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A Foggy Love Story

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  • "You can't possibly ride your bike in this weather" Said Swati, my fiance and indomitable life partner. Her voice was full of dismay, face a picture of worry and right hand stretched out the window, pointing at the blanket of fog outside our home in South Delhi. It was 4:00 am in late January and typically, National Capital Region of Delhi was roughing out a bitter winter. Fog as it happens usually follows this kind of cold.

    "Not to worry, the fog is dense in our neighbourhood because of the trees, will be much clearer on open road" , I replied whilst trying to gulp down the final few sips of my coffee. I was obviously bluffing to calm her down. Fog, as every keen biker knows, is at its heaviest on an open highway.

    This contentious journey in question was my motorcycling trip to Kausani, Uttarakhand with the Delhi Chapter of India Bull Riders MC. I had the joined the eponymous biking brotherhood just over a month ago and this was my first ride with the new family. At 5.30 am that morning, 16 of us were going to ride our bikes, deep in to the mountains of North India, 384 Kms from New Delhi.

    "Fine, you know best, I can only wish you luck and I hope you enjoy the trip" she said with care and warmth in her voice. This bibliophile edits books for a living at one of India's leading publishers and is a total stranger to motorcycling culture.

    She nevertheless always gives an attentive ear to my biking tales and has been very encouraging about pursuing it as a lifestyle. Keeping her fears for my safety aside, at 4.30 am that morning, she walked with me to our parking, helped me secure my bags on the motorcycle and bid a loving goodbye. I rode away feeling blessed.

    As expected, the fog was denser on open road, with visibility down to One metre at times. It became worse as I travelled down the Ring Road in South Delhi. Our collection point was 29 kms away on Hapur Bypass. The fog had slowed the flow of vehicles and I took the opportunity to join a five strong convoy of vehicles, making its way through the fog at a steady pace. The strategy worked and at 4:55 am I was the first one to reach our collection point opposite an engineering college in Ghaziabad.

    Although it was unnerving to be standing alone on the side of a highway at that hour, within minutes IBR bikers started trickling in through the fog. Twenty minutes later half a dozen bikes were lined up on the side of the highway, ready to roll. Despite the ardous riding conditions that morning, almost all of us made it on time to the starting point of the ride. Says enough about skills and discipline of IBR Brotherhood. We got word on group WhatsApp that MCs speed demon, Rajjat had woken up late and will catch up with us at Tadka, IBR Delhi Chapters breakfast stop for rides towards Uttarakhand. At 92 kms it didn't seem like a mean feat for Rajjat so we decided to ride-out at 5:30 am towards Tadka on NH-24.

    As expected, the force in the Fog was strong that morning. As a Star Wars fan boy I can't find a better analogy to describe the diabolocal greyness which lie ahead of us. One could see half a metre ahead at best. Deepak Jha, popularly known as DJ in the MC was leading the peloton of 15 Motorcycles as it cut through the fog at 80 to 100 kmph. It was a surreal experience. Chasing the faint red light emitting from motorcycle ahead of you, using all your senses to max potential, glancing in the rear mirror every few minutes to make sure no bike in the group is left behind. Scary? Yes. Exciting? Hell yeah brothers! That ride is what biker dreams are made of. I for one, won't forget the rush of adrenaline for a while.

    Unsurprisingly we reached Tadka as planned and relished a meal of hot Paranthas while we waited for Rajjat. Mr. Speed made good of his promise and arrived in the foggy car park of Tadka a few minutes before we were supposed to ride out. The group obviously waited for him to grab a bite and off we went on to the NH-09, like a pack of wolves.

    Rest of the ride went as planned and after a few quick Tea/water breaks we stopped for much needed lunch at a small roadside restaurant, in the mountains outside Haldwani. Few of us had ridden ahead of the group and ordered a veg meal for 16 to be cooked before the mass of the brigade arrived. A task in itself. Restaurant owner, Vijay ran this roadside eatery along with his younger brother and together they cooked us a beautiful spread of rice, lentils and veg. The meal was simple but tasted astonishing, may be it was the hunger, chefs skills, the comraderie of breaking bread with brethren, the warm mountain sun or all of the above, some meals are inexplicably tasty. Even if its plain 'old rice and lentils.

    The scrumptious lunch fueled us substantially till our destination, the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Tourist Rest House in Kausani. As Puvi pointed out, ride into the mountains was poetry in motion, all the bikes were aligned perfectly, following each other in sync, almost like a giant serpant slithering through a gorge. We reached our destination, tired but feeling totally alive. The property, aptly called Trishul is famous for its scenic splendour and its spectacular 300 km-wide panoramic view of Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli, and was definitely worth 10 hours on the road. Lady luck had been shining on us and we arrived at the guest house without a single incident on the highway in the entire 400 km journey.
    This beautiful stroke of luck continued over the next two days barring veteran IBRian, Rikki getting bit of temperature but was taken care of by the group and was well enough to ride back with us two days later. Delicious meals, nightly bonfires, a ride to the ancient Baijnath Temple and a spot of paddle boating in the Gomti river were all highlights of the Three days, Two nights trip. But that Fog Run, lead by DJ in the wee hours of 26th January 2024 was definitely the headline none of us are going to forget for a long time.

    The journey to Delhi on 28th January was pretty chill except One, 50 to 80 kms of bad stretch as we exited the mountains. Despite the rough roads and the highway fatigue most of us reached back home to our loved ones in NCR by 9 pm. In my case a very worried fiance who was surprised I was in high spirits even after a 10 hour ride back from the mountains.

    I guess brotherhood and bikes make the longest journeys tireless. Thanks for reading, adieu. ✊


    Ride Data

    Dates: 26-28 January, 2024
    Chapter: Delhi
    Itinerary: Delhi-Kausani-Delhi
    Distance: 800 kms, total
    Riding time: 24 hours, total
    Number of Riders: 16
    Ride mods: Sri, Puvi, Rachit
    Food: Rs 2000 p/p pool
    Accommodation: Sharing, Rs. 1500 p/p approax@Trishul, KMVN guest house
    Route: 50 percent Highway, patchy at places, 50 percent mountain roads, well maintained. Route passes Jim Corbett at Mohan and is pretty scenic.
    Booking site: [](link url)

    No cars were allowed

  • @PrashantSingh it was one hell of ride starting from foggy road for 100kms and in the mountains everybody well aligned with same speed proper distance it was like giant snake going through the mountain road.

  • @Puvi totally bro, still watching my GoPro videos and the sync within the group is spectacular! You are right, that ride up into the mountains was poetry in motion!

  • Very crisp & to the point "foggy love story". Keep on writing as u write aesthetically.

  • @Rajnish thank you brother, much appreciated 🤗

  • Such a poetic description of a beautiful adventure..👏💗

  • Beautifully documented 🤙🤟👌

  • @Johri_harshit thanks for your kind words brother 🤗

  • @PrashantSingh You have written exceptionally well.

  • @PrashantSingh you lucky man... Did your fiancee actually come out and helped you tie your bags to the bike at 4:30 am? My wife stops talking to me 2 weeks before the ride till 2 weeks after... And believe me, I'm not complaining

  • @vivjohar hahahaha 😆, yes dada, she does, but point to note kee abhee shaadi nahi hua hain toh kya pata tevar badal jaye, fingers crossed I'd say 🤣

  • @Gaurav thank you brother ✨🤗

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