Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why you ride?

Being a passionate rider myself, sometimes I could not answer my dad when he asks me why im so crazy to ride for long distance instead of touring on a car.

So what makes us to ride for long distances. Surely touring on bikes is not a comfortable mode. Put your thoughts on "Why you ride?" as comments to this post.

All comments will be latter consolidated as an article and published.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mission God's Own Country - Invitation

Its time to announce our next bike trip. We are going to Kerala this time! Lets go and findout if its really a Gods own country or not. We will be visiting Wayanad. Major activities will be Trek Chembra peak and a bike ride to Lakidi, a picturesque scenery.Wayanad is a district in North east Kerala spreading over the western ghats. It’s the least urbanized district in kerala. Expect nature in its glory at wayanad.

Quick Facts:
Where: Wayanad, Kerala
When: 13 - 15th jan 2007 (3 days)
Distance: 290km
Route: via Mysore

Intrested? Please register yourselves here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bike betta..... Bilikal Betta!!!

It’s with great respect and appreciation I am writing this blog of our trip to Bilikal Betta. It all started with me discovering the hiwayRebels blogspot during one of my google searches. I was quiet impressed by the blogspot and the places that the Rebels had visited over the past few months. So with approval from Huez (Hubert Godfery) I became a member of hiwayRebels. I had not met any of the rebels before neither had I spoken to any one of them. On Thursday morning I had received the mail from Addy ( a person who is well planned ) from my point he had everything sketched to the last bit about a biking trip. The trip was to start off from Bangalore to Harohalli to Konalludhodi and finally to Bilikal Betta.

There were eight of us Huez the biker, Addy the baddy, Mudit, Captain Suresh, the focused Imtiaz, Hari from Hyderabad, my brother Vinod and myself. So there we where eight rebels on their way to conquer the roads, trek the hills and to define speed. You could call us as the “Fellowship of the Bikes”. With high octane from the exhaust pipe and the wind blowing across the face at 80Kms/Hr we breezed through the road like hot knife on top of butter. Fuelling our bikes and packing some food for our journey we ripped apart the road when disaster struck; my bike got punctured.

Why the puncture shops are always available when there is a puncture is either a mystery or a conspiracy by all the mechanics in India. They are always within a walk able distance from the point of puncture? My bike was punctured the mechanic knew exactly where the puncture could have occurred and within few minutes Huez, myself and Vinod caught with the rest of the rebels for some photo shoots with the bikes. We reached Harohalli @ around half past 5.
Had a cup and tea and rode the bikes to the reach the base of Bilikal Betta. The shear size of the hill gave me the chill and of course the villagers warning us of the wild elephants. With courage in our hearts and torches in our hands we began the climb up the hill. It took us 1 hr and 45 mins to climb the hill. The forest was dark with no well defined path to lead the way we had to make one. Each time we climbed the city lights looked like stars moving away from us like an expanding universe. With celestial stars above us and man made stars below us it was a collage of nature and humans living together.

The Rangaswamy temple was located below a mammoth size boulder. Few yards away from the temple there was this small home for the caretakers of the temple. The temple was undergoing a renovation for the forthcoming Jathre an occasion of joy and celebration for the villagers. The caretakers offered us with food to eat and some shelter. The view from the top of the hill was breathtaking the moon looked reachable and the stars seemed to be closer to us. So we all decided to start a bonfire for some reason there was more smoke and less fire so each of us where getting woods even a tree branch to get some fire going.

After the fire was up we where invited to join the caretakers for dinner. With ragi balls and saltwater on the plates the caretakers served with whatever they had. Oops few fresher’s in the field of eating ragi balls. With our bellys growling any food is good food. We came across an interesting character called Prabusamy. He is a multitalented person with knowledge on Vedas and Cinemas. He was an entertainer he could converse in thamil, kannada and telghu elegantly and even a bit of hindi.

A stroll on top of the hill was exiting the moon seemed to change its position at each point was it because the earth rotated anticlockwise or was it because the moon rotated around the earth? Finally reaching on a logical answer reading the position of the moon few of the rebels hit the sack while few hung around to hear Prabhusamy’s bonfire stories. The night was getting cold and finally I slept at 1 am in the morning. Few rebels got up at 6am to view the sunrise unfortunately the fog had engulfed the entire sky. So with few more photo shots without the sun we bid farewell to the caretakers and to three trekkers (Viswas, Murli and Sandeep) just like us who we met on top of the hill we began our descend down the hill. It took us 1 hr to reach down which was reasonable when compared by the time taken to climb up the hill.

Time to let the tea shop lady know that it’s not 30mins it takes 1hr and 45mins to reach the top (probably she must have been a marathon runner!). So finally we reached at the place where our bikes where parked. Handed over some parking fee and hit the road back home. It was a gr88 journey with g88 people. It was a trip to remember and for me it was the opportunity to become a “HiwayRebel”.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Trekking on Bilikal Betta - Photos

On Kanakapura Road

Near the betta

Bilikal Betta

Trekking up the betta

Camp fire

The Stars of hiwayREBELS

Moon in its glory

Captain Suresh Leading through the dark

On the rocks

Captain Suresh rescues Vinay

Rangaswamy temple

Treck down the hill

Reaching the base

Friday, December 08, 2006

Unwind @ Agumbe - Photos

Sam and Huez

The Sunrise

A Beautiful Morning at Agumbe


View From Onake Hebbe falls

Addi After the Trek to Jogi Gundi Falls

View from Kundardri Betta

Huez crossing the river for fun

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mission Yercaud - Photos

On the way to Hoganekkal Falls

On the way to Hoganekkal Falls

At Kauvery Peak

Near Kauvery Peak

Way towards Hoganekkal Falls

Kummalam @ Kodaikanal - Photos

Huez enroute to Kodaikanal

hiwayREBELS at SilverCascade

The Kodai Lake

Woods in a valley

Who's this monkey!

Enroute to Palani while returning to bangalore

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Unwind @ Agumbe

Agumbe, the name sounded very familiar at first to me. The place where the famous drama 'Malgudi days' was shot. It rains heavily and records the maximum rainfall in karnataka. No wonder its called the cherrapunji of karnataka.

Friday 5PM arrived the hiwayrebels are ready to rock and roll. This time the gang included Rajan, Addi and ofcourse me(huez). As usual when we crossed Bangalore city limits it was 7:30pm due to heavy traffic(this is the painful part of the whole trip!). The plan for the day is to reach chicmagalur and stay there for the night and start towards Agumbe the next day morning. The 250km odd ride was very good especially as we drew near Chicmagalur the weather got colder. We reached the town by 12pm and hit sack in a local lodge.

Its Saturday, 7:30AM in the morning when Addi's moblie blew its alarm. We refreshed ourselves had a cup of hot tea and left Chicmagalur. At Mudigere town we had breakfast in a small village hotel run by a family. They treated us with the best hospitality which reminded me of my mom, that I would never forget. The roads from here are very bad. Our speed was 20km/h on these neck breaking roads. We were praying for a better road. All of a sudden the vegetation got thicker with green lush everywhere. Its time for a photo shoot. From here its all full of ghat sections with thick vegetation feasting the eyes. We had a stop in Sringeri where our god fearing Rajan and Addi went to the mutt for a darshan.

From here the greenery got all deser and bright green everywhere! As we entered the Agumbe town rain started to pour heavily welcoming the bikers. Luckily Addi found a shelter in a village house's verandah. We shared the shelter with a few cows in there. After an hour the pour stopped, we went out in search of a place to lay our heads. We got a village house for a rent of 100/day. The house had two bedrooms with attached toilets. It rained again till evenning as we had some snack and tea in the tea stall which is the bus stand for the village. Visited the sunset point that evenning and then rested for the night.

Sunday arrived, time to trek to the Onake Hebbe falls its a 3km treck to the falls. The way was all filled with leaches which we anticipated. Rajan freaked out when he saw the blood thirst crawlers sucking his blood. He called the trek off and decided to go back. Latter we learnt that the leaches had sucked lots of blood from him(courtesy Rajan). Addi and I continued our trek through the woods. There were streams crossing the path. At one point there was a huge tree that collapsed on the way there was no clue of the route. However we figured it out around the mess. As we went closer to the falls the sound of the falls was inviting. We had a bath in the falls to refresh ourselves. On the way back we had few photo sessions inspite of the leaches climbing our shoes. The overall 6km trek was very enjoyable.

Post lunch we planned to visit another falls there Jogi Gundi. This required no trek. This falls was also great. Unfortunately it was raining we didnt spend much time there. The next place to visit was a view point in Kundadri Betta. Rajan and I raced through the beautiful windy roads of the ghatsection and missed the left turn which Addi recognized. Addi went to the view point and we reached a Thirthahalli where the river thunga runs. Though we missed the viewpoint we had a nice chat with local kids and ofcourse not to forget the foot peg scraping ride through the ghatsection. It started raining again, we went out walking in the dark equiped with rain gear in the dim moonlight. Agumbe one of the best place to unwind! Gumbe Gumbe Agumbe!!

Monday 6AM we rode our bikes through dense fog towards jog falls 140 km from Agumbe. By 7AM the fog got lifted uncovering the beautiful hillocks, the dense trees all around. The road were bad in few places which was a pain in the neck. Once reaching the highway it was a blaze till jog falls. The final road leading to Jog falls was amazing. it was very steep and windy. To make things tough its raining heavily. The trek to jog falls was rally testing the stamina. It was 1km steep down through the rocky steps which disappear occasionally. The falls was breathtaking. There were a huge crown in the base of the falls. At 4pm we left Jog falls. The ride back to bangalore was great through the rural karnataka. I love Biking, I love nature, I love Karnataka.

Onward Route: Bangalore, Nelamangala, Hassan, Chicmagalur, Mudigere, Sringeri, Agumbe Distance: ~450 Km

Route to Jog falls from Agumbe: Agumbe, Sagar, Jog falls
Distance: ~ 100km

Return Route: Jog falls, Sagar, Shimoga, Birur, Arsikere, Tiptur, Tumkur, Nelamangala, Bangalore
Distance: ~490km

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trek @ Kemmengundi - Photos

While trekking to Hebbe falls

While trekking to Hebbe falls

Near a Pond

On the way to hebbe falls

Crossing the river during trek

Hebbe falls

Ride To Hebbe Falls

Z Point

Mr. Hercules!

Ride down the Mulayangiri peak

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Trek @ Kemmengundi

The energies have risen again, this time our destination of choice is Kemmengundi. Our plan is to Trek up the Mulayangiri peak. Four guys, Varun, Ankur, Mudit and myself(huez) on four bikes started from bangalore on friday evenning squeezing through the crowded city roads till yeshwantpur. Its 7PM now and no time to waste as our plan is to reach kemmengundi before midnight and trek the next day. Our onward route was Bangalore, Nelamangala, Tumkur, Gubbi, Nittur, Kibbanahalli, Tiptur, Arsikere, Kadur, Birur, Lingadahal, Kemmengundi. By 1AM we were climbing the mud road up the hill. It had been raining and the mud track was very slippery. I spotted a rabbit on the bushes as we rode, Welcome to kemmengundi! As we had already booked two rooms in the Horticultural guest house we went straight up there and sunk in our beds.

Its 7AM Saturday, time for the Trek. None in the gang understood or spoke kannada and had tough time is speaking to the guys there. We couldnt get clear information about trek in Mulayangiri or in Baba Budangiri. After taking advise from Yogesh over phone we decided to trek to the Hebbe falls 9KM from the guest house.

After a quick breakfast and packing our backpack and water we headed for Hebbe falls on foot. The local guild demanded 150 for taking us through a shortcut through the woods. Our budget was so tight for 150 bucks. But the guide was kind enough to reveal the secret trek route to us! Deciding to take the route ourselves after Varun showing confidence went through the woods crossing small streams of water. Right from the start of the trek there as a dog following us all the way till hebbe falls. This dog sometimes ran ahead of us to show the route when we got struck!

The route was soo good, we took lots of snaps as we climbed the hill. We lost the route now luckily there was a small community of people living there. With their direction our climb continued. The two litre water is over now, our biscut packets are over too. The dog ate lot of biscuts than we had them! Now we are on a peak and the route is not seen. Noone to ask too. Taking Mudit's sense of direction we climbed down a steep hill...oh man this trek is worth the pain! Loosing the route again we stopped near a stream. The thin stream gave some water for us to drink. The weather was so pleasant with a light drizzle. There seemed to be lot of small falls here and there and one sounds nearby. Through the hills we heard something, its message from God!! A gang of trekkers are coming down the hill through a mud road! They were led by a local guide. We followed them from then till the falls.

We came to know that this gang or 8 or so is from bangalore and are trekking freaks. They were thrilled that we had come on bikes from bangalore. Soon we are on a mud road only a jeep could go. We were fighting with leaches all the way. The worst thing about leaches is that we dont feel the pain when they bite suck our blood. We were shaken or surprised to see a coupe of them on our legs when we pulled up our pants! The wounds dont clot as the saliva of the leach make the blood in the area not to clot so that it can suck blood. The guilde advised to carry a pack of salt which will keep them off.

The whole way to the falls was full of dense trees and beautiful landscapes. Few hills were dense with trees while the rest were "clean shaven" style. Crossing a couple of streams again as we came nearer to the falls. The dog which came with us crossed even the streams. It waded through the streams, jumping from one rock to the other. We missed to take photos of the dog crossing the streams beautifuly. We saw few small houses, seing a tap we rushed to replace the lost body fluids. Atlast the falls is here! its a magnificient one. Very rocky to bath under the falls, we plunged ourselves in to the cold water. It was so refreshing after the hectic trek. The cool breeze and the spray of fine drops of water from the falls was making the whole experience wondefull. After the refresh we started to trek back. The trek upward is very tough especially when the backpack was with me!

Varun made friends with Sreekanth the guy from the other gang. He gave lot of info regarding trekking destinations in karnataka. Agreeing to keep in touch with each other the two gooups split. We trekked without stopt till our breaking point. At one point i couldnt even take one step further. Again a message from God! As we were on the mud track, Varun who was leading the gang had sighted a jeep and arranged our transport till the guest house. Ohh what a relief...sigh! Over all we had trekked 15 km for the day. Our light breakfast and skipping lunch and not carrying enough water with us made us to abort the trek and take the jeep.

Reaching our rooms Varun and Mudit sank into their beds and slept. Ankur and myself kept talking about how beautiful the trip was so far. We regained our energies, took our bikes and headed to Z point. Z Point is a view point couple of kilometers from the guest house. This is one of the most beautiful viewpoints I've ever seen. cursing ourselves for leaving the camera in the room we walked quite some distance till we could. The colouds came towards us. It looked like white ice cream flowing from the hills. We then roamed on our bikes on the hill just for biking sake and got drenched heavily by the rain. It rained cats and dogs. We went back to the guest house canteen and having a cup of hot coffee we had lot of fun talking. Went early to bed with plan to start early the next morning for sight seing.

We had quite lot of time this trip, went to the Z Point again , took few snaps and planned to go on bikes to hebbe falls. We took the jeep track this time with our bikes. The views around were soo good. Its really worth going again to this place. The track is really tough especially after the heavy rain the earlier night. At one point my rear tyre stuck in the mud and wont come out. The track was steep and noway to come out. Ankur lifted the rear of my bike enablimg me to ride out of the mud. We went around 5km and couldnt continue further due to mud. Finding a nice view point we laid down on the grass, enjoying the abundant beauty of nature. Checked out our rooms by noon leaving for Mulayangiri the tallest peak in karnataka standing 6000+ feet above sea level. The ghat road from lingadahali till chikmagalur is a real treat for a biker. Best quality road with lots of twists and turns tailor made for a biker. Climbing Mulayangiri peak was very intresting. As we rode up the hill the temperature dipped by a degree after every hairpin bend. The peak was amazing the gentle breeze was sweeping our minds away.

No one wanted to leave the place but we are now running out of time as the guys wanted to reach bangalore by 9PM. Our return route was Kemmengundi, lingadahali, chikamagalur, Hassan(nh48), Kunigal, Nelamangala (nh4), Bangalore. The road was very good. The views all around us were good especially the sun setting on our right side. I love to overtake lorrys. We rode like crazy this time also having few stops then and there for tea and snaks. Ankur and mudit were so exited with the trip as this was their first Bike trip. We reached our houses by 10:30 PM. This was one memorable trip for me and for the rest too.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Trip to nowhere.

A Trip to nowhere.
Call it obsession or crazy I couldn't pass a weekend without doing a bike trip. That too since our last trip was an one dayer and that too three weeks ago. So why not hit the highway alone? My aim was to break Biru's top speed which was 124. Having identified a cause or an excuse i decided to break his record on saturday.

Saturday I couldnt sleep after 3AM. I was waiting for my alarm to ring at 4:30AM. Atlast the clock decided to ring and next thing is to get ready and leave the house at 5AM. My plan was to take hosur road and ride on till krishnagiri or till I beat Biru's record and come back. As I rode out of the city towards hosur road I was reminding myself that Im riding alone so I should play safer. Reached silk board junction where the road is dusty even at this time of day due to trucks.

The sky was cloudy and was dark. It was little risk to ride faster with all the dust hence stuck with 80km/h till electronic city after which the sun's morning rays started to appear. Its now time to test my machine and put it to its limits. As my bike is clocking 115 km/hr im totally leaning on the tank and all Iam thinking is will my bike go faster. It slowly crossed 120. WOW its 121 now…Yahooo. The road is getting steep down hill with lots of curves. This the perfect time to gain more speed. As I was concentrating on taking the turns without slowing down the speed has gone 128 km/hr which I noticed latter. I screamed like anything as I couldn’t control my feeling of breaking the record. I could nt ride more because of joy. So I stopped to celebrate. The place I stopped looked like a Tamarind Tree groove and its called Sunam Kuttai on the chennai highway. I just hung around in the shades of the trees. It’s a beautiful day. I was sitting alone on the grass and thinking how much more fun it would be if the rest of the hiwayREBELS were with me.

After the break I continued the ride just for fun as the morning was so pleasant with good breeze and calmness all around. It’s a surprise that this chennai road is so deserted. There were few cars that over took me which made me to feel like zooming and wanting to over take them. The three cars were going one behind the other. As I overtook the last two cars the first car started to speed more. This car is speeding at 120km/hr. My bike is now at 120 and just behind the car. As my bike very slowly gaining grownd, I saw a police barricade on the road. I started to slow down a bit. I was surprised that the car didn’t slowdown. I thought that may this guy is a skilled driver and going to go zig zag past the barricades. But I was wrong, the driver slept it seems! He rammed the barricades and one of the barricade flew past me just missing me by a couple of feet. Thanks to God nothing happened to the people in the car.

I was checking my fuel meter which shows almost in reserve. So its time to save some fuel and reach home with the fuel left. I found a small roadside hotel and thought to taste the village food. Had a few dosas and an omelette. Now ready to go home. As I was driving back home I saw tea stalls where we had tea during our trip to yelagiri. Remembered the places where we had taken photos. Also saw the place where Biru was happy that he clocked 124 km/hr speed. It was all like a recap of the fun we had during yelagiri trip. I was doing 70 to 80 km/hr. Didn’t feel like zooming as I was so satisfied with my 128km/hr !!

Bangalore welcomed me with dust and polluted air, and bad roads. As I entered I thought I will share my joy with Rajan and partha. Biru was dying when he heard that I have broke his record and did even more. YAHOOOOOOO...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Kummalam @ Kodaikanal

"Yeh dostii ham nahii thodenge..." was I singing as we were tearing through the dark highway. Suddenly I heard a scream from Biru from my side. Well he is shouting the same song! We were three of us on three bikes with loads of passion for biking. We started earlier that evenning around 6pm for kodaikanal. The members of the crew were Varun, Biru and myself (huez).
We were determined to do this trip inspite of fewer bikers, and my bad cold. After resetting our trip meters to zero we headed for the big trip. We crawled through the city traffic untill a few kilometers before electronic city praying to God that it should not rain as the clouds were threatening for a heavy shower.

Our plan was to ride most of the distance as much as possible before 1am and stay at the place we reach that time and then to start towards kodaikanal the next day morning. The destination is 480km from bangalore the farthest hiwayREBELS had attempted till date. We just crossed Hosur and we didnt have track of each other. I was thinking these guys were ahead of me as I stopped for water earlier but to my surprise Varun and Biru were behind me. I stopped just before dharmapuri to call them. But their mobile phones were dead. So I waited helpless for 20 min praying that these guys would either call me. Atlast they arrived. Then we had nice food at dharmapuri. We met a Cab driver who was very frienldy. He cleared all our worries about the weather in that route.

Its 9pm and we still need to cross Salem and stay either in Namakkal or in the next town Karur. We made to Namakkal around 1am deciding to rest for the night there. The next day it was 7:30AM when we started from Namakkal and reached Karur where we had our breakfast in a nice hotel. Being a tamilian myself i was happy to be in tamil naddu and have pure tamil food. Especially to lead the gang when the rest of us dont know tamil! Any way we loaded our camera with film role and started towards Dindugul planning to have a meeting point at Aravakuruchi about 40km from Karur.

At Aravakuruchi Biru was speeding like a demon not listening to my Bike screaming horn. So i thought well catch at the next stop. But Varun stopped at Aravakuruchi without knowing that we sped. By the time i caught Biru i started zooming so we did quite a lot of distance without a stop. The climate is very hot this time around and we were desperate to climb the hill.
Atlast we reached the hill base where we refreshed ourselves with lots of tender coconuts. The venor was so happy with the business with us that he gave a coconut free! Meanwhile our machines were taking good rest cooling themselves, and getting ready for the climb. Once we crossed 2 hair pin bends we could feel the cool breeze and sudden change in the vegetation.
Kodaikanal welcomed the bikers with a mild drissle of rain. Wearing the jackets for the rain, enjoying the dense vegetation around us we rode with a smile in our faces. Silver cascade falls was the first attraction in there one would notice as its on the way well before we enter the town. We had hot coffee and roasted corn and few snaps to cherish the memory. Next stop was at our Lodge.

After a quick refresh we went to Coaker's Walk this one ultimate view point. One gets to walk around a hill with a deep valley on the other side with amazing hill backdrop. But this place has been commercialized now and very crowded. I had been there at the same place around 15 years ago. This place was amazing at that time. It has lost its original glory these days. Green valley view was next in our cards. Unfortunately it was very foggy and all we saw was a white wall. piller rocks, pine forestes were other places we visited. Upper lake view really knocked us down with the splendid view of the lake surrounded by dense vegetation. Devils kitchen (alias guna's cave) was the place where the famous Tamil movie Guna shot. It was very slippery through the steeps of a hill in the end was a huge cave like a slit. It was heavily foggy not allowing us to enter the place. We took some snaps and left for our next place.

We went around the lake 3 times, once on foot and twice on bike. Damn Kodaikanal is very cold than I expected freezing the hands. We visited a park, a falls ame Vatakanal falls (disappointed after seing the falls ). Had a nice treck around the pine forest nearby. The ride to the Dolphins nose (a view point) was unforgettable experience as there were no road just a rocky way on which the tourist buses go. We were the only crazy riders going by bike. At one point we had to park our bikes and treck down through a stepp slope on a hill. The climb down is easy but was so tough to climb back. Anyway the view point was amazing. We sat there for quite a lot of time admiring the view sharing our experiences about the trip so far and stuffs like that. It was here that Biru revaled his love for dogs! He fed a wild dog with as much as 6 breads till the dog was satisfied.

It is now sunday evenning we were in high sprits we went all around kodaikkanal just for the ride sake. We again went to all the view point locations. There was a tree very old as much as 500 years! A forest officer going that way to his resiednce stopped by and gave us some insights about how to calculate the age of a tree. He is a research person in horticulture. His gesture was so warm made us feel at home in the forest. During dinner Varun met a travel agent who gave us the complete route info. The route was through palani. Biru had earlier given a hint about the existence of such a route but we didnt have exact route. The speciality of this route is that it goes thorugh palani and then through sathyamangalam ghat section and to chamrajnagar. This route is little longer than our earlier route but this is challenging and also through the forests. So we cancelled our earlier plan to visit Berijam lake and Mathikettan forest for monday. Because for hiwayREBELS the ride gives more high than anything else.

The risk through this route is that wild animals would come on the road especially it is notorious for mad elephants often comming to the road and cause lot of damanges. So we had to cross this stretch on day light to avoid animals on the road.

Next day after breakfast we started from our room around 11AM had a good breakfast and headed towards palani. This section of road was amazing with around 20 hairpin bends. The road was windy and a treat for a biker. we had a lot of snaps in these sections. We loved every section of the road till palani. Had a short break just before palani for tea. Our next will be for lunch. We were running out of time as we had to cross sathyamangalam ghat section in day light. To our trouble there was a very strong wind from the east(our left) The wind was so strong it almost pushed us down. But inspite of the heavy wind we sped our way at 110km. We stopped at Tiruppur at around 2:30 pm for lunch at a punjabi dhaba. There was a guy who made us panic about our plan to go throught sathyamangalam and suggested a different route. But we were determined to do this route and no turning back at this time. But we were alert after this and didnt wasted our times in frequent stops. We had a goal to reach sathyamangalam in an hour which was 55 km from where we started. And we accomplished by riding like hell! No slowing down in the towns. Especially in Avinashi where the traffic in the town was bad. I loved zip zapping through the traffic there. Even though we topped speeds of 110km/h we could only cover 55 km in an hour as it could involve the slowing down at traffic.

Now its 4:30PM and it had been raining in sathyamangalam. We had nice tea and snaks and were really enjoying talking about the drive so far. It was here that Varun was happy as his bike passed 2000km mark. The roads were wet that slowed us down a bit as the ghat section began. The roads were so slippery that I almost slipped. We saw a truck upside down in a hairpin bend that sent alert signals to us. The view of the settting sun amongset the hills was amazing. There seemed to be a Car Rally happening at this section as we saw a few red coloured rally cars comming from the opposite direction. we had few photos there and headed towards Chamrajnagar.

The road from chamrajnagar to mysore is the worst section that we had seen in the past 1000 km. Our average speed became 25 km/hr in this section. Atlast we reached Mysore. We had food in a dhaba and started towards bangalore. The have been a heavy rainfall in this area. The roads were very slippery and didnt allow us to drive more that 105km/hr on mysore road. Mysore road used to be our top speed test zone. We had done speeds of 124km/hr in this road earlier. Ofcourse that time the road wasn't wet. The trip is about to end now as we crossed Bidadi. Had our last cup of coffee for the trip we left towards bangalore. After 40 minutes we are at Delmia signal as Varun left us to his house and Biru and myself going to our house.
We rode almost 1200 km this trip, through more than 50 hairpins and few more lessons learned. Lots of head turns and few people really called us crazy when they saw us on bikes. This trip is over leaving us with lots of roads yet to be conquered.

Onward: Bangalore, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Toppur, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Dindugul, Vattalakundu, Kodaikanal
Return: Kodaikanal, Palani, Thirupur, Sathyamangalam, Chamaraj Nagar, Mysore, Bangalore

Friday, July 21, 2006

Maintainance Tips

It is tempting to start a motorcycle and to ride off, but a few minutes of routine maintenance will go a long way in taking you the full distance of which your machine is capable. You do not need to tick off items on a sheet as jet pilots must, but a short mental sequence of things to check and to do will add to your enjoyment and safety as well. Remember to schedule your day, especially awakening in the morning, so that you have the time to do a thorough job, preferably at first light. It is a bit like looking after a baby and for many, every bit as joyful.

Step one: Check oil levels and quality in your motorcycle’s engine. Things can slosh around a bit by the time you get to a fuel station and you do not want grime from an attendant’s cloth getting on to your piston. Check levels before the machine has been moved and spot changes in color and fluidity as you look after the machine day after day. Run your fingers or a cloth along lines to check for leakage and the check the ground under where the machine has stood all night, to look for tell-tale stains and pools of oil. Please collect spent oil and have it disposed off safely and in an environment-friendly way at the nearest certified facility.

Step two: It is no big deal, but run a cloth all over and wipe away dust and dirt. Polish is great twice a month or after every tour, and a little water and even mild detergent are welcome. It is a motorcycle bonding thing; do not expect love and enthusiasm from a machine for which you do not care.

Step three: Work both brakes to ensure that they are in good order. Your life and that of people who share your road could depend on it! Check the linings for width and surface after long tours and rides in traffic. Do not wait until the very end to change linings. Check the gear shift as well and rotate the handle bars through the full radius of their movement, to make sure that it is all smooth sailing on that front.

Step four: Check water levels in and terminals on the battery and switch on power to see if lights are all in order. You will not know if the headlamp is set correctly until dark, but turning and brake indicators as well as the tail light are all important for your safety. Check tire pressure with a calibrated gauge and keep manufacturer ratings in mind or on a piece of paper in your wallet. Remember that readings can be misleading when the wheels are hot, whether due to air temperature or a ride. Take a look at the tread and for sharp edges lodged within them.

Last: Switch on and let the engine idle so that oil has a chance to line piston and cylinder. After a minute-or two if it is winter-check the throttle to ensure that it will not let you down when you need to accelerate in a hurry.

Check the settings of your rear-view mirror, the clutch and the brakes one more time, before you set off for the day. All this is so basic and simple that riders think it macho to overlook them. This could be a recipe for expensive repairs at best and a mishap as well, God forbid! So get your thinking gear on, enjoy great rides and get the best of the motorcycling world with a dose of maintenance every morning.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


1. Membership - Anybody intrested in bike travel can join us. Having a bike to ride is the entry pass for hiwayREBELS!

2. Membership is free. Expenses in the trips are paid by the biker for himself

3. Destination - A less commercial destination is usually preffered. All members will vote on destination before every trip. Most voted destination will be finalised.

4. Riding distance per day depends on the trip. So far it has been a maximum of 400km a day.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Mekedatu" conquest by hiwayREBELS

Weekend was around the corner and as always, there came a zeal to satisfy our quest for adventure. This time our destination was Mekedatu, a place 90kms from Bangalore towards Kanakpura. This place is famous for the gorge, where river Cauvery can be seen passing between the two huge rocks and the water sqashing against the rocks with a great current.

We started off early morning at 6.30am on Saturday, 1st July 2006, to avoid the sun, from Bangalore, with our bike tanks full and with some basic necessities. The weather was clear and Kanakpura road was not that busy, except for a few trucks. On the way after driving for around 30kms, we came across a place that had a lake surounded by lot of coconut trees.

After having a small break, we headed towards Kanakpura which was our next stop. We had breakfast at Kanakpura and after getting ourselves refreshed, we moved to make our final stop, "MEKEDATU", which was just 40kms ahead. The road was not very comfortable except for some patches, as the way lead us to a quite remote place, remote enough to make our phone signals go off.

We had to park our bikes in a place, as we had to cross a river and from there we had a trek of 4 kms to reach the place we had started for, or we could have taken a bus from the other side of the river to reach the spot. The river can as well be crossed on foot when the amount of water is less, in summers. The trek was inside a jungle with no proper road. Alongside we could see the Cauvery flowing with its current. After reaching the place, we could see that there was Cauvery flowing with a great speed between two huge rocks.

We were tired and felt hot as now the sun was on its peak, we spent some time in water, we could not go too much in the water as the current was enough to take us with the flow. Then after spending some time on the rocks near the river, we decided go back, where we had identified a place that was good enough for us to take a dip in the river.

We returned back to the place where we had parked our bikes and had some food in the shops that were there. We then moved towards the Chunchi falls, that were around 20kms from Mekedatu. After reaching the falls, the first image that i got was not what we expected. It was a steep slope without water to be seen anywhere. We parked our bikes and decided to go down and see, as we went down, we could see a waterfall, between the rocks.

There was not much water, but the place is not suitable for water games due to marsh and Crocodiles in the ponds. After spending some time there we started back towards Bangalore. We stopped for some snacks and tea in Kanakpura and drove back, with the memories of the places we had visited. Yet ready for another conquest.

- Varun
For snaps, checkout our photo gallery

Tuesday, June 27, 2006