Site hosted by Build your free website today!


Friday the 13th.

What a day to chose for a group meet. And to make you believe more in conincedences, 13 bikes from around south india started off to meet at Dharwad - an innocuous town in northern karnataka. GR, the geo-survey genius came up with a list of places which would be equidistant from Bangalore, Pune, Bombay, Chennai and Hyderabad, and the group voted for Dharwad, especially since someone mentioned that Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary was quite nearby. So, on this day, 13 Dandelions set up from their respective homes for the place. The name stuck for group 13, even though we never finally got to Dandeli. This log is the trip through my eyes.

June 13 2003 (Friday)

5:52 AM Leaving home. Had told Shashvat to go directly to MG road where we were to meet Divyan and Sharat, but caught him up on the way there.
5:59 MG Road. Meet up with Sharath and Divyan. We go from here to ISKON temple as the remaining gang from bangalore will be meeting up there. I took the lead as only I knew the way.
6:15 ISKON Temple. We need to wait for Ashok and Sanjay as they are no where in sight. In the meantime introductions were made to Chitti babu, our groups mechanic. This was the time also when we got to know that Venkat was not going to come. However, his bike was to come with us. Sanjay took control of the eliminator, while Chitti took care of Sanjays pulsar.
ISKON temple
ISKON Temple
6:55 Leaving from ISKON. Dharwad here we come. Ashok takes point position while I take drag.
Ready to roll
Ready to roll
7:53 Dobaspet- 47kms out of Bangalore. Stoped for coffee at Kamat Upchar hotel. Had idlis and dossas with tea and coffee. A couple of people approached us and started asking if our trip was sponsered. These guys were from Yamaha motors and we promised to contact them for some sponsorship which may come our way. I also got a call from GR who updated us of his travel from Hyderabad
At Kamat
Breakfast !
10:10 Stopped at Kamat@Sira. 111km from ISKON now. Some cold drinks and checking of tyre pressure we are to move off again.
11:12 145km. Stopped to call GR and give a status update.
12:07 PM 160km. Stopped for the scenery. This is when I found out that the left screw for my helmet's visor had fallen off somewhere. Some First Aid was done and the visor strapped in position using electrical tape that Ashok was carrying. Very uncomfortable as it meant that I would not be able to move the visor up and down.


12:39 194km. We have reached Chitradurga. The last 10kms or so we (i.e. me, sharath and ashok ) had fun racing away. We had grown quite tired of the steady 70-80kms speed and we broke out on a 100kmph+ run. 2 pulsars pitted against 1 cbz. I was not able to overtake these guys. Also with rear eliminator tyres both the pulsars were faster on the pikup than my bike, and having even a 10kmph more upper speed limit makes a difference. We stopped at the entry for Chitradurga for the others to catch up.
Previous to that we had stopped to take some pics of windmills dotting both sides of the road

13:07 Hotel Vybhav (no this is not a spelling mistake) 198km. 200 more to go.

After lunch at Hotel Vybhav
14:01 We set out once more

14:24 Ashok and Sanjay leave to meet up with gr. The remaining group pushes onwards towards Dharwad. Ashok gave me the contact details of where we were to put up in Dharwad, and with the information safe in my pocket, we rode on.
15:18 Stop at a gas station all of a sudden. Chitti and Bala are ahead and i take off to get them back with Sharath in hot pursuit of me :-). Finally got he flock gathered at the place. A 15-20 min break.
16:10 We stop off the road for another butt break. The clouds are awesome.

Awesome clouds

17:04 I need to fill up petrol in my bike. With a smaller fuel capacity than the pulsar, the cbz needs more fuel breaks. My last trip was with the bullet bangalore group, and the Bullets and RDs were guzzling petrol more than my cbz. Now it was the turn for others to stop for me.
17:32 A light drizzle falls. We all get out rain gear on. Sharath points out that the TPFC plastic on my bike has fallen off. Darn ... my bike seems to falling to pieces. Firt the helmets visor now this ! The rain does not last long, but long enough to make going trecherous on the freshly watered slush on the roads. We proceed with caution.

18:32 364km. Stppped for shashvat to clean his visor. Took the oppertunity to clean mine also at the roadside chai dukan. Wherever we pull up people look at us with questions in their eyes but never ask... namely, how crazy can people get ?!
19:25 At the outskirts of Hubli. Spoke to doc and navendu. 403km. We stop to ask directions from the local traffic police officials. Viper's bike's headlight bulb is fused and Chitti gets it fixed in no time. We also plan to let it get fully dark before we push off. Take this oppertunity to click some night shots. Got a good shot of silouthes :-)


20:04 Leaving for Dharwad now.

21:08 We finally walk into the hotel. Nice rooms. Me, shashvat and Sharath bundle up in one room, which overlooks the parked bikes downstairs. The excellent accomondation has been dug out by Ashok's relative.
22:00 GR turns up. Long time no see man ! Well, all this is wasted on GR, cause he is still in a daze with his long travel from Hyderabad. From his talks he still seems to be riding ...
We order some grub for ourselves and also for the mumbai/pune gang.

I turn in for the night. Divyan crashed as soon as he saw the bed. Sharath also turns in. The others wait for the m/p group to come.

June 14 2003

7:30 Wake up. The pune guys here - i can see their bikes... but blisfully at peace with the world and totally oblivious of the same.

Sweet Dreams !
8:30 Gupshup in Ashok's room. We figure out where to go now that we are already here. Magod falls is what everyone agrees on.. since its not that far, and no one is in shape to ride farther ( i can see ashok jumping up indignantly here ;-) ). I need to get the visor fixed so implore ashok to get ready and go to Hubli which is the closest place for Helmets. Small towns it seems don't care about Helmets. The people from m/p finally get up around 9:30 and we all have introductions made. The e-mail ids from the group has now faces to match.

10:20 Me, Ashok and Sanjay leave after breakfast on the quest for finding a helmet repair shop. Finally we are able to do some first aid on the helmet, and sort of fix the visor using wire, a rubber washer and a bolt. I call up the group and it seems that they are just leaving. I also get some quick-fix and apply it on some rubber lining of the helmet which is coming loose. We wait. Its pretty hot and humid. Finally the guys come and all pull up on the road, inspite of us frantically waving to them to keep going. Sigh ! Group dynamics ! Since its getting chaotic , the 3 of us ( me, ashok, sanjay) call up the other guys and tell them to meet us outside the town.
13:00 The group assembles. After a quick photo session, and a miraculous fixing of Shashvat's visor from a roll of electrical tape magically conjured up ( how the hell did you get that shashvat ?? ), we move on.

All together - finally !
13:53 Stopped for chai after Kalgadgi. The roads are nice. Some showers in between. Which reduced the riding speed. But, mostly cool easy riding with Ashok as point and Sharath (the man with no mirrors) as drag. Shashvat and I kept racing ahead to take photos of the group. The chaiwala had a poster of bikes in his shop !

Going ...
going ...
Gone !

16:31 Yellapur. Now this was quite an adventure. I and sharath had stayed behind to take a photo of sadhus and elephants. The sadhus wanted some chanda, but i said I would get the photos printed in a magazine and they were happy to let me go ( magazines , please take notice and please print the pic ! ). We set of in hot pursuit of the group and passed them by as they were parked in the heart of the hamlet, and away from the road. We raced on .. down twisty turney ghat roads, in the rain, going around 70-80kmph in that rain. Sharath even stopped at one place to push away a stone on the road (kept by a helpful truckwalla - no doubt ). After around 20-25mins of fun riding, it slowly dawned on me that the group could not have gone so far ahead, especially since we were going much much faster than what the group could. We decide to turn back. Met GR on the way back where he told us that the group was still in the same village where we had taken pics of the elephant ! Oh well ! by the time we reached , the lunch was almost over, and we hogged on whatever egg-fried-rice was left.

3 Sadhus and a pachyderm
The group wants to go on. But i don't want to ride in the rain and in the dark. So, i tell the group that I am going to turn back (sorry if I hurt any sentiments). Sharath also decides to come with me.

Reach back. Still daylight ! Both of us were wondering how we could have covered the distance back is so little time ? We were not really going terribly fast, but we took very little time to get back. In fact, it was just dusk by the time we reached back.

On the way back

The group comes back. Sharath and me had estimated what time the group will come. His estimate was 10, mine was 9:30 and i was spot on ! Seems like I can read the group speed ! Food and drinks followed. We plan to leave at 5 in the morning, but the plan got revised to 6:30am.

Party Time !

15 June 2003

5:30 I get up. My task is to get other people to getup. But after yestenights revelry, no one in is in the mood. Get anyone to wake up and they say - 'let everyone get ready then i will get up'.
Finally manage to wake up Shashvat.

8:00 630km. We leave Dharwad. Viper is to be lead and me drag. So i stop for photos of the group taking off. Viper starts off in the wrong direction ! A U-turn later and we are on the way.

Pre ride discussion

Get Set
Go !

We split up from the mumbai/pune guys. The signboard says Bangalore 421, Pune 424. A truck walla stops to let me take the pic.

Parting of ways

9:39 698km. We stop for breakfast. Idlis, vadas and masala dosas.
11:27 Butt break at Ranebennur. 760km. The chap at the cold drink shop asks if we are the same group that went a couple of days back ? When we say yes, he gives a knowing look to his friend "i told you so !".
12:38 Stop for a butt break. Shashvat's feeling sleepy. 808km on the odometer

Awesome landscapes

13:38 butt break. 858km.
14:02 200km from home. 861km on odo. Hotel Vybhav, Chitradurga for lunch break. Feels good to get into the AC after the road. Real stark landscape just before we entered Chitradurga.
14:40: Leaving after lunch.
16:22 Butt break. 928km. A photo was taken, which greatly amused a lot of people, except one. ;-)
16:54 948km. We stop at Kamat Siri for tea/cold drink break. Last 6 kms were on the double laned expressway. My bike does a measly top speed of 105. Shashvat , Bala and Sharath overtake me. I am able to overtake Shashvat and Bala in some traffic, but Sharath's bike has pretty darn good pickup. I definitely need a more powerful bike.
19:11 Shashvat's bike's bulb fuses. Citti babu fixes it in a jiffy.