Saturday, August 01, 2009

Day 13: the accident

Day 13: Kalpa to Narkanda

As soon as we descended from Kalpa, we came across water-clogged muddy roads biking over which mucked our trousers and bikes. The roads were so slippery that we felt that anything would push us into falling on the road-brakes or no brakes. Somehow, we managed to cross that stretch safe and sound, without any major crashes. We began feeling the heat again, and we knew that it was our last day above the sea level. This time, we started trying to adapt to the hot weather.

Nobody knew that the afternoon had the most unfortunate incident in store. One of our riders from Lucknow had gory accident as a Tata Sumo coming downhill rammed into him. The impact was so strong that his bike turned upside down. After hitting the parapet, the rider fell down a 50-feet valley. It was our van driver who lifted the rider, and placing him on his back, carried him up on the incline. The victim was sent to Chandigarh for an emergency operation. We were almost in tears, but we knew that it was not the time for surging emotions, which in fact, prevented us from hitting the Sumo driver who had earlier denied that he was at fault. Later, after having seen the tyre marks, the police found the driver guilty of rash driving.

Through the next 40-km ride till Narkanda, no rider dared to exceed the speed of 60 kmph. All the riders were busy trying to find out about the condition of our fellow rider. I, however, promised myself that I would never ride fast and endeavour to finish the trip safe. News was positive and we were told that the operation had been successful and the injured rider would not lose his leg.

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