Jan 03, 2011 and I was all set to ride brand New Royal Enfield Classic 500 on Chandigargh Delhi National Highway, one of my favorite and most traveled National Highway.
The main challenges were to keep a watch on Speed of new bike, turn off engine after every 50 KM and most importantly to ride in extreme cold like hell.
The day started at 8:30 AM to reach RTO Office at Chandigarh for registration of new bike. Inefficient processes, formalities and staff took almost 3 hours for the process.
The day at 11:30 AM was like an early morning dark, sun hidden behind clouds & fog looked like faded moon. Cold wind added more fun and spice to my long ride before I started it.
With all my gears on, I rode from Chandigarh towards New Delhi, soon I realized that even if I had an option to ride at a speed of 110 kmph, the mercury of around 2 to 3 degree Celsius would have forced me to ride at significantly lesser speed.
The worst affected were my legs and face. For face I still had an option of wearing a stole which I had purchased day before but I had no protection for legs other than jeans which I was wearing. So I kept on riding and riding till I covered the distance of 50 KM for first stop over.
The first stop over was at Ambala where I parked at a Road Side Dhaba. I had breakfast and Hot Tea there. Met a Nepali teenager boy working there. His smiling and kiddish behavior left a mark on me.
People were starring at my first my bike and then me with a strange smile. Perhaps it was due to the reason that I was riding Royal Enfield at 70 kmph. This speed at NH 1 felt like riding a cycle. The worst cases were those typical lazy people sitting in Temperature Controlled Cars with their favorite music on. I did not like them at all, because one side I was completely exposed to cold winds and on the other side these lazy people were looking at me with strange smiling faces.
I stopped at many dhabas and tasted tea of almost all main towns on highway be it Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat or Sonepat.
My brand new bike tried balancing the extreme cold weather with its power and thrill. There was a time when I just ignored the cold and concentrated on new bike, but it was really hard to enjoy it fully because all the constraints I had.
I crossed Panipat and my jeans was wet because of the moisture in Air and Fog. But entrance at Delhi made small difference in temperature (may be because of pollution) and a big difference in speed because of heavy traffic in evening. Here I realized the difference between riding Royal Enfield on Highway and inside crowded city. It was too easy to ride this bike on highway whereas in city it feels bit heavier.
By the time I ended my journey at Gurgaon, my wrist watch showed me the time as 7:00 PM. I took almsot 6:30 hours to cover the ride of 300 KM which in normal scenario I have covered in 3 hours. But I was happy that I could bring new bike to Delhi in such a cold weather.
After effects of this ride were that my feet took more than two hours to get back to normal temperature that too after dipping them in hot water for long time and entire body felt the vibration of new baby Royal Enfield Classic 500.