The cool wind in my face, the crispness of the fresh air in my lungs, high up in the mountains, the sound of river gushing down deep below in the valley, all alone with nobody around me I am in biking bliss. It’s been several years since I had done a real long trip on my bike. The previous long trip to Manali and Keylong from Delhi was six years back. Although I had done several highway rides like Jaipur- Delhi (Several Times), Delhi-Nainital-Delhi, Delhi-Jaipur-Agra-Delhi, Delhi-Ambala-Delhi and several nearby places. I belong to Delhi and presently working in Jaipur. It had to be something big. So I planned for Jaipur – Gangotri – Jaipur on my six year old Pulsar 150 classic. The bike although old is still in good condition and has never let me down. So, time to test the endurance of man and machine.
Gangotri is approx 800 kms from my place in Jaipur that includes approx 275 kms of hill ride, so no matter how good a driver you consider yourself,it is really very difficult to undertake this journey in 1 days time. It had rained heavily in the past week and there were lot of landslides reported from Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Also the Yamuna river was flowing near the danger mark in Delhi. I checked some satellite images for weather and saw the weather forecast for next 5 days for Gangotri which predicted partly cloudy sky with mild showers. I prayed to god that the weather would be good and it was time to go.
I had taken 3 days leave with 2 days weekend off that made it 5 days in all. The plan for the trip was as below.
Day 1 – Jaipur to Uttarkashi
Day 2 – Uttarkashi to Gangotri to Bhojbasa
Day 3 – Bhojbasa to Tapoban to Bhojbasa
Day 4 – Bhojbasa to Gangotri to Uttarkashi
Day 5 – Uttarkashi to Delhi
Day 6 – Delhi to Jaipur Early morning and join office in the morning.
Day 1: 24 Sep 08
The plan was to start at 4:00 in the morning so that I could cover as much distance as possible during daytime. By the time I started the time was 5:30 in the morning so I was running 1:30 hrs behind schedule. Morning light broke within half an hour of my start. I live on the other side of Jaipur towards Ajmer so it was 6:00 in the morning by the time I caught the highway. I knew that I had to maintain a consistent and fast pace and for long durations to cover such a long distance. I rode non stop towards Delhi. It was fast going till Manesar where there was a huge traffic jam. From there onwards it was smooth going till I left the expressway and took the outer ring road in Delhi. It was all chaotic jam as it was the rush hour traffic. By the time I crossed Delhi I was really running behind schedule.
I took my first break for brunch a few kilometers before Meerut bypass. I had ridden continuously without a single break for more than six hours now. I had a heavy lunch as I could not afford any further breaks as Uttarkashi was a still long way off.
I was back on the road at 12:15 PM and within 15 mins caught the Meerut bypass. This part of road from Meerut bypass to Muzaffarnagar bypass is being widened from two lane to four lane. The road condition was in a really bad shape. Potholes, craters, loose gravel and notoriously driven vehicles all around. Bus drives would always overtake as if they cannot see two wheelers at all. You have to be given a bravery award if can stand in the path of these oncoming buses on a two wheeler. Ulta Pradesh (U.P.) is a horror story comes true for any safe and sane two wheeler rider. I had to be really careful at the same time I had to ride fast and ride fast I did as I overtook each and everything on the rode on this dilapidated section of the road.