It is an amazing feeling when you come across a person who
lives by a passion. When you do observe, commune, witness and partake in this
passion your bond with them runs thicker than blood. The spirit which dwells
within us was not born to be tamed. This world was not created to cage us but
to set us free. The very existence of mankind has culminated down to one single
act shared throughout history “we are born to be free, we are born to be
limitless and we will break all forms of tyranny”. We are explorers, we seek
the wild outdoors, we break boundaries and push forward, we don’t look back, we
are the riders of Royal heritage.
When I first met the riders of Chase My Wheel, I was
apprehensive. I have always been a lone ranger and little was I aware that a bond
so strong could be weaved out of nothing but the steady thumps of a Royal
Enfield. The riders in Chase My Wheel come from a very diverse cultural and
professional background but when you see the unity amongst them, it is nothing
short of brotherhood. So strong is the bond you make when you ride together
that you are defensive and protective of each other. Imagine a pack of 20
wolves running in the wild nothing would stand in their path not elephants,
bears or lions. This run will forever live within my memories as the days we
It began on a sleepy Thursday morning, the crimson sun
tingling the tiny hairs on my hand, the October morning breeze bringing
promises of a cold winter and slow thump of ten thousand Royal horses. As
riders poured in from every corner of the city one could sense the growing
anticipation amongst us. When the meet and greet was done with, the riders
hopped onto their saddles. Within a few seconds you could hear a thunderous
rumble as 20 odd Royal Enfields came to life and shattered the morning silence.
Our first stop was to tank-up so we rode from Hyatt Regency to the pump at
Dhaula Kuan. All along the way my sixth sense was prodding me of the gaze. This
is no ordinary gaze I speak of. It is the same gaze which we fix upon something
we desire as it passes us by. In the heart of every Indian man and some women
as well there is a tiny desire which dwells, the desire to be part of a pack
and as we rode by I saw that tiny flame in so many eyes well up into a burning
lust. While everyone on the road was about their mundane corporate activities
we were breaking free.
There were miles to go before we could sleep and the road
was beckoning us with open arms. The NH8 according to some is an architectural
marvel but for one who has mastered this route knows of the dangers which lie
in wait. The stretch from Manesar all the way to Dharuhera is filled with
potholes, incomplete flyovers and annoyed Indian motorists who are willing to
bite your ear off at the slightest hint of aggression. When you do ride in a
pack there is a reputation which precedes you – the badass rebel. So for given
reasons motorists even truckers and the notorious ‘Haryana Roadways’ buses will
maintain a safe distance. Our usual stop midway to Jaipur is Hotel Highway King.
It’s a neat little motel with a decent restaurant but unfortunately three hours
into the ride and we still had another 45 km to go. So we unanimously decided
to stop at the first decent place we find. To our luck just up ahead was hotel
Tirupati. As we entered the premises it seemed like time just froze for the on
lookers. One after another after another you could hear the slow deep thumps of
the Enfields like the battle drums of an army. After a scrumptious Indian
breakfast all were set to hop on to their horses and head out once again. At
about four in the evening we finally entered Jaipur.
Jaipur is a city rich with the heritage of Rajasthan. It was
founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. Initially the capital was Amber
fort but with a growing population and shortage of water the Maharaja decreed
the construction and planning of Jaipur which incidentally is also the first
planned city of India. Our hosts for the evening and the entirety of the stay
were none other than the Keys Hotels group. Established in 2006 this young
group of hotels is making waves across the industry. The reason is simple they
have got their ideology latched onto the pulse of exactly what the travelers
today are looking for. From concept hotels, resorts and clubs to business
hotels, a stay at any Keys property is something you can look forward to with
ardour. A synonym of their ideology is being obsessed with perfection. From the
luxury suits to the café every nook and cranny has been done up tastefully. The
café serves a global variety of cuisines and the food is exceptional. One of
the features of this hotel which caught my eye was the roof top pool which
gives you a breath taking view of the city. The staff at the hotel is courteous
to say the least and the service is phenomenal.
As dawn breaks and the morning mist begins to settle we
congregate around the well rested bulls with cloths and tools tending to them
with care. The itinerary for the day is a tour around the various historic
sites in Jaipur including the Hawa Mahal and Amber Fort. At about two in the
afternoon we gathered in front of the Mansagar Lake from where we were to ride
off to Ajmer. A vast expanse of free flowing highway lay ahead. The
Jaipur-Ajmer route is jaw dropping. I did not find a single pot hole and yes I
looked! Cruising at about 90 kmph we finally got to show a bit of skill behind
the bars of our bulls. From a three-by-three formation to two single rows
occupying the whole highway we were not short of rock stars on wheels. The
other motorists sharing the highway with us did pay their respects to the
riders and awed at us with longing smiles but there is always that special kind
of stupid, a run of the mill idiot who will want to ruin the fun by honking
their way through trying to grab some attention.
After a solid three hour ride we entered Ajmer with the
splendid colours of Rajasthan displayed before us by the locals indulging in
the festivities of Dusshera. Ten kilometers out of Ajmer and we were running
along the valleys of the Aravali Hills. For a good distance we could see
nothing but the winding road and desert shrubs here and there. Then out of a
bend we saw it nestled in a brae -- the glamorous Pratap Palace. Tucked in a
corner of Earth is this architectural marvel which has been carved out so
carefully it oozes of talent and finesse. I am sure the management spared no
expense when it came to the conceptualization and construction of this
property. As we all rode up the front porch a grand welcome of garlands and
traditional folk dances awaited us. Built at a juncture between Ajmer and
Pushkar the Pratap Palace is known for its rich architectural heritage
combining an essence of Rajasthani and Mughal design. From the lush green
courtyard to an amazing view of the wilderness every aspect of Pratap Palace is
designed to woo your senses and sooth your soul. The grand welcome was followed
by a gala evening of cocktails and socializing. The unity of this group was
strung around their passion for Royal Enfield and Living in close quarters with
the bikers at Chase My Wheel taught me what it was to have a family away from
family. While some of us decided to stay on longer to be precise the longer is
four in the morning, I snuck away for a solo ride in the night. There is
something about the air in the night, the cool breeze, the eerie silence and
the star studded sky which is like a tonic for the nerves. Before anyone could
notice my absence I returned to the singing and laughter of my mates.
I woke early the next morning to leave for Pushkar, the songs
we sang the night before still ringing in my ears as I grabbed my gear in a
hurry and ran to the lobby. Pushkar is famous for the Brahma Temple which is
the only one you will find in India and after a short visit we rode back to the
resort for some grub. As we bid our hosts a fond farewell and rode off into the
horizon we knew this was not good bye. The Pratap Palace is not a place you
will visit once and forget but would want to go again and again, bringing new
people to indulge in its beauty. Before we left Ajmer we planned a visit to the
famous Dargah Sharif which is the shrine of the revered Sufi saint Moinuddin
Chishti born in 1141 AD. At about three in the afternoon we were out of Ajmer
and once again were on the Jaipur Ajmer Expressway. We rode for four hours with
a single five minute stop for water. At about seven in the evening we cleared
Jaipur and stopped for tea. Riding in close formation and waiting on each other
we slowly battled our way through trucks and traffic. The highway is bad at night
and oncoming traffic does not care two hoots about your safety they just blaze
their high beams at you as they drudge along. Through the snarls of commercial
traffic and the dusty highway we chugged onward. At around nine thirty at night
we stopped for dinner at the famous Sagar Ratna. The ride ahead was worse.
There were no lights on the road and there were patches under construction.
Finally battle wary and tired we saw those lights. Home was not far now, to us
the lights of the Gurgaon high rises were like beacons of a lighthouse to
sailors lost at sea. We stopped at Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon to say that final
goodbye but we knew this was not the end. The echoes of their victorious cheers
over the thousand kilometers resounded in my ears as we all rode off into the
darkness of the night.
Celebrating its 120th Anniversary, Royal Enfield announced the launch of a new range of limited edition helmets earlier this week. The limited range will consist of hand painted helmets designed by ar...
Sony India has introduced the new XAV-AX8100 in-car media receiver, offering new utility features, powerful sound and smart features.
ExxonMobil Lubricants Pvt Ltd launched its upgraded Mobil Super Moto range of engine oils to make it easier for people to maintain their two-wheelers in top condition. The launch comes at a time when...
In an exclusive interview, Uday Narang, Chairman, Anglian Omega Group & Omega Seiki Mobility
talks about his company plans to enter the two and four wheeler electric vehicle space.
Motown India speaks to Woosuk Leem, Managing Director, AS Parts Division, Mobis India to get more details about the Hyundai Mobility Membership App and its advantages.
Vishal Mathur, Senior Vice President, LMD Truck Business – VECV elaborates upon VECV’s Light & Medium Duty (LMD) business in India, the company’s product offering and the several advantages offered by...