Vahana

Using GoalZero to power our bicycle trip through Asia

When traveling in a foreign country by bicycle with lights, cameras, and cell phones….you need power.

And getting power can be tricky.  In many countries its just not readily available; and when it is, it could be any number of different voltage outputs.  If you’re not careful, those various voltage outputs could fry your precious gadgets into piles of melted goo and metal.

On this trip we traveled through India, Nepal, and Bhutan on folding bikes, and decided to try Goal Zero’s charging system.  They have various sized solar arrays designed for adventure travel, which are fantastic.

Here I am riding with my […]

By |December 10th, 2013|Frontpage, Vahana|0 Comments

Vahana Screening at the Lafayette Library

We got to screen our latest short film “Vahana” at the Lafayette Library last week, thanks to my old friend Patrick Brogan, who is currently working there. From this screening we were able to raise $100 for the Wahoe Commune School we visited in Nautanwa on our trip. Previously he had invited us to screen “Spinning Southward” there almost one year ago to the day (Nov 8th, 2012), and it was very nice to be back.  Thanks Patrick!

Vahana: 1,300+ miles by bicycle, bus and train from melloajello on Vimeo.

By |November 20th, 2013|Film, Frontpage, Vahana|0 Comments

Vahana Featured on Bike Friday Blog

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owners Pamela and Nateon Ajello captured the adventure of a lifetime to India on film, and created an amazing short feature.

By Nateon Ajello

“When we made the decision to tour 1,300 miles across India, Nepal and Bhutan, we knew we need a bike that was tough and could handle the varying terrain.

We also knew we needed a folding bike, because chances were we would not be able to cover all of that distance in our one month off without having to hop on a few trains or buses. So the search began….”
Read more on the Bike Friday […]

By |October 18th, 2013|Vahana|0 Comments

Vahana Released

Short Film About 1,300 miles by (folding) bike, bus and train
“Vahana: (Sanskrit: “mount,” or “vehicle”), denotes the being, typically an animal or mythical entity, a particular Hindu god is said to use as a vehicle. The vahana and deity to which they support are in a reciprocal relationship. Vahana serve and are served in turn by those who engage them.  It is said that the Vahana can “make even malevolent events bring hope.”

We rode, bused, and trained for one month, and now after working on the video for three months intermittently, Vahana is complete.  It’s about 27 minutes in length, […]

By |October 7th, 2013|Film, Frontpage, Vahana|0 Comments

Bhutan Part 2: Temples and Takins

After two days in Thimpu, we were still adjusting to the dramatic change from the mainly Hindu cultures of Nepal and India to this very different Buddhist kingdom.  Bhutan is currently governed by a lineage of “Dragon Kings,” starting in 1907, who have done much to bring their society into the 21st century with the rest of the world….but only at a rate they see fit, keeping their culture and traditions alive, and attempting to keep their society safe, just, and ‘happy.’

Our guide Ugyen (Who bears the name of Bhutan’s first great king) had planned for us to ride out of […]

By |May 12th, 2013|Vahana|0 Comments

Bhutan Part 1: A Vacation from Our Vacation

After crossing the hot dry plains of India, riding the Himalaya of Nepal, hiking a portion of the Annapurna circuit, and bike-train-bussing the final kilometers through Nepal and India to its northern border, we had made it to our final stop: Bhutan.

Bhutan is a tiny country nestled between 2 giants, India and Nepal.  It is the last Buddhist kingdom, and even though it has less than 1 million people, it thrives; nestled high in the Himalaya. You need a guide to enter and explore Bhutan as a tourist, and as strange as it sounds, we  had found our guide through Nateon’s late mother Fran.

A […]

By |May 7th, 2013|Vahana|0 Comments

Racing to Bhutan

Ok, I admit it.  When Pam and I planned the map for where we would be riding on this trip, we were perhaps a tad overambitious.  2300 kilometers in one month in countries that we are unfamiliar with is a lot.

Our pace turned out to be far slower than what expected, partially because we are slow (or we “move at our own pace” as I like to say), but also because it was over 100 degrees on average, we would meet interesting people and want to spend some time with them, we got an extremely potent stomach bug in India, […]

By |May 4th, 2013|Vahana|0 Comments

Interlude of Bengali Kindness

Biking from the train station in Hasimara to the border of Bhutan was another perfect day. We navigated some gnarly roads under construction and some smooth roads through the tea fields, but none of the roads were boring roads. While we had great enthusiasm for entering Bhutan, we were also departing the first Asian country either of us had biked in – India. This required some letting go—we knew this was going to be a transition.

Leaving Hasimara Train Station

Tea Estate in West Bengal
As of today we have lived a full month not knowing where we’d be sleeping that night or the next day. The unknown […]

By |May 2nd, 2013|Bike Love, Vahana|0 Comments

Slowly, Slowly: Annapurna circuit

We arrived in Pokhara after an 80 kilometer day, up and down through the mountains of Nepal. Pokhara is a comfortable tourist town which offers really good amenities, but was somewhat less interesting than the personal connections we experienced in the smaller towns we rode through.

What did stand out were our Bike Friday bikes. After our first afternoon in Pokhara the ice cream shop kids, local restaurant and hotel staff all made bike riding gestures or talked bikes with us every time we’d see eachother.

The first evening in town was a recovery day. It was also our chance […]

By |April 29th, 2013|Bike Love, Vahana|0 Comments

Siddhartha Highway, Nepal

Sunday morning we enjoyed a nice breakfast with Neelu, her husband, son and daughter. We talked about many things, including what it means to be Sikh , the (wonderful) customs and relationship with God. It was somewhat difficult to break away from the comfort of their home and great kindness that morning…

We approached the Nepal border around 10 a.m., it was raining and muddy dirt road. There was a line of cargo trucks probably more than 100 deep. We carefully pedaled around them, along with motorcycles, pedestrians and small cars, to get to Sunauli-the small town that is the border […]

By |April 24th, 2013|Bike Love, Vahana|0 Comments