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Team ERC at Bum-la pass 15200ft

Perhaps considered as a the most adventurous destination for any biker, Arunachal Pradesh, the land of rising sun, presents itself with host of adventure avenues. 2019 was the year for ERC to explore the eastern most tip of India adjoining the China border. With a very high determination, a group of 9 bikers left Kolkata for a penultimate journey towards the mountains of Arunachal. The 10 day trip was not only full of adventures, but presented the riders with immense challenges in terms of man machine tests. Series of breakdowns, punctures and fatigue and tiring body had perhaps become a routine for those 10 days. The team conquered the might Sela Pass (13700ft) with ease, only to realize that the fun had just started. Post the Sela Pass the roads started becoming pretty bad and in some stretches there were literally no roads. But, that was not a dampner in the spirits in anyway. With strong determination, the team marched towards Tawang. Next came challenges in terms of permit for the Mighty Bum-la pass. On reaching Tawang, we were told by the authorities that bike permit to Bum-la was not being given. This was a disaster to us as the most challenging high altitude pass perhaps seemed to be a distant dream for us inspite of being just 25kms away from it.. Nevertheless, we got hold of a taxi union guy, who upon giving some money got us the much needed relief. By this time we had the permits for Bum-la and mental preparations had begun. Next day, the team started the climb for Bum-la early in the morning. The climb was full of challenges as the roads were steep and it was rocky. Having made successfully to Bum-la Pass, we were given a briefing by the Army commander for the post at that time about the history of the place and how the post was formed by 6 Assam rifles way back in 1957 amidst all odds. Our respect for the Indian army grew a notch up at that time as we held our national flag high while taking a group photo. Little we realized that the toughest time of our life is about to begin now as we started our descent from the Bumla pass on to Y- Junction. The weather, at this time had changed completely and it was snowing heavily and the road was covered with black ice. Forget riding, we were not even able to stand properly and was slipping. That time few started praying to god and few started remembering their families as that moment looked to be one of the last moments of our lives. But we never gave up. "When there is no help, we need to help ourselves" was the slogan from the team lead and we started getting our bikes down by having human balance shield for the riders. We decided to let go the cars and the army trucks with snow chains as that would have provided us with a life saver grip on the roads which we were planning to use. Patience paid off. The cars and the trucks made a distinct track on the roads which we followed and all got down safely. Although the fear which we had at that time cannot be described in words, the fact is the satisfaction of having done with the bumla pass was perhaps the most dominant feeling that time. With our goals fulfilled, we started our journey back to Kolkata. But hey, the last dose of adventure was pending in the heat of the plains. One of our bikes broke down completely just 20kms outside Siliguri. It was an electrical fault and the digital meter for the bike got hung completely. We called the RSA of Royal Enfield, which pretty blatantly disregarded the situation and offered no help to us. With no other option, we opened up the bike ourselves and started our RnD on it. We identified a short between the wires and started taping it up.. To our surprise, the machine came back to life and the meter started working as expected. With a great sense of satisfaction, we put all the parts back and started our journey to kolkata. That day we were already late and decided to stay at Malda. Next day we started early and reached kolkata by 7 pm with all riders safe and sound and back home!!

Team ERC Conquers Bum-La

1 Comment

Santanu Saha
Santanu Saha
May 15, 2019


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