India, Thursday 20th to Saturday 22th
Agra – Ronthambore – Bundi – Udaipur, India.
By Will, 22/10/16.
“You need 3 things when riding India, a Horn, Good Brakes & Luck”. Advice given to Will, Jenny and Garry by a Delhi Taxi Driver.
Thursday 20th October, Agra to Ranthambore 310kms; first day on the road riding Royal Enfield Bullet bikes, blessing from a Hindu priest before departure, then a huge day of about 10 hours riding time, on some serious dirt/stones back roads. Dawn to Dusk arrived at hotel about 1 hour after sundown. Animals & vehicles with no lights everywhere….omg !
Friday 21st Oct, Ronthambore to Bundi, 120km; Went on a safari tour or the National Park to see tigers, but only saw boars, various deer, monkeys & birds. Rough patched up bitumen road riding & small villages.
Saturday 22nd Oct, Bundi to Udaipur, 280kms. Mostly highway, high speed riding with an interesting trip to our Hotel through a city of 2 million people. Udaipur is known as the “Venice of India”.
The Teams, it’s a bit like the amazing race, Nevermind Adventures style.
Indian team Naim, Varesh, Saheed the bus driver & Fixer, two (quiet) mechanics who’s names we aren’t familiar with yet & some young bloke they all call “Baby”, not sure what his job is?
Of course there is Damien, the Nevermind tour leader . This is his eighth Indian Tour, his former career was in Health dealing with Communicable Disease. In the past he also worked the door at the Roebuck Bay Hotel in Broome as Security, so we would have all crossed pathes back in 1990. Back home he rides an old Kwaka 1000 sports bike of 2006 vintage.
Blake, Jarod, Robin & Dave.
Consisting of 4 young men in their late 20’s who all met each other at FMG’s Solomon Iron Ore Mine in the Pilbara. They all still work FIFO but on different sites now. All ride dirt bikes but a couple of them have only very recently obtained road bike licences.
Team (ex) Kiwi’s;
Sean, mid to late 40’s.
Craig, nudging the big 40.
Both in the support/contractor sector of the Mining industry. FIFO workers. Their own bikes are Harley Davidson’s, they have ridden around the USA together.
Team (ex) Italia;
Married couple in their mid 50’s, both very well traveled. I know Steve likes his BMW’s, but currently gets around on a small Ducati Monster. On this trip Franca is riding pillion with Steve.
The Orphans or Team the 2 Gary’s;
Gary, about 60, rides a Harley back home, ex-Miner, now semi retired gardener.
Gaz, in his low 30’s, recently rode the Himalayan’s, usually rides a Honda CB400, employed as a Belt Splicer at Roxby Downs SA.
Well yours truly the Brawn of team wiljen & the Brains of the outfit Jennifer. You already know about us…
Darren, Brother from a different Mother. Best mate friends for about 34 years. Works in the mining game as a Trades Assistant & it’s his fault we are here on this mad cap adventure (just kidding). In his spare time Darren rides around on a big 1100cc “Yamaharley” Star.
What should I tell you all ??? India is very confronting, you probably shouldn’t come here if you’re squeamish, though there are heaps of nice 5 star resorts if you feel the need to live large. During the Nevermind Tour we have been staying at a combination of 2.5 to 4.5 star hotels, mostly pretty good.
I’m going to avoid rabbiting on about the highs & lows of India to much, so far it’s been different, unusual & fun. Yes we have seen extreme poverty, like the small child playing in the sewage water of some small village. Also extreme generosity, such as the locals chasing down Craig with his bag containing his cash, cards, visa & passport that had fallen off the back of his bike.
Riding Royal Enfield 500cc Bullet motorbikes through India has turned out to be a little dangerous & challenging you need to have your wits about you & be on your toes. It is a great adrenaline rush for a bored part time traveller like me.
Just a few photo grabs off our GoPro of the ride.
But is it the locals you should watch out for ? Unfortunately due to a vast array of circumstances today Jenny was smashed into & knocked off her Royal Enfield after being rear ended by Jarod, one of the “4 Direction” team riders. Personally I think the other rider was not paying enough attention, had been distracted by Steve & I deciding to abort the turn off due to our high speed (90km/h) & not knowing if it was safe.
Damien & his team go into action administrating First Aid. No major injuries but it was a close call.
He was also riding too close & too fast. Being part of the second pack of riders Steve & myself saw Varesh waving his hands vigorously, we opted to overshoot the turn off & double back. Jenny had enough time to pull across and use her gears to downshift to easily come to a complete stop. Then BANG, Jarod made heavy contact with the left side of Jenny’s bike, he was catapulted over Jen & her bike & landed on the concrete road, sliding a few metres. Jen & her bike were both knocked to the ground.
I get the feeling that Jarod thinks the accident is Jenny’s fault, (ie she cut across him?). But I disagree & not because she is my wife. We are riding India, what would have happened if it had been a random cow, child or local on a small 150cc bike ?
Jenny’s bike on the left & Jarod’s on the right, some superficial damage to both bikes. Glad we took out the extra $20 per day bike insurance.
Happily both Jenny & the other rider were relatively unhurt, thanks to a bit of luck & safety gear, though both bikes were a little worse for wear.
Just before I sign off on this edition of our blog, I just want to let you all know we have really enjoyed our first week of what we have experienced in India so far, with the exception of me feeling a little sick & Jenny’s knock down. The temperature on most days has hovered around 35C max. Luckily the showers have been cold & the beers warm. We’ll update soon friends & family….