Fact: I am the only person I have seen in the traffic who looks over their shoulder, left and right. Vehicles swarm around you, cut in from the left and right with complete disregard for right of way. Afer a short while I got the hang of crossing a main junction. It generally works out better if you can use a big truck as a shield or form a gang of other bikers to assault the junction. As the day wears on and it gets to rush hour the traffic noise takes on a different tone – horns sound angrier as vehicles try and push past each other. I really should have got off the road but was loving weaving in and out of the traffic. Out of all the adventurous sports I have tried – this was without doubt the best – waiting until rush hour then zooming about for hours in the traffic. A distinct lack of road signs makes life entertaining and downright difficult after dark!
The traffic men and women do an incredible job herding the seething mass of trucks, buses, tuc tucs, bikes, rickshaws, cows and dogs along. In some places pedestrians take their lives in their hands to cross the road. Officially they like you to cross on a pedestrian crossing but as far as I can make out they are just a place where you can knock more people over!
In five days I ended up seeing some amazing, unbelievable and scary sites – day and night. I think the award for sheer lunacy goes for a guy pushing his wheel chair bound mate out into the oncoming flow of traffic on the ring road, in the rush hour and after dark! Again, I shouldn’t have gone out at night but after surviving the Ring Road in the dark at rush hour I felt quite at home coming back from Bhaktapur on the treacherous Arniko Highway at night.
I have taken a couple of videos of the traffic as I was riding – gave a friend a near heart attack when I told them that! I reassured them that I had gaffer taped the camera to my coat and did not operate the camera while driving – safety first! Had a close call with a lunatic dog that tried to take on and kill a tractor on the Ring Road – boot was at the ready as I was next in line but thankfully it lost interest. I’m a dog lover but I didn’t fancy being dismounted by a crazy dog! I only had to give one taxis bumper a good kicking in the rush hour – either that or be flattened! My new boots are more than broken in now and half an hour with a shoe shine guy had them looking presentable again!…now in Pokhara taking it easy…but going to find a bike tomorrow!