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.


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