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Old 03-16-2011, 06:44 PM   #301
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Thanks for taking the time to post. This is a classic RR. Many different factors make it great.
Ride Our World
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #302
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Good stuff, thanks!
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:37 PM   #303
Onward through the fog...
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Great yarn. Thanks mate.
Yeah, seems like bargaining is an integral part of any transaction in India, even when you are clearly owed the full amount. And like Myheap's old man said straight to you, many see foreigners as having bottomless pockets so anything is fair game.
But what a great experience!
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #304
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Location: Bend, Oregon
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Skin Tax

It was about my third or fourth week in India before a Tibetan guy I met on a train let me in on "skin tax." Taxis, rickshaws, rooms, it is all priced out in tiers pretty much and you would never really know it if you didn't ever travel with locals.

Obviously, if you are white you are made of money. And when the guy tells you it is a lot less of a trouble to you to pay for their crappy bikes than for them to maintain them or swallow the cost of repairs...well, its true really. I just got to a point where I realized how cheap stuff was and I was actually willing to pay a little extra sometimes not to tax voluntary. And considering that we tend to profit from short changing them on wages and workplace safety when we can...we probably have it coming in karma!

But man, it is amazing that country manages to function. The kindest shadiest people I've ever met. And they know it! Its like they can't help it...they can't.

I think what made it hard for me, and probably you guys sometimes, is that you can't really "do it yourself." You have to rely on people to help you, sell you things, fix things, give you directions, feed you. And you never really know what it going on or what is going to happen. Its really hard to trust people. And it is wicked hot and dirty and busy and there really never is much of a break between negotiations and the next problem.


After all that and coming home wicked sick myself, I find that I'm looking forward to taking my daughter, two up, NOT on an Enflield...

Thanks for the RR!

Some people claim that there's a woman to blame. But I know. It's my own damn fault.

'06 Dakar
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #305
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When it was all said and done with Myheap the day we returned our bikes we were quite upset. There was no question he knew how we felt when we left his shop and Joe is right, we did put it behind us. It wasn't the few hundred dollars that really upset me. It was his total disregard for the money we spent on plane tickets, time and effort involved in getting us to India to do this trip. We mentioned a few times in the report that he just wanted us to keep pouring oil in the bikes and ride them until they died. Yea he would get the bikes back, but what would that have done to our trip. Besides how could we put ourselves in a situation where we could break down in a potentially unsafe area. It was the lack of respect for what we had invested in this once in a lifetime trip that upset me most.

The bike maintenance and hassles were all part of the trip and it was truly an epic adventure. I would just stay away from Smart motors for the Royal Enfield needs.

Joe also left out the part of the story where we couldn't get a taxi back to the hotel and ended up getting the the public train. We really had not spent a lot of time in Delhi and rode the train to the old train station not the new train station where we were staying. It turns out we got lost in Delhi for about 2 hours and lost a camera with about 1000 photos on it in the chaos. When we finally returned to the Hotel the girls were just blown away we had been gone so long. What an experience.

So we are standing there waiting for the train and by the way people are lining up I could see how this was gonna go down. There were so many people trying to get on the train I could see there was no where for the people who needed to get off the train to go. I mean don't let the folks off the train whatever you do. Classic Indian behavior..
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:48 AM   #306
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Fantastic RR

Gents & Ladies

Well done ! A truely inspiring yarn. If you charged $10 to everyone who has read and enjoyed this you would cover the MyHeap short fall 10 times over.

Thanks for the vicarious ride.

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Old 03-17-2011, 07:50 AM   #307
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Great report guys! And gals. Thanks for following through.
I just found out today that we are getting a Royal Enfield dealer here in Portland. Do you think your bike problems were mostly due to Smart's poor maintenance?
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:46 PM   #308
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In the end you will remember the trip not the asshat dealer. Great report.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:42 PM   #309
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Not saying Smart Motors did you a favor but it would have made for a completely different trip and RR had the bikes been mostly trouble free.

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Old 03-17-2011, 06:35 PM   #310
Joined: Sep 2010
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I spent a couple of years working in India and while there are honest and sweet people there, it's unfortunately the exception. The State Department once described it as a functioning anarchy because virtually every member of society is focused solely on themselves (you noticed that in the traffic) and any gain or advantage they can get. Myheap is just an example. There is no right and wrong, "The right thing" doesn't even compute for him. All he sees is that any money he gives to you, for any reason, is less for him.

I could write a book, but your adventure was epic. As a fellow desert rat from your neighborhood I would have killed to be on that ride with you guys. Well done and bravo.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:13 PM   #311
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Day 18: Continued

Until Buuurrrts chain popped off!! Great.

On day 18 we did have our first "Get off" I appreciate that Joe skillfully skipped it in his post from this day. But I think it should be covered.

Maja and I went down and I regrettably failed to document it on camera. Back in the day when I was doing a lot of whitewater kayaking we always had a rule to keep the camera or video rolling whenever we had serious action or carnage and get in on film no matter how hard it is to do so. We did not fallow this rule during the only crash of the trip and because of that there are no pictures.

After fixing our clutch cable we were riding hard to make up time. I didn't really think we were going that fast but after we hit the pavement Maja informed me she knew we were about to go down just before hitting a slick piece of pavement and I believe her. Women can be like that. We came to a short tunnel and on the other side of the tunnel was a descending left hand corner which was quite greasy. As we entered the corner the rear wheel started to slide out and before I knew it we were in full on flat tracker mode. I had one foot down and didn't really feel this was a problem until we hit dry pavement and the bike bucked pretty hard. After a couple of good fish tails the front end went out and we hit the ground going maybe 20 mph. Maja took the worst of it with a hit to the helmet and a small tear in her smart wool long sleeve. I would say we really lucked out. There were plenty of witnesses and a couple of folks stopped to give their advice of course. "Hey man you have to be careful!" was one. "You must slow down these roads can be slick!" was another. Yea no shit I thought to myself. If they only knew we were 1300 miles into a 1500 mile ride.

We both jumped up and I was really worried Maja was hurt. When it clear she wasn't I went to the bike and picked it up off the road. I went to push it out of traffic and the rear wheel was locked up. The chain had popped off and was cammed between the frame of the bike. It took a minutes to fix he problem and get rolling but that day the chain just would not stay on. After reuniting with Joe and Minxter we were in the lead and the problem presented itself. I guess when we hit dry pavement in a slide we must have bent the frame of the bike because the wheels were no longer lined up. We couldn't get the chain to line up after that. We did get it close enough to finish the ride but surely this bike will give the next person to rent it some issue. I mean unless Myheap gets off his ass and checks the bike before it goes back out. I am sure that will happen.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:42 PM   #312
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Wonderful report, thanks for taking the time to share it.

Rob Swartzwelder, Southern AZ
I'm not real fast, but I do have a dog named Dakar!
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:01 PM   #313
Joined: Apr 2009
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End of The Ride

Thanks for taking us along as passengers on your India Ride. Very entertaining and interesting.

The bike return is a bummer but the adventure and being back safe is more important.

Thanks for the adventure.

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Old 03-19-2011, 09:54 AM   #314
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It is interesting to see the Eastern vs Western perspectives. Even at the end of the journey, the westerners were expecting the Indians to adopt western perspective. I think this is an important learning point for westerners that want to travel in other countries.

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Old 03-19-2011, 10:47 AM   #315
What's ******width?
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
It is interesting to see the Eastern vs Western perspectives. Even at the end of the journey, the westerners were expecting the Indians to adopt western perspective. I think this is an important learning point for westerners that want to travel in other countries.

Interesting, so you're saying the "eastern perspective" is that it's ok to lie to people and go back on your word and that westerners should just adapt to it?
Which one of you FF's was it?...FOUNDER!

Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
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