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Goa Getaway Part 2

Pure Awesomeness!!!

Our Private Pool!!!

Today’s post is also a continuation of the Goa Getaway post. For all of you who read part one about the roadtrip this one is the conclusive one which is all about our awesome experience in Goa… So post the amazing car journey we reached Goa Saturday afternoon by about 1pm, went directly to the Villa we had rented – the anticipation & the excitement of how the place would be was unnerving. Though post reaching Calangute & figuring directions to Villa Alina we were finally there! The property looked spectacular with a super old world charm. Immediately, made a run to check our personal infinity pool – the same was totally sensational & very inviting; post figuring rooms and getting the luggage out, we decided to dive into the pool and laze there for a few hours. Meanwhile, Aashay & Rachita had gone out to pick up some alcohol. Once the booze was in, things got into a better perspective and life was all sorted 🙂

Love the old school charm!!!

So for all of you coming to Goa, do check out luxury villas which people rent out. They are cheaper and better than your regular hotels; also, if like us, you prefer an old school getaway place to live then this is the place you need to rent. Ok so the way this works is, you rent the Villa, you have hired help who manage the housekeeping, breakfast & are on call if you need something or the other. There is also a fully furnished kitchen which can be used to make meals, breakfast for us was included in the package. Also basic amenities like towels, etc. are provided by the Villa.

Alcohol & More!!!

Day 1 more or less went into exploring the vastness of Villa Alina & lazing in the pool with oodles of beer & other alco which included Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of JD, some Carona’s, etc…  The feeling of owning  your own Villa with a private pool kind of makes you feel like someone from the “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” absolutely unmatched that feeling is.  Day 2 Ekta & Aashay decided to get bikes on rent which is the norm in Goa, so an Avenger & a FZ was rented. We also tried the breakfast offered at the Villa which was your basic: Fruits, Cereals, Juices & Egg Preps. Rest of the day went in the pool wherein random pitchers of JD, Rum, wine, etc were being made & served. Also dinner was a barbecue party where Rachita had cooked some amazing seekh kebabs, chicken, potatoes, paneer & mushrooms.  Too much fun was becoming 🙂

Heaven!!!

Day 3 started off with Rachita, Keisha & me going for breakfast at the iconic Infantaria Cafe – some bacon, goan sausages, mushrooms on toast, croissants, etc. were had with a pint of Millers beer which was on an introductory scheme.  Post that Ekta, Rachita & me decided to go on a roadtrip to explore south Goa, drove through some awesome scenic views of Goa, went past Ponda towards Colva beach road and then towards Colva beach which clearly wasn’t very happening, it kind of reminded me of Juhu beach in Bombay with no real excitement and just the crowd was a major put off. Came back, crashed for a bit and then was back in the pool with the gang.  For dinner went to the Park and had some crazy spicy Vindaloo & Xacutti which was brain blasting!!!

Beautiful Drive to South Goa

POA General Chilling!!!

Day 4 started off with Rachita & me swimming in the pool where we decided on extending our vacation for another 3 days, actually day 4 was going to be our last day, so spoke to the Villa owners, got a good discount and also extended our trip by another 3 days. Most of the day then was spent sleeping & lazing in the pool like a buffalo. For dinner, Rachita had made some awesome coconut chicken curry with rice and kheema with bread accompanied with beers! So the POA for the next 3 days is to rest, drink, eat & generally chill!!!! Mota mote (Long & Short of it) Goa is an absolute must visit at least once a year and if, like us, you have the option of extending your vacation whether in Goa or anywhere you have to do that, the feeling is fabulous, sensational and all that jazz for sure.

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Goa Getaway Part 1

Post some major planning, discussions & cancellations this weekend and some of next week was agreed upon for our annual Goa trip. Important thing to note here that every year since about 3 to 4 years we have been going to Goa & it is hands down our most favourite destination in India!!!

Packed & Ready

So instead of taking the train or flying down, which was working out a bit expensive, we decided to take the road and make the same into a road trip; weeks in advance preparations – in terms of shopping for clothes, etc. were done. Also Rachita had made her list of things to do/carry so she wouldn’t forget stuff….point to note, my wife loves absolutely loves writing down lists in her little books :). Initially we had decided to go to Pune on Friday, stay the night & then head to Goa. Though last minute, the plan got canned for the better and we decided to leave early Saturday morning & do an end to end trip like the bollywood movie “Bombay to Goa”!

Brilliant View during Road Trip

Woke up at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, showered & left with Rachita, Ekta & Vishal. The car of choice was Skoda which going forward in this write up will be called Motilal. Enough & more food in true gujju style was packed & so we started off at about 3 a.m. from below my house. On the way, Ekta needed a parcel from our Vashi office so had a stop there for 2 minutes and then proceeded, hit the expressway from home in about 45 minutes. Also full-on bollywood hindi music was being blasted, post the first toll nakka we decided to stop & use the washrooms, Rachita & Ekta also decided to shop. Ekta bought out a wafers stand & Ra bought some supari & mukhwas. Then the redbulls were brought out to keep us awake & Rachita decided to make crackers & cheese as Ekta was hungry… Yup we carried things & supplies to make crackers & cheese in a moving vehicle people! Totally insane I tell you we are…

Scorpio aka Bunty

Another interesting thing which happened on the way was the bhaiyya buses & trucks which we started naming basis size and stuff they carried – there were “Fat Bhaiyas, Thin Bhaiyas, Midget Bhaiyas & Trucks which Carried Gas Cylinders were Gas Walla Bhaiyas”. Motlilal (the car) was also having mood swings & stopped playing our music cd’s from time to time…..he needed severe coaxing to play music, though after a point he was being stubborn so we removed my Laptop & started playing music from there. Pune outskirts  we reached in about 2 hours where we met Aashay, Viral & Disha who were also going to be part of our getaway and road trip. They were driving a Scorpio aka Bunty.

Amboli Ghat

Killer Fog Attack

Both the cars now headed towards Satara & from there towards Kohlapur, stopped at a McDonalds in Kohlapur to freshen up. Ekta & me decided to eat ice cream. Also Ekta insisted her photo be taken with Ronald Mcdonald so we did that J. Post this, headed past Nipani towards Amboli Ghat. Top of Amboli Ghat there is a beautiful waterfall and these quaint stalls which sell snacks & refreshments. Stopped there for a bit to grab some munchies. Also this is where we were hit by some insane fog though nothing which would be a dealbreaker. At the Waterfalls, we ate Kanda Bhajiya, Maggi, Omelette & Vada Pav, post that proceeded to Savantwadi & then moved to Goa.  Also one more thing to add in the part 1 of this write up about our Goa GetAway  is that I couldn’t drive as the day before while I was carrying my laptop it slipped and in my effort to stop it from falling I put my leg in the middle and the laptop smashed my toe next to my little toe… L. Good part the toe was a super purple colour which my wife absolutely loves, though the pain was excruciating.  In the next part of this write up I’ll cover the villa we stayed in, the alcohol we drank and just the overall experience of Goa which we enjoyed so make sure you comeback to read the same.

Amboli Waterfalls

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Spider Busa

The UFC has always fascinated me – mixed martial arts fighters going at it Mano-a-Mano until one of them submit, or is knocked out. We have been watching The Ultimate Fighting Championships for a while now. Like with most sports not broadcast in India, the web was the best way to catch up on all the action. Next came DVDs and so on. UFC games have also dominated our videogame time…latest on the list UFC Undisputed 3.

Interestingly, last week was spent doing a fair amount of diligence on the Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fight. Note: Since 2006, Anderson Silva has reigned as the most dominant champion in UFC history. 14-0 in the UFC, Silva has had little difficulty with most opponents. The one significant exception was Sonnen, who dominated Silva with wrestling and was close to winning in decisive fashion when Silva caught him in a submission in the fifth round of their first encounter. So this match was Sonnen’s opportunity to actually defeat the Spider. Sonnen also mounted a fair amount of trash talk and all against Silva, but really, when it came down to the match, it was a no show; Sonnen went down in round 2 courtesy a brutal knee from Anderson Silva followed by a flury of punches. Personally, I would have liked to see the fight go on for a few more rounds but then what is done is done. In other happenings around the match, there was a match between has beens – Tito Ortiz and Forest Griffin. They fought like two athletes way past their prime, Forest eventually won the match and that is about all there is to that. For some awesome Silva highlights, check the video below:

Anderson Silva has pretty much proved to the entire world that he is the greatest fighter of our generation; he has beaten anyone and everyone in his weight category and maybe above and below when required…few are his equal in this day and age. In the ring, there is no equal – he is a killer in there, but outside the ring, Anderson Silva is the quietest person you will find. Early in his life he worked at McDonalds. He also likes to play soccer as he has a soccer field in his backyard at his house in Curitiba, Brazil. He plays paintball and actually freezes the paintballs so it hurts more when you get hit! He owns a CBR600RR back home in Brazil and loves 2 wheels.

Given all these facts and given his brilliance in the ring, Rob Uecker from Voodoo Industries decided it was time to give the Spider a full custom motorcycle that would match his name, personality and fighting prowess. The Bike chosen for this was the Suzuki Hayabusa. Voodoo then ensured they got the right parts and collaborations to ensure it was converted to the “Spider Busa”. UFC fan, Jason, and his business partner Tommy from C&S Customs fabricated the lengthened single-side swingarm, configured the web theme into the arm, rotor and sprocket design and gave the motorcycle an impressive 6 inch over from standard look and feel. The back end was finished off with a special 240 wheel that housed a floating “spinner” yellow spider, which sits stationary on a bearing attached to the one offset of Spider Silva custom wheels.

Star Motorcycles and Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. have also gone the UFC motorcycle way and created 2 motorcycles – Both bikes were inspired by renowned UFC fighter Diego Sanchez. Frank Mir, another UFC fighter, is a motorcycle enthusiast. Unfortunately, he is known more for the unfortunate crash he had as compared to his love for the motorcycle – Mir was knocked off his motorcycle by a car. The accident caused a break in Mir’s femur and tore all the ligaments in his knee. The bone had broken in two places but the injury did not end Mir’s career as a fighter. Major surgery was needed to repair the bone in his leg. Other UFC fighters, who are into Motorcycles – our absolute favourite Matt Hughes and BJ Penn – don’t miss their rare picture to the left. If you have not seen the UFC yet, log on to Youtube and check some crazy action you will definitely not regret it.

For all you motorcycle geeks, here are the Impressive specs of the “Spider Busa”

Make/Model: 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa

Builder: Voodoo Industries, Rob Uecker

Engine: Shorty Duals w/Speakeasy Baffles: Voodoo Industries
See Thru Clutch Cover: TOCC
Clutch Set: DP
Air & Oil Filter: K&N
Glass Radiator Hoses: Voodoo Industries

Body: Paint, Molding Windscreen, Gator Glass “Spider Silva” Logos and Solo Hump: Gator Customs

Powdercoat: Sport Chrome

Swingarm: Single Side 240 Tubular Swingarm (Webbing, “Spider Silva” Rotor, “Web” Sprocket, Center Cap “Spider Silva” Spinner) C&S Custom

Wheels: 18 x 8.5 & 17 x 3.5 “Spider Silva” Custom Design: Voodoo Industries

Tires: 240/18 Elite 120/17: Dunlop,USA

Front Brake Rotor: Galfer

Brake & Clutch Lines: Galfer

Brake Pads: DP

Gauges “Spider Silva” Logo: StreetRacerParts.com

Mirror Block-Offs: Yanashiki

Levers & Grips: Yanashiki

Top Triple Tree, Fork Caps, Yoke Cap: Roaring Toyz
Fuel Cap: Roaring Toyz

Kickstand/Lowering Links: Roaring Toyz

License Plate Mount: Roaring Toyz

Axle Cover & Frame Plugs: Lawst Caws

Chain: RK

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Our First DSLR

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on photography; anyways, this post is about a DLSR that we picked up a few months ago.

Here is the story in brief – After months and months of contemplating and mental masturbation, we finally gave in and bought a Nikon D5100 DSLR. Before this purchase, we used to used an Olympus super zoom and a Sony Cybershot – this has been probably the longest debated purchase in our life – check the picture on the right, the camera looks pretty kick-ass. As soon as I bought the camera, I thought I was Yousuf Karsh – for people who don’t know who he is, Google/YouTube him – legendary photographer, shot some of the most iconic pictures of our time (Click here to view his work).

Moving on, the” Karsh feeling” crumbled in seconds as soon as I tried manual focus; could not shoot any image without it being blurry. At a point, my uncle and I started questioning the store owner, if the camera had an issue; finally figured that the lens has an option and quickly switched it to auto and then everything was fine. Rode home and realised the shopkeeper has removed the lens, struggled for about 15 minutes on that – finally saw a video on Youtube and figured it out (Thank God for Youtube and some awesome Tutorials). Intense studies followed basis the manual, online guides, etc. I think I got around to using the camera 2-3 days after actually buying it; by now I knew most of the important navigation buttons.  Like with most new things we buy, I started carrying the camera everywhere, (if you have read my earlier posts on mobile photography you know this is a obsession), made an effort to go on photo walks, try and take weird angle pictures and all that jazz, I would even walk up to people and ask permission to take their pictures – have put up some pictures showcasing my photography escapades in this post.

After about a month I realised that the lens I got with the camera was not good enough….. actually the kit lens was fine, it’s just that I am so used to a zoom lens, so after another month of mental masturbation I went and picked up the 55-300mm lens. Again that had its own learning curve, but adapted to it faster due to a comfort with using zoom features in my earlier camera (do note, still manual focus is a massive challenge). By now, I had started using photography jargon also: DOF, Shutter Speed, Aperture, Lighting Conditions and everything that one needs to convince themselves they are photography experts….

So what is the point of all this? A couple of things I would like to highlight here; nothing comes remotely close to a good DSLR – people will tell you a lot of things, will you use it regularly, too expensive and so on, but once you use a camera like that everything else feels sad. Personally, I think one needs a lot of commitment to actually see some results with a DSLR, an insanely expensive camera does not guarantee superb shots, like with anything you need to practise to get good at it. Some base level Photoshop understanding is required, purists can fight this, but generally all photographers use some amount of post processing. All the reading in the world will not get you practical experience – need to go out and shoot, after a while it will become a pain to lug the camera around but you need to make that extra effort. Be ready to spend money – these things are an addiction; have bought new lenses, a camera bag, automatic shutter control and a camera stand so far.

I try and take the DSLR on all my bike rides, have put up some pictures in this article and across the blog, but to be honest, sometimes it is just about riding, so photography takes a back seat, I do hope to use the video recording function on the camera to share some awesome trips on the blog. Till then, check out some shot using our new DSLR and do share any of your photography and Bike stories in the comments section below.

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Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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A Tribute to Billy Lane

Choppers Inc Billy Lane’s Brand

Billy Lane!

By now, people who have been reading our blog know that we follow the Great Biker Builder Off very closely and builders and riders like Indian Larry, Arlen Ness, etc. are gods to us. Today’s article is taking off from that serial and the 1st time we saw it and were introduced to this maverick crazy builder, Billy Lane. The first episode I ever saw of this show was Billy Lane vs. Roger Bourget. At that time, I had no clue of what the show was about or who these guys were, building some crazy-ass choppers. Watched the episode and re-runs of the same multiple times. Was amazed at the brilliance of Billy Lane who’s philosophy of building a chopper was simple & stemmed from the basics…………bikes assembled using spares at your disposal and chopping metal and steel to make spares to fit your ride = Choppers. Superbly brilliant & simple 🙂

This is so Awesome!!!

Brilliance!!!

Another aspect of Billy Lane’s personality which stood out during the show was his approach to life and living it by the moment & the same also reflected in the way he built his bikes, wherein he would always have some vague design in his mind about how he wanted his bike to look, but in terms of innovations, he would do it on the fly. Good examples of the same are the rimless bikes called the Psycho Billy Cadillac & The Chronic. Picture for the same & a Video featured below. Post this, saw multiple episodes of Biker Build Off specially the ones which featured Billy Lane – have mentioned some of the same below. Also a worthy mention over here is the episode with Indian Larry as the same not only showed great bike building powers of both Larry & Lane, but also showed the spirit of riders and brotherhood between these great builders as Larry helped out Billy get his bike working and started during the course of their ride when Billy was having some bike trouble.

  1. Billy Lane vs. Roger Bourget : Original run : September 28, 2002
  2. Billy Lane vs. Dave Perewitz : Original run : September 1, 2003
  3. Billy Lane vs. Indian Larry : Original run : September 1, 2003
  4. Billy Lane vs. Mike Brown : Original run : March 8, 2005
  5. Billy Lane vs. Russell Mitchel : Original run : August 7, 2006

Hard at Work

William David (Billy) Lane (born February 6, 1970 in Miami, Florida) is widely known as a builder of custom motorcycles, owner of Choppers Inc. He holds seven U.S. patents on motorcycle parts and accessories and has authored two books – an autobiography, Billy Lane’s Chop Fiction: It’s not a Motorcycle, Baby, It’s a Chopper (2004, Motorbooks International) and Billy Lane’s How to Build Old School Choppers, Bobbers And Customs (2005, Motorbooks International). Lane also holds an Associate in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida International University, graduating in 1997.

Psyco Billy!!!

Also post buying a bike & while we were collating content for the blog, we found out that Billy Lane was imprisoned, post being found guilty for a drunk driving fatal crash & is going to be in prison till October 2014. The news was extremely disheartening considering the career and the work of this legendary builder & the way he built his life & his bikes. This post of mine is a tribute to one of my favorite chopper builders of all time – Billy Lane!

For people who want to see other stuff by Billy Lane do check out http://www.choppersinc.com/ its awesome!!!

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Our Awesomely Sensational Bike

The Awesome Visor

Today’s post is about the crazy-ass modifications done on our bike! As some of you who have read our previous posts are aware, we own a Bajaj Avenger – purely because its the only bike in the country which is affordable that gives you a cruiser look & feel. Also, we have talked about it in multiple posts before but we wanted to consolidate the same & thus we are here. So over a period of 2 months of owning a bike, we have added a lot to the same and tried to make it as cool as possible (at least in our heads).

The Eagle on the Fender

Please note, we have also spent a minimal of money post discovering the chop shop lane in Bombay & getting a specialized mechanic to work on our bike. So let me start from the fact that the first addition wegot done on our bike was the customized visor / wind shield. Mihir, from day 1, was very clear that we needed to get this addition on the bike. It gave a good retro feel to the bike and also, for all practical purposes, was a good purchase. This buy was done directly through the dealer from whom we bought the bike. Post this, and realizing we wanted to customize our bike with further modifications, we accidently stumbled upon thechop shop lane and found out that getting the bike customized isn’t going to cost much…

The Awesome Grips

So then we found a store which catered to our needs and was cost effective. From here, our first buy was the handle grips which were chrome platedand very retro looking. By now you would have figured we are kind off retro junkies J.Next thing bought were foot rests; this piece of equipment is an amazing buy as the standard foot rest you get with the Avenger are foot pegs and are not comfortable for long rides. The foot rests are comfortable and also don’thinder in the gear changing process. Also bought was a stand for the bike shaped in the leg of an eagle, which is one of the coolest features on our bike. This was also chrome plated andsuper!

The Stand and Foot Pedal

Indicator Caps

So this was more or less the first phase changes added to the bike. Phase 2 was bags. Somehow, always wanted a cool set, so went and got 2saddle bags & 1 mini bag for the bike as you can see in the pictures. Then, the mini light chrome indicator caps were bought which add a whole different feel to the bike. Finally, the seat of the bike was sorted wherein we got chrome tags across the length to match the saddle bags & before I forget, the final piece of the puzzle added to the bike was on the chrome plated eagle head with illuminated redeyes!!! Currently, this is all the work done on the bike. Do take a moment tocheck some kick ass pictures of the bike, courtesy Mihir. Also if you areinterested in our previous posts “Chop Shop Heaven” & “The Chop Shop” (Featured in the Bikes & Builders section) we have covered more details of not only our bike, but also the place where we got the same modified.

Mini Saddle Bag

Now, the Overall Cost –

1) Chrome Handle Grips – Rs. 600/-

2) Foot Paddles – Rs. 100/-

3) Eagle Side Stand – Rs. 2000/-

4) Front Visor – Rs. 3000/-

5) Saddle Bags – Rs. 650/-

Amazing Saddle Bags

6) Indicator lamp Caps – Rs. 100/-

7) Seat Chrome Tags – Rs. 300/-

8) Eagle Head Chrome Emblem – Rs. 2000/-

Grand Total = Rs. 8750 to get the bike looking insanely awesome!!!

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Amazing Side Car

I have been fascinated with Sidecars on Motorcycles forever. One of my uncles (Jentu T) had a Scooter with a sidecar and he use to take us on rides to Chowpatty (beach in South Mumbai).

As you know, we recently bought a Motorbike; we were very keen on getting one with a sidecar but on doing some R&D found that sidecars are illegal. Absolutely no idea when and why this happened! I still see a lot of scooters and motorbikes with these amazing, retro-looking sidecars. I asked around and some folks mentioned that you need special permission from the Mumbai RTO to get sidecars; others say the bikes you see on the road are old or illegal; new bikes are just not given permission to attach a sidecar to their bikes. Pity! Would have loved to own one.

Even if we can’t own one, we can definitely share some interesting facts and images of amazing looking sidecars 🙂 . A sidecar motorcycle is a three-wheeled vehicle with the side wheel not directly aligned with the rear motorcycle wheel, and is usually powered by the rear wheel only. This is different from a motor tricycle (trike), where both rear wheels are powered and share a common axle. P.V. Mokharov of the Soviet Union or H.P. Baughn of Great Britain seems to have to been the first to employ a driven sidecar wheel in 1929. In India, the sidecars got really popular in the early 70’s; the primary reason for this was it was a cheap way for a small family to travel. As we moved decades, cars started getting cheaper and sidecars moved out.

Over the years, sidecars were quite popular; they have also been used by armed forces, police and the Army. During WWII, German troops used many BMW and Zundapp sidecar motorcycles. They are hugely popular in sports where multiple disciplines of Motorcycle racing have used them and still use them.; Motocross, Enduro, Grasstrack, Trial, road racing and Speedway with sidecar classes. The sport has followers in Europe, United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The races are categorized as Formula One sidecars.

If you enjoy a good sidecar check our gallery below. Also Motorcycle shows and rallies are a great way to catch glimpses of sidecars; the Legendary Sturgis rally sees insane sidecars on display. Personally, I do hope sidecars come back in style – for one I can’t wait to get one on my Motorcycle and take the lovely Mrs for a long ride……….

The Amazing SIde Car Show

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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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