Monday, November 14, 2005

Ma first solo - Gopal Swamy Hill

Friday morning all ready for a 2 and half day trip with vicky to gokarna. carried bag fulla stuff to office planning to leave in the evening. My office commitments delayed till 7 and we thought it was too late and abandened the trip. Saturday morning was sulking for not goin on the trip when i got days off. lazing around at home till 11.30 thinkin wat today. enough is enough. cant stand no more. Ma bikes tank was full due to last days plan. I just had to hop on my bike and go sumwhere. sumwhere long. 12.15 pm got out of the house and got sum water and 12.20 start off towards mysore with 24486 on the odo. Why not gopal swamy hill some 220 kms from blore. Thought of keeping 5 O clock as the point of no return. n would turn back to home where ever i was at 5 O clock. 12.50 by the time i hit open strech. plenty of doubts in ma mind. never rode so far alone. short of confidence on my bike after changin the clutch plates which had give way the last time i went for 200 km ride. the mech bugga managed to put lotta vibrations above 7 thousand RPMs. feels like sum thing loose moving around in the engine. predetermined to take things easy. fought hard to control ma basic urge to whip the throttle. cruising at 90-95. Decided to do a blr-mysore nonstop. constantly checkin up time and calculating avg distances. pass sum towns. newly constructed 4 lane highway. pass mtr shivally where we always stopped for a break when on this road some 70 kms from blr. i aint stopping this time. gave in to some redlining bursts. managed a modest 110. but the bike used to redline pretty soon. carrying doubts as to wat if bike gives way. but carried on. passed many familiar towns. reach mysore outskirts 2.20. two hours for 136 kms now dats slow. but i would take it with the kick of goin solo. ok now wat which way to go. called up PraveenS for directions.

Entered mysore had some bun and pattis at the baker, packed a drink and biscuits and off towards Nanjungud at 3 pm. fill 5 more liter of fuel. Now the roads gettin isolated and wheather gloomy and was askin myslef u wanna go ahead? hell yah. speed anything above 90 keeping me happy. had three hours of day light. wanted to hit mysore back in day light. slowly growing confident on my bike was doin 100-105 range. pass nunjungud and go towards Gundlepet. one beautiful road enjoying every bit of. have a close call at a very surprising curve takin it too fast. thought i gonna crash now like last time. but wat i did this time was not panic and look at the road where i needa go instead of lookin of the road wat i am about to hit. guess dat helped me recover though with a scary wobble in the lean. now i am more alert. no body to look to if somethin of dat sort hapend. carried on none the less. reach gundle pet 3.45 pm. wishing i had one more hour. now on the roads pretty bad and wet with showers just before. ok still had over an hour before my point of no return. take a turn towards gopal swamy hill passin through a village. only to get irritated stares from villagers who were bring back home thier livestock cows,goats, sheep n yeah bufflows too. guess missed only hens which is another common rural india livestock. now dat was peek traffice of animals forcin me off road many a time. but passed the caravan to get a view of the clear straight road leading to the hill. got down to feel the environment. took pic from my camera fone. could spot the lake PraveenS was takin about. err.. on the way back cos running out of time to summit entry now. pass thorough the narry forest kinda road drenched with showeres and small streams of hill water many places rollin over the road. saw some vehicles leaving n i was the only one entering. approach a gate 7 kms to the summit. watch man hurrying me up to do it quick cos time to close the gates. i get in and start the climb for the summit. quite a bumpy road pretty steep and wet too. ma back wheel moving with its own will on the slipper road. with lot of temporary streams passin by. pretty isolated and now no more thinking am in it any way. stopping to obsorb the view around. small drizzle but who cares was mentally ready for shitty rains too. finally reach the summit temple at 4 with 24706 on the odo exactly 220 KMs from home. sum surprised guards findin me dry were askin no rains below?? the drizzle gathers mist around the summit. i do a lazy walk round the temple. only a hand full of ppl around. take summore pix with my no good fone cam. i clean the helmet visor with a puddle of clear water on the stones. damn it left the tissue back home. i sit on the plat form staring at the vast lush grassy landscape around below. this place was pretty barran and hot last time i came here in summer. its completely diff picture in monsoon.

OK 4.30 it is and time to go. get back to ma bike. now twisty roads donw with more mist in the air. slowing lazing donw the hill catchin the view from different sides. did some speed dash in the empty narry wet straight road. took a detour and offroaded to go near a lake which i saw before. some plesent view it was with hill range around and outcast whether. again took some pix with ma bike posing. thought of having some biscutes but was gettin interrogated by a curious villager. 4.45 i start towards mysore and thought would reach blr by 10.30 pm. hit the main road which is all wet now. it rained while i was on the hill. now i rip towards mysore to do sum daylight saving. the cold wheather forcing me to have quite a few pee breaks. :D and dat was the only breaks dat i would do till blr. the roads dry up and let the speed freak in me loose. was doin good time and well with in my plan to reach mysore by 6.30 pm. now the junk food i had totally digested and ma tummy wantin some grub. got dark and had to face the oncoming high beams. but ok cos was only couple of kms from mysore and din have to deal with it more. its 4 lane highway most of the distance now though in dark. reach mysore and thought of havin sum thin but no; any break would only delay reaching blr.

Ask directions for blr and start of in the dark. damn visor not fully clear. din have patienc to stop any place and clean it up. carried on hunting and devouring tail lamps. none of the vehicles capable of being my escort cos i was able to go faster on my own. just then an atcent over takes me. now we are takin. i gear down and accelarate to catch car which i just appointed as my escort. :D this gye was fast but kept at 105-110 and not too fast to loose me. fallow him with approx 2 seconds distance from him pearcing the dark ness. i do feel pretty comfy following cars as not only they guide us but also clear out stray ppl on the road, who don give a damn for 2 wheelers. having a gala of time. enter a town n me not patient enought to slowly fallow the car in the city. go past him zipping in the traffic. pass the town and pick up speed on my own. spotted a dumb woman suddenly crossin the road with two kids. would have been close had i been a second earlier. get call so me stops. its PraveenS enquiring where i am as he too had a small ride in the same road but nearer to blr. he carries on cos it do take an hour and half for me to reach him. again i GOPI :D and there wizzes past my escort the attcent car. now cant catch him can i. i gear up and ride again. struggling to find ma way with high way not adorned with lane painting yet. reach mandya and lo it starts pouring. rain again hah?!?! damn it always does when doin this road in night. guess should have waited it out cos would not lost long but not at all willin to get off my bike. my undies get wet in no time. now we ride wet. out do the rains and reach clear sky again. quite few devieation in the highway still. putting the traffic on side of the road quite a few times. and again here comes my escort doin a good job. hehe it became like a pattern i fallow this gye, reach a town, go past him, exit the town and stop to pee and this gye goes past and rush i to catch him. hehe. funny. reach ramanagar sum 40 kms from blr and the time is 8.20!! wow am gonna reach blr by 9.30 dats one hour earlier. have a nice time reaching outskirts of blr zipping between lumbering trucks and slow cars. get a call from gyes who have gathered on our daily adda. me sum 20 kms away and comin. by now i had become impatient with the traffic and familiar places no where to be seen!! where is blr? am i being bumped back by anomolies in the time space continuem?? ok ok here i see blr again and enter the city. rip in the traffic which is my regular route from office to home but still get surpriced with new bumps every day. get a thud and loose grip of the left handle bar and helmet rolls on to my face. damn dat wasnt there the previous day!!!. was about the get to the add when i see here sum sound from the back wheel and lo what do i see. the bunjee net had given way and bag fallen of sum where and the bunjee cords got entangled int he wheel axel near the rear breaks. damn it my trip expences instantly doubled, where i lost a 550 bux bag with 2 tubes, spare cable and duplicate keys. wat an irony i have the original keys with me and lost the duplicate. guys come round to help me out. the bunjee's out by then and i greeted by the gang. gyes lured me for a ride next early morning ride for nandi hills. but me bit tired with my non stop ride (if we discount pee breaks) and slightly pissed of for loosing the bag, obstained from it preffering a good nights sleep. 441 on the odo. defying logic i went back som 10 kms where i got the thud and i had jumped over sum humps to see if i could recover the bag. but naaa just surpriced to see a 4X4X4 inch stone croppin out from the road where i almost got bumped off. damn wat are the roads coming too??

any way reach home with the odo showing 24945 dats around 461 for the day. Wow wat a day totally worth it. my first solo ride. tought not able to go on trips these days out of town. this was a good one doin it solo, the scare and kicks and the adrenelin. especial before my small stint abroad the next weekend. which made me be more veary on the ride. Was all fun n not as boring i as thought would be goin solo. Varity to spice up the life. :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Thirupathi so near and yet so far...

Saturnight sanjay lures me for a ride next day. ride to where? to be decided when we start. too bad to have missed out on the big trip to munnar due to domastic reasons, but had to make good of wat we get. we meet up at 6.30 am have break fast and start by seven. me tryin out the elbow and knee pads i bought the previous day. thought of doin a 100 kms on the chennai road and back. by the time we were out of city with that beautiful weather 'Thirupathi' seemed more of a destination some 270 KMs from bangalore. Mainly attracted by the 20 km oneway twisties climb at the end to reach 'Thirumala'. Took quite some patience gettin to the free roads passing the irritating traffic. but once the roads opened up was heaven. me slightly reluctant cos had done to chennai some months ago and thought most of the route is same. but little did know the effect of different season. last time it was all barron and dry, but now in october it was all green every where. cloudy but no threat of rain. very good climate for riding. out of the town we whip the throttle. most of the time it was like co-operative race between us. though we were continusly full throttle we were always close by. Sanjay's Rx had bettor torque and mine had bettor topend. some how matched our speeds and was riding together always shufling from lead to drag and vise versa. This was turning out to be a pretty good ride. Over takin every thing in site but for a few cars. 110 kmph topend is too less. over took some cars on the curves on the outer edge when they breaked for curves. great roads not affected a bit by the recent cyclonic rains. had many fast curves takin at 105+. wat a rush. soon past the place where we turned back the last time me and sanjay had come for short ride. stop for a break and the pads come of as go to my bag cos they were not designed for riding and was very uncomfortable wearing em. puttin on and removing em was itself a big process. so decided to make do without it. now we approach a fast twisty section for 4-5 kms. one gem of a strech. there's a surprising 100 degree curve to begin with. sanjay was leadin were at 110 by the time we saw the curve. tought it was straighten as we approach like many previous curves. but not this one. too late to realise and could slow down only to 100 when i hit the curve. dare i use the breaks cos any skid would throw me off the rode some 20 feet below. could do nothing but leggo the throttle and lean as much as possibble and ride it out with heart in ma mouth. no time even to gear down. did something else too , yelled 'yeeeeeeooooov' like dat would help. was at 90 when exited the curve. phew was scary and felt good too. sanjay too had similar surprise. then on the fast twisties at 80-90-100 was too good but to short to give way for straither roads again.

160kms up and sanjay stops to refuel. i get out of the fuel pump first and open the throttle see sanjay close behind. soon came behind a carolla and was lookin for overtakin him. narrow road and this gye was fast. i chase him for some time. wats takin sanjay so long. he usually wizzed past me by this time but he not even in my rear view mirror. i stop and wait for him for 5 mins but no sign of him. now wat could be wrong? sanjay crashed ? no way hes too good a rider. thought maight be one of his bike's twitches he's gettin these days. i turned back and go slowly and see him standing by the road a bit dirty. It happened sanjay had crashed, proving Murphy's law. was a old errent villeger who crossed the highway with out lookin. was a low speed collision but was enough to rip the whole layer of sanjay's glove's palms. he got small bruises on legs. but he got dragged alone his bike so his other hand took the weight and went sore. took some rest. bike looks ok except the crash guard which got bent. he decided could go no further and wanted to turn back. told me to carry on coming this far. but thought he maight need help on way back and me not being much of a loner turned back with him to see a mile stone 162 for bangalore. thirupathi only 90 kms from here but may be next time. takin it slow and he riding with one hand. pass by a town and again sajay told me to complete the ride. but told will stick together. then we think of having some brunch both hungry. now sanjay's bike whould rev like crazy if handle turned to the right. throttle cable got damaged in the crash. we go the relaince fuel bunk which also had a open air hotel. sanjay complaining bout his hurting hand and cursing the villeger who spoiled the day which had perfect riding weather. could have been much worse in dat section where big vehicles zipp around in high speeds. lucky to be able to ride back. have a lazy brunch. Got his bike fixed at a near by town and start to bangalore by 12. sanjay picked up speed as wanted to go home early instead of riding slow with the discomfort.

Approached the twisties was doin 90 on a curve courched when is see this sanjay chap over take me from the inner edge riding in one hand!!! wahav. we picked up the pace like noting happened. enjoyed the ride back too. specially there was 4-5 KMs of absalutely straight strech with open view. take it fully crouched and legs on the rear foot pegs. but the speedo does not go beyond 110 where it used to do atleast 112. and i see sanjay following in the rear view mirror. i used to gain quite some distance from him when i crouched but not this time. may be tunin from he past service not good. 80 kms to bangalore i signal sanjay to stop for a break. now he was in pain. couldnt walk straight. found some stone bench in front of a farm house thought to have a small nap. then a gye from the form house came towards us. thought he would tell us to go but instead asked if we needed any water of something. nice people were more than happy to be allowed to rest. i layed down on the next bench under the shade of the tree. cozy weather and with the back ground sound and vibration of vehicles zooming past close by at break neck speed. wat a bliss. 5 mins in sanjay gets up sayin his hands hurtin more rest and he may not feel like riding home. so we start of. this time sanjay takin it easy and me rip some and wait for him to catch up. reach blore by 3 and said and take care and went home for a cozy bed.

could have been a much bettor day. but we enjoyed wat we got. its was like we could have a nice cake but missed the icing. may be next time. was around 350 kms ride. one more day utilised.