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Chapter 3: The inexperienced riders (Part 1)

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

The first Good Friday

The day was here. It was the month of April of Indian summers. Spring was gone, so was the pleasant weather. Now we were prepping up for the fierce Indian summer. We prepared ourselves for two things:

  • The first motorcycle ride to Rishikesh

  • The first river rafting in the Ganges

Traveling long distances by motorcycle was not that popular during that time. It was evident, but not a trend. Hence, getting the appropriate riding gears in a limited budget was a challenge. For this, we had spent significant time exploring the motorcycle market of Karol Bagh, that too in the scorching sun. We could find knee and elbow protection gears online and bought helmets, gloves, face masks, and balaclava from Karol Bagh. We thought it would be enough for a summer ride. We did not provision for any rain gears… well, it was April of Indian summers and rain is the last thing you can expect.

We practiced fixing the saddlebag on the motorcycle with a dry run inside the campus. It is advisable to practice before the actual event. Helps in identifying challenges, if any. 

Satisfied with our preparation, we went to bed. 

Next morning, at 4 am. 

The D-day has arrived.

I was again fixing the saddlebag on the motorcycle, and it was an unusually cold morning. With the cooling breeze blowing, I could not see any stars in the sky, and I thought it’s the polluted skies of Delhi. All set, with Shivani (fondly called as Dubey Ji) at the pillion, I pushed the ignition button. And a raindrop from the sky fell on my helmet screen. Couple more drops fell, and it felt like it is going to drizzle a bit and stop. April mein baarish kahaan hoti hai (It doesn’t rain here in April)

And we thought we are blessed with pleasant weather. 

Wow, what a start!

We pushed forward with a song in our heart and as we kept moving forward, so did the intensity of the rain. Initially, it felt romantic. An enthusiastic couple on a bike and the rain. But that day, I realized why actors are paid handsome money to look riding a motorcycle in the rain romantic. At regular speed, the raindrops hurt, and riding the bike is a struggle. And we had also experienced something new on that day… chills in the summer. Completely drenched in few minutes, with no rain gears and cold, windy and wet morning. 

We had hardly covered 5 kilometers in that incessant rain, and we realized that we can’t continue like this. This was our first taste of adventure, and we did not like it. In other words, we were not prepared for it. The reality-check was overwhelming. With the clattering teeth and soaked shivering body, Dubey Ji suggested that we should abandon our motorcycle trip and return to our base, which I promptly obeyed.

Lesson learned: Be prepared for the worst possible situation. There are few things which you can’t dominate, and nature is one of them. Ironically, history has demonstrated that shit happens when you expect them the least. 

So, what happened to our plan? 

Well, we did drop the first part, but we fulfilled the second. Thankfully, I had a car as a backup. We returned, changed our clothes, repacked our bags (from saddle to regular bags), and we launched ourselves to our destination. 

It is always good to have a backup. It helps in getting yourself through difficult situations, and you live another day to take care of the unfinished business. 

And yes, we did the river rafting, and I took the plunge in the river for the first time :D

Motorcycle trip: we will return!

Dubey Ji.. .Cooling off in the Heval River near the camp. The day when we arrived at our destination

While going for the rafting... river Ganges at the backdrop

In the Ganges... Me shit scared, but took the plunge in the river... holding the raft as tightly as I could.

One of the rare images of me in 2014 :P

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