SaddleSore Success at first attempt

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels:
28

Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time.....Arnold H . Glasgow 

My first and biggest thanks to Dr. Arnob Gupta for all the guidance. Before the ride he said that don't let this just be an attempt- just go for it. His tips turned out to be the most crucial- specially the departure timing. Thanks to Venkat Sir for information on fuel pumps outside Bangalore despite him being out of town. Navendu and Gliff for whatever best info they could provide me.

And a bunch of thanks to my buddies Sanket, Vinod, Glen, Parimal, Revel (thanks for the cam), Arjun, Prasad (your Tee's turning out to be lucky indeed), Alkesh, Amit (both V & D) and others for their wonderful wishes before the ride. A few wishes stood in silence which I could sense and accept.

I could never imagine me doing a SaddleSore and that too on my bike until I rode to Kodaikanal last. Gave me confidence to at least attempt it if not succeed. Alkesh straight away offered his P220 keys and said "take this, you'll be able to do faster'- but I wanted to do it on my very own and reliable P150 DTSi.

As a preparation got it serviced at Reddys. Had an extra can of Motul T5100 and changed it on the way towards Lonavla- my starting point. Testing of the GPS was done a day earlier on a short ride to my friend's place in Kasara. The phone was taped in the most merciless way you could have ever think of, but anyways all my phones till date have met with the same treatment :D Sounds funny but I used a broad comb I found lying in the drawer as a base and black taped 3 layers of sponge I bought for 6 bucks from the market. Already had a small clamp fixed to the mirror bolt and the brake fluid cylinder gave good base support.

Dr.Arnob suggested Lonavla as the starting point and I was there at 10.30. Spoke to the Manager Mr. Lalsahab Yadav who was even more jubiliant than I was- same for everyone at the pump...all excited :)

Filled up the forms right away and showed him the odometer reading on the bike before I mentioned it on the form. I told him that I will be back tomorrow at the same time, hope he will be there. I could see in his eyes that even if he had a day off, he would still come for me :D Refuelling done, card swiped and the GPS was reset.

My odometer at the start.

And the starting fuel bill - that time it didnt strike me to click it alongwith the odometer.

These pics were clicked just for formality- didnt at all feel like stopping.

Found one drunk fellow sitting nearby- called him and told him to take my snap. Later he started requesting me for a lift :D

Second fuel stop at Belgaum

Trip read 38549 kms (418 kms in 5 hours 16 minutes- avg speed: 81 kph)

The charging unit conked off at Ranibennur only to find that the adaptor had gone kaput and had serious doubts if it can be fixed by any mechanic - not counting out the waste of time. Even then precious time was lost checking out charging units at one shop- just in case it worked (avg speed was around 78 and it came down to 72). There was still some charge left in the phone before it ran out of juice near Davangere. Following is the GPS trail. Larger sized image HERE

Made a silly mistake that almost ruined the entire ride- was wondering as to how the bike hasn't come on reserve yet- was almost 400 kms at full blast. Broke into cold sweat realising that I had forgotten to turn the knob to ON position and the indicator needle has rested dead left against the stopper. Asked a local about any pump nearby- he said there is none. But 10 kms ahead there are some local shops that sell petrol- never found them though. Another enquiry- this time the pump is 15 kms ahead. Its past 25 kms and couldn't get a sighter still. Frustrations building up on seeing the needle between 40-50 kph- nothing much could be done, felt like carrying on at full speed, but in case I run out of fuel- the ride was ruined, still wasn't sure how far the pump was. Some more minutes and slow ride of frustration before a heavenly sight- a tall Indian Oil Board. But guess what....no petrol. I literally begged to the attendant for at least one litre- in case he could arrange. "Saary Sir" is the answer. The embarassment carried on before another enquiry- this time the bunk was 5 kms ahead in Tumkur- but true this time and fortunately it had fuel too.

Asked him how far is Shell petrol pump...... 75 kms is the answer. It was already 10.45 pm and with Shell shutting down at 11, no chance I could have made it. Enquired if he accepted card payment he said yes. Checked the odometer and decided to turn back from there. Had tea and a mini pack of Parle G that concluded my dinner for the day.

Trip read 38993 kms (863 kms in about 12 hours - avg speed: 72 kph)

Start of the return trip. The HID for some uknown reason stopped working, it wasnt easy riding on stock lights. I had set the reflector way too upwards- the high beam wasnt hitting the road and the low beam wasn't giving the distance. Bumps, speed breakers, potholes- I was bouncing all over. Tried my best to just carry on, but they turned out to be more than a match for my aching wrists and stiff shoulders. Found a stall and stopped over for a tea break. Confirmed with the stall owner of the distance till Hubli. 150 kms it was and I remember Pune was another 435 kms from Hubli. I had decided to conclude the trip at Panvel rather than Lonavla in case the distance minus the odo-error comes into play. It was dot 2 in the night and my plan was to reach Pune before 9 in the morning so that I have a cut-to-cut margin to touch Panvel, which meant that my average speed has to be over 80 kms an hour. Doubts started creeping in whether I could complete it. All the messages and calls made by friends started ringing in my ears- I thought I'd lost it. But then got up and decided whatever result may come- I'll just give whatever I have, I wanted to succeed not for me or the SS certification, but for my friends who had faith that I can do it. From thereon I was fighting against time. All I could see was the word PUNE and a watch showing 9. Some more bad luck instances- I took one wrong diversion following a truck and reached an absolute dead end. No road from thereon- a U-turn and back on the highway.

Then later again I took some wrong diversions and was riding through towns- not once but twice. I couldn't recollect if I passed these places when towards Tumkur- not sure which place was the first, but the second was Haveri. I looked far into the distance on the left and I could see row of lights travelling- no guesses that was NH4 with vehicles moving in the dark. I was getting really desperate and the accelerator was right at the end of its play and merged with the highway later. The HID started working, but used to die out after 10 minutes, and when on the horn and tacho stopped working. Press the horn switch and the HID used to go off- so for some time I was using the horn switch as a dipper for the HID and it worked to force the oncoming vehicles to switch to low beam :P  Maybe I need to check the battery water level. But things apart- my bike was just roaring its lungs out.

Stopped over at Belur for refuel. Trip read 39379 kms (1248 kms in about 17 hours - avg speed: 73 kph)

The cold was taking its toll one me. Despite having a jacket with a thermal lining and wearing those thick track pants I was still shivering. An overflowing nose, cracked lips in such a short time, hands had gone so stiff I couldnt even twist the throttle properly. I used to grip it tight with my thumb, twist it a bit, then grip it tight and this used to carry on till it reached its play end. Belgaum and Kolhapur had gone past and I was shivering like crazy. Stopped over at Karad for a tea break and then before Khambatki for a formal click.

Next refuelling break at Salora Pune. Trip read 39745 (1614 kms in 21.5 hours- avg speed: 75 kph)

Still had 3.5 hours to reach Panvel, which was quite easy by the average speed I was going at. Saw the odo and calculated the distance I would have covered if I stopped over at Lonavla- and it would easily go over 1700 kms.

Reached Lonavla a few minutes before 10 a.m. and first thing I did was called up Dr. Arnob. Told him that I still have another hour left with me- should I conclude the ride here at this much distance or do I carry ahead till Panvel. He first congratulated me and said its fine and good enough. Mr. Laalsahab- the manager and my witness was so surprised and told me "Aap toh ek ghanta jaldi aa gaye". He saw me tired and ordered tea for me. Had tea and gave my card to swipe for a receipt- will refuel when I leave I said. The concluding formalities were on- showed him the odometer and conveyed the distance I had covered, filled up the form and took his signature. Clicked the slip with the odo this time and the bike too.

Trip read 39854 (1723 kms in 23 hours- avg speed: 74 kph)

The complete stats of the ride.

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He advised me to take rest for some in his cabin. Half of his crew had gathered around asking me all sorts of questions of the ride. Got up after a few moments to start for home. They asked me to drop in next time if I pass Lonavla. I was really stiff but I couldnt help smiling and said sure I will. Refueled and it was a painful journey back- a small bump and I felt like screaming. Stopped over at my friend Revel's place in Vashi- a hot shower (might have emptied half his storage tank)- then lunch and had the second best sleep of my life for 3 hours (Revel clicked this pic while I was asleep).

Left Vashi, came home at 10.30 pm. Mom didnt have an idea of where I went. Had dinner and told her that there is this SaddleSore Ride that I want to attempt. Its a certification ride and I've to cover this much distance in a prescribed time limit. Freaking out she said to just forget it, she's not in a favour for these kind of antics. Finally I told her that mom you know what- I just did it. It was complete silence for a few minutes. I could not hold back and asked her doesn't she feel good that I've attempted something and succeeded. She was normal in a few moments and started asking about all the details of the certification :)

Well, my mom never smiles whenever I come back from a ride as I always lie before departure and the true destination is revealed only after return. She's too worried about me riding long- but this time it was different. Her smile was a like a sweet cherry on the cake. With a stiff body- but with a satisfied mind I was dead asleep.

Thanks again to everyone for the guidance, info and wishes.

So that was it. Uploaded the larger sized pics and receipts in the album HERE

And HERE's my certificate :)

A latest and small addition to this post....Big thanks to Bunny Punia for putting this up in the March 2009 Issue of Bike India Magazine (page 41). A bigger size of the cutout HERE


28 comments:

  1. awesome man ... absolutely awesome. if u guys are meeting up before the 31st, let me know (on mail), would love to hear the story man.

  1. vibhu says:

    You Rock man !

    Just great !

  1. Raj says:

    Hey Deepak,conratulations man.you've Taken so much risk, but you made it. Congrats again.

  1. Pulsurge says:

    Thanks everybody. Sab sangat ka asar hai dost. Have good inspiring friends around you and you tend to do something or the other.

    @Abhi: Will surely meet up.

    @Vibhuji: Sir aap logo ko dekh kar hi toh seekha hai.

    @Raj: Risk...Kidhar? :P

  1. Dr Arnob says:

    Great effort, and nicely documented as well.

    Congratulations!

  1. Congrats man! This is a rocking account of your SS.

  1. Wanderer says:

    Great acheivement ................... i think ur the 1st person to attempt this successfully from India .... a couple of guys from xbhp attempted this together last year but failed .................. BRAVO DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 .... truly inspiring guy

  1. Hrishi says:

    Great attempt man... You are an inspiration!

    Rock on!

  1. --xh-- says:

    hats off to you and the bike, man :)

  1. Binil says:

    awesome buddy .... i am so glad u made it in ur first attempt .... congrats

  1. Vinod says:

    Simple awesome yaar.. I told you.. that you will do it.. truly a gr8 achievement!!

    Congratulation.. I guess you’re the first rider, who has successfully completed SS on 150CC bike in India.

    I am getting jealous buddy:)

    Keep riding..

  1. Hitanshu says:

    Lovelies, it is.

    Mast macha diye. Unlike others, your average just kept going up and up

  1. krishna says:

    amazing......man !!!

  1. parimal says:

    Many many Congratulations I have no words to explain how happy I am for you. Very nicely documented too. I am just wondering how in the hell could you take so many photos while ripping the bike like a maniac and that too with such a smile on ur face. Says it all buddy I have told you this and I will tell you again I have not seen a skilled and gutsy rider like you ever due respect to others but this has got to do a lot with the circumstances in which you ride. Cheers
    Parimal

  1. Salil says:

    Congratulations! This was one awesome ride you had. And very well put in words too. A very encouraging read for anyone who wants to attempt this.

  1. Dude. Congrats !!

    perfect Timing. Good that you took the Chitradurg - Stretch both ways in Night with Less Traffic.

  1. somanath says:

    its really cool man....good trip log.

  1. Naijo says:

    Great trip My dear friend. I really appreciate your never ending desire for riding. Really happy that you have become a solo rider. Its common to be a part of a group, but its really great to stand apart & try things alone...
    Wish you more rides...

  1. Navendu says:

    Well done.
    Now get back on saddle and go for BumBurner. :)

  1. Deepak says:

    Deepak, thats really wonderful. You did it bro... very proud as you did it on a 150cc bike... I appreciate your guts! Superb..

  1. Pulsurge says:

    Thanks everyone....Well this is the maximum number of comments I've ever got on my blog- so now I can rate completion of the SS at a higher rank somewhat. All your comments are so overwhelming I feel I've scaled Mt. Everest :D

    @Dr.Arnob: You'll always be our centre of inspiration to push ourselves a bit further every time.

    @Wanderer: There are people around who've completed the SS. Dr. Arnob is one, plus he's also completed the Bun Burner i.e. 2400 kms in 36 hours. Plus there are other two who've done it on a ZMA and P180. So am not the first one- on a 150.. I guess yes. Well am delighted to see that there is no 150cc bike on the SS website having completed this :)

    @Hrishibhau: Inspiration....too bigger word for me :) Am still a pygmy in front of you people.

    @Vinod: Its the trust and faith of you guys that deserves the applause for success.

    @Hitz: The last stage was quite demanding, needing over 80 kph as average speed...had no option but to push :0

    @Parimal: Your words have put me on cloud nine.

    @PPS: I think its better of in the day..at least I could see the bumps and pits on the road. Last time riding to Kodaikanal during the day- I was much faster than riding at night.

    @Naijo: Thanks dude. Enjoy SA :)

    @Nav: Yeah thats next ;)

    @Deepak: Thanks man...even am glad to do it on a P150.

    Thanks again for all your wishes guys!

  1. sapna says:

    Awesome. It just great. you had done amazing task. i am really inspired by you. Bajaj pulsar is one of the great bike from bajaj bikes.

  1. Pulsurge says:

    @Sapna: Am lucky you can say as far as reliability of my bike goes. The whole world blames Bajaj for poor quality- maybe my bike's an exception :P Well thanks for the compliment.

  1. Sayan says:

    I've never liked the idea of saddle sore in the past....have often stated the same to Vibhu n Nalin....but reading your trip certainly excited me....fantastic trip log....felt as if I was on the road experiencing every moment....keep it up....shall look forward to see your certificate soon. You have actually made me think of attempting the same someday!

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  1. Anubhav says:

    Hey Deepak,

    Congratulations. Could you email me your phone number and if possible Dr. Arnob's. Me and a friend are attempting the SaddleSore this weekend from Chennai to Vizag and back on our 220 DTSis. I have a few queries about the documentation steps I need to follow.

  1. Whatta hell of a ride!!!
    Superb job!!!
    Got to this from BCMT melroyal thread....
    What say about one more??

  1. KICK ASS STUFF DUDE ! Respects ! Very well done ! simply awesome stuff ! Congrats ! Keep the rubber burning bro !