Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bike Tour - Chandigarh to Sarahan (Day 1)

After long wait of more than a month, finally the D Day had arrived on 4th Jul 2012. Both RE Classic 500 were serviced thoroughly on previous day and pampered properly as the ride ahead was difficult and adventours.

Out of excitement I had short sleep and got up at 04:00 AM at Chandigarh. We manage to hit the road by 05:00 AM. The morning was quite hot even at 5 AM, but in the hope of great weather ahead I ignored the wind blowing on my face.

Once we hit the new bypass for Shimla near Pinjore, the weather changed dramatically. The cold wind blowing on face felt like heavenly touch and beautiful uphill terrains encouraged me to pull the throttle hard.


The clouds were coming down fast and we were heading into a mystical world behind clouds. Soon the visibility reduced drastically which ofcourse did hit our pace to large extent.

Once we reached Solan, the mysterious clouds welcomed us with drizzling and added interesting aspect to our first day riding. We were not able to see anything beyond 100 meters and clouds have made a thick white cage around us. Above this, there were no vehicles moving early in the morning.


I had started feeling hungry once we crossed Solan but there were no dhabas open at 07 AM so we kept riding.

The clouds were continuously wandering on mountains, often taking road beneath it and sometime suddenly making a view fully clear. With this play of hide and seek with clouds, the increasing traffic from the other side made us realized that we had reached Shimla.


The beautiful city of Shimla was completely drained under rain. The heavenly feeling of this beautiful city teased me to give a thought to stay for a day here in such a beautiful weather. But our mega tour had to be accomplished by sticking to the plan, so we did that.

Once we crossed Shimla, we realised that its only three hours since we started our ride and we were at Kufri. Now this was the high time for breakfast, so we stopped at small dhaba for break.


After Kufri, the entire ride was downhill untill Rampur. With roads in excellent conditions and weather becoming warmer, we manage to cruise faster. The another benefit of clear weather was awesome view of valley, which we enjoyed the most.

On our way we met lot of cyclist downhill in colorful apparels. I did get carried away with the idea of cycling but my cycling was way away from me.

By the time we reached Rampur, the day had grown, the sky was clear. The town was extremely crowded. This was the last place where we had to fill our petrol tanks as we were told that there was no petrol pump before Sarahan. So we filled our tanks here and rode ahead.

As we crossed Rampur, we got to see rainy weather far on mountains, in the direction where we were heading.

Jeori was the next station on highway from where we had to turn right to reach Sarahan. This was the another stop where Petrol pump was available after Rampur. Road condition was not so excellent but keeping in mind what we will encounter in later part of our trip, these roads were good.

The uphill ride of approximately 20 KM from Jeori to Sarahan was the highlight of the day. In the middle of dense forest of pine trees the curves of roads felt excellent to ride. As we started on this stretch, the clouds again caught us from all sides. Freshly showered roads and valley was the proof of recent rain.

Once we reached Sarahan, we enquired the room availability at Shrikhand Hotel maintained by Himachal Tourism but there was no availability. Finally we landed at some small hotel where we spent rest of the day.

Bike Tour - Kinnaur, Spiti, Lahaul, Ladakh & Kashmir


This time I had planned a longer and wider bike tour covering some of the spectacular valleys of Himachal and J&K for any biker and photographer.

We started with plan of six riders and by the time we were to hit the road, we left with 2 riders i.e Anand and me. The entire blame goes to office schedules.

Nevertheless we were in really very high spirit to ride hard and ride longer.  I was eager to ride to Kinnaur and Spiti valley of the Himachal. So we covered all these places before heading towards Ladakh. The day wise tour was:- 
  • Day 1:- Chandigarh to Sarahan via Shimla
  • Day 2:- Sarahan to Kalpa (covering Sangla Valley and Chitkul Village)
  • Day 3:- Kalpa to Kaza
  • Day 4:- Kaza to Keylong (covering holy Chandertaal enroute)
  • Day 5:- Keylong to Leh (the original plan was to stay at Pang but we got the benefit of early birds and landed at Leh same day)
  • Day 6:- Leh to Khardung La, World’s highest motorable pass
  • Day 7:- Leh to Tso-Mori ri Lake
  • Day 8:- Tso-Mori ri Lake to Leh
  • Day 9:- Leh to Pangong Tso Lake
  • Day 10:- Pangong Tso Lake to Leh
  • Day 11:- Leh to Kargil
  • Day 12:- Kargil to Gulmarg
  • Day 13:- A day at Gulmarg
  • Day 14:- Gulmarg to Jammu
  • Day 15:- Jammu to Nangal Dam
 We rode 3,500 KM in 15 days trip and this was truly mesmerizing.

Since we were aware of our mega plans, we serviced our bikes at Chandigarh a day in advance and carried some of basic spare parts with us, which are:-

  1. Tyre Tubes
  2. Clutch Cable
  3. Accelerator Cable
  4. Spark Plugs
  5. Chain Locks
  6. Electrical Fuse
  7. Tool Kit
  8. Engine Oil
  9. Two containers of 5 ltr each for Petrol



On Safety gears, below list accompanied me:- 
  1. DSG Biking Jacket
  2. RST  Gloves
  3. Knee cum Shin Guard
  4. Helmet
 Taking learning from my previous experiences of Bike Tour, This time I had Saddle Bags from Cramster which made my entire trip extremely comfortable.

And I forgot to mention about the the most important fellow of my mega tour, The Diva, The Lady of my passion, ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500. A true companion of my solace and life.


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