I've been doing solo rides after my very first ride which was with HOG members the reason being that things were in complete disarray when I rode with the HOG members on August 15th for the Freedom Ride event in India. I decided to give it another try since there were fewer people this time. The coordinator of the Two Rivers Chapter in Pune, India sent us a message on WhatsApp telling us that Sunday's ride was to Wai which is around 95 kms from Pune. We were to assemble at McDonald's in Khedshivapur (35 kms from Pune) at 6:30 AM and would depart for Wai as a group at 7:00 AM.
I got to the starting point at 6:40 AM, fueled up the Therapist from the adjacent gas station and was ready at 6:45 AM. Most of the rides who said would join in got in by 6:55 AM and we were ready to depart by 7:00 AM. The leader of our group (standing in the middle of this group photo) briefed us about how to ride in a group (zig zag formation, each person has a number and will not overtake, always look out for 2 lights behind you and slow down if the bikes seem to slow down). Of the 9 Harleys, 5 were Street 750s, 2 were Iron 883s, 2 were Street Bobs. The leader was in a Street Bob and the sweeper was in an Iron 883. I am at the extreme left with the bar and shield HD mesh jacket which was gifted to me by a client of mine in the US when he heard that I bought a Harley Davidson Street 750.
Since there were a couple of first timers, the leader decided to stick to 100 kmph. There was a single ghat on the way barring which the ride was pretty smooth. We got to Anandvan Resorts in Wai by around 8:15 AM. This resort belongs to a fellow HOG member. Breakfast was provided for.
After breakfast, it was time to head back. I insisted that we take a couple of pictures of the group. Here's a sweep panorama that went horribly wrong.
Here's one with the group just before returning.
Here's one of me after returning home to my little boy and wife. Notice my little boy play with his current favorite toy (a cooker).
Overall, I had a much better experience this time, thanks to the leader, sweeper and a couple of experienced riders. The ride taught me a few things:
0. How to ride in a group.
1. My behind was sore at the end of the ride. So a better seat (locally made Corbin perhaps
) is definitely on the cards.
2. The highway footpegs are a very good investment. It felt really good to stretch out my legs.
3. Need to get the handle bar closer to my body. My hands were stretched a tad too much I'd say.
4. A few of the riders in the group had scala rider g9x/g9 units for communication. If I do these HOG rides often, I think it makes sense to invest in one.
5. Once we got off the highway to turn towards Wai, the roads were not that smooth. It was bone jarring at times with the rough roads. I need to check to see if something can be done with the shock absorbers. Too stiff.