Friday, May 18, 2018


Three days. 750 kms. Bike trip to Ooty.
Bike rides never thrilled me. And here I was, in midst of sixteen passionate bikers, all ready to rule the roads. The farthest I rode on my bike was a hundred-kilometer drive. This asked for more.
            The weekend where I planned to stay away from people became the weekend I was forced to socialize.
At the said time I reach the decided location. All Benelli, Harley Davidson, Royal Enfield ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಒಂದೇ ಒಂದು Avenger. झुण्ड में तो सुवर आते है... शेर अकेला आता है. All passionate bikers ಮಧ್ಯೆ there is me who doesn't even know how much mileage my bike gives. All jerkin, riding guards ಹಾಕಿರುವವರ ಮಧ್ಯೆ I don't even have a pair of gloves. Am so out of place. ಇದೆಲ್ಲ ಬೇಕಿತ್ತಾ ?

The organiser gives gyaan. Intro session and all is over. Makes one the leader and asks others to follow his bike. Off we go.
Oh wait …. Where is the lead?? Where are others??? Vrooom. They have vanished.
I pause to think of what just happened. The lead took off. And all the fast bikes followed him. Leaving me . to fend for myself. ಈ ಖುಷಿಗೆ ಇವರ ಜೊತೆ ಬರಬೇಕಿತ್ತಾ ? Would have gone solo only.Anyways since I knew next pitstop and went at my own speed.Bengaluru -> Maddur Done.

While having breakfast at Adigas , everyone agrees that each has different speed . We all have to ride as a group.Yeah. Good idea.
Off we start again. As a group.
Oh wait …. Where is the lead?? Where are others??? Vrooom. They have vanished again!!
Maddur -> Mysore Done.

I come to know that two of the Benelli dishum dishum each other. Handle breaks and so does their hope and they go back leaving us half way. I sit there wondering what do people enjoy most in bike rides? Pollution? Heat? ಬೆನ್ನು ನೋವು? ಕುಂಡೆ ನೋವು? Speed breakers? OR speed? wind against the face ? Bike sound? I was about to find out.
This biker has put " Don't follow me" sticker on the front of his bike. ಯಾಕೆ ಯಾಕೆ ಯಾಕೆ ?? My biking illiterate brain asks me not to break my head over it. Instead asks me to break by previously set highest speed on my bike barrier. Given smooth roads and great visibility this is not at all a big deal. I am here, cruising, flying, talking to the wind.

In my mind I tell this to all the girls who overtake me in the city, due to traffic.
Me: “You can overtake me how much ever in the city girl, outside city you are no match.“

Aakashwani comes.
She : So I will be ahead of you 99% of your life.

Yeah, when I am back I will still be getting back to the same traffic filled roads. But I had to think about that only after three days. Right now, its my time to fly. ಬೆನಲಿ ಬೆನ್ನಲಿ ಕುಂತ ಬಾವಲಿ 170 ಕಿ ಮಿ/ಗಂ ಸ್ಪೀಡ್ touch ಆಗಿದಕ್ಕೆ ಖುಷಿಪಟ್ಟ. ನಾನು ಅಲ್ಪತೃಪ್ತ. 110ಗೇ ಸಂತೃಪ್ತಿ ಆಯ್ತು.
Mysore -> Nanjangud : Done
Lunch break.

I meet this Harley owner.
Nice bike.
Cost 5L+ Mileage ~20
Oho , my bike is only better then
Now he is not talking to me.

By now the organiser realises he has not got ants who go in a single line at constant speed but monkeys whom he can’t control. He just gives us route. Asks us to meet in Ooty.

This leads to one of the best rides of my life. The ones every biker dreams of. Beautiful flat straight roads till Bandipur. Reserve forest area drive inside and then the most dreaded thirty-six hairpin curves to reach Ooty. WOW . WOW . WOW.Hairpin ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಮುಖ ಸಿಂಡರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ bikers , hairpin curves ಕಂಡ್ರೆ ಜೊಲ್ಲು ಸುರಿಸೋದು ನೋಡೋಕೆ ಚೆಂದ.

4344243245 curves plus mud road drive later we reach the destination.Ketty, Kunoor.

We eat and sleep inside a tent.
Good guy in my mind : Sleeping inside sleeping bag inside tent in a tea estate overlooking strawberry estate. Bestest.

Angry guy in my mind : Sleeping inside a tent in this superchilled night in Konoor. Life is so unfair. ದುಡ್ಡು ಕೊಟ್ಟು ನಮ್ ಗಾಡಿಲಿ ನಾವೇ ಬಂದು ಬೀದಿಲಿ ಬಿದ್ಕೋಳೋ ಕರ್ಮ ಯಾರಿಗೂ ಬೇಡ ಗುರು
As we go to our tents we get the most scariest instruction : If snake bites don't put in whatsapp group and spread negativity. Directly come to my tent.
Next day morning.
No one knows each other's name till now. They identify people by their Bikes, colour of bikes or bike numbers. ನನಗೋ RE classic ಯಾವುದು electra ಯಾವುದು ಅಂತ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗೋಕೆ ಎರಡು ವರ್ಷ ಬೇಕು.
We start small talk. One of them comes to me
Biker    : Why Avenger? 220cc ಅಂತಾನಾ ? ?
Me        : ಇಲ್ಲ ನನ್ನ heightಗೆ ಇದೊಂದೇ ಇದ್ದದ್ದು budget ಅಲ್ಲಿ.
Biker2  : Bro which BS?
Me        : Out of syllabus
Biker3  : Macha , top speed ಎಷ್ಟು?
Me        : ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ, ನಾನು ಕಷ್ಟಪಟ್ಟು110 touch ಮಾಡ್ಸಿದಿನಿ
Biker    : Oil cooled or..
*I silently escape*
The day is spent on extreme off-roading, riding up the steep hills on mud-roads or stone filled roads. At some places we come back halfway as the roads were not motorable.
ಒಂದು ದಿನಾನೂ pothole ನ ದುಷ್ಟ ಮುಖ ತೋರಿಸದೆ tar road ಮೇಲೇನೆ ಓಡಿಸಿ ಮುದ್ದು ಮುದ್ದಾಗಿ ಸಾಕಿದ avengerನಾ off roading ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿ ಕಲ್ಲು ಮಣ್ಣು ತುಂಬಿರೋ ಬೆಟ್ಟ ಹತ್ತಿಸಿ break , suspension ಕಿತ್ತು ಹೋಗೋ ಹಾಗೆ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದ್ರು :( ಪಾಪ ಬೈಕು , ಒಂದೇ ಇಂಡಿಕೇಟರ್ ಲೈಟ್ ಅಲ್ಲಿ ರಾತ್ರಿ ಪೂರ ಅಳ್ತಾ ಇತ್ತು.
Heavy costly bikes had so many problems. One engine stops on over-heating. One brakes ಗೆ ನೀರು ಹಾಕಿ  cool ಮಾಡಬೇಕು. One fan has to be on for engine cooling. One firstgear ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಹೋದರೆ ಕಷ್ಟ ಓಡಿಸೋಕೆ. So everyone stopped one place or the other while RE and Avenger went on and on.
All places we visited were those which only localites would know. No tourists anywhere.
The best part of the day was the synchronized line of bikes curving through the hills like a snake with constant speed and signal communication while onlookers pause to see the sheer beauty of bike sound symphony in motion. It’s a diff kind of high.
Worst part was that the lead rider signals while riding and everyone communicates that signal to behind ones. I was to embarrassed to ask what that meant so kept imitating whatever they did. ಒಂದ್ ಸಾರ್ತಿ ಬೆನ್ನು ಕೆರ್ಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೂ ಗೊತ್ತಿಲ್ದೆ copy ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೆ .
Multiple bison sightings later we reach our tents again.
While lazing around the fully enthusiastic host comes to me :
 So you love biking haa
Me        : No
Host     : Then you are on your soul-searching journey?
Me        : No
Host     : Sound of bikes, curved roads, nature, speed thrill you.
Me        : No
Host     : Oh. Then why are you here?
Me        : Brother forced coz he didn't have company. ಅಷ್ಟೇ.
He never came to talk to me again.
I asked some guys why they were here. "We were bored of routine city life. Wanted to be amidst nature for atleast 3 days forgetting everything in this world" Ten mins later they were in some house watching RCB match and cursing whole world.
From my observation from whatever little I have seen; Royal Enfield guys are the most stable minded bikers. They drive well, know speed limits and take good care of their bike. And yaa they are extremely proud of their possession. KTM are most rash ones.
There was this rider who honked at every speed-breaker he came across. Am sure one day this biker will realize that speed breakers don’t flat out if you honk at them.
Number of people in trip: 20
Number of HarleyD: 1
Number of people who have pics as if they own HD: 20
Jungle Trail ಅಂತ ಕರ್ಕೊಂಡ್ ಹೋದರು. There was no jungle. Some mudroad ittu ಬೇಸಿಗೆ ರಜದಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ತಾತನ ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೋಗೋ ದಾರಿ ಇದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿತ್ತು. But was fun to see people wearing trekking shoes and all and going all gaga over the walk !
Next day our return journey started
ಡಬ್ಬಾ ನನ್ ಮಕ್ಳು , ಊಟ ಸಿಗದೆ ಇದ್ರೂ ತಡ್ಕೋತಾರೆ, ಫೋನ್ ಚಾರ್ಜ್ ಇಲ್ಲ ಅಂದ್ರೂ dont care. Fuel ಕಡಿಮೆ ಇದ್ರೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಜೀವಾನೆ ಹೋಗೋ ತರ ಬಾಯ್ ಬಡ್ಕೋತಾರೆ. ಪೆಟ್ರೋಲ್ ಬಂಕ್ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ಸ್ವರ್ಗ ಕಾಣ್ತಾರೆ
Madumalai-Bandipur reserve forest stretch ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂಜೆ ಗಾಡಿ ಓಡಿಸೋ ಮಜಾನೇ ಬೇರೆ. The best. These bikers wasted that opportunity by speeding and reaching the other side... And waited for me for 20 mins. I shook hands with jinke and all and came aaramse.
I was all happy riding in city with 30kmph , avoiding potholes and stopping at traffic till now. Now that I have tasted 110kmph, smooth straight roads with no vehicle in sight, city bike riding suddenly irritates me.