things that I’ll not mention. 🙂

4. The Other Side –

Here is my favorite part. An observation I have in my head which I’m gonna name it ‘The Other Side’.

You see be it biking or any other sport, there is always the other side. In this case, I’m referring to the show off image. Now many of you might feel offended but I suggest to take it sportingly.

At events like IBW, you get to see the real biker and the biker inspired from reel. There are so many wannabes nowadays that it has become difficult to come in touch with the right group. Many appear giant, smart and full of advices, turn out to be the other guys. You will be disappointment to find out that your hero is actually a comedian or a sidekick. 😛

But when you meet these ‘other guys’, you get a testimony on how good you have become yourself, how well you are on the correct path. Be proud.

Besides it’s just plain entertainment to observe the wannabes. You will definitely have something to laugh about at dinner.

5. Goa –

If I can not give you a reason then hey! Come down for Goa.

You work very hard, you slog it out. Give yourself a break at the beginning of the year and ride down to Goa. Celebrate your biking life on the land of beaches and enjoy your time here. There is plenty to do and experience. Just catch few hours of IBW and then head out to enjoy yourself.

Group, solo, whatever… Goa is the sin city of India. 😛

Bikers for Good: Respect Your Freedom – Real Bikers Respect Laws

Very recently, I along with my group, were invited to the press launch — announcement of Bike Festival of India, the very first of its kind in the country. (More on it you’ll know soon)

During the event in Mumbai, I met many fellow bikers and biking groups who had arrived from far distances. Its always a good feeling when you meet someone similar to you. Gives you a feeling of union and brotherhood.

One group I would like to mention specifically, who are not just riding but have taken up the responsibility of spreading  social message in the society. Educating people, the true meaning of ‘Bikers’.

One such club, the only club to ride for Social Cause is Bikers for Good.

Mohit Ahuja from the team shared this video with me which I was very happy to see. It was a delight and a proud feeling that someone has taken an initiative in this segment, and done very well.

Sharing here the video, for inspiration, appreciation and education.

P.S. Do share the link among like minded enthusiasts…

KTM Duke 390: Second Wave Begins…

KTM Duke 390 press launch finally took place today at a posh hotel in Pune city.

The excitement and anxiety outside the lounge was like how it is outside the notice hall when your exam results are announced. Just eagerly waiting to get a glimpse and wondering whether it has met the expectation or not.

The 390 is truly the elder sibling of the Duke 200. The bike is going down the success road; just inevitable to go anywhere else.

Is it value for money? Yes, very much.

In the Duke 200, the speed and performance were limited to a certain point. It was satisfying but suppressed beyond a particular mark.

The 390 just blasted off that suppression.

A beautiful machine is now available in India and its not just a head turner but also the tongue is gonna come out drooling.

KTM Duke 390

5 Important things you would want to know about the KTM Duke 390

  1. Price: Rs. 1.80 lacs Ex-Showroom (New Delhi) and booking commences on 26th June, 2013 at Probiking
  2. Top Speed: 160 kmph (Surely riders will find ways to get pass this mark)
  3. Economy: Expected to be around 40kmpl (Will lot depend on how you handle this rocket)
  4. Colours: The only bike which you can customize to suit yourself. Ample decalcomanias available. From KTM it comes in a colour scheme of Black, Orange and White combo.
  5. Addons: Plentiful touring and lifestyle accessories available from KTM.

Earlier I had mentioned 5 Things You’ll Love About the KTM Duke 390.

Duke 390

Traits of a KTM Duke

– Naked Minimalistic Design

– Aggressive Stance

– Highest Power in class

– Lowest Weight in class

– Agile & Maneuverable

Come on, give a reason why you wouldn’t love this beauty….

The KTM Duke 390 in Touring mode

What’s new about the KTM Duke 390?

Since the first ever news broke out of the Duke 390, there were strong speculations that the bike will have lot of similarity and rhyming components with the 200. But Mr. Amit Nandi, Vice President Bajaj Probiking cleared the air about this and presented the truth.

– The Duke 390 has 95% new components

– Taller Gearing for high speed long rides

– Low Friction Nikasil Coated cyclinder

– Forged Piston

– Two Overhead camshafts, four vales actuated by DLC (diamond link carbon) coated finger followers

– Whooping top speed of 160kmph

All-in-All, a bike for everyday purpose, a bike for touring long distance, a bike for performing daring stunts and a bike for rallies/racing. Thumbs up to KTM.

KTM Duke 390 Touring Accessories

KTM PowerParts and Accessories

Original KTM powerparts will be available to boost up this big Duke. Also with the 390, you have the option to fully convert the bike in touring mode. KTM has provided a list of accessories that will cater your touring needs. To name a few —

– Windshield

– Tank Bag

-Fuel Cap Stickers

– Tank Pad

– Bike Cover

– Front & Rear Crash Pads

– Carrier plate

– Rear Top Case

KTM Power Parts

KTM Duke 390 Target

We always say that this bike is not my type or that bike doesn’t works for me; but Bajaj has set this KTM big Duke to target riders from almost all segments. The bike is apt for those who are looking to upgrade from Mass Sport bikes, then those who are looking at alternate options to Super Premium Bikes, the all time tourers and those who wish to upgrade from the Duke 200 itself.

Frankly speaking, its really have put riders in thinking mode and you’ll surely see a lot of 390 on Indian roads.

KTM Duke 390 Technical Specifications

ENGINE

Type – 373.2 CC single cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled

Power – 43.5 PS @ 9000 RPM

Torque – 35 NM @ 7000 RPM

Fuel Intake – Bosch Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)

Transmission – 6 Speed

CHASSIS

Frame – Steel Trellis frame

Fork – WP Suspension – Up Side Down

Shock absorber – WP Monoshock

Brake system Front – 300 mm Disc brake with four-pot brake caliper

Brake system Rear – 230 mm Disc brake with one-pot brake caliper, floating brake discs

Chain – 5/8 X 1/4″ (520) X-Ring

Steering head angle – 65 degrees

Wheel base – 1,367 +- 15mm

Ground clearance (unloaded) – 165 mm

Seat height (unloaded) – 800 mm

Total fuel tank capacity approx. – 10.2 litres

Weight without fuel approx. – 145 kgs

KTM Accessories
KTM Accessories

 

KTM Lifestyle products
KTM Lifestyle products

 

KTM Apparels
KTM Apparels

 

Rajiv Bajaj - The Man who changed the face of motorcycling in India
Rajiv Bajaj – The Man who changed the face of motorcycling in India

 

SuperDuke-R 1290 launch in 2013
SuperDuke-R 1290 launch in 2013

 

KTM PowerWear and Accessories
KTM Power Wear and Accessories

 

Video: Electric Motorcycle at Its Best in TT Zero | Isle of Man 2013

If you see the records on crashes and deaths at Isle of Man TT, you’ll surely agree that IOMTT is indeed the most dangerous race in the world; yet every year there are more participants and more number of biking enthusiasts lining up for some good action.

And this year 2013, has really been exciting for the non-carbon based fuel motorcycles. Mark Miller representing team MotoCzysz E1pc, rode their electric motorcycle at the top speed of 109.675 mph to grab the 1st position at the TT Zero. In kph, that comes to 176.505

I could not find the video grab of his on-board camera but here below is of John McGuinness who came in 2nd; and it is enough to give you an idea of the 1st position.

John McGuinness represents the Honda Mugen Shinden team.

Turn on the wide screen, increase the volume and get ready for some good music to the hears.

Then later ask yourself, “Do you still think electric bikes are not fast enough?” 🙂

[vsw id=”mRrKhFAlaRw” source=”youtube” width=”600″ height=”338″ autoplay=”no”]

 

TT Zero is a event since 2010 in the Isle of Man TT races.The motorcycles participating in this category are powered without the use of carbon based fuels and have zero toxic/noxious emissions.

Mike Miller on his electric motorcycle at TT Zero 2013
Mike Miller on his electric motorcycle in the TT Zero 2013