Day 1 (Agra to Ambala 425 kms)
The ride started at the wee hours of 4:20 am in the morning on the 12th June 2014 with only 5 of the 8 confirmed riders taking the start from the Yamuna Expressway, which is India’s best existing super highway. This 170 odd kms long toll road connects Agra to Delhi via Noida. We reached Delhi within a few hours to meet friends at Rajghat, the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. Here we were struck by two breakdowns, a rear puncture in the bike of Sabya Sachi and minutes later loss of current due to blown fuse on the bike of Harish Khandelwal. However these two break downs were the only two that we would face in the entire 3200 kms of riding. Mashah Allah !
We crossed Delhi soon after attending the two ill fated bikes, to avoid the menacing morning traffic of India’s Capital city, and stopped over for a brunch on the outskirts of Panipat, a major textile town 60 kms from Delhi.
Although the initial plan was to cover more than 500 kms on day one, however the ride was halted for the day at Ambala at 5:30 pm for a quick check at Royal Motors, authorized Royal Enfield Dealership at Ambala. Although the workshop was wrapping up its activities for the day, the dealer was kind enough to engage all available technicians to attend our bikes and give them all a much needed once over. And all this was done free of cost. Later we checked into a hotel with nice air-conditioned rooms and closed parking.
Day Ambala to Udhampur (400 kms)
The next was started with a quick morning tea, and it was planned to reach Ramban in J&K before sunset. Enroute we passed several major towns of the states of Haryana and Punjab, before taking a breather at Ludhiana. Riders enjoyed fresh sugarcane juice, which provided much needed respite from the energy sapping 44 degree centigrade temperature of the Indian plains
We took regular breaks for breakfast, lunch and tea and hence only managed to reach Udhampur, a major military cantonment. This was well short of our planned destination at Ramban.
A comfortable hotel was found on the main highway, opposite to the Easy day retail store. The owner being a biker himself offered us great discounts and arranged dinner inside our rooms from a famous eating joint outside his hotel. We were assured that our luggage will remain safe on our bikes overnight, which was a big bonus.