Here it is. But it's nonsense. Sometimes giving up is exactly the right thing.
2 free days in McLeod Ganj, before the teachings by HHDL himself. Beautiful scenery, and a motorcycle rental shop just out of town. Wonderful! I grab my sunglasses and head down.
I was just trying to convince my friend Jay that anyone can motorcycle, given two things: a light bike (preferably an automatic scooter/moped), and good roads. Leh has been pretty good for both (Bajaj Pulsar 150 on mostly good pavement), and Chiang Mai was amazing (Honda scooter on US-quality pavement). McLeod Ganj is... the other direction. The shop only had oldish heavy Royal Enfield Bullet 350's. And the main road from McLeod to Dharamsala is kinda rough, but the back way, where this shop is, is really quite mental. The good parts look rather like this.
And so, after laying down the bike twice on the way down, I decided to ignore the Dalai Lama, cut my losses, and probably save my life. Think I'll go back and sit in a coffeeshop, apply to grad school, and scrupulously avoid extrapolating this incident into a bigger story about myself.
(on the way back, I awkwardly walk into a tea shop containing only a couple having a very intense conversation. *sigh* it's a day.)
EDIT: this evening I met a guy who rode one of those same Royal Enfield Bullet 350s from Manali to Leh to Kashmir to Dharamsala. Inspiring! Maybe someday...
Also, I forgot to send out waves of gratitude for the ~6 people who helped me pick up my bike, pull it out of a roadside ditch, get it started, etc. along the rather short way. Thank you thank you thank you!