There ain’t no journey what don’t change you some – Cloud Atlas.
Let me lay it down nice and straight. I’m an addict for the concoction of motorcycle and open highways. There is no denying it. It’s been so for quite some time now.
What started as fun and adventure did take a rather serious turn. In a matter of few years, the esprit-de-motorcycle evolved from being a passion to an insatiable craving for something bigger – an instrument of freedom, a sense of individuality and a elixir for solitude.
It is said, “If you want to be happy, ride a motorcycle”. I was craving for the sort of bliss that stays with you for 8 hours a day uninterrupted for 14 days in a row.
In September 2013, I did the Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) solo motorcycle road trip. A long cherished dream and a favorite item from the bucket list.
This ride has all the right motivating factors.
- Distance: A journey across the length of India is not meager by any yard stick. The endeavor is risky and rewarding to the equal extents
- Motorcycle: Blackbird (Well, every biker has a name for his bike) has been the great love of my life.
- Solo: Long distance solo rides gradually develop a certain degree of courage and individuality. Helps you make peace with some of those unsettled thoughts, lends valuable perspective on life & quality living. YOU are the one person YOU ought to know well in life.
So, as I kick started the bike, I hoped that the journey would be two-fold; of self exploration and at the same time firsthand experience of the Incredible India. And of course, I had to find the answer to the million dollar question. “What will break first. My back, My bike or My spirit?”.
The awe and bliss of this ride unlike anything else I’ve been through till now. I must tell you that some experiences are so majestic that they can neither be articulated nor imagined. One can only live them through. #K2K #Solo #RoyalEnfield is definitely one of those things.
So, I’ll just elaborate on some of the merits & nuances of K2K solo ride; hoping to inspire some of you.
My Ride Statistics – Kashmir to Kanyakumari (K2K) & then to Bangalore
- Total Distance : 5,043 kilometers
- No. of days : 14 days
- No. of riding days : 12 days
- No. of states: 9 (JK, PB, DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, KAR, TN)
- Bike : Royal Enfield Thunderbird (TBTS)
- Road & journey: Refer to this post
The ride from Himalayas to the Indian Ocean is challenging, inspiring and scary; all at the same time. It’s an in-person exploration of the rich pluralism of our country and the delicate fabric that binds it together. I can’t tell you what is more charming; experiencing the vibrant & endearing diversity or exploring the delicate similarities every day of the ride. Truth be told, these delicate similarities are what makes up India. Without them, we would be just be 20 odd countries speaking a different tongue and following different traditions. Think it over.
On the K2K ride, you see a lot of things change on a daily basis. In each state/region, you’ll find a different terrain and weather. The local cops wear a different uniform. The women dress differently (men don’t have much of an option anywhere). The name plates and signboards are in a different language. The local rickshaw/tuk-tuk looks different each day. Something as simple and ubiquitous as tea/chai tastes differently all along. It is quite amusing that your mobile phone service provider will welcome you to a new telecom circle every day.
If the slideshow isn’t rendering correctly, try this link.
I’ve organized the rest of my experience and learning in these three posts:
Do explore them and let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
“Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.”
– Andrew Zimmern