Rid­ing south

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.

Bike India - - CONTENTS -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.