Monday, February 2, 2009

Road Tripping - I

This was it, our very own road trip. After two years of waiting and endless dreaming, we were ready to embark on our first bike trip out of town to a place called Asangoan a small sleepy village on the way to Nashik, about 90 kms from Borivali, a steady two and half hour ride. It had been long due since our college days when during our drinking sessions conversations used to veer towards heading out of town on bikes and how it would be a change from the maddening city towards something calm, serene and adventurous. But we were a bit short on money as well as bikes and maybe not that much on intent.
So it all finally fell in to place when two of my friends got their bikes – the Royal Enfield bullet, which is so very synonymous with freedom. There were six of us on two bullets and a Honda Unicorn, pretty formidable but as compared to the bullet nothing beats its hum and the sheer steadiness it provides when you are cruising on deserted highways. It was a Saturday in third week of October; the winters had barely set in and the timing was perfect. We decide to gang up in a lane next to the national park a stone’s throw away from where jimmy stays. Evaris picked me up on the way from Andheri in Kandivali while Sajit and Anthony came together from Borivali IC colony, the other guy Sushil also reached on time as it was a half working day at his office. Everybody gathered at about 4 Pm, though we were scheduled to be there at 3 pm so that we could reach in time for a dip in lake that we were so fond of. But being on time was a virtue that most of us lacked and maybe there was a strange sense of bonding in it too. So after our customary rounds of cutting chai’s and cigarettes we were off in tow by around 4.30 pm. Sajit heading the pack on his Unicorn with Anthony, me with Evaris on his Electra and finally Jimmy along with Sushil on his Machismo.
We had been to Asangoan before but it was never a road trip until now. We took the Goadbunder road leading to thane and finally the Mumbai- Nashik highway no.17. The weather was just fine not too hot or cold, just warm and pleasant. As soon as we left Bhayander and entered the green environs of Goadbunder the air smelt fresher and the roads were winding. I could hear the whirr of the bullet against the sound of wind lapping against our faces when Evaris wildly exclaimed “Dude, this feels amazing, just amazing!” and I replied calmly “yes it is, it’s almost cathartic”, then we slipped back in to our silences. We were doing a steady 40 kms as its engine was new and we just wanted cruise and take in the surroundings. Sajit was always a freak on the bike weaving past ahead time and again and then waiting again for us to catch up; Jimmy slowly was following us as he was new to biking. Our first halt was at Thane near Hiranandani where stopped for some water and to catch a few puffs of cigarette. We chatted up for a while nonchalantly about the joys of riding and how these small pit stops for food, cigarettes, and little conversations can be so profound. Then breaking the huddle we trudged on to our respective bikes, taking a left on to the Mumbai- Nashik highway, an hour away from Asangoan with a rotund orange Sun gleaming right behind us.

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