Monthly Archives: October 2012

Red Bums – The Captains Log…

Veni, Vidi, Vici – I came, I saw, I conquered – said Julius Caesar, nah, say the Bisons!

The Bisons Ride Hard team came, saw and conquered..What, how, when??..Well read on..

At T – 5 months

Scene held at Jai Bhavani Tea stall.

Paaji: Boys, Anniversary is coming..We are going to do something unique..

Signals, Deelux: Yes Paaji..Itna toh banta hai..

Paaji: We are going to do a non – stop 24 hour ride..Day and night riding..Mumbai , Hubli, Pachgani.

Signals, Deelux: Waah ! What an idea sirji!! Let’s do it.

Paaji : The captain for this ride is..Deelux..

Signals: Hahahaha, Bakra !!

Deelux : Nahiiin!!

T -1 day

Email from Paaji says, we need to go to sleep early on the previous night of the ride. Reached home, early enough from work, thorough check up of the bike done, one round of polishing of the bike done.

Bath, food done.. Packing done.. And its only 9! Awesome, now for some sleep!

9 :10 pm : Good night messages to all Bisons has been sent, everyone is settling in to sleep.

11 pm:  Chalo bas yaar, last good night message ok! Really, please go to sleep!

12 am: Kamino ! So jaao..

Finally sleep!

T – 0 

Cruising along the open roads at New Bombay, I reach Panvel at 6:25 am thinking, reached early.. Now will have to wait for the others..

What the..! What’s that I see! Around 15 bikes already parked and chai’s doing the round.. Then its hits home..This is the ride that we called the mother of all rides..Every Bison is raring to go! My heart swells with pride and after a quick tank up and nashta, we are ready for the briefing.

Paaji, in his inimitable style… Boys ride safe.. Ride hard..Deelux leads..I shall tail..Everybody else in between.  Father says a prayer and we are OFF….

 

Date: October 26th, 2012, Time – 7:53 am

The Red Bums 1.0 is underway!

In the first half an hour, we realize that this is gonna be one helluva ride..We quickly settle into a rhythm and are cruising at 80 kmph.

My rear view mirror can see the entire chain of 26 bikes behind me, an awe inspiring view.  We hit traffic outside Pune, but still manage to stick to each other. Outside Dehu road, a couple of headlights move to the left of the road. We stop to investigate.

Shri Sohan roy’s rear brake is not functional, Signals and Manny volunteer to take him to Pune rectify the issue and catch up with us. There is a hint of trepidation in Signal’s voice. Because of this delay, he might not complete the Red Bums! But he is a Bison and Bisons never leave a brother behind, so off he goes.

The rest of us – Ride on.

First stop – Lunch at Kolhapur!

Time 2:00 pm

Distance: around 400 kms.

Quick fuel stop, first for the bikes and then for the riders. Father’s bike starts making noises… should be ok..

Food over , saddling up in flat 30 minutes, Father kick starts his bike and the noise is overpowering. His piston rings are shot. The first casualty of the ride..

Quickly we put the bike in the breakdown truck following us. Father plonks himself albeit sadly as a co-rider/pillion on Hawk Eyes bike.

Ride on.

Second Stop – Belgaum

Time: 5:30 pm

Distance: around 100 kms.

The riders from 99 Cannons have agreed to meet us at Belgaum and escort us to Hubli. We reach Belgaum and in 10 minutes Sanjiv Bhatia and team reach us to lead us to the midway point.

A quick chai and greetings..30 minutes later, we are ready to go..

Fafda screams out, “Arrey, my tanki is leaking re”.. We ignore, thinking this is one of his jokes.  But there is all permeating smell of petrol and we get down to investigate. His tank is busted. Another casualty. We load his bike also onto the truck, tank ourselves (the riders) up on the Red Bull, given to us by our partners for this epic ride – Red Bull and resume the ride.

But what is that we see on the highway? Is it a bird? Is it a plane ? No, its Mr. Sohan Roy followed closely by Signals screaming down the highway!!! They have ridden non-stop from Pune and have caught up with the rest of us at belgaum!

Signals gets down and mutters, “Arrey bhai, Kyun rukna? Rhythm pakad ke chal rahe the, Chalo…” This is the Bison Attitude…

50 kms later, we are welcomed by a sudden thunderstorm. Sudden torrential rain drenches us, but fails to slow us down. Our target was to reach Hubli by 7:30 pm. Quick and quiet dinner, a power nap and start the ride back to Panchgani, fresh.

Ride on.

Third Stop –  Hubli

Time : 7 pm

Distance: around 100 kms.

We are at our mid point level of the ride and ahead of time!  As we turn into Hubli, we see a posse of bullets and bikers waiting for us. The Boys of 99 cannons are there in full strength, carrying banners and welcoming us in style!

Sanjiv tells us, dinner is arranged at a farm house, but to reach there we will need to take a small detour of around 10 kms and the roads are “not that great”.  We say “Chalo, off – roading is always welcome”

Understatement of the year!!

Turns out the 10 kms is more or less accurate, but roads “not that great” is not. There is no road! It is a series of small hills and troughs that we need to traverse through..Does that hold us back..Has anything ever held a Bison back..Bring it on we say!

As we turn into the farmhouse, we hear a faint beating of the dhol .. It is dark, we are surrounded by trees and are in the middle of a forest and tribal drums playing..Oh, oh..This cannot be good.

This isn’t good at all..This is freaking awesome!..99 Cannons have arranged a gala welcome for us into hubli. The dhol was just the beginning, for as we enter the gate of the farmhouse, flower petals are showered on each rider.  We are dumb struck.  There are around 40 people there waiting for us. The local rotary club has turned up in full force and felicitates us. Local media and press take interviews. It hits us again, what we are doing, this ride, is huge, its unique and here in Hubli it has captured the imagination of the local people.

So much for a quiet dinner.

Having said that, the food served was nothing short of orgasmic. The chicken, in Paaji’s colourful language was “bombastic” (well it was even more colourfully described, but in the interest of the reader, we shall refrain from publishing that).

They even arranged for a mechanic to be available for us to solve any niggles that our bikes might have! Brotherhood at it best!

Hugs, and shake hands galore we head back to the road with our pack having increased by another 4 bikers from the 99 Cannons to be a part of the anniversary celebrations at Panchgani.

A quick fuel stop, we tank up and are ready to go.

We ride back in a formation of 2, led by Paaji and me. Our headlights light up the entire highway. My new set of LED lights light up the immediate road, Paaji’s HID and Xenon combo headlights lights up the road ahead.

We are followed by no less than 5 Xenons and LED lights, making for an awesome sight. The entire highway was lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree.

Ride on.

Fourth Stop –  Belgaum

Time: 11 pm

Distance:  around 120 kms

We are riding slow..Average speed is 60 kmph.

The Bullet Guru’s of Belgaum want to wish us and offer any help we may require en route to our destination. Another example of the brotherhood and how this machine binds us together! They come to the outskirts of the city in the middle of the night to meet us 35 boys and girls with whom they have never met or interacted with. All this to just to wish us all the best!  We were touched and after a few quick words, we resumed riding.

The Bisons had all tanked up on Red Bull and were bright eyed so far. We were on the NH4 , in the dark, and riding against time to reach our destination. We slowly approached what we call the “graveyard shift”

The time between 2 am and 4 am is probably the most dangerous time to ride in. The rider is tired and sleepy, it’s an eerie sort of darkness and quiet around and there is typically not a soul around to get help from.

Around 3 am, we had passed Kolhapur and stopped. Our average speed had increased to around 70 kmph from 60 kmph. All the boys were riding in a perfect formation.

We decide to stop at the next dhaba to freshen up. Quick chai and Red Bull later, we were ready to resume our hard riding.

One thing I noticed was that the spirits of each Bison was on an all time high. Here we were in the middle of nowhere, riding for the last 20 hours, dirty, tired, sleepy, but there was a smile on the face of each bison. There was no complaining. All we could do was talk about how our bikes were performing, ribbing the other riders on how they were riding. Not a single rider was complaining or doubting that they would be able to complete the ride. True lion hearts all!

Next pit stop was Satara for another quick chai at around 5 am. We were running short of time, so we decided to ride slow till the first break of dawn and reach wai. From Wai to panchgani , we wanted to ride when there was sunlight as this was mainly Ghats.

We rode to plan.

Fourth Stop –  Wai

Time: 6:45 am.

Distance: around 260 kms

One hour to complete Red Bums

Paaji: “Deelux, bhagga…. We need to reach Panchgani in 30 minutes”

I take 6 boys with me and zoom ahead.

We are attacking the curves with a vengeance. In our minds, there is no alternative but to reach the destination before time.

With me is Corner. He is moving like greased lightning, behind us are Fallen and Despo, not more than 5 feet from us, behind them I can see Bhagta and Changu – Mangu and a couple of other riders. Not one of them is letting up. We will need to ride in this formation to reach our destination in time.

Panchgani town is a blur. They are woken rudely to the sounds of the roaring bulls. The ghats are a blur. I promise to come back and enjoy the view at some other time. We ride hard.

Our speed and will power carry us, literarily, past a set of Bisons (DietPal, bala and Droppie) waiting at the venue to welcome us. They had reached there early in the morning to make sure that we were comfortable once we reach. Another example of how a Bison supports their peers.

We slam our brakes and quickly note the time.

We have reached our destination at 7:08 am. 45 minutes before schedule! I can’t believe it. Nor can any of the other brothers. We have done it! Well almost..As we wait for the other riders anxiously they all vroom in and within 25 minutes all riders (Bisons and 99 Cannons) have reached..The clock ticks at 7:33 am..We left Panvel at 7:53 am and reached Panchgani at 7:33 am. That’s it mate, we have indeed done it! We completed the Red Bums successfully!

A lot of us have tears in our eyes, Paaji and I hug and we can’t let go, we are joined by all the Bisons for a gargantuan group hug.

This is a proud moment. We set out believing that we could accomplish this feat and this is a feat. It is no mean task to complete 1000 kms with 30 + bikes within 24 hours as any biking group will tell you.

And we did it!

Summary:

26 bikes, 32 bikers, 1000 kms, 23 hours 40 minutes – One ride – RED BUMS

The Bisons indeed rode hard!

Image

ImageImagethe last mile!!! awesome curve hugging entry into panchgani!!!

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My Boys! the red bummers from Bisons Ride Hard.

To know more about our last 1 year check this out

Categories: biking, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Band of brothers

Brotherhood is an oft used and even more oft abused term in today’s world. I still remember the day guri paaji called and asked me if I wanted to join the bisons, a motorcycling club that he was starting.
We bike , well most of us do , to forget our daily frustrations at home and work. We ride to feel the freedom on the highways, the wind in your hair( again often used, all of us wear helmets :-)) , to chill with friends and enjoy ourselves at the end of a long ride.
When you become involved in a club, it is equally important to contribute in any which way you can to the betterment of the club. Why? So that the brothers who ride with you are able to enjoy the fruits of what you bring in.
The club started growing, we are now 1 year old and soon celebrating our anniversary by doing what we do best, riding hard and long. After the ride the anniversary party will have all the fun and frolic that befits a biker.
As a member of other clubs , even before the bisons, I was concerned about getting the maximum bang from my buck. Being a moderator , I looked at getting the facilities that my brother’s would enjoy sponsored so that it does not pinch their pockets. We talk to large companies, and small ones , to get , in kind , sponsorships , so that the member of the club does not need to pay out his purse to party. For our anniversary, we are proud to be associated with many sponsors who think for the benefit of the fraternity like, Schaeffer oil for oils in our bikes, kingfisher blue mile as a beverage partner so that we chill at the party in style, sharda motors for makin sure our bikes are in tip top shape for time to come, perfect seat makers for keeping our butts comfy for the Red Bums ride, prime health consultants to provide dietary expertise to help us sustain the long ride, rajkamal motors for gratifications, and red bull to provide us cans so that we remain fresh and alert during the ride.
Each and every brother in the group has contributed to vet these in place for one and one reason only, to keep his brother comfortable during our celebrations.
A club , to me , is a great leveller, like a country, you have 19 year old kids going to colleges, to50+ year old veterans riding to relive their youth. You have high powered executives , rich beyond means , to boys who work and save so that they can spend to ride and enjoy an evening with their brothers. That is why we need sponsors .
Needless to say, they will make our celebrations that much more special.

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Oil’s well that begins well

They say, that the oil in your bike is like the blood in your body. The only difference, to me, is you cant choose what blood you want to run through your body.

I have never been a very technical person to go into great detail about the facets of a good oil. So when I was given the baton of leading the Bisons on their anniversary epic ride- The Red  Bums, I knew, I was in trouble when I needed to choose the oil.

Google Singh helped, in confusing me further, when a friend came to my rescue. He brought in Schaeffer Oil as a sponsor for our ride and I was the recipient of 3 liters of this automotive nectar.

So I did a bit more research, cant obviously put in any old oil into Theia, can I ? turns out that the people at Schaeffer oil have been doing this for some time, since 1839 to be precise. Well having so much of experience only strengthened my resolve to try the oil out.

So one bright sunny sunday afternoon,Theia and I rode to our friendly neighbourhood mechanic- Vinod and started the oily business.

For all those who are interested , this is the 20w 50 version of the oil and is termed as a “synthetic plus ” oil. According to their website, and what ever little research I managed to find time for, I came to know that this oil uses a synthetic mixture base that is able to withstand temperatures of upwards of what our bikes should and would never reach. Also, because of its composition, it coats the engine to ensure that even with the first kick the protection kicks in. So far so good.

 

 

 

 Vinod hemmed and hawed and based on the numbers that I read out to him declared the oil a hit. Is mein Jhaag nahin aayega, accha hain…

what else do I need to know? Pour away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other  recipient of an additional 3 liters was corner, our native petrol head. He has promised that he will pen his words in a more technical aspect, so I will stay away from that.  But the  first thing that I noticed was that  there was a change in the Thump of Theia immediately after pouring the oil!

The engine was growling and the distinctive thump that used to come out of her bowels was even more distinctive. Very Nice and all the motor heads present at Vinod’s sagely nodded in appreciation.

The ride test. 

Well, the servicing was completed and I decided to do my usual cross country trudge back home. BKC to Thane is 30 km obstacle course that puts to shame most rallies. The single biggest obstacle- traffic.

What better way to test the oil than the infamous mumbai traffic during rush hour. So began my journey that fateful monday evening, the world was out on the streets, or so i dubiously hoped.

BKC to Kurla- not much traffic, weaving in and out. The Engine feels smooth and there is definitely a difference in the thump – for the better.

Kurla – Sion, where are all the cars? why is there no traffic still? is it really this free or has my Oil changing changed the world. cruising smoothly on  a  nicely warm engine.

Sion – chembur – mystery solved. all the cars are here. standstill traffic. chock a block with cars, bikes, trucks, containers , buses, and I swear I saw a bullock cart.

For the first time in my life I smiled at the traffic, what better way to test the oil. I weaved in and out between the cars and felt something missing. The  Heat !

Most bullet riders will identify the familiar warmth that they feel on their calves while riding. Its the bull’s way of letting you know, Baby, I am Hot for you. Or like most of us know, its time to give the throttle a rest. Even through the start stop and jerky traffic ride, I did not feel the all to familiar build up of the heat. That is good. very very good.

Chembur to thane ( after weaving for an hour ) – Open roads, eastern express highway, I quickly opened the throttle and was cruising effortlessly at 80 Kmph. The pick up seems to be excellent…

Thane – Parked the bike and gave the engine a once over. It was purring , begging to go for another  spin.. I am loving it.. All in all , the traffic test is a pass- with distinction for Schaeffer oils.

By the  way, this oil is not the cheapest that you will find in the market. A liter will set you back by 1400 Rs. On par or slightly higher than most synthetic oils. I have used other  brands before, but the difference felt with this  was palpable.

I cant wait to take Theia on the high way once again to test her on the long run. You will get a detailed review soon at the end of the Red Bums ride for sure. Till then, ride hard ride safe..

P.S to know more about the oil  , here is the link… or call me !

http://www.schaefferoil.com/supreme-7000-racing-oil.html

 

Categories: biking, Travel | Tags: | 4 Comments

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