Decision Made

It was not that hard knowing what the weather brings. The South seems to be flooded with water and the north beckons to embrace the unseen floods.  Decision between a Scotland and Lake District was not that complicated –  I am ready to face some extreme conditions but not that extreme too. We will see what the weather will bring but knowing that this is not a car trip but a one on two wheels where the elements of nature keep one soaked in wet for hours and so does to the equipment I want to carry.

In total this shall add me another 700 or so miles to the total tally of reaching 39000miles in about just over a 3years time on my loved soulmate. Nothing keeps up more indulged than a long ride – wet weather – slippery roads and lots of people in their cars who never bother to check their mirrors.

My final plan as it seems to be for the most of the trip > London – Whitby(North York Moors) – Keswick(Lake District) – Hope(Peak District) – North London(Hertfordshire).
Sounds good enough given I am not just riding up north but hiking, meeting Michael , taking pictures and collecting stories(The best part about my travelling). Anything to do with pictures without story telling is just like having sex without even seeing the face of the person you just had sex with.  Ha Ha Haaa – that said – I shall be off from the web and this virtual existence(Another of the things I love the most – away from the virtual world).

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German, Indian & Japanese on a road trip in Britain

Nice to know and find little places which have very interesting names. Beer, for instance only rings one bell in everyone’s mind. Alcohol drink but wait, there’s a place called Beer. Ah, yes it is.

I had a sudden plan and she said “Yes” for our road trip. A German with a non european rather Indian on two wheels which are again non european rather Japanese engine riding in Britain sounds interesting. Just a matter of how many clauses and combinations you may want to add in here.

Its her first motorbike ride, mine countless – we are just going to plan the thing as it comes but we have got few things in head. A final destination which shall see us relaxing by the beach taking long exposure shots and if things goes well – we will do one more of such a trip soon.

I wont be disclosing the complete location of it till I visit it and write about it.

But for those who caught my hints on the FB, here’s the full hint. Ferry ride details soon after the ride.

Night Traveller – Indian Journeys

Travelling in night, has always been a wonderful experience. When half of the world is deep asleep you start a journey of yours travelling miles through empty and fast paced roads.

Some of those journey in wintry nights when the hot warmth is most needed.

Mid way through the long rides comes the chance to grab something hot and warm. So here, I was enjoying the warm hot peanuts in the traditional Indian way from a stall seller(Moongfallee waala).

Mani Babbar Travelography
Mani Babbar Travelography

And to heat up the hands, there are no heater but the warm warm burning coal from the hobs of the mud stone hand made stoves.

Love these journeys, just a preview to what more is there in life. Simplicity and the life still works without the world of Internet.

Bay aM Way …. or simply BMW 1200GS

Finally, after years of wait I lodged myself into the high comfort Kahedo saddle of tractor on two wheels. Yes, I do want to make it sound like french for most of my emotions in my blood are full of toxication from the torque of the cow that rides like smooth butter. Forgive me for my swiss french here …let me bring myself down to earth and re-phrase my joy of riding a BMW 1200GS

I can re-collect my memories of seeing the first BMW1100GS poster in the plastic print on my wall nearly 12years ago and it stood like a wild imagination. The front double suspensions and spring rebound holding the whole frame for providing it the Centre of Mass in a well-defined manner it was simply an amazement to understand how these things work and how people ride them across the deserts loaded with such big panniers. Even till now the wild amusing of the brain keeps me clicking on how these big wheels trail those terrains – ANSWER – “Torque”

Meeting Phil, who happened to be in UK and in Cambridgeshire some 35 odd miles away from home. I had to thank him for his courtesy that he welcomed me from my long 24hours ride to Austria in 2009 allowing me to take a halt at his comfortable couch and treating me to his courteous meals.


It was a chance to take him for a ride along with me to some of the sea shores of Norfolk countryside. Weather as usual turned cloudy and grey but what better way when its two for the road – Just hit the road. Without a second thought we went on riding through the smooth flat road of Cambridgeshire into Norfolk and into the beautiful sea-side of Hunstanton.

Riding back through the Sandringham with the light spreading its super true wonderful red and blue magic over the greener pastures. It could not have got any better while cruising our way back into the night shelter. We talked endlessly of the riding gears, the years and the first time we met and how I have simply not been in touch. Forget the past and we live in present again. Riding back with a feel of little chill in the air – it was nice with our next day well planned.

How passionately, I still talk of the BMW simply shows in my way that my tongue simply slips over this BMW slippery surface. It simply is in the blood – the love for this german cow. A word that was introduced to me by Phil himself. He allowed me to take his cow for a ride while he was left to struggle with my half the engine power 600cc Fazer. I can’t express how he felt but all I want to share is how I felt on this BMW 1200GS.

At first, my brain conked up with the switches on the handlebar. “It’s just a bike” ride on – Phil shouted at me. Bloody it was in the first gear and I could not get it off the side stand even at first. 240kgs solid definitely stands out to its name. I would not want something that huge to go down or take me down with it. Taking the bike out of the first gear into the neutral and starting it with its round small twitchy button … it vibrated like … shake me inside out – Oh yes, the vibrations on 104,000kms old 1200GS nice to begin with. The best part was still that I was able to touch my feet down with enough to keep myself balanced on this high moving cow. It amazed me once it started to move. Damn, this thing moved to hundred at 3000rpm so smoothly and beat that it takes a whole body art to bank it in the corners. Well, this is a first time ride but I am enjoying my passion of BMW.

The next big thing which was a heart stopper for Phil, was that I am in the traffic and I was riding his cow in the traffic like my 600 which did not have those hanging big huge tits on either side of its body. As he says, I almost scratched few cars in the traffic .. nearly.. that he was already thinking of his insurance. But it definitely, takes courage to balance the beast in the traffic with those bulky tits .. either they will scratch off those cars or will take you down with them without u giving enough chance to notice it. I had to thank Phil for showing his trust in my ridng style which surely meant that I was not getting his bike in immediate city riding conditions.

Power, torque, comfort – it is a mix of all – ok, it’s not meant for racing on the open streets but given the torque it will nail any other road legal bike till 180MPH easy. No doubt, that BMW still sits on the top of my bike list but only if I could put on another 10-15kgs on my body and ensure that I am going to be able to move this bike on my own – it shall be mine that very day.

Phil, is a special friend whom I met on ADVrider.com and we came along since our first meeting in 2009 who supported me with his special help in the cold night helping adjusting my bike chain on a 10yr old Fazer 600 which is no more a part of my life now as the old tearing chain ensured that I let that bike go and get a newer Fazer which is very much strong and good miles muncher for now.

For those who know me – may know that 1200GS is my dream ride and those who dont know me – just know that I ride to live and I live to feel the freedom – Henceforth, the FreeBird Mani.

Flying Back

On the way back home from Frankfurt, which almost has made me feel at home in almost 7 days. But to go back in the time, the last few shots while I was waiting at the airport.

Interesting enough, I was early and I almost boarded a flight earlier to mine as I completely skipped the difference. And the lady at the counter said, oh you are early by 90 minutes and your flight is next one. Laugh at myself was a good way to go back 🙂 and start my wait again.

Oh Frankfurt, oh my not so house yet so much of a home in this city – I almost feel I miss you.

Looking around, I was bored, annoyed and just lost but what better way to invest that time into some snapping.

I could not resist myself and then came along my hunger for snapping those candid faces.

view outside the terminal - FRAPORT

 

 

 

It was another kind of experience – the plane has been taxi on its runway and then stopped till it stops lightning strikes – the pilot announced – we will be taking a different route another bell strikes – forcing pilot to make an announcement – we will not be flying till further communicated as another plane next to ours has been a taxi as well on the runway. Amazing experience, another bell – and Pilot announces we will be switching off the engines till further information – our weather radars telling us these lightning strikes that you see out of windows are quite stong. Ok, next thing – engines switching back on – Pilot makes a dare and challenges to take us through these lightning strikes which have covered all the skies as far as our eyes can see.

Truly wonderful flying experience with BA on Flight BA903 – 26.Aug.11