Tuesday, June 9, 2009

inside road ride - in the hills - june 09

i call this the inside road ride. last year myself, Satish (winsor pub), Easha and Meghana(levitate) explored the inside connecting roads from bangalore to the Nilgiris bio-sphere. it was fantastic ride exploring the short steep ghtas of Anchetti - crossing the cauvery on a coracle carrying bike along - connecting the famed Veerappan home in Gopinatham > MM hills > BR hills > Dimbam > hit the plains at Bannari > Mettupalyam > Kotagiri > OOty > Kalhatti > Bandipur and back home to Bangalore. we thorughly enjoyed it last year and beleive it is one of the best this side of the country. we tried this again last weekend(june5-8) this time with a new bunch of people. it was fun like last time -we decided to make it last another extra day. 4 days on the road - 700 kms - 450kms of rolling hills and fantastic ghat section. will post pics soon - as i did not carry my camera along. cheers, happy riding.. Santosh

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Srilanka Ride 09

Guys, just got back from a ride in Srilanka – 10 days plus.. Explored the hills and plenty back roads guided by a local friend from the area.. Had great fun.. I am planning to go back again in August to organise a getoff~ motorcycle trip.. Have a look at the pics. it is a fantastic riding country especially the hills - friendly people, great atmosphere and fun to be...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

legal farewell ride - Huliyurga

Huliyur Durga Ride The opportune moments to ride around the hilly roads of Huliyur Durga arose in the pretext of my farewell ride. Legal’s Farewell Ride as they preferred to call it. Well, I was heading out to the west coast to augment my half a life time of education with yet another degree called the Masters. A slave to my master’s dream, I had to bid audie to FSR and the many wild adventures. Some of the members of the group, agreed to a final ride with me to mark my farewell (some said it should be interpreted as ‘good riddance’). As part of the perks offered for my farewell, I was allowed to pick the route and I decided upon Huliyur Durga ride, which et al, maybe with some bit of chagrin, agreed to have been one of the best rides FSR has done. On a bright Saturday morning of [___], 2007, I reached the designated meeting point – Yeshwantpur Metro, to realize none of the fellers were around. I was wondering, if they had a wicked plan to bid farewell by making a blunder out of me and having a hearty laugh at my expense. As it turned out in a while, Sats arrived and I duly handed him the task of rectifying some ignition related defects in my mis-firing bike. With all the possible cussing and swearing and after having branded my bike a ‘Chalti ka naam gaadi’, off-course not to miss mentioning the poignant look on his face to realize even an RD 350 could be in such state of penury, he finally fixed it, during the course of which the other fellers Santiago, Sats, Indi, Suru, Matts and Screech trickled in. We were to head out towards Kunigal (where Screech had promised me to get a badhnekay – brinjal stamp for my VISA to US) and turn left towards Huliyur Durga and from there head towards Mysore road through Kanva Dam and Ramnagar and finally back to B’lore. The loop was about 180 kilometres. Special thanks to Purshotham aka purshi for the route. After a photo shoot in grotesque poses, directed by our own very whacked Spielberg, Indi, the eight of us were off towards Kunigal. We stopped at Nelamangala for a thatte idli breakfast. After gorging on it, downing a few cuppas, Santiago depleting the stock of chocolates in one of the little shops run by a poor old wretch and Matts sharing his new found fascination to minute maid orange juice, it was time to do some hardcore riding J !!! After riding about 30 kms we stopped just outside Kunigal for re-gathering. Many long minutes passed by and Santiago and Suru were no where in sight. After many a anxious moments, they finally arrived. The story goes that Santa’s Rudolph (Beemer F 650), traumatized by its Grinch of an owner, declined to ride beyond 60 kms per hour and has ever since been recalcitrant to ride beyond that speed. (Santiago got me to pick up some parts for his beemer in his endeavors to negotiate mutually beneficial terms with his bike, though I see no hope for it or him). We reached Kunigal and found the turn to head towards Hulyur Durga, off-course not without its own little exciting moments of suru and matts, plastered in their own little fantasies, missing the turn and finally finding the way. We stopped by a pristine lake with that look of hope that it will continue to remain for many more years and lakesh aka screech lisping in delight to add yet another lake to his list of drinking haunts. (He would be best if made the chief of lake development authority- probably even submerge the city to make it one big lake). The road towards Huliyur Durga started getting more scenic as we got headed further deep into it. Many a little hillocks and winding roads with the morning breeze made it for us. Unbounded exuberance and what not, we rode on and made our way into the little town of Huliyur Durga. This town popular for one of the highest hillock, a monolith, is a quite little town. After a few more snaps with the tower like monolith in the background, we scampered around looking for a appropriate chai stop over joint. With none to meet our expectations (read ‘our’ in this context as Santiago) we rode on towards Ramnagar. This is where the story begins and the part of the ride to remember forever. The road was beautiful and terrain a sight to see. The road running through a semi-forest with all those trees swaying in the breeze and road winding away to spring out more surprises at every bend..the story goes on. Little wonder why our elders incessantly rave about how beautiful the places around Bangalore were a few decades ago. This was nature presented in its pristine form. No large tracts of developed lands or commercial establishments or screeching motor vehicles or the din of a town. A long forgotten road winding through some isolated parts of the country side, a true haven for the maverick souls. We stopped at yet another vantage point with a small pond beside it for some snaps and a bird eye view of the terrain around. Feasting much as we could, we rode on. Reached Kanva dam and stopped over on the embankment, to soak in the sweeping winds. The fellers suddenly found something amiss (especially lakesh ….who else!!!). A beautiful water body, sitting on a windy embankment in absolute peace, but, no beer, rum, whisky etc etc…..It was not meant to be. With many a discussions to henceforth do the rides with a utility four wheeler following behind for emergency purposes (such as beer when in a beautiful setting and what not),we headed towards Ramnagar and exited onto the Mysore highway. Stopped over at a Dhaba…made the most of it and back to B’lore ….high on ‘spirits’…. Yet another ride nailed …to be cherished for a lifetime.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

fsr march 08

The over amplified stressing on people landing up late was quite close to the original and i guess was the latest we have ever started an FSR, that i guess was the only hick up on the ride and well ofcourse the traffic on the way which was also a result of starting late. So i think we need to make it ontime or catch up along the way, but that generally delays the troupe. Well after what felt like an hour of city traffic we reached the Hassan road junction and i went venturing to find a place that can serve us food that can actually be called food, at first i gave up hope but then found this posh place called Dharmshi resorts, i shouldve known by the english speaking watchman that this was going to be expensive but since everyone was obviously hungry and not many other options in place i holla'ed everyone. Trust me no one wanted to leave this place, the pool was way too inviting, but then i guess we had ridden only 30 odd km and that too through traffic and hence doesnt call for a FSR. Matts was really insistant that this route (the one he didnt know) was an owesome route (Dell needs to be really proud of this guy). We headed out after breakfast at about 10:15 and took a turn of the highway that goes past some place called SAvandurga (from what i could recollect). the views on this road were really awesome, and the road was even better with its twists and turns all the way and not even a ditch or bump. Somewhere along the way we decided to stop by the Tyonk, we didnt have any of the Tyonkers present AKA - Indi, Hemant, Suru, blah blah blah. Either ways it was a beautiful place the only problem being us getting tanned and our temperatures rising, so eager to conquer the balance 30 odd kms to Ramnagaram we hit the road again. Hard to believe how in spite of the delay we managed to reach our famous Omkar Dhaba at 12:30. We sat down and ordered the official FSR drink - Gin and fesh lime sodas, which even the first timers appreciated, always works when your out in the sun he he, since there are not patents on this drink everyone is free to share it with their friends - the recipe not the drink (or anything else). Without wasting anymore time, we begged for lunch and after a hearty meal, a lot of thank yous and many more good byes we decided to call it a day and burst back home. Some decided to conquer the "NICE"r roads while we were really keen on riding through more traffic and took the "not so nicer" route. Im sure my bike was running a cool 5 kmph faster thanks to the K&N filter but then on a bullet even my eyeballs were vibrating at that speed. One things for sure, the weather is getting hotter by the day and we are running out of rides and running out of our old time riders - Screech, Suru, Omi, Satya, Indi, Aditya, etc etc, move out or atleast sell your Rd to me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

FSR#14 - Bagepalli

FSR#14 - Bangalore -> Bagepalli -> Chintamani -> Hoskote -> Bangalore Woke up to the shrill alarm of the phone and got ready in a jiffy ..... I knew I was late, then got a call from Indi he was still at the petrol bunk, rode off from home all rushed..... metup with Indi, filled gas and started riding toward Mekhri Circle. When we reached Mekhri Circle it was evident that eveyone had started and we had to catch up ... we waited for Subbiah and Nargis with Karthik and then we were off ......... Man it felt good to be back!! It was really cold and I was regretting not wearing anything warmer and the moment we descended the Hebbal flyover we encountered fog ......... it was not too bad and visibility was about 30m and oncoming traffic was a profusion of silhouettes and headlamps. The road was wide and straight and I was gunning the Roadie and pushed it past the 100+ mark a few times ........ it was awesome but the elation was shortlived as it seized promptly ......damm, but it fired up promptly after and I was riding again albeit a litttle easier on the throttle. We reached Chikballapur and met up with the whole gang, about 19 of us .... it was a great turnout and I hadn't seen anyone for about 2 months and after first congratulating the newly weds(Abhi and Kavitha) I met the gang ........ it was good and man it felt good to be back. Over breakfast Mats had us all convulsed and cringing at the same time with his stipulated 10 PJ limit(which was blatantly ignored anyway) After breakfast and PJs were washed down with hot kaapi .... we headed out towards Bagepalli ...... I was trailing the gang and trying to catch up .... about 10 Kms outside Chikballapur .. the bike seized again .... I realized I was gunning it a bit too much and stopped for a smoke ....... to allow the engine to cool down. I started again and was riding solo ...... the road was smooth barring a few bad patches and there was the construction of the 4 lane Highway on both sides. The landscape was great, rolling hills on the horizon and greenery all around .....the only thing jarring was the construction trucks and the dust raised by them ..... but hey nothing stands in the way of progress :-). I caught up with the gang in Bagepalli, they'd stopped to do some repairs on Vodka's bike. We took a right into Bagepalli and headed towards the hills ...... the greenary in the interiors was a refreshing change and we were all riding as a pack because no one knew the route ....... we headed towards Mittemari and turned into a mud road into the village towards a lake ....... we rode on the Tank bund of the lake and turned into a mud road leading right up to the bank of the lake....... and parked up there. The lake and the view of the rocky hills behind was fantastic, we hung out there for a while listening to PJs and bouncing stones on the lake surface and then we decided to backtrack towards Chelur and head towards Chintamani. We started riding towards Chelur and the roads were pretty bad, there were many stretches of the road under construction and at some points the roads were just gravel and dirt ........ it was exactly what was needed, the big thumpers had a blast and the other bikes were also having a blast ....... though a bit bone jarring and saddle sore ..... but it's fun for us .... right :-) Presently we reached Chelur and headed towards Chintamani ..... the roads were ok and pretty soon the group was spread out ....... I was going a little easy on the throttle as I didn't want the bike to seize again and get stuck as it was long haul to Chintamani. As we had done a part of the same countryside in one of the previous FSRs it looked very familiar...... the winding narrow roads the green countryside with Hills all around and familiar T junctions with Bus stops and black and white painted signboards to small villages. There was not much traffic on this road and it was wonderful riding on this stretch..... both my mind and the bike were on cruise control :-) ... Subbiah caught up with me and gestured that we should exchange bikes .......so we stopped and I got on to Subbiah's 79 Enfield ..... he had just rebored it so he cautioned me to keep it in the 60-70kmph range. We started off .... it was great riding the Bullet, it was thumping along majestically and it also gave me a chance to look at my bike in motion .... it sounded good and it looks good too ..... ok maybe I'm prejudiced but who isn't. :-) We were cruising along and we spotted the gang had pulled over and near a village and pulled up. Robin had crashed up, his front brake had jammed and he had taken a toss, thankfully he wasn't hurt too much, just a big bruise on his arm but his bike was a different story .... the headlight was broken and electricals were dead ...... we tried all kinds of stuff but the bike just wasn't getting any electricity. We decided to tow the bike to Chintamani to get it fixed there, towing involved Robin riding his Bullet with another rider pushing Robins bike with his foot on the back footrest of Robins bike .... all of us tried it with little luck we couldn't get the hang of it ..... Indi's finally got the hang of it and we all followed at a sedate pace. We reached the dusty town of Chintamani and found a Bullet mechanic ...... and parked up ..... it was hot and we had a long wait ........ with chais and biscuits. After a long wait and lots of undue attention from the local inhabitants because of the Big thumpers we decided to head out to dhabha for lunch as it was getting late, we all started out with Indi remaining with Robin to get the bike fixed. We reached the dhabha and relaxed for the first time since morning ....... we ordered food which was gobbled down ....... pretty soon Robin and Indi caught up. Everyone was tired as this was the longest, bone jarring and an incident filled FSR ........ and it get dark in about an hour and a couple of the bikes had no headlights. We headed back towards Hoskote and Bangalore. This FSR was a pretty gruelling one, in terms of distance, the bad roads and the delay but it sure feels good thinking about it and one more FSR nailed, we had our hearts and minds set on this route for a while and we finally did it. Looking forward to more FSRs and hey let me take this opportunity to wish the UA-08 riders a safe and a fun filled trip........ have a blast guys!!! Cheers, Suru

Monday, December 3, 2007

FSR 13 - Kabbal

What a way to celebrate the last ride of 2007! The charm worked again. 13th ride and 13bikes. A gorgeous winter sky to ride under and awesome roads to compliment the day. Whats more - Bombay celebrated its first FSR today! Congratulations team - we've just gone national. Initial grouping and breakfast at Kanakpura - no one had a clue of what was in store. We took the road as it came and had no map in mind. After the next re-grouping the hills were more than inviting. Having cleared the thorn fence at the base of the hill, it was a deep breath and no looking back. Intense riding where there is nothing in mind except the road ahead and you making it to the top in one piece. Splendid rock temple with an endless sight. Then it was about rolling down hill. The minute flat ground was in sight - it was a water to the desert if you know what I mean. Fancy speeds and easy roads brought us back to land of the mature Gin. The bloddy mary decided to send us home and call it a day. Thanks all you guys for being there. Today was something else. For those who were not there - you'll would have loved it. Abhi & Kav, Omi, Screech, Suru, AVG, Vodka and the rest. notes by Nargis See you'll next year for FSR 14 - 2008. Take it easy. Ride safe.
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