Well, here’s the start onto my first blog post. Let me say this to you that whatever I am going to write about this ride is not my first one. Before this I have done countless no of rides both inside Gujarat and outside the state. Just to say that, before I went up for this ride my odometer had already clocked 22000kms. Since this is my first write-up, this is gonna be a little longer!
I am always looking for an opportunity to ride. Be it my best friend’s wedding in and out-of-state or some good weekend where you get more than 2 days off. I don’t have many bulleteers friends, but whoever I have, I make it a point to ask them for joining with me. I don’t care if they cancel at the end moment because my funda is clear, If you plan for something you gotta execute it. This has happened to me on several occasions where I got back stabbed.
My so wish is to own a Motorcycle club one day and I have even started to put my efforts into that direction. I have even finalized its logo. The club is called ‘Sons of Thunder’. I have taken name from my favorites Biker series ‘ Sons of Anarchy’. The only difference is that they had Harleys and I will be having Enfields. I attached ‘Thunder’ to it as the ‘Sound’ completely resembles the sound of Thunder! The club is at its very nascent stage.
As my club has not been evolved completely, for group rides I join public groups owned by Enfield showrooms in the city. One of the showroom clubs which I often ride with is ‘Riders of Sarabhai Motors’ which is managed by the Enfield showroom in the city. The ride which I am going to write about is my 2nd ride with them.
The date was set and our calendars blocked. This ride was to Jambughoda and Sardar Sarovar dam. The ride was for 2 days starting 10th September. Both the places fall inside gujarat and were particular chosen to enjoy the monsoon and the lush green vegetation which these places boast during this time. We don’t have a poll system to finalize the destination and is chosen by the showroom guys itself. They have a dedicated person put up only to manage and conduct rides for the RE owners. I don’t know about other showrooms.
The ride was limited to 25 members and I was the 10th person to register. It was advised not to carry any pillion since this was meant to be a little harsh ride. There is nothing harsher than the ‘Kishtwar-Killar’ road patch which I had completed just last week during my maiden Ladakh trip.
The ride was supposed to get started around 5am from the showroom but as you know it is difficult to get up early during weekends, all riders assembled not before 5.30am and only after having a sip of tea and briefing that we started our ride around 6am. All the riders were new to me, never ever met before and here we were going together as a one. I said to myself, this ride is going to be awesome as I would be making friends with complete strangers who share only 1 common thing and that is passion for Riding. This is the advantage of going out and riding, you get to know the lives of other people and understand them deeper. You don’t know when and how they will be at your help if you need one.Let your karma decide it. This is the one of the reasons why I love to ride.
It was decided before the ride that we were going to have breakfast directly at the hotel. Our hotel ‘Mount Heritage Villa’ falls in Halol district of gujarat. The place was around 160kms from the starting point. We had a pitstop when we reached Baroda(40 kms more to destination) mainly due to fact that most of the people had to attend nature’s call. At the same time we all had a cup tea just to refresh ourselves. Some of them were riding this much long distance for the first time and it was thrilling and exciting for them when we asked them how they felt. One guy was having problem with his throttle lever getting stuck up during riding. This is the worst situation a rider faces(I too faced it one time during my trip to Ladakh). In this case a rider has no other option but to switch the engine off and move to side.I utilized this small break to fix this problem. The cause was easily found. The bolts which hold the throttle body is place has come loose owing to wires getting stuck as there was lot of free play. Only tightening was required. One thing I noticed from his tool kit that all of the tools were rusted. This means that he had not even once touched it. Guys, sincere request to you that you get familiarized with the tool kit and try all the tools so that you come to know which is used where taking help of the manual provided. What this does is that it gives you confidence and you don’t have to depend on your mechanic even for small repairs. I too learned this way. Helping others gives us sense of satisfaction and this is nothing but ‘Brotherhood’. You gotta help your brothers and this forms the integral part of riding no matter which vehicle you are ride.
We we riding mostly in double file, and our ‘Showroom’ guy leading the herd. Myself along with my buddy ‘Zac’ were riding at the extreme back mainly keeping the new ones at the front so that they wont get left behind. It does not matter which position you ride as long as you maintain the rhythm and here we are not competing. But riding at the back also has it disadvantages, due to traffic we had to slow down and were left behind. The rhythm had been broken and we were now alone. Instead of taking right at one place, we took left towards jambughoda. We were told that the resort was in jambughoda, but in fact it was located in halol itself. Now, both these places are good 30 kms apart. The problem was before the start of ride I had not cared to look for the location of the resort. On our way we were asking directions for the ‘Heritage’ resort and everyone was pointing towards Jambughoda. We thought we were in right direction. The resort had a very beautiful entrance and was situated just at the lap of the mountain. When we reached the resort there was no one there, not even a single visitor. We knew now that we were in a wrong place. The phone was out of range and the supposed to be ‘Heritage hotel’ was not finding on our maps. We started returning back. On the way we asked fellow shopkeepers whether they saw a herd of bikers going towards jambughoda and their reply of ‘No’.
We knew we had overt-ravelled in the direction towards jambughoda and that the resort would be located before jambughoda. Again asking for the resort location, some shopkeepers pointed to a different location. Upon arriving there, we faced the same situation as before. The resort was empty. The resort name was ‘Heritage Hotel’ and the first one was ‘Heritage Resort’. But, we wanted to go to ‘Mount Heritage Resort’. I told to myself how many hotels/resorts are located here by the name ‘Heritage’. The locals could not understand hindi that much and when we would ask where the location of the ‘Mount Heritage resort’ was, taking only the ‘heritage’ part they would show us the direction. during this time we had overshoot by some good 80kms, just roaming here and there unable to find the exact resort. But it was fun driving between the jungles with greenery surrounding you. Cell phone range got back when we had arrived at the second unwanted resort and we quickly sent our location to our showroom guy named ‘Raj’. He too sent his location on watsapp and we were not that far away from our intended location. We were off by 10kms.
Even though we’d known the location, finding it was like finding a needle in a haystack. We had to drive along farms and village settlements, where we thought that this might not be the road but, eventually it was. We would like to give salute to our organizer for finding such a resort in such a place. From my view, the generic location of the resort would be behind Pavagarh. You can see the pavagarh mountain from here neat up close.
We were late by almost an hour. When we finally reached the resort ,everyone had left for their next destination which was ‘Jhand Hanuman’ temple. We missed our breakfast at the hotel which was part of the 1800 reg fees we had to pay for this ride. We quickly refreshed ourselves and decided to do breakfast outside. We had our late breakfast at this hotel called ‘Heritage’. This was the 3rd time I was entering into some building named heritage. Dont know whether people over here were obsessed with the name ‘Heritage’ that they had named everything with the ‘Heritage’ word.
As we were behind by almost an hour we directly decided to move onto our second sight-seeing place which was Hathni Mata Waterfall. I would recommend everyone to visit this waterfall. This will give you a mini feel of what Dudhsagar is. you will be able to find it on google maps, don’t worry! Our our way we were joined by one of the riders of our group who like us, had been strayed away and was returning from the waterfall after seeing no one arriving there. Now we were 3 of us waiting for the other 22 people to join. After a quick call to the organizer, we came to know that they were still behind and would take for them another 15min to reach the waterfall. Finally we were again joining the herd. We reached to waterfall and soon were greeted with our fellow riders. After spending some quality time with the fellow riders we were back again on our way to resort. It was around 3pm and everyone was tired with the riding they had till now. Adding to that we had not even done our lunch. We decided to move on quickly to the resort and by 4pm we were having lunch. Not a murmur could be heard during at the table. All were so hungry that they focussed only on the food not caring to look at each other. This is what generally happens when you are hungry.
After a good lunch, it was time for some swimming pool activities. This was a perfect way to relax the body after ‘tiring’ ride and a heavy lunch. We had a good time playing Volleyball and ‘Rugby’. The darkness was taking over and everyone had now only one thing in mind, Booze. Almost all the riders were drinkers, except a handful of people. After everyone got freshened up, all sat down in a room with bottles of various brands and chakna. We were just sitting at the back and listening their ‘so-called’ speeches. Some had lost control while some were within. We had a good intro session where each rider had to explain about himself. Except the people who had not taken the drink, all were being emotional during the talk and spoke generally about their life, job, the good and the bad things happened to them. Some were even cursing ‘Royal Enfield’ on the quality of the products they make.This continued for about 2 hours and everyone was again hungry even though we had a late lunch. The dinner was good, however I didn’t eat much. I usually don’t eat each much during the rides. As I dont want the heaviness to set in while I am riding.
Some left he table while some slept on the table itself. Few of us continued to sit there and started to discuss about the riding stuff. The time was perfect, silent and cool breeze coming in from the windows. It was time to get to know each other more. During this time only I came to know that riding has not bounds and not restrictions. Here I was speaking to guy 48 years old telling my stories and my passion for riding and in turn listening to his. He operates local trains and usually works in shifts. Even though he has a tough job, he finds time to ride and follow his passion. He is planning to gift his son (same age as me) a RE so that they both can ride together. His name is ‘Ashok Sharma’, one of the most humble and down to earth person I’ve every met. Always smiling and cheering. similarly like this, there were other people from different fields. Some worked at ISRO, while some in METRO projects, some were Managers in Banks, Doctors while some were into their own business. Riding really brings a lot of people together having different background and here were united with only one common thing which was ‘Passion for Riding’. We talked the whole night about next riding plans and what each one wanted to do in future. Time just passed pass and we didn’t even know. It was 1 am in the morning and we decided to call the day off as we had to ride to Sardar Sarovar Dam the very day in the morning.
Sunday dawned in, and we all were ready by 9:30am after the late night sleep. After a quick breakfast of puri sabji we were ready to roll towards the dam which was 80kms from our current location. I have been to the dam back in 2014, but that time I rode on a ‘Hero Passion’ and this time it was on my love ‘Avril’. We started good and now were riding in a single file since the road was not enough wide. It was just like a train passing slowly through the roads and the feeling was just awesome and could not be explained . We felt like royals and along the way people were taking photographs and videos. It truly made our day. Doing this, really lifts you up and you are overflowing with confidence and energy. The ride was non-stop and only had one break where there was a diversion to be taken for the dam and we did not want other riders to miss it. This time I was at the back and ‘Zac’ was little ahead of me. I ensured that I am not cut off from the herd this time too.
After reaching the Dam, we were little sad knowing that the water had not been released which completely reduced to the beauty of the dam. However, we enjoyed as much as possible and finally with a ‘All riders’ panorama photo with dam at the background we decided to move back to Ahmedabad.Along the way ‘Zac’ broke his clutch cable. Glad that he was carrying a spare and the bike was again running in 5 min. It is advisable to carry clutch cable with you at all the times since its life is not guaranteed. It can snap anytime and if you miss to carry then you don’t have any option but to drag that 200kg monster to nearest mechanic.
We reached Ahmedabad around 8 pm and everyone parted their own way only wanting to meet again ASAP. It was a fun having spend quality time for 2 days with completely new strangers and in the end emerging as good friends for life time. We indeed had made good memories with this trip and for some reasons this will remain with me forever. I felt a little richer that day as I had earned some memories which were precious. Someone had truly said, ” A journey can only be measured in Memories”.