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Promotional feature: Into the mountains

25th Feb 2015 12:00 pm

The Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers are back for a third ride.

ABOUT THE CONTEST - Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers is an ongoing monthly online contest hosted on Autocar India and Hero MotoCorp’s facebook page. All participants are asked to answer some very simple questions, and at the end of the contest every month, three winners are chosen.
These lucky bike enthusiasts win an all-expenses-paid two nights, three days ride on three Hero Karizma ZMRs. The rides are planned well in advance and cover several beautiful locations across the country. Those interested in participating can enter the contest on Autocar India or Hero MotoCorp’s facebook page. The contest and rides are organised and conducted by Autocar India.

The sun was setting and the day was coming to an end. The Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers were standing at a crossroad with no signs and nobody who could help with directions. Their map said both routes would end at the same place. One would go over the mountain and the other around it. But which one was better? After spending a whole day riding down broken and sometimes non-existent routes, the Wanderers wanted to make sure that they took the better option. And right on cue, some locals appeared from around a corner. “Take the road over the mountain. It’s better.”  And the Wanderers were off. In the middle of a 200km stretch of bad roads, they had found 45km of the smoothest tarmac that wound its way through nameless villages. They were in perfect biking territory.

What are we going on about? The third Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers ride. Our three winners, Jay, Nitin and Krishanu with ride leader Vir Nakai, were on a ride that left all of them spellbound at the beauty of the lower Himalayas. And of course, they were riding three shiny new Hero Karizma ZMRs.
The ride began when the Wanderers headed out from Delhi on NH1 towards Shahabad Markanda. The highway, all the way to Shahabad, is a brilliant four-lane stretch of road. And because they left early in the morning, they were rewarded with a superb sunrise and an empty highway. Soon, they turned off the highway and crossed into Himachal Pradesh near Kala Amb. The road then began to climb. Thanks to light traffic, they reached Writer’s Hill — their destination for the night — just in time to catch the sunset. And then commenced the usual sitting around a campfire, swapping stories and planning the next day’s ride.

After a heavy breakfast, recommended since once you’re on the road, you don’t know when your next meal will be, the Wanderers decided to back track for a bit and make a 120km dash to Chakrata, their stop for the night. But first, they rode out to Renukaji. After passing the lake there, and riding by the Giri river, they headed for Sataun and then Rohru. When they heard of an alternative and more scenic route, true Wanderers that they are, they immediately went for it. And promptly got lost. After riding for many kilometres off-road, they finally found their way back. That’s when they ended up at the crossroad we mentioned at the start of this story. The road over the mountain brought them to Sahiya, and they covered the 24km to Chakrata rapidly. The great part about this stretch — a mix of good, bad and no roads — was that the bikes handled everything superbly. That night at Chakrata, they stayed at a great little property called the Himalayan Paradise hotel. Jay said that he simply fell in love with the place.

The next morning, the Wanderers headed out for one final straight dash back to Delhi. They made it with little daylight to spare and handed the bikes over at Pashupati Motors, a Hero MotoCorp dealership in Delhi. All the Wanderers were thrilled about the great weekend spent exploring the mountains on bikes that made it a great experience.

These bikes can really take a beating. The power is adequate as is the comfort. The mileage is very good. We rode quite a bit off-road and I was so happy with the comfort, suspension and handling. But the experience was amazing. This was the first time I’ve won something ever. And my first time in the hills. It was totally a dream come true. Thank you.       - Nitin Sharma

I’m an avid biker. I have to say, I loved this ride. And I totally loved the arrangements and the way it was organised. I had a great time riding whether it was in the day, or at night, whether on the road or off it. I loved the journey. The bikes handled very well too. The handling made the twisty sections fun. The gear shifting pattern is good and riding in the hills was easy. I think you should take me along for all the Wanderers rides. I would absolutely love to ride again.       - Jay Shridhar    


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