Riding Video :D

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Day 6!!!!!

DAY 6 - 29-31st

After my episode yesterday I kept the sweepers bike and felt good as new by morning. We had the morning brief, there are always three awards and you get passed the t-shirt of the award and must wear it over your kit all day. There is 'spirit' for good riding or doing things right, 'skid' for a spectacular crash and 'dick of the day' for stupidity. The presentations are hilarious as the antics are described prior to presentation. I won't go into all for each day but today’s skid was for a guy who had to ride a rut during dodging the trucks, he was going quite fast and before he could get out of the rut he hit a large rock and somersaulted the bike and himself. He was being patched up when I was in the evening surgery they have with Doc each day.

Rather than nicking our fuel today the local scallies decided to pinch one guys riding boots, another’s trousers, a girls body armour and Andy' swimming shorts! Mind you it's a bit silly leaving your kit on the balcony of your shack. Not sure if the original owners all left sign with kit saying please take but they might as well have done!! One of the mechanics lent the girl his body armour and got the spirit award for doing so. Someone found an old pair of boots in the road for the other guy. Joe wore his thermal longjohns to ride and Andy has been swimming in underpants every since!!

Today’s run started uneventfully riding though various villages it had been a very early start, up at five thirty and riding by seven thirty. We were to suffer the trucks again today and by the time we got to the start of a 21km line in both directions the temp was well into the 30's. I had thought since the start of the day that Andy, Terry and Herbie were in front of me and rode fast to find them. I was riding solo through the narrow gap between the trucks with at times only six inches spare on each side of the bars. 12km into the jam my clutch would no longer work and the lever was just flopping around. I got the bike onto the dirt at the side of the road. I had been riding the clutch to get through the trucks and on these bikes that happens in very hot conditions but the clutch cable had stretched as well. A sweeper arrived and radioed for a mechanic. Soon Terry and Herbie arrived with Terry's clutch also bust.

 It was 10.05 when he arrived and we were fixed and riding one hot, dusty and diesel dirty hour later. As we rode on any trucks that pushed in had their cabs bashed with big sticks by guys trying to control the lines. One driver punched a guy in the face who had tried to hit the driver through his cab window with a big stick! He went away holding his eye and then came back with a couple of mates who also had big sticks. Chaos broke out, it was hilarious. There was a great off road section, all uphill, with dirt, gravel, rocks and ruts. I stood on the pegs and blasted around the sharp bends overtaking all in front of me. As I came down the other side the going was tough and I knew that I would not make the next turn. I had a choice of an area covered in rocks or one with dirt and less rocks, I chose the later. I crashed with the bike trapping my left leg and a rock finding me ribs at the side, the only chink in my armour. The guys following pulled the bike off me. No real damage to the bike and I am only bruised. I just got too cocky. What everybody must realize is that you will crash on an Enduro. Riders have to come to terms with that and not be frightened. You always pray it will just be a few bumps and no breaks which would put you out of the rally.

We rode through small villages where kids waved and held out their hands to slap ours as we rode past. It is a big event when over 100 bikes and support ride through town. When we reached our destination at Murudashvar we were greeted by the sight of an 18 storie ornate temple and the largest Shiva statue in the word. The whole area had a mystic beauty about it. The hotel was clean, Andy and I were in an a/c room with a bed each complete with clean sheets!.... Today, while riding, a little girl with pigtails and glasses blew me a kiss. That little girl touched my heart.

thank you to everybody who has kindly donated recently, much appreciated

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Vertigo Cured! :D

Picture sent straight from the explorer :)

"Here I am, up a mountain after a part of today's ride @ Saturday midday"

Very proud of you Dad,
Penny,Megan & Katy-Anne x

Friday, 29 January 2010


29th January

It was an early start for this first real day of riding from Goa to Palolem beach. Up at 5.45 and at bikes for 7am. There is not a spare minute as all kit has to be made ready for support truck, food eaten and getting riding gear on takes more time than just jeans and t-shirt. We also had to carry enough stuff for two days as the baggage support trucks could not get to the beach we were to stay on. 

Also the accommodation was to be primitive so sleeping bags and own pillows were required. Our tank bags and backpacks were full so we all also had what became known as 'African luggage', black bin bags or carrier bags strapped to the back of the bikes!!! We were by our bikes at 7.30am it was so hot even at that early hour that everyone was sweating just standing still. A local holy man gave us garlands around our necks and a dot of some red powder on our foreheads. We headed off at around 8.15. Three ambulances were parked ready to merge in with the group and there are four paramedics on bikes as well as a doctor. A whole team of mechanics on bikes as well as a spares and replacement bikes on a support truck were also there. The first 19 km were easy then we rode along a 19km road where large iron ore transport trucks were queuing facing our direction. After passing around 50 I started to count. I counted a further 360 trucks whilst avoiding oncoming traffic on our side of the road. The brown orange dust covered us and the air was heavy with diesel fumes. After 360 I had to stop counting because there were trucks on our side too. You had to get through the middle with only inches (literally) to spare either end of your handle bars, or go off road a ride the ruts in the dust beside the road surface not knowing what you were riding into through the smog of red dust. 

This went on for almost as long as the first queue, there must have been over 700 trucks in one big jam. Once the road cleared trucks in front would drive very fast and the dust was so thick you rode blind. Later that morning was a great off-road section of dirt and gravel track of around 5km I loved this part standing on the pegs (footrests) and hitting it at 80 to 90km per hour. The bike jumps and slides but at least you can ride the ruts rather than taking every jolt as you would at a slower speed.   We had a short break but where we stopped they had run out of bottled water. I wear a camel back rucksack which contains 2 litres of water which you can drink through a pipe which fits into my helmet. It is imperative to take on large amounts of fluid in these temperatures of 30C+ when riding these enduro rallies. 

  I had enough to complete the next stage which I expected to only take around another two hours as I had been riding close to the front of the field so far that day. The next few miles proved to be difficult my bike kept suffering fuel starvation and the engine would die on a whim, often when overtaking on hills leaving me stranded in the middle of the road with fast traffic approaching from both directions. By the time we hit a hill climb which was to climb quite high over a reasonable period of time my bike had died at least six times. Each time it had to be kick started or bump started as they have no electric start. One kick was never enough and the mechanics would arrive as they cruise the rally constantly to help me start it. On the hill section going up it happened four more times with the final time proving I had no petrol left. The mechanics arrived and called support. It then becomes apparent that around 30 of the bikes had had their tanks drained of around 75 percent of their fuel. Rumor has it that the 'un-security guard' the previous night had been advised by local 'mafia' to take a break while the theft took place. The mechanics waited for another rider with an empty water bottle so they could give me one litre of their fuel. Down the hill section my engine cut out at least 3 more time robbing me of engine braking on a gravel surface where a free wheeling bike with only brakes working would be a recipe for a crash. Within the next few kilometers the bike stopped continually until starting it only gave me a few hundred meters for all the effort of starting it again. In total it had died seventeen times. I was in body armor and heavy motocross boots with a full pack on my back. A sweeper (backup crew to pickup people left behind) came and swapped my bike with his and a support vehicle arrived with more fuel.

 I followed him to a garage 0.8km from our destination. There were bikes lined up to refuel in severe heat, I fill the new bike and knew I could ride no further without water which had run out an hour of so earlier. I went into the forecourt shop and drank .5 of a litre and poured the rest over me to try to cool my body temp. The support crew saw I was not able to ride. I arrived at the destination in the back of an ambulance to see the doctor. Overheated and dehydrated. Within a couple of hours after cold showers and rehydration salts I was feeling fine. I was allocated a shack on the beach and was to share my bed with a different guy called Terry! Please do not think I am loose, I was made to do it!!!.

Thank you to all those who have very kindly donated to the charities recently, much appreciated.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

1st DAY ENDURO- My Fourth

Sent to my family in the UK:

26th January/27th

So that everyone can understand what we put ourselves through each day. This is how this Enduro works. Everybody is given a road book stating your start point, the approximate distance of today’s stage, the destination, the important towns you will pass through and then a route planner comprising of all the sections for the trip.
Each section gives a graphic showing a bend or crossroads or t-junction etc. Next to that is the approx difference in km since the previous section. Then a written description of the graphic, for example 'remain straight on this road' then an approximate cumulative km reading since the start of the day. In Enduro rallies such as the Dakar a road book similar to this is given to each competitor each night for the next day on a long roll of paper. This roll is then fitted into an easily viewed display mounted in the handlebar fairing which is connected to the wheels so that it continues to roll based on distance covered.
We get a book which we put in the transparent map case on our petrol tanks. (Very difficult to keep watch on) We have to constantly calculate the kms run against the odometer of the bike to find our way stopping when the page needs to be turned. Now about the bikes, most modern day bikes have a rear brake operated by your right foot and the gear change operated by your left foot, usually one click down for first and then clicking up through neutral to second then up each time for further gears. We are riding bikes where the brake is on the left foot and the gear change on the right. Also the gears are one up and three down. As you can imagine this is enough to confuse but with false neutrals between each gear it is a nightmare.
Now the other road users, there are cows and dogs constantly appearing in you path. The locals overtake on blind bends so you can turn a bend and trucks are coming at you on both sides of the road. They drive on the left but at a junction you can be indicating to turn right and a local will pull up next to you and then go straight on! Expect the unexpected 'it's all part of the Enduro experience'. Our test ride today was to a great beach with a road leading in full of local artisan shops. If you missed the hippy Californian thing in the 60's come to Goa!

I would also like to say a huge thank-you to everybody who has donated recently towards the charities, much appreciated.


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My 3rd Day

Sent to my family in the UK:

25th January

I slept well and awoke to see a red sun rise over the Gateway to India. Spent ages repacking my bags as they had to weigh 35kg in total on the next flight from Mumbai to Goa. Ended up with 38.5 after filling my carry on backpack. Guess I will have to take my chances with excess baggage charges as it is unlikely that charm will work. Another hair raising trip of near misses to the airport.
The rest of the riders had arrived on the overnight from London by the time I arrived, and due to the number of us some had already caught the earlier flight to Goa. At the check in counter a baggage handler insisted on putting my bags on the belt and insisted my crash helmet go on as well. I told him that would definitely not happen. And stood my ground. Due to this distraction the bags went on with no mention of excess charge. I left the counter with him glaring at me...one small victory!!! I meet a couple of other riders in the lounge and soon boarded the flight for the short hop to Goa. All bags turned up which was a relief for all as everyone had all their boots and bodyarmour entrusted to the airline. Packed onto a very old a decrepit bus the trip of over an hour to our first overnight hotel was not too comfortable although the scenery was great and somewhat similar to coastal trips I have taken in Jamaica.

We eventually arrived after stopping more than once so the driver could spray his brakes with water as they were too hot to work correctly! As we dragged our bags down a dusty lane we saw the bikes for the first time, over 100 Royal Enfield Bullet 350's in neat rows. We waited in line to be allocated our rooms which would be for the next two nights. In almost all cases it was three to a room. I stood next to a guy called Alan who by coincidence was to be one of my roommates. As we entered the room I was not surprised that it bore no resemblance to the pictures we had downloaded to this blog from their website. There was a double bed and a double mattress on the floor, we both looked at each other and immediately decided to discuss sleeping arrangements later! We eventually found the 'third man', Andy, in the bar. We joined the table of guys he was with.

The ages of riders range up to age 71 with most of us being over 40. A spirit of camaraderie did not take long. We had a welcome meeting and were allocated our teams for the trip as well as a team leader from the orgainising road crew. The timings to start on the first day were to be staggered from 8am onwards with my 'Team Purple' scheduled for a 10.30 start. After a buffet style dinner we all sat around talking and drinking before retiring to our rooms.

I would also like to say a huge thank-you to everybody who has donated recently towards the charities, much appreciated.

Monday, 25 January 2010

More Coming

More posts coming soon from the explorer,
too tired too come up with creative writing tonight then eh, Dad? :D

Sunday, 24 January 2010

My Second Day

Sent to my family in the UK:

Exploring on 23rd/24th January

The sound of this city is the car horn. The cars, pushbikes, motorcyles and various other contraptions jostle for position on every crowded road. There is a feeling of total chaos allthough I have not seen a single collision as they all seem to drive with an instinctive sense of last minute accident avoidence. The unusual little taxis are so cheap with a twenty minute journey through town only costing the equivalent of a pound. They often turn their engines of at red lights and only start them again after the lights have most certainly turned green. During this time you are more often than not approached by beggars. My breath was taken away as a woman came to the window with a maimed child in her arms its face totally burnt on one side by fire or some kind of chemical, its arm had been amputated half way down the forearm. I could not tell if it was a boy or a girl. This is a frequent sight and I am told by a friend here who comes from Mumbai that these children have been maimed by criminal gangs and passed from one woman to another as a prop whilst they beg in the city. Slumdog Millionaire is a true portrail of life on the streets of Mubai. You cannot fail to be upset by the cruelty.

I would also like to say a huge thank-you to everybody who has donated recently towards the charities, much appreciated.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

My First Day

Sent to my family in the UK:

Arrived Saturday 23

I have arrived at the Taj hotel, Mumbai for my last bit of luxury before meeting the other 97 riders on Monday.
Security is very apparent here after the attack last year. The car which the hotel itself had arranged to pick me up from the airport had to have a check under the bonnet and in the boot as well as guys with mirrors checking under the car before we were allowed onto the front of the hotel. Then I had to put my crash helmet and backpack through an airport x-ray machine and myself through a met detector before I could get to front lobby of hotel! Since on Tuesday it’s a national holiday parties are happening under the "gateway" so there are armed guards outside everywhere! It is all very reassuring though safety wise :D. But been a busy day with lots of reasons to stay awake I'm very happy to of taken a few days to acclimatize because I'm finding it hard at certain times in the day. But it is already extremely exciting.

I would also like to say a huge thank-you to everybody who has donated recently towards the charities, much appreciated.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Accomodation

Hiya guys,
Just wanted to show you some pics of the accomodation for the trip. I need to keep reminding myself its ALL part of the "experience".
But the views are stunning :)

DAY 2&3

Country Clube De Goa - http://www.countryclubedegoa.net/


Beach Huts - http://www.campsanfrancisco.com/


RNS Residency - http://nivalink.com/rns/index.html


Jewel Rock Hotel - NO website :(



DAY 9&10

JUNGLE HUT & RETREAT - http://jungleretreat.com/index.html

DAY 11

DAY 12

CARDAMOM COUNTY - http://muthoothotels.com/muthoot-cardamom-county/accomodation_county.html

DAY 13&14

LAKESONG - http://www.eastend.in/lakesong-accommodation.htm

DAY 15 - home sweet home :)

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Charity Donation Fundraiser

During August we held a charity fundraiser event to collect donations towards the charities. I would like to say a huge thank you to everybody who attended or those who couldn't attend but still kindly donated. The grand total that you helped me raise at the event was :   £2,100.00

This donation will be divided between the three charities,
(Rainbow Trust, WCS, Unicef)


Route Map - Click on map for intinerary

Route Map - Click on map for intinerary
From Goa To Cochin - Two weeks and Two Thousand Kilometres

My Ride For The Trip

My Ride For The Trip
The Royal Enfield Bullet - 350cc

My Usual Ride

My Usual Ride
Harley Davidson Street Bob - 1584cc

Click the logo below to view the Enduro India website