Friday, 5 August 2016

Come, ride with me!!

Some would call it luck. Some call it being born on a silver platter with a golden spoon shoved up my arse!!

I call it being an opportunist. In my books, luck only presents itself. Gives you a chance. A chance to do and achieve something, someone maybe hasn’t. Luck doesn’t guarantee a sure shot outcome. It doesn’t instantaneously give you rewards. You can’t reap what you don’t sow!!!


So this year, I'd like for you to come along with Kipepeo and me. Explore North East India, explore your inner adventure junkie. Push your limits as a biker and feel a sense of accomplishment you might never have!!



Piran lives just around the block from me. Well his house is located there. He lives half his life in some magical areas of India. When he is here, it’s only to plan to be there again. ASAP!!!

Kipepeo was started by Piran in 2010. From humble beginnings the portfolio has expanded to Assamese food trails, hikes through Rhododendron filled forests, Nagamese tribal treks.
They are all very much a shade off the normal routine treks. His trips will open your world up to a far less explored and publicized part of India.


Before I set out to ride thru the NE and into Myanmar, I chewed Piran’s brains off. His advice was spot on. He said I was out to explore too much in too little time. And I was away for 45 days!!! He has spent an entire lifetime there and says he hasn’t gotten his fill.

So now with his immense knowledge of the NE, its tribes, its culture, its scenic beauty and the must visit places and the knowledge I have acquired of riding the higher Himalayas, we bring to you Kipepeo’s first Motorbike trip thru western Arunachal Pradesh.


Come, break the mundane. take a leap of faith. I assure you, you wont be disappointed.

Feel free to call me on +91-9833930575 for any thoughts you may have.


                                   THIS AWAITS YOU!!






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Saturday, 16 July 2016

I haven’t written in awhile. That’s possibly because I haven’t ridden in awhile. I mean, I’ve ridden. Just not ridden, ridden. Last I rode somewhat long was for the Wrangler True Wanderer ride.  A 1300 km run on a 110cc automatic, 4 stroke!!!


I’ve grown to love this. The 2stroketraveller vouches for a 4 stroke automatic. Yes the days of maturity are upon me. I enjoy comforts, push button starts, electronic ignition and sturdy brakes. I enjoy not having to dirty my hands or worrying if the engine is becoming too hot, or whether the oil I’m about to use will seize my engine.


I was rather looking forward to a free 800cc twin exhaust bike. But I guess I wasn’t True Wanderer material enough to win it. So I’m back to all those deliberating thoughts I always had. My angst with all the motorcycle companies that won’t release a bike I like or would buy. My sorry excuses for not wanting to spend money on what’s already available in the market cause it’s not good enough for me.

Now I see my hypocrisy playing itself out in my head. I always say #RIDETOINSPIRE , I always say ride what you got, go where you want to, its more about your grit and determination that the actual machine. So then anything is good enough and I shouldn’t be looking to upgrade or I should just upgrade to what’s available in my budget. Maybe this only makes sense to me in my head!! 


Frankly speaking, 1 disc brake is better than none. Electronic ignitions are better than having to change 5 sets of burnt out contact breakers every 10,000 km. Getting 35+ km/ltr, without the use of 50ml 2T oil per litre is surely beneficial to the environment and my wallet.
But then I think, I already have a bike that did so much, why not continue as is. Why not keep the equation same? Why look for greener pastures, when yours is already reaping more fruit than the neighbor’s?


So what’s my point? Why am I rambling? I want to continue riding the Yezdi, but I also want a new, modern, safer, more economical machine.

I feel the need to go longer each time. The need to push myself and bike further than the last. Neither of us is getting any younger.  But we’re just as foolish as we were before.

This rambling is not over. The deliberations are not over. Madam Vadm’s time on the never ending highways is also not over. 



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Thursday, 7 April 2016

FRODO

Mmmyyy prreciousss.
The world’s moving quicker than we are realising. Wake up and stop editing !!!!

In 2011 when I first rode into the majestic Himalayas I was awestruck at what I saw. I couldn’t believe what was lying a mere 2200km from Mumbai. It flipped my world on its head. It left me clueless and speechless. How can I explain what I’d seen and experienced? I’m being cocky now by saying I was an amateur photographer!!!!


In 2012, Bhutan blew my socks off. Now I was seriously feeling sorry for everyone. Everyone stuck in Mumbai with their “responsibilities” and excuses. I had to awaken them to the fact that there was a more natural beauty than the hills of Lonavala. I never ended up sifting through the 25 odd GB I had gathered. It just seemed like too much work!!!


2013 and 2014 were no different, I came back having explored half our country and the Australian Outback but I just could not explain the sheer wonderfulness that lay out there.


All my trips ended with a Facebook album with 75 pictures and some shoddy attempt at explaining the picture. I would spend hours with friends drinking beer and blabbering constantly. I found myself struggling to draw their attention. I had become one of those people, who spoke endlessly about his trip. But in all fairness, I was just trying to render them to a new world through my eyes.
On all my trips I carried some form of recording apparatus. Point and shoot cameras, 18x zoom lenses, DSLR with Hd video recording and the infamous GoPro!!!!
Memory cards filling up and fuel tanks were emptying. Back home, Windows Movie Maker, my stunted knowledge, 100 GB of recordings and my nonexistent patience level to keep starring at a laptop screen ensured that id fail in doing anything constructive.



2015, I needed a whole dam production house backing me to churn out the Mumbai Myanmar Mumbai video!!!! I kept daily logs and gathered over 150 GB of video, stills, time lapse footage. If it were left up to me to edit, I would have broken the memory cards out of frustration by now!!!! But next time I wont be needing no people backing me or helping me out. Ill be camera man and the FRODO an entire fucking production house on my wrist!!!

NexGear has the solution. A camera + your own personal editor. The FRODO.
Much like the Hobbit, it’s small, understated and you will need to take it to the edge of the world so it can create you your very own action video.


The FRODO has been developed by guys from IIT Bombay. Guys that started India’s first drone company. Their high performance man-portable UAVs have been widely used for homeland security, border security, anti-terrorist operations, and disaster management in India.


Their pedigree is enough for me to know that this is going to be a market first. It’s begun a new line of wearable action cameras. It’s certainly something the fast paced, instant gratification world we have entered into needs. It’s going to break the monotony of the cheap and highly accessible action camera market.


The FRODO is releasing!!!! Are you looking at Baggins one soon?  (excuse the bad puns)

As my reader and follower you get perks and the 2stroketraveller benefit!!!CLICK HERE!!!! for a super value discount.


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Friday, 25 March 2016

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

India Bike Week

I lost my phone this weekend, but gained so much more.
The whole India Bike Week experience has been great. Shared stage time with Deepak Kamath and spoke of 2 strokes as touring machines. Basically we just sang praises of the Yezdi. but you can't blame us, its one heck of a machine!!!!!!
Met such accomplished, yet humble fellows and had more than my share of "fans" come up to me, congratulate me, encourage me and some went as far as to thank me for inspiring them.

And, that's the whole point of 2stroketraveller, Ride To Inspire.
Also, there was beer, lots and lots of King's beer, calamari, fish platters and bibinca!!!!
Go out and chase your dreams, you're not getting any younger than when you began dreaming of it.

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

My dirty Dirtsack Frogman report

Mandy and JD to me. The owners, founders, financiers, risk takers behind DIRTSACK to you.



Yes, I’m close, very close to these two. 

The first time I ever rode with the Yezdi club, I tailed Jd all the way till Malshej. At Malshej I heard of Mandy, and him just casually mentioning Khardung La. I sprang out of my seat and got one as close to him as I could find. Before that day, I hadn’t met ANYONE who had ridden Khardung La. Let alone on a freaking Yezdi.


There I stood in the presence of two of one of my most looked up-to riders and human beings. I still look up to them, even though I may possibly have more Km’s under my belt than they do. Ill never feel their level, and I, in my eyes, never will be.


Malshej happened in 2009 and Khardung La, in 2011. My first set of saddles were DIRTSACK’S. JD sold them to me at cost price, right out of the boot of his Scorpio. My parents bought them for me as a gift for completing for Master in Organic Chemistry. (Don’t ask, just don’t ask, everyone needs to graduate!!!!!!)


Those bags went from Ambala to Leh to Mumbai, Mumbai-Bhutan-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai-Kanyakumari-Mumbai and again Mumbai-Leh-Mumbai. They were done and dusted, ripped and stitched, overloaded almost all the time, used and abused. They gave me more memories than I could fit into their 28 ltr frames and for that I still store them in the loft above my loo.


After all this, my first logical choice became DIRTSACK. I own an Ortlieb, from Germany and its waterproofing has always been a boon over the standard tail bags I’ve used. Heck, it was so enormous, my tail bag used to fit inside it along with another full packed haversack.
Before I made a choice of anything I spoke to Mandy regarding the rain covers of the existing saddle bags.


 I told him why this was a major cause of concern for me as it had failed me on earlier rides. That’s when I, was taught the difference between waterPROOF and waterRESISTANT.
The DIRTSACK FROGMAN is waterPROOF!!!!!!!!!



It has amazed me, protected me and now set my standards of biking luggage at a high that is going to be hard to beat. I wasn’t fussy about stuff earlier but it’s going to be hard to go back to something that isn’t as effective with its waterproofing. When I embarked on my ride it poured relentlessly all the way into Khajuraho.

The rain basically followed me for 2 full days. I was beaming with pride, what a smart choice I had made. About 10 days into the ride is when I truly began appreciating the bags full potential. THE HARNESS!!!! It’s so straightforward and easy. The straps stay on the bike permanently and they latch into cross linking buckle loops. Strap the 4 loops tightly diagonally and you’re packed for the morning. The simplicity is just so convenient.


Though, at first glance, I agree, it looks as complex as nuclear science 
Don't be put off by what you see in a shop/showroom. As my granny always said, "Never judge a book by its cover!!!"

My bungees just stayed as dead weight. I didn’t have the heart to throw them out, but somewhere at the back of my mind I knew these bags are stitched together and when loaded rips occur. Thank fully I never had to use the bungees for added packing power.

These are, in my view the most versatile saddle + tail bag combo available in the Indian market. Most would tie down just as tight, and most would have the store capacity you’d want, but none will be 100% waterproof.

When I endorse the FROGMAN like this, my wife, Delzeen says it reminds her of the Nirma Soap ad, “washing powder Nirma, doodh ki safedi, Nirma say ayi”, I still mean what I write, and the bags are very effective and efficient!

Nothing yet comes close to holding your life together on the road for 45 days at a stretch for under 10,000 bucks.


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Monday, 14 December 2015

Mumbai to Myanmar:Day 15

I cant believe its already been a fortnight. I cant also believe I have also had to change 2 tires and brake set already!!!

Time sure does fly when your having fun. Vadm is handling and moving really well. I have no complaints thus far!


Set out from Mumbai on 18th Sept 2015 and stopped over at the marvellous sex temples of Khajuraho

Had to skip the sound and light show as a freak thunderstorm played havoc around town, The afternoon temp was at 40 Celsius and it seems it hasnt rained in 6 months. Talk about bad timing and tough luck!

Moved onward to the world's oldest continually occupied city, Banaras / Varanasi. It located along the banks of the holy Ganges.

Went out for a walking tour followed by beer! Awoke at 4 30 am to catch the 5 am Ganga aarti. then packed and sped off to Bagdogra to collect Delzeen




Sikkim has been stunning. I"ll definitely be back here for more. Sadly the plan of going to the furthest North Western reaches of Sikkim didn't pan out. The mighty Kanchendzonga took my breath away.


Rinchenpong is a picture perfect town. Slow and sleepy. perfect for a rest day. Darjeeling has grown into an economic hub. It caters to tourist's with the general fervour that progress brings to any location. It grow on you and you need to dwell into the old Colonial charm to really get an essence of where Darjeeling began. The tea cafe, the retro urban pubs, a very heavy mark left by the British raj on the infrastructure and the highly fashionable youth are a great mix.



















The UNESCO heritage toy train took my breath away. a 100 yr old steam engine, fueled by coal and water. It's an old, oil spewing, smoky, loud beats of an engine. Much like my beloved Vadm!!!


video

Delzeen caught her flight out and I'm preparing for the long ride upto Tawang. Hope Vadm has no more surprises for me!!
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