Prianca Gata, a self-confessed biking enthusiast, and her partner, Suhaib Abeer, headed out on their Triumph Bonneville and Tiger XCa respectively to south India for a 3,000-kilometre-long planned trip, which they had to cut short after the Kerala floods.
A tale of two Triumphs heading south
AUGUst Is one of tHe faVoUred MontHs for most working professionals to get out and ride. every august, abeer, sriram (a solo 1979 Bullet rider), and I get out riding for two weeks to enjoy the divine weather. last year we rode to lehladakh and this year we first thought about going to spiti, but discarded the idea because everyone was heading there. Months of arguing was followed by a complete shift to travelling southwards instead. the excitement was great on account of getting a chance to ride through trails, forests, national parks, and outdoor camping. We were keen on exploring the annamalai hills, Idukki, and Munnar trails. things went “south” and I mean it in a good way. We also learned that the neelakurinji bloom will take place this year, making this trip that much sweeter.
our biking friends advised us to avoid the coastal route owing to bad roads and the higher risks associated with the monsoon. the next one was to avoid camping in the wild as our part of the route wasn’t ideal for strangers and might be risky for lady riders.
all-weather gear was of paramount importance, so we saved money and picked it up piece by piece. then we prepped the bikes and started to save for the trip. We started from pune on 11 august in the wee hours, symbolically escaping our stressful lives. this was my first long ride spanning over 1,000 kilometres and braving unpredictable weather. I was nervous and excited but determined to do it all. abeer on his tiger was cruising on the highway which, until we reached Karnataka, was simply terrible.
With the sun disappearing behind the horizon and the constant rain we made our first stop near Hubballi. the following day we made it to Bengaluru and spent two days, chilling out with family and friends and inescapable visits to the breweries. after this break, we headed towards Kodaikanal and, on the way, experienced some of the smoothest roads. the namakkal, Karur, and dindigul stretches with scenic views on both sides had us munching miles and grinning under our lids.
Having reached the base of the hill at 700 pm we contemplated riding uphill in the darkness... till two battered tVs 50 mopeds with no headlights whizzed past us. determined and amused, we decided to make the 50-km climb. It was harrowing and involved arguments with abeer. I calmed down and started followed him as he warned me when a high-speed vehicle was approaching. overcoming my fear of riding at night and climbing up a ghat was a notable first experience for me as a rider.
Kodai was empty and, after venturing on some seriously broken trails, we landed up at the country club, paid through our noses, and retired for the night.
the next morning was Independence day and Kerela was
BELOW: The two-day break gave us time to chill with friends in Bangalore
ABOVE: On long rides one has to be hands on and sometimes a helping hand