Road to Mussoorie: A motor-head’s delight

Road to Mussoorie: A motor-head’s delight

There was a movie I had seen in 1970s with an intriguing name- ‘If it’s Tuesday, it must be Belgium’, the plot long forgotten. If it is around 7am on Mussoorie Road, and I hear the off-cadence blat-blat-blat-blat typical of Harley Davidsons, I know it is Saturday.

Harleys are dime a dozen in Dehradun and every Saturday, come rain or sun, the HOGs make their weekly pilgrimage to Mussoorie or beyond. They disturb the late risers with their loud exhaust noise, all headlights blazing, their riders lazily ensconced in their low seats, feet forward, open face helmets, silk scarves and leather jackets. I envy the looks they demand from the passers-by, but not their ride. I know for sure the discomforts of getting your right calf slowly roasted medium rare by the twin exhausts on slow rides and hot days, the inability to raise your fundament of the seat while riding over a bump. They personify lazy riding, more suited to the rolling, straight interstate highways, and not for the narrow, twisty Uttarakhand roads, but what the hell, if you have money to blow, why not flaunt it?

Then there is the frenetic passage and banshee scream of the high revving Kawasaki Ninjas. There are about a dozen Ninjas of the 900 or 1000cc in Dehradun. In their Kawasaki Green livery, the riders in their full mask helmets hunched over, ratcheting the gearbox through the curves, swinging their fundaments across the seat to get the proper lean angle, they are a visual treat. I envy their riding and the sheer physics of riding fast on the myriad curves in the 18km stretch between Dehradun and Mussoorie. They herald their passage from well over a kilometre away, here come the Ninjas!

Then there are the Triumphs with their almost soothing parallel twin exhaust beat, closely emulated by our very own Royal Enfield Interceptors. The riders sitting straight, hands comfortable on the handlebars are a visual delight, a throwback to the days of simple motorcycling. Bullets and their ilk are non-entities, there are just too many of them. One day I noticed an unfamiliar silhouette, chased it and found it was a Mondial 300! And I thought the Italian marquee was long dead and buried in the motorcycle brand cemetery!

There are exactly two Mustangs in Dehradun, one fiery red and the other fluorescent yellow, with off-centre black stripes. I pity the owners, because by my reckoning, these behemoths with their 5 litre V8 engines probably never manage to go beyond second gear!

One of the most amazing sights was a grey BMW Z3 followed by a Ferrari 911, probably, both with their tops down chasing each other up towards Mussoorie.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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