Thursday, June 30, 2016

123) Chamundi Hills, Mysore – Welcome KTM: (21/2/2016)

Place: Chamundi Hills.      
Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Bidadi – Ramnagara – Mandya - Mysore
Particiapants: Nikhilesh > Arun (Aaku bhai)  > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes:  Gixxer > KTM > Pulsar                                    
Previous visit: Melukote –Peace Kit

This chapter was a classic, point to point spot on trip. It was good old school riding  3 people on 3 bikes, yes the golden formula for a classic road trip. I personally had an opportunity to witness two new bikes in action alongside both KTM & Gixxer. Both looked very promising bikes.

Arun had bought his new KTM Duke 200 and like always he wanted to go to Chamundi hills in Mysore. I had Chitradurga in mind, but since his bike was just coming out of the cocoon we decided to stick to Mysore itself. Arun’s friend from Chennai, Nikhil also confirmed his presence for the trip.
TIME: 22:00 (20/2/2016)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a push ups & bicep curls and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at the NICE road entrance near PESIT. I first rode to bakery and then went to the NICE road entrance. Once they arrived, Arun introduced me to Nikhil and off departed from Bangalore. 
TIME: 06:45

RIDE 1: (Bangalore- Bidadi – Channpatna – Mandya - Mysore)
This was a 150kms flat ride. But we kept a decent pace as Arun’s bikes new. So 3 people on 3 bikes one behind the other started off from Bangalore. As it was a Sunday, the traffic was congesting. This existed until Kengeri, post which we stepped up a little to start cruising past vehicles to reach Bidadi for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:30

Over the breakfast, I got to know more about Nikhil. And the vada they had served was quite different and nice this trip. After the breakfast we continued at decent pace on our home ground – SH17. We cruised past Ramnagar, Channpatna and Maddur. We pulled over at the outskirts of Mandya for some hot tea. One incident that almost got me close to an accident I would now recollect. 


There was this huge air filled fancy color tubs and other tubes on road side, I kept staring at them lost in thoughts and forgot to see what is ahead of me. Arun, who in front of me had slowed down as there was speed breaker on the road. I kept riding at my normal pace and almost crashed into him. Just time I applied full on brakes twisting my bike horizontally. Then kicking on to ground regained my balance and made sure the tub is for latter:P. Here Arun took the lead and guided us to the foothills of Chamundi.
The ride uphill was filled with traffic as it was a Sunday.  Jibbing in between vehicles we made it to the top.

A flock of people covered the entire hill top. So we made it near the temple entrance to find a long line of people. Nikhil & me insisted we stay out. We both grabbed something to drink and some roasted corn and sat on a bench. After 15mins Arun was out. All 3 of us rested under the hot sun. Then as our energies were draining out we decided to head back out.
TIME: 11:45

As we rode downhill, we took another route, which ran in front of the Giant Nandi. We stopped at few intermediate places as the dry background made the KTM looked like a Cheetah waiting to be unleashed. Also I was impressed by the smooth sound of Gixxer even at high speeds.
TIME: 12:00

At the giant Nandi, we had a cup of sugarcane juice. Then went around exploring the place to find a poor Tiger doll face blind. It was actually surprising and scary. I wanted to take off the cloth, but I felt people might be offended. Living or not, it felt real to me! With our tummies growling we looked at each other. I told them about the – “Swathi highway Dhaba” before Mandya that we had visited on our Mahadevpura ride & Melukote ride. So another 1hour we had subside our hunger.

The ride downhill from the Nandi, saw a new route. As we 3 rode down, I remembered we had to take a U-ish turn after the Nandi. This time we went straight and ended up at the outskirts. Asking for directions from the locals we made to a empty site kind of place which further lead us to wide open road. Here there were very minimal vehicles. Even though this route meant a few extra kilometers, but it was worth avoiding the traffic. Asking directions from the Cops we made back to Mysore road.
TIME: 12:45


RIDE 2: (Mysore – Mandya – Ramnagar – Bangalore)
This was a 150kms ride back home with an intermediate lunch stop. As we rode back on SH-17, even though the riding felt excellent, the hot air started draining us. But I was constantly looking at both the Gixxer and KTM curiously.
As the dhaba was known to me, I took the lead from here and rode at a decent pace to whip through Srirangapatna and keeping my eyes open I spotted the dhaba and signaled the others as well. Then we settled down with the food and drink, for a well reserved rest.
TIME: 13:45

After spending about at an hour or two munching down some tasty lunch we decided to leave. The ride back again was decent one. We rode past Maddur, we thought it was too early for a tea stop. We rode past Maddur, Channpatna, and after crossing Ramnagar we pulled over at a small tea shop for a well-deserved tea.
TIME: 16:45

After having tea, we started off at a decent pace. But the traffic kept picking up. But we kept squeezing through and made it near college. From here we thanked each other for making it for the day and went back to our respective homes.
TIME: 17:30



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

122) Melukote – Peace Kit: (4/2/2016)

Place: Melukote.               

Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.

Directions: Bengaluru – Bidadi – Ramnagara – Mandya - Melukote

Participants: Chethan (Zethu)  > Karthik (Sp).

Bikes:  Avenger > Pulsar                                            

Previous visit: Bhasmangi  Fort Trek


This chapter was done to catch up with good old Zethu. It saw some peaceful riding, long talks and very blissful nap under the green trees. And finally to finished things off at a dhaba with good lunch.


Zethu had had rode all the way from Mumbai to Bangalore on his Avenger. After resting for a couple of days, he notified me that he was good for a ride. And I badly wanted to hear all his ride stories and obviously if it’s Zethu, his New Year stories are the best to hear. So BR hills was planned. I had to take leave, as it was a weekday.

TIME: 22:00 (3/2/2016)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a push ups & bicep curls and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at RR Nagar arch. So I left home at about 05:30 and waited for Zethu at the Arch, Once he arrived, we greeted each other and decided to leave town before the traffic could pick up. 
TIME: 06:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore- Bidadi – Channpatna – Mandya -Melukote)

This was a 150kms ride. As we departed Bangalore, we rode beside each other. It felt good riding with Zethu as it had been quite some months as he was put up in Mumbai and had pulled off quite a few big ones there. After riding for about 30kms we decided to pull over at at our regular hotel at Bidadi for some breakfast.

TIME: 07:30

Over the breakfast, we decided to change the place to Melukote as it would be less tiring and we could relax at the serene place. So continuing further we cruised past Ramnagar, Channpatna, Maddur.  We pulled over at the outskirts of the Mandya for some hot light tea. Zethu started filling me up on his end of the stories and likewise I told him about my side as well. 


After the deviation from Mandya, the roads quietened down and the greenery increased dramatically. Zethu was flying left to right and right to left, enjoying the fresh air. We pulled over at a few stops and one standard stop at the beautiful curve that exists just before the hairpin curves to the temple. Executing those Hp curves with delight we made it to the temple.



As it was a Thursday the flock was less in number. But we directly headed towards our peace spot. First waving a hi to Bande Ganu, climbing down the stairs we made it to grass lands.  The breeze was strong and air temperature was low it was just perfect as we had anticipated. We roamed around for a little while and told him about the last visit’s trek with Gow  (Melukote trek) at the same place. After this we crashed down on the grass amidst the friendly buffaloes. 


Zethu filled me up on his New Year adventure and what a start it had been for him for the year 2016. After a while we restored to silence and all we could hear is the leaves rustling, few beams of sunlight making to through to us and the grass being eaten of the ground by the cows. goats and buffaloes. Slowly we drifted off into a peaceful nap. 

Man, were we off on a trip? Yes we were. Such a nice nap, never had I had. We got up, yawned and then sat up staring at the skies and the confused cows that were looking straight at us, wondering who the visitors were. Then we met a cowherd who was desperately trying to get a small calf into a pond for bath. But it was resisting his and playing around. IT was damn fun to watch. After spending a few more minutes packing up, we decided to leave Melukote.

TIME: 12:30


RIDE 2: (Melulkote – Pandavpura – Mandya – Ramnagar – Bangalore)

This was 150kms ride back. We decided to skip Tonnur kere as our tummies were already growling. but we did ride to Pandavpura and touch Mysore road. Now I was confused, whether our regional dhaba – ‘Swati highway dhaba’ fell before or after, trusting my gut I took a left and headed hoping to spot. And I was spot on, and we pulled over at the dhaba for some tasty lunch.

TIME: 14:00

After spending about 1.5 hours at the dhaba, munching and drinking we left the dhaba afloat. The ride back was pretty straight forward as it was on the Mysore road. We rode back with a few light tea stops to reach back JB Split stop at about 18:00, Here we pulled over thanked each other for making it and split. I continued towards Gokula to meet Dee for chats. After which I headed back home to reach my home as well.

TIME: 19:30



Thursday, June 23, 2016

121) Bhasmangi Fort Trek: (24/1/2016)

Place: Bhasmangi Fort Trek. 
Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Tumkur – Sira - Bhasmangi
Participants: Dileep (Koof) > Chaitanya (Endu) > Ashok (Momz) > Datta (Dattu) > Madhu (k.)  > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes:  Thunderbird > Pulsar > Pulsar                                   
Previous visit: AvallabettaHilltop

This was the first chapter of the year 2016. Looked promising! This place had long time been on our bucket list. And we weren’t sure of the exact details of the place. This chapter saw 6 people, mostly from college, so a very good catching up trip! As far as the trek, we ignored the partial stone steps  and took the thorny & boulder route just to spice things up.

As far as the plan goes, after returning from Haryana after a month feeling pretty much low, I needed my old school gang and needed a big time break. So, called in everybody I could and finally narrowed it down to Dilip, Endu, Ashok, Dattu & Madu.
TIME: 22:00 (23/1/2016)

Yeah I was up at 05:00, did a push ups & bicep curls and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at two places. First I had to pick up Madhu and then we went and waited for Endu & Dilip at the Nagarbhavi junction. After which we headed further to meet the other two at Mahalakshmi Layout on the ORR. After all 6 of us met we decided to leave Bangalore. 
TIME: 07:30

RIDE 1: (Bangalore- Nelamangala – Tumkur – Sira - Bhasmangi)
This was a 125kms ride, mostly on NH-4, tumkur highway. I chose this route as riding would be comfortable and also would bring back memories if the Chitradurga ride. As we departed Bangalore, as it was a Sunday, the traffic was dense. But we made it out of town. Once we hit the highway, it was smooth cruising until dobbaspete for some tasty breakfast at our regular hotel.
TIME: 08:15

After the breakfast, we all stood outside the hotel with some hot tea. And with the deadly combo of Endu & Momz, entertainment was something in excess. But yeah, I told others it was my first time visiting the place as well and told others to accept the chapter as it moulds itself. 
Knowing friends well, they replied likewise, “yeah in case we remember anything today:P”  we burst into laughter and hit back the road again. So, the roads were wide and clean, riding beside each other Endu & Dilip got a doubt whether the SOS phone on the highways works or is it just a dummy. Time for some testing?


Haha, so these two pulled over called up and started swearing as they couldn’t hear anything from the other side. Just then, Dattu and me who were a little ahead saw a highway patrol with all the lights rushing towards us. We signalled Dilip and Endu to get the hell out from there. We got out just in time :P
After cruising past Tumkur, we entered Sira, and pulled over for some hot tea again. Asking the locals for directions we went off the highway and into the country roads. 

The roads were narrow but in good conditions. But as we rode on the roads gradually turned muddy and finally it was pure muddy roads that we rode on as we entered the Andhra Pradesh. We could spot the hillock afar, we asked again for directions and grabbed some bottles and reached the base of the hill.
TIME 11:45

This had to be the most haphazard and random path trek we had done till date. Took us 2hours to reach the top, with 3-4sittings in between. Once we asked the locals whether we could climb straight up the boulder filled path. They said, “one can, but you guys can’t: /” That pissed us off even more. So, we ignored all others and just started ascending the hillock. 


The trek up the hill was actually pretty nice and decent.  We had a simple rule, keep ascending until you reach flat land. But the path was filled with thorny bushes that began to scratch on our hands pretty bad. With all the juice in the bag, we had to find a spot to crash in & fast. We found a neat outpost which overlooked the town and a beautiful lake. 

Here, I decided to head further up and find a nice place to crash in. Dattu too accompanied me and we found a super cool boulder shelter. So, went back called in others as well. Once others who were fooling around arrived, it was double teaching time for all by Momz & Endu. Stories & jokes kept flowing as the juice went on rounds around the circle. After which, Dattu headed further up to find the second spot to crash. 


As the sun was up, and it had hit noon, it was getting difficult to trek by the minute. We reached the second base to crash in for another round. After which we reached a long fort wall, getting past it was tricky once we made it across, we could see the top.
But we found an alternate path which lead to a huge boulder. So climbed up this boulder and had a final sitting enjoying the breeze and over-looking the entire town and lakes below. We spent 30mins here sitting and speaking about college stories, and yes Momz theory of independence and other things as usual came up, cracking us up real good.

Also, we played some music and danced on top of the boulder. Then we realized it was already getting late and our tummies were crying in hunger. So, climbing down the boulder we headed towards the final fort wall, the path was filled with small water bodies. Going beyond it we reached the top.
TIME: 13:30

At the top, we just played around. We climbed on the fort wall and started walking on it. It was pretty dangerous as one side of it was a steep fall. After making it to the outpost, we tried to spot our bikes. Then we went and explored all the buildings which laid in ruins on top. After about 20-30mins of exploration, we found a neat outpost and we crashed. We had very good sleep. But as I woke up, first thing I could see as I opened my eyes was ground which was about 3000-4000 below. I pulled myself back and realised I was on top of the hill hehe. Then, took out the hand drawn map and after taking other’s call, we decided to head back as it was already late.
TIME: 14:30

The climb down was a smooth one. We took the normal path down, as we were feeling pretty dehydrated under the hot sun.  As we made it to the down, we found an old couple sitting outside their hut, they offered us some cold water. It was heavenly but  took in limited amounts and continued further towards the parking space. There we found a water tank as well, let our head down and ran the cold water to cool ourselves. After which we left Bhasmangi. Next top FOOOOOD!
TIME: 15:00


RIDE 2: (Bhasmangi – Sira – Tumkur – Bangalore)
The ride back was about 125kms on the same route. As we left the town, we waved AP bye, promising more trips into the state. After which as we zoomed ahead, all of a sudden a swarm of bees flew across the road, but one of them bit Madhu on the hand and it swelled up crazy fast and he was in deep pain. Removed the sting and washed it with water. After that incident I rode and we reached back the highway at Sira. Ramming ahead, we searched for dhabas but in vain, there were hardly few. Few kilometers before Tumkur, few pulled over at a small dhaba for some well-deserved lunch.

The lunch at this place what we thought to be an okay dhaba was just amazing. Probably we were hungry too, but the service and taste was very good. We belted some heavy lunch as the temperatures began to dip fast. When we got out of the dhaba, the air had turned real cold and we pulled out our caps and rode ahead.
TIME: 18:30


The final ride back was a severe one. With the temperatures dropped, the traffic on the roads got real dense. We rode at decent pace until Bangalore, after which we struggled and moved along at snail’s pace to drop each other off and finally reach back our respective homes.
TIME:  21:15