Ladakh, no matter how much gets written about it, the words cannot do justice to this piece of heaven on earth. A biker's life is never complete without riding on picturesque Ladakh roads offering a true all terrain experience. Ladakh is surely much more than just a riding destination. It offers window to a unique culture, never seen before landscapes, truly high altitude roads, rivers, lakes, valleys and so much more. You go to Ladakh to capture the beauty of it and bring it back with you. But while leaving, you end up losing a piece of your heart only to be found when you visit again.
I was serving a three month long notice period in my company when I got to know about my friend's plan to ride to Leh. I made a case to my Manager to approve 2 weeks leave at the cost of my remaining weekends in office. I ended up being allowed to take that oddball sabbatical; and it was a fantasy come true.
The plan was still 1.5 month away. In no time, I decided to buy a bike - an avenger as it suits my height. I wanted every element of this trip to be as mine as possible. I started riding to office every day to make my bike eligible for first service. Riding 3 hours everyday during rush hours on Delhi-Gurgaon's extremely busy roads was making me feel extremely tired. In no time, anxiety had taken over the excitement for me. Gym was the next obvious thought in mind. I did rigorous work out during next 20 days without giving up on riding and on work. Fortunately Manish's friend Hemant had taken responsibility of planning the trip so I did not have to worry about that. He also made a cool presentation to attract people to join us. The more the merrier. To my surprise, three of my female friends - one from office and two from school days decided to join me. Due to lack of time and enthusiasm in biking, they were going to directly fly to Leh. Even though I was doing all that I could to build my stamina and to improve my riding skills, I was living in fear that I will not be able to make it all the way to Leh. But I still wanted to give it a shot.
Trip was just 10 days away when I got my bike serviced and got a carrier fixed around the back seat. I stopped going to gym and spent time with friends on booking hostels and camps. I outsourced all the local requirements to a friend living and working in Leh city. He arranged permits and a cab for us.