Because I Can

This is a narcisstic chronicle of me, my life and the times we live in. My perspective, my takes on things. Entirely self centered, often philosophical, sometimes whiny, sometimes cocky, but true. Why, you ask? Because I Can.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Index

Welcome to the brand new homepage of my blog. Soon, there'll be a comprehensive about-me for those who don't know me. yet.

For clarity and organization, the blog posts have been categorized into some broad categories. You could click below to read posts of a particular category:
  • Travelogues: Beneath the MBA, the B.Tech, beneath it all, is a man of the road. I love travelling, esp on two wheels with the wind in my face. This section has stories on trips i've done in the past, of days and long nights spent romancing the road.
  • Ruminations: Part of the reason of setting up a blog, is to make my opinions public, to stimulate debate, to learn. This is where I wonder why the world isnt perfect or why we can all be so silly at times. Life, from my eyes.
And of course, the latest post is the weekend triplog Kedareshwar- Sun, Sand, Shivling!!:This ride is dedicated to Doc Arn and Arun Kumar - Arn for suggesting the explore-rustic-towns-near-home concept and Arun Kumar for being the tireless Tourer he is - and like him, I am riding every weekend!! Kedaresh FYI is a small temple by the river Bhadrak - no tourists, nothing. Peace and rustic nature, all yours within 60km of Ahmedabad :)

Kedareshwar- Sun, Sand, Shivling!!

Well, for starters, as I've recently moved to amdavad, social life besides campus friends and biker friends is pretty much dud. And Sunday in Gujju land is exclusively for family so this leaves our good ole man free to do what he does best - R I D E! :D

Got done with the daily chores and then went off to Mirzapur, to get my bike the shiny new mudgard! Without a mudgard, the bike just makes a mess of the headlight and twas about time, i put the motocross one - found out that in Ahmedabad, only black was available. WTF. So anyways, black was what it would be! Would be a pain waiting to go to delhi, to get a red color, and spend twice as much time/petrol looking/getting it!

Onward, this weekend, given the paucity of time, had settled on Utkanteshwar and kedareshwar. Plan was simple, ride out in afternoon, go to the temples, click pics especially of sunset, and generally chill out. A colleague suggested them, and boy - was he right.

In terms of distance, this was more like a warmup. Ahmedabad-Dehgam-Utkanteshwar was just 50 odd kms. Kedareshwar another 10 odd.

Utkanteshwar is a very nice place, although in summers, i'm sure it would loook totally fabulous. Mandir was nice, turned out to be one of the 12 jyotirlingams. Now, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyotirlinga says otherwise, but I'd rather trust the inscriptions inside that old mandir! The place was nice, serene, but an ideal setup for tourists, complete with Camels and sandy beach side shacks. The place was nice, but not enough water/desolation for the kinda sunset pics i wanted to click. Something inside me just wanted to call it off and go home - and save some petrol too.

Amazing Water

That dog just bounded into water and kept going!! :)

the Utkanteshwar Temple - the shivling and the sanctum was very interesting - rock formation that looked like a shivling inside a hollow skull!! :)

Camels misbehaving: Tantrums among themselves :D

As always, a birdie pic :D


However, some good sense prevailed. Time was on my side - with the watch saying 5pm, I said WTH and rode on. Kedareshwar is a exit from Utkanteshwar itself. Right from the exit, the roads improved - read became good enough only for a small car, winding, yet surfaced, with fields on both sides and zero trucks :D After some 5km, you take a left off the track, and roads get even better. Thinner and sand on the roads. Bad for those who scrape pegs, good for those who love offroading :) another 5 min and I reached Kedareshwar. Its basically a nondescript temple on the side of the River bhadrak. The fun part is that the river has sandy expanses waiting for you to offroad. The stream is fresh non-stagnant water, yet very shallow - jus above knee heights. Can be crossed at places. Absolutely amazing fun as I love to offroad and I have a thing for water crossings :)



Road to Kedareshwar!

Kedareshwar temple. Two years back apparently, river submerged the place till the top.

Water was crossable - waist level. But the bike wasnt balancing. So much for all the ADV Riders who shoot bikes in every poss way - i had a tough time just pulling it outta that slippery water :D Finally placed it with one tyre on firm land, so that my ride doesnt float out :)

Then I got the locals to click me!

Then the bike posed too :D

and a standard egret pic, like always :P

River crossing, shall we? :D

Look ma, i'm IN water!!

Rock climbing, anyone?

Everyone loves the free-rider, everyone!!

While returning, I tried doing some rock climbing but the 150kg bike had its own ideas :D So well, just had one good shot at it. I just love being able to play around, explore a new area In retrospect, need to do this more often. Some weekend gotto ride to Abu offroad and have some rock climbing madness :)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Lè Incorrigiblè Rider climbs Idar, and explores Polo forest!

This weekend was to be the weekend I shifted into my own place. As luck would have it, the renovation work took longer, and I found myself doing nothing.

A colleague gave me the idea for a sunrise ride to a nearby temple on the banks of a river,with another temple just 10km offroad away. Sounded delicious, but Sat night, my junior, Anush calls up and says that he and Rameshan are riding to Idar. Now these buggers are great company and skilled riders so I instantly agreed to a 6am ride for Idar.

As expected, at 11pm, a message rescheduling for 7am was in my phone :D Anyways, I was up by 4, watched some A1, then polished the bike, got ready and called Anush at 0630, only to find him asleep :D Then at 7am it turns out the others *might* start by 0930. So we promptly decided to meet up asap. A mini chai/snack and fueling later, we hit the road.
Now the RX is ONE helluva machine. A bike that was running without any oils - petrol/2T/engine oil and barely moving, just an oil change later was leaving the P180 in dust and 2T fumes :D Never mind that the clutch was too tight and had to be pushed back!


8:25
We leave from the IOC outlet and start ripping. Now Amdavad traffic has a certain nagging characteristic. One cannot go more than 150-200m without an intersection, and there's an irrtatingly large number of Lunas/Scootys/Yo bykes which have a tendency to just *appear* and crawl on the road. Of course, they assume that traffic will part and give way to these majestic machines instead of hitting them. Yield of way is a completely alien concept here. On that note, Delhi scores much higher, though still not as high as Mumbai mostly does!

Anyways, soon we reach the Airport road and just rip like mad. We're flying at 90-100 consistently and occasionally crouching to heckle some cars but generally having a ball. Then, we touch the NH8 again and keep going like mad. This stretch (post Chiloda chokdi) is four lane divided bliss and we're playing with cars at will, while having a good time. Enroute, we stop for some pics, but reach Himmatnagar by 9:45 (some 90km by then). Stop for chai, talk to family, click some birdies and then rip again.




We reach Idar by 11, park our bikes, and then look for some breakfast :D We call up Ram, only to find they still haven't left. Now we realize they'd take time, so we decide to do Polo forest first, on our own. Ask some locals for directions and off we go.

The best part about riding in Gujarat is that the interior roads are almost always very nice, and zero truck traffic. There are less suicidal luna-tics too :)
Polo is some 40km ahead of Idar, buton reaching there we both realize that we're short on fuel. Anush's smoky RX had barely 15-20km range. And form Idar, we hadn't seen a decent bunk. Heh, so we ride onwards through the forest to Vijay Nagar.


This place is like the Western Ghats, only smaller hills and drier. The road is empty and the scenery is amazing. With a small stream of water by the side of the road, its always a pleasant feeling. We did manage a good speed to the bunk in Vijay nagar. On the reverse, we stopped at Vanaj Dam, which has a very nice lake. clicked some shots and took a video of the RX ripping on that road. Ride back on through the forest.





Stop at a point near the stream where the opposite bank has interesting rock formations. Now I managed to get the bike to the sand bank, despite a charging bull that took a fancy to my Pulsar. Several naish pics later, I realize that the bike is well and truly stuck, while Anush seemed to have disappeared ahead. Took me easily some 10 minutes, starting the bike, and turning a bit,then pulling it back to get it in the right direction!




Polo was a nice forest, the kind you'd wanna hike in Septmber and it'd be lush green with water and greenery everywhere, almost like Jambughoda. But now it was fall season and mostly dry. But the road was good and the views splendid. Anyways, Idar beckoned and we ripped back to reach Idar. We stopped at a highway dhaba, ordered some grub and called up the others. Turns out one bike had a fuel leak, so they went back!!


Now, the plan was to climb up the hill asap, and we set off, trudging up the Idar hill. This place is an easy 30-35 minute climb and the views are splendid for miles. You can just rest and feel completely at peace with nature.








So were we, when our half an hour slumber was interrupted by fading light. We started back from Idar at 6:15, covered some 85km in 1.25 hours and then the final section of Naroda started. We ripped through the traffic. Its scary but also fun, to hear the roar of a p180 and an RX 135 cutting traffic like hot knives in butter. Reached back at 8:15pm.

Total distance would be some 360-370km easily!
Pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/free-rider

PS: Realized that at the end of a ride, i'm in like a zone, can just cut traffic at 80+ kph at will. Eerie, almost like a batsman whose set at the wicket smashes the best pacers for a six :) Anyone else ever felt that?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Solo Thor Ride!!

Gooood Morning Indiyeah!

With my baby being delivered to me (my bike that is:P), on Saturday, Sunday was the day for a ride, however small. With everyone scared by Uttarayan and wayward kites, I pushed off to Thor. Here's the pics. Nothing much on the ride, except that i think i was a pretty boring/slow rider on the caliber - today's P180 Me wouldnt ride with the me that I was :D