The day we left Sangrur, Nick and I were both feeling very anxious, a bit stressed, and just an overall lack of confidence about starting. The panniers were packed to the max and we were praying we had completed all we had to do! On the way to Delhi we planned to meet up with a group organized by XBHP that was riding from Delhi to Karnal. That was a lot of fun meeting so many bikers!
When we were last in Chandigarh we realized that the metal clamp that connects the rear mudguard to the body of the bike had sheared off! I mean it was a clean cut, an entire bolt was missing. We also had a little engine oil leaking as well, so we needed to get to the BMW dealership in Delhi (Deutsche Motorrad) to get our stuff fixed. We had to leave the bike overnight so we took the Delhi metro and then auto-ed it back to the Army cantt that we were staying at with Nick’s childhood friend Sandy and his wife Simi. Sandy and Simi really showed us a great time by taking us out in Gurgaon as well as spending fun down time at home. We also met their friends Manvi and Abhishek who were also great, fun people. Eventually we got the bike fixed but the mechanic at BMW was too busy on the phone to listen to Nick and to use his drill properly to take a nut out so it turned out his drill went to the left and he went into the nut as well as into the body. Damnit…it would have to do. We also met with the XBHP guys-Sunny and Sunil – at their really cool office in Delhi. It was great to talk with them as they are both avid bikers and photographers! We checked out their magazine and shared stories. Sunil had done a small photo shoot at Rajpath, we hope the photos came out great. Delhi is always a blast!
Before and after Delhi we had taken a couple of trips to Ambala on the way to Chandigarh etc. Nick’s Dad was in the Army and was posted there but was then moved to the Northeast so Nick, his sister and Mom stayed in the family accommodations in Ambala for 10 years. So Ambala is basically where Nick grew up! I finally got to meet and spend time with all of Nick’s childhood friends and their families who are all really awesome and caring, I’ve never seen that dynamic anywhere in my life (you friends know who you are!).
We found that the part we had fixed in Delhi broke again. We headed back to Chandigarh and spent almost a week with Sunny & Rozy and their family. We fixed the bike up properly and also got a chance to meet the Greenolives team, Shashank & Ravi who had done an amazing job making our website! We were happy to finally meet them as they had really gone out of their way to do such a great job. We also got a chance to meet up our friends Karna and his fiancé Mahima . They invited us to Mahima’s house for her birthday, we had a fun time! I think Nick and Karna talked about 2009 Raid de Himalaya for 5 hours straight!!!!
Again we loaded up the bike and headed back to Sangrur, we had felt that we hadn’t left with a lot of confidence and we wanted to see the parents again before we left for good. We had a couple of relaxing days in Sangrur to get back on track. It really felt like home, before I was unsure where my home was in India now that my grandparents are in Houston, but now I know Sangrur is my home in India. After Ardaas and having Prasad, Mom and Dad sent us off, this time with full confidence and no tears!
Unfortunately the part we had fixed 2 times before had broken again. Same way, same cut. We realized that once fully loaded ( me + panniers) the tool box we had installed on the side was causing the cut! So we headed to Chandigarh…which was basically on the way to Mussoorie/Dehradun & Nainital to get it fixed again. It also so happened that Sunny was racing in the OYA Autocross/Motorcross competition on Christmas day. So that was awesome, it had been a while since I had been to a motorcross track with Nick. Awesome thing was that it was in Mohali and it was like a big Punjabi motorcross event! Just imagine a lot of Patiala-Mohali sardars and 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler machines…craziness! Sunny ended up placing 1st and 2nd in separate races!
As you can see throughout the post, Nick has a lot of friends in India, I mean this is where he grew up. Ever since Nick and I met I have heard story after story about all his friends never having met them. All these people are Nick’s friends, and now I feel privileged to call all of these people my friends as well. To all our friends from Chandigarh, Ambala, Sangrur, Gurgaon/Delhi and all over India – you all have generously opened up your homes to us, given us nothing but love, best wishes and support and we are eternally grateful for everything that you have done for us! We could not have done this trip without you!!!