“It’s insane. 480 kms in a single day with the temperature soaring upto 43°c? If we really are planning to go, why not on 4 wheels?”
“Ahh please. What’s the point in visiting the Bullet baba on four wheels? It has to be on our bikes. “
“Fine, man! A bike ride it’s. 5 AM, tomorrow?”
“5 AM, tomorrow.”
Why bullet baba you ask? Because the plan was in the tunnel for too long, and now that everyone was finally free, this had to happen. The deity who’s popularly known as bullet baba, was a biker at heart, and the temple is on every biker’s radar. We’d come to his intriguing story later. Read on!
The hack to ride in the summers is to start the ride super early in the morning, say 4 AM. But because of the lazy beings we humans are, the ride began at 6 AM. By then, the sun was already up and shining, then it dawned on us, that the day was going to be a tough one to ride. But we also knew that the roads were good and we could cover a serious distance in a short span of time. The Barr route was opted for, given the scenic views.
Empty stomachs lead to the first stop at Barr, 100 kms in a single stretch without a single break doesn’t sound that bad. The temple was still a good 120 kms from where we were. Highway which connects Barr to Pali was nice too, and mostly devoid of vehicles. Avenger 220 Cruise provided the most entertaining part of this stretch, whose speedometer got locked at 160 km/hr while it wasn’t actually doing more than an 80. We thought of clicking a picture and mail it to Bajaj to let them know the piece of art they’ve come up with and the blistering performance it offers.
Reached the temple at 10:15 am with the trip meter reading 215 kms.
The temple is as basic as it gets with no mesmerizing architecture, just a small worship place and an old bullet enveloped in a glass box.
It was magical to say the least, to visit a deity’s place who loved bikes and riding as much as we do. Bowing down, I prayed to him to keep me safe whenever I’m out on the roads, because it’s a fucking jungle out there and that I’d visit him again, if I become an automotive journalist.
Talked to the priest about the God and his machine. This is how the legend goes : “The incident dates back to 1990. Around 4 kms from where the temple is, there’s a village named Chotila. Om banna, who’s fondly known as bullet baba was the only son of the lord of the village. One day when he took out his bullet on the highway, he met with an accident and unfortunately succumbed to death. The policemen while taking his bullet to the station noticed that the machine was getting started on its own. There’s more. The policemen ignored it at first and parked the bike in the lot. But the very next day, they couldn’t find the bike where it was supposed to be. Upon searching, they found it standing up right at the same place where the accident took place. This repeated 3-4 times until Om banna’s grandmother told them that she had a hallucination where Om banna requested that his bike shouldn’t be moved so much and a worship place should be created at the place of the accident. Since then, his beloved bullet is kept there too. “
We found a nice restaurant right in front of the temple and filled ourselves up to the brim. Chose to sit in the family ac hall so the transition felt magical. We were seriously considering to pay the owner a bit more and take a power nap there for an hour or two. Realized that the idea was bullshit and left the restaurant. It was like stepping out of the refrigerator into a fucking oven, yes, it was that hot outside.
I swapped the keys of Falcon for the Pulsar AS 200. The substantial bump in power and the protection from the windblast was felt instantly. And yes, it looks like a mini multistrada from the front with its low beam on. It cruises comfortably with the ton coming up at 6300 rpm in the 6th cog. The duke based engine is happy to rev till the revline and is quite linear in manner. The ergonomics are comfortable for those long hauls on the highway and aren’t too aggressive but I developed a slight pain in my right wrist, that probably has to do with the unfamiliar riding position. But the suspension on the AS doesn’t justify the Adventure sport moniker as they are set on the stiffer side.
Pushed it till 130 km/hr and I gotta say that the experience wasn’t that smooth as I supposed it’d be, because the engine oil seriously needed a change. Falcon was undoubtedly smoother than the Pulsars and the AS 200 gulped the least fuel among the four steeds, followed by Falcon.
The raging heat made us stop every 40 kms or so to keep us hydrated.
While leaving Barr on our way back, we took a wrong turn and rode on it for 10-15 kms until we realized that we fucked up. Another fuckup followed later. I was riding the 220F and then Snap! Khat! Khat! Khat! The chain came down, somehow got it in its place but a downshift later, it came down again. Tried to fix it and then noticed that a link was almost broken and the chain was too loose to ride. We were stranded right in the middle of the highway. But this is a part of us biker’s life, ain’t it? This is what makes our life a bit more risky, a bit adventurous and a bit more lively. It teaches us important lessons about life, like things can go south when you least expect them to, that there would be hurdles in your life and once you get through them, what would follow is pure bliss. Philosophical shit aside, we asked the locals where we could find a mechanic. The garage was around 4-5 kms from where we were. Once the bike got fixed, we took the right route, Ajmer still being 80 kms away.
The clock showed 6 pm and the heat came down drastically after that. To neutralize the fatigue, we took a coffee break which proved to be our last hault. Then came my favorite part of the ride.
The horizon was engulfing the sun as it splattered the sunlight, what was left of it. The day was coming to an end, so was our ride. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again that this is when it makes the most sense, the essence of motorcycling. Clearing all the hurdles, overcoming the heat, we were basking towards our home. There was a sense of accomplishment overflowing my head. I opened up my visor and tried to take it all in, with goosebumps making their presence felt. This is what I live for, came the conclusion.
One more accomplished ride, one more adventure undertaken, with many more to follow… I said inside my lid as we rode towards our home…