The Ducati ride all started while I was on the Explorer in the mountains. I got into Ride Inn in Manali and put my phone on and in the barrage of emails in my junk mail (I don't know why I even checked that folder that day) was an email marked Globetrotter. The words basically said you have been chosen for the selection but please reply immediatly if you are still intrested. Of course I had missed the deadline by days so I wrote back saying "thank you for just thinking of me and maybe I shall have better luck next time but I can't complain was riding around in the mountains." The reply from Ducati was "We know you are in the mountains riding motorcycles and we have added you to the list of interested people and we shall let you know if you made it to the top fourteen". From that day it was just a whirlwind of getting visas, going to the bootcamp for 2 nights coming back getting ready for World Ducati Week and then finding out I was in the top seven to finding out I was starting the ride and needing more visas again (Its such a pain getting visas overnight for us Indians but lots of people stepped in to make it happen and made sure I was on that flight). From there onwards its been history.
I have ridden long journeys alone a few times but the though of crossing Europe to enter Russia was daunting. I can tell you before setting off on that motorcycle from Borgo Panigale there were a 1000 things going off in my head. I woke up on the fourth of July and packed my bags and went to the DOCS Presidents lunch where I was to be flagged off from and I was still a bit on edge my mind was running checklist after checklist for things I needed and things I may have forgotten, parts, tools etc.
At the flag off an elderly gentleman walked up to me and put a sticker on the bike (I don't know which one as I was surrounded by DOC members pasting the bike with their colours) and looked and me and said "Now you are not alone now you have a family looking out for you. God Speed"and gave me a hug and walked back through the crowd leaving me dumbfounded.
Its the people(can't call them people they are all dear friends now) whom I met on this trip the people who opened their homes and lives to accommodate me, feed me and give me a roof to live under. I got email upon email from DOC members all over the world letting me know that I shouldn't worry a bit because everyone was just a call away and anything I needed I should just let them know. Its hard to list everyone out here as I met so many good people on this trip but they really made the journey complete for me.
All the trepidation and any worries I had went out of the window the moment I donned my gear and thumbed the starter on my Enduro and rode towards the factory gate. It was no longer time to sit and plan the ride it was finally A time to ride.
I just wanted to share some of the images from my leg of this monumental ride that I wasn't able to do while I was riding. If you want to a more in-depth day to day blogs from my ride check out my page on the Ducati Globetrotter site or come find me lets open some beers and chat motorcycles.