I love to roam around on my trusted Bullet motorbike. It’s my third motorbike in India. Slowy but steadily i got ready for a “Bullet”. Over the last six years I’ve ridden more than 100.000 (one lakh) kilometers. I visited almost every state in India. I got stuck in riverbeds and on muddy roads, I’ve crossed the highest passes in the Himalayas and I went all the way down south to Kanyakumari where you see the sun rising and dropping at the same spot.
Here you can soon read some of my road stories.
Back home in Germany I only a had a scooter. It was ideal for getting around in Heidelberg, the small student town in the Neckar Valley where I used to live. This changed quickly once I settled down in India. The same year I arrived, 2012, I got my first motorbike – a Honda Hero Impulse, 125 ccm. I loved this bike, easy to handle and quite comfortable and it was good on these bumpy, unpaved roads.
When I moved from Khajuraho to Ken River Lodge in 2013 – I changed the bike. I needed a bit more horsepower and improved from 125 ccm to 200 cccm. The Duke became a popular bike in India – but I didn’t like that much. I felt it was too small and uncomfortable. This bike wasn’t made for my driving style. Nevertheless I rode all the way up to Kashmir/Ladakh with it. It was an unforgettable experience. I spent 4 month up in these stunning mountains and I will never ever forget when I reached the valley and then finally Leh. I started the trip end of May 2014 from Madhdya Pradesh and it was late early June when I reached Kashmir. In July I moved on to Ladakh. The landscape is amazing, extraordinairy – and for me the best way to experience it, is certainly on the bike. It really gives you the feeling you are part of this, it’s like riding through a movie. Meditation.
The soft colours stand in deep contrast to the rough living conditions. The only bright colour you see up there is the BLUE of the endless sky.
The Duke didn’t stay that long with me. On a trip from Bombay to Goa I fell in love with the “Bullet”, Royal Enfield. My friend, whom I was traveling with, was riding a 350 ccm Thunderbird. I always thought this bike was way too heavy for me, but once I was on it – I was proven wrong. It became immediately mine. It just kept rolling and rolling and rolling. A very comfortable rolling sofa – it absolutely suits my riding style. And – another huge advantage – every mechanic along the road can fix a bullet! This becomes essential when you are as ignorant as I am when it comes to the very basics of what to do when the bike doesn’t start and and and ….
Two weeks after I returned to Madla, I called a Bullet bike mine. A turqouise 500 ccm.
A dream started.
Shrini, that’s the name of my bike (in memorium of my friend who made me first ride a Bullet), became my best travel companion. No matter if we go on a long tour or only roam around in Madla/Janwaar where I live, Shrini is reliable and always fun. I have a “Ladakk carrier” on the back so I can easily carry two small suit cases – and the bike is still well balanced.
I am a slow rider and I mostly ride alone. For me bike riding is like meditating. It’s me and the bike and the surrounding nature. I try to avoid the cities and the big roads. I always look for the by-passes. And while doing so I discovered many small, beautiful roads in my area. Even after four years people people are still starring at me when I drive by.
An older western lady on a Bullet bike. What is this?
There is not a single day – when I am at home – where I do not get on the bike. In summer I jump on in my pyjamas and flipp-flopps, in winter I do wear proper boots. Shrini has truly become a crucial part of my life.