About 29th May 2022…
Off-roading was never really something that fascinated me, it never seemed from the looks of it to be so challenging for some reason and also looked messy, so was never inclined to it. However, being a part of a biker club where everyone spoke so highly about off-roading, I had to give it a go. Also, given the fact that I ride an adventure motorcycle, it just made sense to take it to the dirt.
This was going to be my first fully off-road focused ride that involved trails and a jungle like environment. Started off in a typical ride morning, wake up at 4am, gear up, go. The anxiety was lingering from the day before, two reasons, I’m more likely to fall, and second, Aisha is more likely to fall, obviously worried about the latter.
The initial stint was a relaxed road run until we reached the dreadful left turn into the madness. Saddling through the mud felt like a piece of cake, yes a few wobbles here and there but I was prepared for that.
Something I was not prepared for came to us in a few kilometres of mud, an upward slope of loose mud and rocks.
The first alarm rung in my head when the lead stopped the group and got off his bike. I just knew this was trouble. We did a quick recce of the trail to see what route we had to follow and know what to expect. The co-lead called the off-road amateurs ahead for a briefing on how to tackle the hurdle, and that was the second alarm. Sounds simple right, follow the left side of the trail, 1st gear, constant acceleration and don’t brake. Okay sir, duly noted.
The lead was the first one to do it if I’m not wrong, can’t tell cause of the nerves at that time, but yep, went up smooth like butter. The second guy though, not so smooth, his bike stopped just 5 meters in and almost fell, not a pretty sight, but somehow, he made it to the top with help of fellow riders. Then go a few more, a few stumble, a few fall, a few make it like it was no problem at all. The news of a bikers chain coming off midway was the third alarm and now my heart was racing like there is no tomorrow. But anyway, I’m next, a couple of lines to big guy up there and off we go. Major wobbles, barely manageable, and just when I’m getting the hang of it, my bike turns off. My heart sunk being mid way on an upward dirt slope, but I was surprised how quickly Aisha and me were able to dust it off and move forward from there.
Muddy trails followed and wobbles felt like home and then another halt. Here’s when there’s no further route in sight, it just looks like a dead-end altogether and it looked like we had to U-turn our way out. But the club is filled with adventure junkies, they were able to find a trail with space enough for a little more than half a bike covered both sides with trees and lots of green. However, this part was optional, if you didn’t want to do it, you’d could sit it out, but hey, Aisha and me were not chickening out here for sure. We throttled our way in and out like we had no other choice.
Completing this trial meant it’s time to ride back, we stopped for a quick bite and it was time to say bye to the club and the Bluebumbikers ride to begin. We had one missing (Shaun), so the three of us(Aquino, Joel & Me) went on further to search for a waterfall in the summer, it didn’t sound very stupid at the time. Starting off, riding on tarmac felt like sleeping on a soft cozy bed on a winter morning. Biker-saluted fellow bikers along the way, enjoying the roads, it was now time for an unknown right turn.
To our luck, horrible roads, had to saddle this one through as well and maps bailed on us as well. The trusty locals got us out of that mess and the delusion of the summer waterfall. After riding a while, we stopped at Kundalika valley for a bit. A place I’ve been to a few times in the past and a hidden treasure for sure. but not so great in the heat. We stayed in awe for a bit and moved on toward home.
We grabbed a bite at a trusty Vitthal Kamat along the way, and while chilling there for a bit we were approached by an individual who asked us if we owned the bikes parked out. That conversation took an unexpected turn when we learnt that he was the designer for the Yezdi Adventure. What are the chances eh? After geeking out for a bit, taking a few pictures with him, we finally let him go.
Mr. Pradeep Deulkar
Styling and Design
After that, a quick ride home, not too shabby, a little aches and pains which is fair enough. The next morning felt like I had a fight with Mike Tyson and anyone would think why would someone do that to themselves if it hurts that much, but the beauty of biking is that even after everything hurts, all I could think about was the next ride already.