To start with, this wasn’t a media invite, but just an impromptu bump-in with some guys on a ride called the LONG WAY HOME ASIA 2013 – on their way Beijing to Paris. It’s not every day that you see a fully loaded BMW R1200GS flying past with that trademark boxer twin whirr. The best part, however, is when you lead a whole bunch of these bikes whose cumulative torque could send the earth spinning in the other direction – the feeling of having five R1200S in your rear view mirrors following you obediently is just too amazing to be out in words. In fact there were seven R1200S behind me, with two extra units loaded on the backup truck. Wish I could ride one of them. Nonetheless, an opportunity to ride with these riders who would transverse almost half the globe on two wheels is no less a privilege and I happened to escort them for some 50 km.
Talking about their ride- LONG WAY HOME ASIA 2013 is a ride across countries the names of all which I really can’t recollect. The ones that quickly come to mind, though, would be China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy and France- as it appears on the route posted on the truck. But they were taking a different route. Initially they were to ride cross into Pakistan from India, which couldn’t happen- thanks to recent terrorist attacks, hence the riders rode all the way to Mumbai and would be shipping their bikes to Iran and thereon continue their ride home.
Driving with them was a trailing Mitsubishi truck with two spare motorcycles and a pile of extra tyres complemented by a backup vehicle – an indestructible Toyota Land Cruiser as the obvious choice, carrying the necessary paraphernalia. As a token of appreciation, I was offered a drink at the hotel (which I politely refused) but lunch was definitely on. It was a pleasure listening to their travel stories arising out of their experiences while witnessing various cultures. Couldn’t resist enquiring about their experience of riding through India as compared to China and for them India despite being messy at places was very alive. On the other hand “Suffocating” was the word they used for China and they were happy once they left the Chinese borders. Indian food was another thing that they were thoroughly enjoying down here.
The chit-chat carried on for an hour before I bid adieu to the riders- but not before being invited for a ride when they are here next year. All in all, it was a public holiday well spent. I was back home, but then the tune of the boxer engine was still playing in my ears. I was disappointed for not being able to ride on of those 1200cc monsters – just because my feet couldn’t reach the floor, and I didn’t want to risk dropping those expensive machines. Damn!