ALL INDIA COASTAL RIDEPosted On: April 24, 2019 By : AutoLife Team
It’s fascinating how the passion for motorcycling makes people explore what might seem impossible for most. This is the beauty of motorcycles, the way that riders can be so passionate about exploring new destinations and conquering them. Now, with the same philosophy, two riders from Nepal took on a feat that is admirable. Aashish Ghimire and Suraaj Prasain from Jhapali Royal Enfielders, went on a trip that took them from Nepal all the way to India on their motorcycles and have successfully conquered the coastal roads of India.
Their journey of 75 days covering 15,000 Kms is not only something to be admired but also something that is worth sharing. These two riders have given motorcyclists something to look up to and proved it that if you are passionate about it, you can achieve it. So, let’s hear what they have to say about it; how their journey started. Read through as they share their experiences from the All India Coastal Ride.
It all started seven years ago, when I got my bull (Royal Enfield). My hometown’s showroom couldn’t provide me with the bike so, I had to go 100+ Kms to get my bike. And it’s been no looking back since then. Soon after that, due to lack of proper servicing and spare parts, I used to go back and forth to Siliguri for better servicing and spares. That’s when my passion for motorcycling started.
Two years after that, I came to know about Royal Enfi eld Rendezvous & Poker Run. Before this, I had only heard of such events in TV, held abroad by Harley Davidson Riders so, I was really excited to fi nd out that such events are being held in my own country by Royal Enfi eld Riders. So I had to be a part of it and the very next day I joined Tula dai from Royal Eastern Enfi elders and headed for the 7th Royal Enfield Rendezvous & Poker Run. Even though I had just met them, I felt I was already a part of a brotherhood sharing a same passion. For me, the charm of brotherhood and sharing the passion for motorcycling was the best part about the ride and the event as a whole.
After returning, I contacted my fellow Royal Enfield riders and formed a club in my hometown, Birtamode i.e. Jhapali Royal Enfielders (JRE). From that club, I started riding to various other events and even organized rides to different places. So in October of 2018, we were planning for North Eastern Riders Meet (NERM) and after that we were planning to explore India more. I was going to be accompanied by my two brothers, Aashish Ghimire, and Santosh Giri as his pillion.
We planned for the Ladakh trip but found out that after attending the event, it would be too late for Ladakh ride. So, our plan changed to Goa and as it was a long ride, we planned further to ride the famous K2K ride, Kashmir to Kanyakumari through NH 66, the coastal route, and settled for staying in Goa for a whole week. On our return from Kanyakumari we planned the Eastern Coastal Road up to Kolkata, then returned to hometown via Siliguri, which completed our All India Coastal Ride.
I must say it was a mind blowing experience. At first it was kind of difficult to ride in multi-lane highways as we had no idea about the rules like overtaking or which lane to take for bikes. We slowly got on track and then the real fun in riding started. The highways were just mind blowing. The Lucknow-Agra highway and the Yamuna Express (Delhi-Agra highway) were like dream roads for every rider. We rode so hard that my bike’s engine heated too much that the engine oil started leaking. The roads were so good and safe that, many times, we used to ride for the whole day and night. Just riding, resting and enjoying at the local Dhabas in the highway and several times we even slept at such road side Dhabas and pit stops.
One of the most memorable moment was one night when I got separated and the problem was my cell phone and wallet both was with the other rider. I just had some pocket change with me and I spent the night in a bus stop, sleeping on a steel bench. But thanks to the good police offi cers who saw me and stopped to see if I had any problems; they took me to a nearby fuel station and asked the security personnel of that station to let me sleep in their cabin and take care of my bike and luggage.
The next day after riding for 4 hours and 200kms, I saw a Royal Enfield showroom nearby and went there. I explained my condition to the Branch Manager there who was happy to help me and gave me his cell phone to contact my partner. The problem was I didn’t know his number so I had to call my home and asked my brother for his number of my fellow rider.
After 16 hours, finally I got in contact with him and the ride continued. This ride was not just a normal ride rather it was the best achievement of my life till date. I was fortunate enough to get a chance to enjoy our brotherhood to the fullest. Not just that but we even came across a lot of riders from different clubs during our ride. All of this helped with expanding the brotherhood and I must say that it has been an amazing journey.
Ever since I learned to ride a bike, I was always enthusiastic about riding it. After I got my first bike, I was always ready for a ride with my friends. Usually we used to go for solo rides to explore new places around Kathmandu Valley, my hometown. At that time, I was involved in a school project at rural area of Sindhupalchowk; me and my team had started the first English medium school there.
During that time, I met an Australian rider who was willing to help us for the school. Thus, we planned to go to the school on our bikes. That was my first long tour on a bike which was more than 400 Kms. During that ride, the biker shared his stories of riding and how he travelled around the world on a motorcycle. This sparked me with the idea of travelling on a bike and after that, I started planning all my travel with my beloved bike. The revving of the throttle would give me an adrenaline rush and I started planning long tours of more than 500 Kms alone and I was very happy about it.
During those rides, I used to see other riders with large luggage carried for long tours involving several months and not just days. Till then, I couldn’t find a biking brotherhood until I shifted to Birtamode because of my work. There I found my first biking brotherhood, Jhapali Royal Enfi elders (JRE), through my brother Suraaj Prasain. I then started riding with JRE where I loved the biking brotherhood and made me realize what I missed during my solo rides. This was much more interesting than solo rides because the love of brotherhood and shared passion of bike ride was bigger than riding alone. I never realized when I became a part of biking brotherhood, but I was already a part of a big family all around Nepal and India.
Then Suraaj proposed for NERM, 2018 which I happily accepted and together we planned for Ladakh tour, which got cancelled and we planned for Goa. And as Suraaj mentioned earlier that tour turned to the K2K ride. This was my fi rst international ride, across the border of Nepal, I was really excited for it. Several weeks before the starting day, we were counting days for when the ride would start. My enthusiasm was soaring high with the anticipation of the road ahead. Covering the four corners of India along the coastal road and the famous K2K (Kashmir to Kanyakumari) ride on NH 66; this was a dream come true.
When we started our ride from Birtamode, I was really astonished with the roads that lay ahead of me. Large multi-lane highways and flyovers got me excited at first, as you don’t get to see such roads in Nepal. The expressways of Lucknow-Agra and Agra- Delhi (Yamuna Express) that had hanger for fighter planes for Indian Army was truly magnificent.
And another expressway of Mumbai-Pune should have a special mention. We didn’t know that two wheelers were prohibited in that highway, but following the Google Maps, we reached there anyway. I was thinking that how come there weren’t any other bikes on the road, just cars and large trucks. Then when the highway ended, the Police informed us about the prohibition. We had to pay a minimum fine, but I was really happy as this was one of the roads which no other rider would ride. The ride as well as the road and its scenic beauty was truly marvellous.
The South Indian roads lay many memories. One of them was when I got separated with my fellow rider at night. He didn’t have much money or even his cell phone, so there was no way to contact him. Then I called Kerala Police to inform that we got separated. Within 10 minutes of my call, a Policeman tracked my location and came to meet me at the local tea shop where I was worrying about my fellow rider. I spent the whole night in that station and. I filed an FIR and if he didn’t come in contact with me under 18 hours, they would start a search party. Fortunately, the next morning I got a call about his whereabouts so I rushed to meet him. Another amusing memory was after we completed K2K ride.
After Kochi, we reached Kanyakumari in the evening around 5 pm, we decided to move towards Rameshwaram and Dhanushkoti, the last road of India, planning to stay in a hotel at the highway. But unfortunately, we couldn’t find any hotels since it was a rural area. Not even in Rameshwaram, because the pilgrims there pre-booked all the hotels and we couldn’t find a place to sleep. After more than 55 hours of riding and resting, finally we found a lodge and we slept like a log that night.
The best part of this ride was the love from the brotherhood I got from all over India. Special mentions to Bhanu Pratap Singh from Delhi, Baabla Daa from Lucknow, Vikram Muthiah from Surat, Shaeed Ghazi from Meerut and Sandeep Singh Sikarwar from Jodhpur. The hospitality and caring from the Indian Riders have a special place in my heart as they aren’t just my friends, they are family. For me, this is what bike ride is all about, the brotherhood and the thrill of the throttle. As it’s said, “Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the Soul.”