This is a much overdue post, sorry friends and family that we haven’t posted in the past few weeks! Ever since Raid it has been on-the-go
visiting friends and family mostly in Punjab. Things have calmed down now and we’re in Sangrur visiting Nick’s parents.
Let’s pick up where we left off…Nick and his friend Narinder head to Delhi on Oct 6th (Thursday) to get the bike out of customs,
or so we thought. Thursday the customs officals said ‘No’, Friday they said ‘No’, and then Oct 8th ended up being the second Saturday of the month which meant no release of any non-perishable item from customs. In the meantime I was packing whatever we needed for Raid. Nick came back to Chandigarh and we left for Shimla the next morning (Oct.9th). The day we arrived in Shimla was the scrutiny day, but unfortunately we didn’t have a bike for scrutiny! Instead we hung out with Nick’s biker buddies from Raids past. The plan was that Nick would leave the night of the 9th for Delhi to attempt to get the bike out of customs for the second time. In the meantime I repacked our bags we planned to take on the service vehicle and tagged along with Nick’s biker buddies. It felt weird being the only girl with the bikers, and I’m sure people were thinking who the heck is she hanging out with
those guys! But Nick’s friends are really great and treated me with such respect and kindness. The next day was the ceremonial flag-off and driver’s briefing. Once again I tagged along for those events and tried to help where I could. My mind was constantly running with ‘what ifs’…what if the bike never made it? What if it’s damaged? What ifthey don’t release it? Nick had taken his cell phone and mine was not working so the only link I had was through his friends phones. Every time the phone rang, I’d sit on edge hoping it was some news from Nick. Finally around 5pm we heard from Nick that the bike was out of the crate…now they needed to fix some stuff back on the bike so it would be drive-able (see crating photos). There were around 100 some people crowded around the bike once it was opened from the crate—some people sitting on the bike, some trying to rev the gas the usual foul play that people insist on
doing once they see the bike (more to come on that ridiculousness). In result it took hours to do what Nick and I
had done in an hour or two back at home. By the time Nick was on the road to Shimla it was around 10:30pm. The official time we had to be at the starting line was 4am.
The evening before the start I tried to think as strategically as possible based on what Nick had told me about past Raids, the drivers briefing, and what Sunny told me. I got everything ready for Day 1, as well as what we would need gear wise for the colder days to
come. I showered and got ready in my bike gear by 11pm. Sunny (Nick’s friend who also competed in the X-treme bike category) urged me to get rest as Nick would be going on no sleep, someone had to have a rested mind. The last post was done right before I went to
sleep. Here we were the night before the start and not only was our Raid in jeopardy but more importantly Sunny’s raid was too. We had brought a shock in the crate for the Yamaha WR450 that Nick had done Raid on before. This year Sunny was going to ride the Yamaha but without the shock, it would be impossible for Sunny to finish.
Any of us that know Nick well, know that the guy is LOCO! He made it to Shimla in a record 4 hours! (Usually takes 7-8). I woke up to the image of a disheveled yet energetic Nick walking through the door. Nick got to Shimla at 2:30am, slept for 30minutes and then we got up to take the start at 4am.
We were at the start without a single tool on our bike except for a tiny bottle of Loctite in Nick’s pocket!