So here I am thinking about stuff which is quite confusing most of the times i.e.:
‘What should I do next?’
May be I will write something about my road trip to Gwalior. So here we go…
Less are the times when I actually get to do what I dream about.
That’s because the dreams are quite unlikely most of the times, and I don’t have the proper resources to make them true.
But this was one of the times, where I just stopped thinking too much and did what I wanted.
“Note: If you think driving 1200 km in 3 days is ‘Insane’, stop reading NOW!”
Chapter One: Inception
My father used to tell me how he travelled long distances alone for his business, and all I could grasp from his stories were his travelling experiences. Thus, there had been this zeal inside me, to go on a long road trip on my own.
To make it possible I had to plan well and cancel out all the possibilities of failure. I had my mid-semester exams to be held from 28th February 2011, and the weekend before it was the only weekend when I was not supposed to go home. Hence, it was the perfect time for a trip.
I decided to drive my motorcycle from Patiala to Gwalior.
I have driven between Delhi and Patiala, and as I am having close relatives in Gwalior, I and my parents have travelled to them since my childhood. So I had already travelled on these routes many times and I was quite aware of the kind of roads I would face.
Chapter two: The List
The next stage of my plan was to create a list of items I would need to take along. I started with browsing the internet and some very interesting and important suggestions were found. Reading about the experiences of other riders is always a delight, and gives an idea about the phases I would have to go through.
Here is the Check-list I prepared:
4) Mobile phone
5) Mobile charger
7) ATM card
10) Extra Tyre tube
11) Extra Engine oil
12) First aid Kit
- Pain Killers
- Medical tape
- Small scissors
13) Tools & Accessories
- Duct tape
- Driving license
- Vehicle Registration
- Pollution check
- Chewing gums (I prefer ‘Happydent’)
16) Water bottle
19) Extra Towel
Now the list here tells, how much I had thought about all the circumstances.
Well, this was not the only list because I made the following To-do List as well:
1) Withdraw cash
2) Load songs in mobile
3) Get the mobile recharged
4) Purchase snacks
5) Get the tyre’s air pressure checked
6) Check level of Engine Oil
7) Get petrol
8) Review the check-list
Chapter Three: The maps
Even though I knew almost all the turns I didn’t want to take any chances. So I used the Google maps and got the directions printed.
I was supposed to drive 588km to reach Gwalior from Patiala.
Patiala (Punjab) to Delhi is 238 km and takes approx 4 hours 30 minutes by road.
Delhi to Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) is 350 km and takes approx 6 hours by road.
Chapter Four: The Schedule
The most important work to be done was to manage the time because I planned to leave on Friday and come back on Sunday. I was supposed to drive about 1200 km in total. My first plan was to leave at Friday midnight so that I could cover the distance up to Delhi till morning, and reach Gwalior by Saturday noon. I wanted to do so because Patiala to Delhi road is very well maintained, and driving at night shouldn’t have been a problem.
However, my friend suggested me a better option. He asked me to leave on Friday afternoon and stay at my friend’s place in Rohini (Delhi), this way I will also get to meet my schooldays buddy. I swallowed his thought quickly and called my friend in Delhi to tell him about my visit.
It was decided to leave for Gwalior from Delhi on Saturday morning. I kept aside Sunday for driving back to Patiala.
Chapter Five: The studies
As I was about to take a major step towards my motorcycling fantasy, I was worried it could affect my studies. Thus, I started preparing for my exams beforehand, which was totally contradictory with my college life agenda. I had to bear the comments of my classmates, who told me that I was acting weird (yes! they meant ‘studying’ when they said weird). Anyhow, I made sure that I was ready for the exams to be held on Monday and got some idea about the remaining subjects as well. For this, I even had to avoid the “university’s fun fest”. When my friends came back from the fest and started telling me about how much fun they had, my mind was wondering about the things, I was going to do on this trip.
Chapter Six: The servicing
As a long drive was about to happen, I had to prepare my motorcycle for it. I went to the city and got it serviced. This included changing of the engine oil and break shoes. Actually I was planning to get Disk-breaks but I figured that the mechanics in Patiala didn’t know how to make such change.
My curiosity usually gets to the nerve of mechanics, because I ask a lot of questions. But when I told the mechanic that I was about to drive to Gwalior, he treated me with a lot more respect. I discussed many motorcycle related issues with him, and got some tips about engine overheat and kick-start.
I also got the rear view mirrors fastened to the handle. Although I didn’t use them lately, I needed them on highways.
Chapter Seven: Reunion
I got all set after packing the stuff, taking a last look at the list and tying up my luggage at the side of my bike, by using a rope.
As per the plans, I left for Delhi on Friday afternoon and kept driving nonstop till I was about 60 km away from Delhi. The reason for this stop was not that I was tired. I rather stopped because the friend I was visiting was busy with his work, and I was ahead of my schedule.
Even though I knew the road to ‘Rohini’, I mistakenly asked the route from an auto-rikshaw driver who made me go round and round along the loops of “Karnal Bypass flyovers”. After refreshing my memories of the city traffic I finally reached “G3S mall”, where my friend was already waiting for me. We drove to his place and decided to watch a movie. It was a time for celebration because we met after 3 long years. (He used to live in Hisar (Haryana) and recently shifted to Delhi.)
We drove back to the G3S mall and came to know that the movie we wanted to watch was scheduled very late. The one which was suiting our timings had already been watched by my friend. Even though I tried, I couldn’t stop him from buying the tickets for this movie as he was more concerned about, ‘whether “I” watched it or not?’ Well, this movie called “7 Khoon Maaf” starring ‘Priyanka chopra’ was based on a novel and thus the story was quite good. After the movie we went for a ride on Delhi roads and had loads of fun.
We talked about everything from our school days to our latest experiences. We ate the famous “Bitto Tikki Wala’s Tikki” and came back to our place.
Although I couldn’t use my camera while driving, we clicked some photographs here. I finally made the facebook profile for my friend, and we slept late.
Chapter Eight: My favourite Breakfast
I woke up at 4:30 am and left from my friend’s place at 6 am. It was raining so I was suggested to cancel the trip. But this made it more challenging to me. I waited for the rain to stop and started driving with all my courage. There were times when I felt pain or uneasiness but I got rid of it by changing my place at regular intervals. (The main reason for tying my luggage on side instead of the seat was because I had to stretch up to the back for changing my sitting posture) As I couldn’t listen to songs all the time (not enough battery backup), I drove rash while passing through the cities for having fun. Dealing with the traffic is always a pleasant experience for me as long as I am not completely stuck.
I reached Agra and finally stopped for having my breakfast at the restaurant which I have gone to, since my childhood. My father used to stop here every time we travelled between Delhi and Gwalior. This breakfast constituted of “Bervi and Sabji” which was served with a little ‘Dahi’(curd) on the top.
As for the dress, I was completely messed up. The dirt was all over me and it took 15 minutes to clean myself before I could visit the restaurant.
Chapter Nine: The dormitory
I reached Gwalior at noon and figured that the rope I used to tie my luggage was broken. Thus, I had to put the bag on my back.
I started looking for a hotel but most of them were out of my budget. I didn’t want to spend my money on any of the luxuries. So I asked a cab driver about cheap hotels and he directed me towards the railway station. I finally took a bed in the dormitory and got fresh.
As I was feeling all new and energetic, I took my motorcycle for a wash. She looked so stunning after getting polished, that I wanted to just keep looking at her. Then I went for a ride all around the city, remembering the roads and turns. This sense of accomplishment was enormous and I loved it.
Chapter Ten: Back to Patiala
I left from Gwalior on Sunday morning and it again started raining while I was crossing the area called ‘Chambal’. This zone constituted of muddy hills and has been known for inhabiting looters, since ages. But I was more worried about my goods than the looters. I stopped under a tree and packed my camera properly by using some poly bags. I tried to drive in the rain for a while but it turned into a hail storm and I had to park under a tin shade. It eventually got filled with lot of commuters trying to save themselves like me.
As I had some snacks while sitting under the tin shade, I didn’t feel hungry until I reached Agra. Again I had the same breakfast (Bervi and Sabji) there because I am really fond of it.
Now I was driving at an average speed of 90 kmph although I used to drive at 75 kmph earlier. May be this excessive speeding led to the situation when I got out of petrol. I dragged my bike to the nearest ‘dhaba’(restaurant) and took an auto to the petrol pump.
As I had already wasted a lot of time because of the hailstorm and petrol problem, I didn’t have any time for rest. Thus, I only stopped for refilling the petrol in Delhi and drove continuously. This time I must have driven for about 4 hours straight. I thought that only my back was aching, but when I got down at ‘karnal’, I figured that my whole body was in pain.
Finally, after all this ado, I reached Patiala in the evening and started taking some photographs of my mud-stained motorcycle. May be I just wanted to compensate for not being able to click much, during my trip.
This was a unique and unforgettable experience for me. Although it is very difficult for everyone to understand, I had my reasons for pulling up this trip. All in all I enjoyed a lot, because most of the time I was doing my favourite thing i.e. Driving.
It feels great when I overtake all the four wheelers in my league, and they look at me like they have seen a ghost or something.
I love my motorcycle and I know she will never betray me. ;)