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Old 27th July 2015, 11:53   #1
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Default Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Last Thursday I wanted to check with Adi (n_aditya) about the riding boots he had, so I messaged him. During the conversation he mentioned that there was a ride planned during the weekend - an overnighter and asked me why don't I join them. I casually asked where to and the and he told me it was to Yercaud. I had heard a lot about Yercaud and seen threads by members dedicated to trips to this beautiful place on this very forum. However, I wasn't so sure about an overnighter, hadn't done one before. Also, in my last trip home I had injured my shoulder and already was in bit of discomfort so I was two minds about the ride. Later that day I told Adi that I'm in!

I was excited; couple of the riders I already knew, but was looking forward to meeting new faces. So, first things first - need to complete my riding gear - had the basic stuff armored jacket, knee guards, leather gloves, balaclava and a good helmet. What I needed was proper riding boots (was using a Massimo boots till then), hydration pack and a rain gear. There was already a WhatsApp group for the ride and the folks were very helpful as what to buy and where to buy it from.

Left office early on Friday and rushed to Decathlon for the rain gear (just the bottom part). Was recommended the Forclaz 300; awesome stuff.

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Then rushed to Let' Gear Up in HSR for the boots; got the SIDI Cobra Air (thanks Abhi for suggesting the location).
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(Picture courtesy revzilla.com)

While I was there, picked up the hydration pack (ViaTerra Marine 2.0) and couple of bungee cords (wasn't gonna ride with a backpack to make my shoulder pain even worse)!
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(Pictures courtesy viaterra.in)

Wanted to get the saddle bag, but the one they had was the bigger version of the Claw; thought I'd wait for the mini-Claw.

Anyhoo, got home and tested the gear. Got the air pressure in the tires topped up; didn't fuel up as it was already almost full.

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Came back home, had dinner and started packing. WhatsApp kept going all night and bit into the day (those who couldn't sleep). Set the alarm to 04:30hrs and called it a night (a day rather)! Now, before I proceed you should familiarize with the characters of this story!

In alphabetical order - the Riders:
Abhishek - Ninja 250 - Porschefire
Aditya - Ninja 250 - n_aditya
Anil - Ninja 650 - IronH4WK
Chidambaram - R15 v2 - Chida
Imran - Thunderbird 500 - shaikhmimran
Leslie - Ninja 650 - goandude
Nedu - Ninja 650 - Shan_ned
Santosh - Duke 390 - black12rr
Shane - CBR 250 - Shanenanigans
Snehal - Street 750 - snehal.shekar
Sourjya - Kawasaki z800 - Sojogator
Sundar - Duke 390 - Maverick46
Samarth - Ninja 250 - sammyboy
Suhas - CBR 250 - Added_Flavor

Since folks were coming to the meeting point from different parts of the city, they initially met up in their locality and then proceed to the meeting point - the service road after the signal which is after the BETL Hosur road toll gate. Let the pictures do the talking now!

Met Nedu at Kasturinagar and we then proceeded to meet rest of the gang from the east side, at the CMH bus stop, Indiranagar. That's Nedu and me waiting for the rest of them to show up:
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Then we proceed to the main meeting point, where folks were trickling in one by one.
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Once all were at the meet point, safety checks were made - bikes, luggage etc. When all were ready, Adi gathered everyone and safety briefing was given. Post that, we started our engines and rode to our next pit stop - McDonald's at Shoolagiri, for breakfast and fueling. The group split into two, one went to McD and the other to the Darshini next door (forget it's name).
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Breakfast done and some of the folks fueled up, it was time to roll again:
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Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th July 2015 at 00:06.
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Old 27th July 2015, 12:42   #2
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Contd.

Once on the roll, we stopped and regrouped after every toll.
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This one time we stopped to get some coconut water, only to find out there were no coconuts around. Had to satisfy ourselves with normal and carbonated water
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This fella and a half was not even bothered about us being there in weird costumes. Nothing was gonna disturb his power nap!
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After this, we reached Salem and rode through the city as some of the folks who had not filled up at Shoolagiri wanted to tank up. Then began the ride uphill (Sojo and Adi have the footage of the twisties); the twists and turns were fun! Once upstairs, we regrouped and guess what, people were checking how much each one had leaned
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Here's how each one of us fared:
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Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th July 2015 at 00:59.
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Old 27th July 2015, 15:10   #3
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Default Re: Yecaud - a memorable ride with the boys!

Contd.

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Couple of million pictures later, we moved on to the resort, Golden Nest, where the group had reservations.
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All of us got out of our riding gears, but first things first - check out the uphill footage from Adi's helmet mounted camera
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After eagerly watching the hill climb footage, people went to freshen up and head up to the restaurant for lunch.
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The food was good and the service too, although a tad bit slow. They tried their best to accommodate us.

And then I found a bug in the program
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Once done with the lunch an idea was floated to do The Loop. The Loop, as it's fondly known as, is a 32km circuit road around Yercaud which starts from Yercaud and ends back at Yercaud. It is a beautiful scenic in some stretches; it's also narrow, so one's gotta be careful. All agreed that it's better to do The Loop immediately rather than keeping it for the next day morning. Everybody geared up and headed to the bikes.
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Wait a minute! How did Adi's bike grow fat post lunch?!
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Chillax, I had asked Adi to ride my bike so that I could ride pillion and shoot video.


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By the time everyone was out and on their bikes, it became overcast and started to rain.
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The rain became stronger and we almost gave up, but the rider in us cried No Way! We waited for a while and guess what, the rains slowed to a drizzle! Couple of them gave up and said they would stay back and not take a chance of getting wet, but those who had heard ABBA and knew the song, decided to rock 'n' roll - come hell our high water! Adi, by that time had already changed to his t-shirt and shorts - we sent him back in to geared up! Once everyone was ready, we rolled.

The Nine Loopers! (Adi and I are not in the frame):
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Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th July 2015 at 03:16.
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Old 27th July 2015, 18:13   #4
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Once we were back from the ride - dripping wet - quickly changed and headed to the restaurant for tea/coffee. The sight from the restaurant was beautiful!
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It was getting colder as time passed and pretty soon we had fog.


Since our gear (those who went looping) was dripping wet, we spread it out in the room and switched on the fans at full speed - had to dry by early next morning. Leslie found an innovative way to dry his gloves - switch on the TV and let the heat from it dry the gloves
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We ordered food from outside and everyone settled in one of the rooms (we had got three). We talked and talked and talked some more. There were introductions from each and every one present and it was nice; came to know about the people, real people behind those Team-BHP handles.


Next day morning alarms were going off, but nobody was waking up. Finally dragged myself out of the bed and with groggy eyes, went out and saw a couple of fellas up already. Quickly freshened up and headed to the restaurant for coffee. Came back and the buggers were still sleeping or lazing on the beds. Dragged them out urged them to get ready for the ride back home. Snehal and Nedu had already left as they had to get home early.


One by one everyone finished their breakfast and geared up and cleared the rooms and mounted our steeds.
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Safety briefing from Adi before the ride down the hill:
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Group shots before heading down:
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The final leg of the journey:

Fueling up for the return leg:
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Salem bypass:
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Stopped after a toll for refreshments and restocking water:
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Another short stop for quick refreshments and stretching:
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We stopped at McDonald's at Shoolagiri for lunch, same place that we had stopped for breakfast on our way to Yercaud:
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After we crossed the Attibele toll gate, we stopped and said our goodbyes. Then each of us rode into the sun.. err rain rather


Epilogue:

This ride with the boys has been an eye opener for me; a memorable one. It really made me realize what riding really is about - something I had forgotten back in 2001 when I did my last long ride. When you ride with a group of seasoned and like minded riders, it really makes a big difference - stress free and an enjoyable trip. This group of people that I rode with are the best that I've had the opportunity of riding with - disciplined, adhering to safety guidelines, no reckless riding, proper signaling and not to mention - always ready to help and support each other, come what may. A true brotherhood of riders!

So, will I be riding with them again? Heck yeah!

Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th July 2015 at 03:56.
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Old 29th July 2015, 14:48   #5
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th July 2015, 15:04   #6
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Thank you for the pictures!

Now, let me try to pen down my version of the story.

It all started with a breakfast ride on a fine Sunday morning in the beginning of 2015. A group of about 5 or 6 of us gathered to ride to have breakfast and spend some time at one of the thousands of dams we have around Bangalore. What started with a small breakfast ride gradually turned into a group of friends discussing motorbikes and everything under the Sun incessantly day in and day out on their mobile phones. The beauty of the group is that the riders are of all genres and ages and the riding coordination and understanding in this group is brilliant.

After doing breakfast rides or day rides on almost everyday weekend, we were all itching to do a bigger one soon. That's when one of our senior riders goandude came up with the idea of an overnighter and the place was unanimously decided as Yercaud due to the proximity and the beautiful roads. I volunteered to manage the logistics and soon we had Golden Nest Resorts booked for about ten guys with two being still tentative owing to their prior commitments.

At this last moment sammyboy just mentioned if we'll check with our friendly mod n_aditya if he's willing to ride and to our surprise, he said yes, even though we just had 3 days to go! He then pulled in IronH4WK and thankfully we had no issues with respect to last minute additions, thanks to the good rapport we had built with the big hearted resort owner. So finally, what started with only 5-6 of us, had turned into a significantly big group of 14 riders! More the merrier I thought!


Thus after multiple discussions, planning, to-do and not-to-do lists, things to carry etc., on Saturday morning we met at the designated meeting point. As I had expected, little delays here and there were inevitable with the big group. Soon, we were hogging breakfast and looking forward to the beautiful roads ahead.

After fighting through the weekend traffic initially, the ride up to Salem was quite smooth with us regrouping every 50 km. Almost all of us were riding at a similar pace or accommodating to ensure we did not drift apart too far. Enter Salem, the traffic mayhem started coupled with extreme heat. Since we had to take a couple of turns to join the Yercaud twisties, we had to ensure nobody missed the turns and had to wait for them. Standing still under the sun was torturous to say the least.

Here, we even witnessed an unfortunate accident of a two-wheeled commuter being knocked down by a Tata Sumo. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt and quickly started gathering his stuff strewn on the floor. Rest assured that he's fine, we moved on.

Soon started the ascent to Yercaud on those extremely scenic and technical 20 hair pins. Every biker's paradise I'd say. By the time I could pay the entry fee for 14 bikes, the 14 overexcited souls were nowhere to be seen

I was the last to move out of there and soon I started catching up with all of them. With an optimum mix of twisties-induced-adrenaline and the awareness to be safe, I rode at a decent pace and did some good lines on the curves. Soon I met sammyboy and Sojogator who had just stopped after the 20th hair pin bend. Here onwards, everyone trickled in and thus started the animated discussions on hair pins, the technicalities and lean angles, the analysis of chicken strips on the tyres etc.

From this point we were just a few hundred metres away from our resort and we headed straight there. We were greeted with good spacious rooms, with a living room and bed room in each and also a balcony with a view to die for! Soon, we all un-geared and our friendly mod managed to connect his helmet mounted SJ4000 to the TV. The uphill ascent video was a pure treat to watch.

A lazy lunch and a lot of bakar-ing later, we were all set to do the loop road. But Lord Indra had other plans that sent a few of the riders skittling inside for cover. After a bit of dilly-dallying, 7 of us on 6 bikes decided to do the loop. And boy, was it an awesome decision!

We were treated with green, green, green and green and also rain, rain, rain and rain. Some of my co-rides were introduced to the wet-chaddi ride I always keep rambling about. That apart, the canopy was so thick in some places and it was so dark that I almost forgot it was still 5 in the evening! We stopped for a moment to gain our composure as the rain was pelting down now! Those moments spent in the veranda of a small village-house will be remembered for a long time!

Soon, we reached the resort to be greeted by sniggers from the rest. All they could see was the water dripping from our gear but not the story behind it!

This was followed by a getting-to-know each other session and a long but blissful and unforgettable evening. I thought the boys were a revelation on the saddle until they let their true self come out in the form of words. To put it simply, it was even better than the ride - if that's ever possible!


A couple of our riders snehal.shekar and Shan_ned had to start early and they bid adieu after a quick group picture in the morning. The rest of us slowly got our posteriors moving by about 11 AM. The ride downhill was equally fun and the ride to Bangalore was too! Soon, it was time to close the curtains on the epic 2 days we had spent in the company of each other. As goandude put it, we reached home exhausted, but happy and content!

Reiterating what I said post the ride - The discipline while on the saddle and the camaraderie between us ensure we'll do many more such rides in the future. For now, this ride, I'm sure, will be talked about in many of the future rides with a sense of warm-heartedness that is impossible to be converted into words.


A few highlights I feel are worth mentioning.

1. Sammyboy and I had some lengthy conversations on sub-groups and formations before the ride with a lot of permutation and combination thrown in. But the boys rode like champs with excellent coordination in spite of the fact that a couple of guys were riding with us for the first time.

2. Shout out to Chida who's constantly introspecting his riding and trying to improve in every way and also to Shanenanigans who rode extremely sensibly in spite of not having ridden before on the twisties.

3. Special shout out to n_aditya for the way he shed his perceived 'strict moderator' image and gelled with the group. I'm sure we'll do many more rides in the future!


Cheers to all the guys for making this happen!
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Old 29th July 2015, 15:21   #7
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Thank you Anil and Suhaas, for the detailed write up and pics - makes me realize what a wonderful ride did I miss


Waiting eagerly for the videos to go live.

--Anoop
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Old 29th July 2015, 17:11   #8
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Great pictures and looks like I missed out on something worth cherishing for a lifetime! Well done, guys!

A few observations :

1. Anil, I gather I saw you once at Autoservice, BSK. Yeah, I am that super tall dude on the D390. Are you the one who has the Assam registered N650?

2. The footage is brilliant. The roads are too reminiscent of my childhood.

3. The choice of accommodation seems to be like your bikes. Classy.

P.S - If you guys like hilly roads and twisties, I would recommend to ride from Bangalore to Iritty, Kerala via Gonikoppal. Not sure of the distance, but the road from Gonikoppal to Iritty is made in heaven and forged in hell especially for bikers like us. It's easily a one day-er. I have a story of me and my bike on that particular stretch. Shall share it sometime later. Do give the route/place a check.
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Old 29th July 2015, 17:28   #9
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Beautiful write up IronH4wk & Added_flavor

Thanks for organizing this overnighter; has never done an overnight-er before in my life.

Both of you have covered almost all the aspects of those 2 days and I would just let some of my pics do the talking.
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Old 29th July 2015, 17:34   #10
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Nice to see a full fledged report guys.Good one. Nice to see that all are geared up well.I loved the video shoot also. Good mix of rides. I miss my R15 now.
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Old 29th July 2015, 18:10   #11
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

I've ridden with other groups after I moved to Bangalore in '12 but I settled down to ride with the Bangalore Team BHP riders. And have been riding on these breakfast rides 2/3 times a month. Why? These guys ride safe, follow all rules of the road, no dangerous cutting off or overtaking, you can actually see the discipline on the loop video.
Besides the ride, the brief introductions towards the end of the day and the laughter that ensued were my highlights. In a breakfast ride one can only talk briefly, but here we got to know so much about each other.
Take home points:- Good organization with the ability to add subtract riders, keep travel time longer with more riders in the group, try and avoid riding through cities (we lost a lot of time going through Salem) if possible and ride thinking all other drivers/riders on the road are out to get you. Some of the TN bus drivers and crazy 2 wheeler riders actually were.
Thanks Anil for so painstakingly putting up the pics with the number plates whited out, Suhas for the brilliant addition and Chida for the great pics. And the other 10 for being such great company.
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Old 29th July 2015, 18:44   #12
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Fantastic report and pictures. I heard of this ride from sammyboy, but true to his calm self, he mentioned that a 'few' of them were going for a ride, I never expected such a group.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goandude View Post
Thanks Anil for so painstakingly putting up the pics with the number plates whited out,
+1 to this - I was impressed with how neatly the plates were blanked out in every photo, and came here to comment on this too.
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Old 29th July 2015, 20:00   #13
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and good that I didn't miss this one. The odds of having an epic ride like this are rare and when the opportunity arises, it's best to grab them with both your hands (and legs).

This being my first overnighter with the Team BHP gang, I had my fair share of learning and fun this time. What was to be a one day trip for me, eventually turned out to be an overnighter what with everyone advising that it would not be a wise decision to come back to Bangalore the same day especially since I hadn't slept on the night before the ride.

The advantage that I see of riding with a group such as this is that there is no pressure on you to push your limits. The group was a mix of noobs and seasoned riders and the seasoned riders were kind and understanding enough to let us noobs ride at our own pace without prejudice or pressure. Since I had the backing of such a good team behind me, this time round I pushed my bike hard just to see what it and I were capable of. When I ride solo, I am a sedate and slow rider, but this time with the confidence that my back is covered, I wanted to test the capabilities of both my steed and myself. I was not once disappointed with the results.
Now will I ride again like this? I really don't think so. I am more comfortable riding at a slow steady pace than riding hard. I get more stressed out when I ride hard.

Due to the lack of sleep on the previous night, I couldn't do the famous "Yercaud Loop" and had to call it a day as soon as I reached Yercaud. Slept a dead mans sleep. Sad that I had to miss out on such a fun rain soaked ride that my fellow riders had on the "Loop".

Me and Shan Ned left the next day at 8 in the morn since both of us had other commitments. After a quick fill of fuel at Salem and breakfast at A2B in Dharmapuri, we were able to reach Bangalore by 12 noon.

A good ride it was and the kind of riders that we rode with made this trip very special for me.
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Old 29th July 2015, 21:58   #14
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Suhas - awesome write-up man. now i know the complete story behind the ride


couple of shots off the DSLR, didn't take too many though.

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Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-img_3622.jpg

wanted to take the DSLR for the Loop, but didn't want to take a chance with the rain Gods threatening to open the taps and all

Last edited by IronH4WK : 29th July 2015 at 22:04.
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Old 29th July 2015, 22:11   #15
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Default re: Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!

Over the last few weeks and months, I regularly read the "Sunday Morning Rides" thread and it brought back a flood of memories from the past 5+ years (since I have owned the Ninja). I've made some great friends over these rides and although I enjoyed each and every one of these rides, I was pretty much bored of riding to the same places for coffee and breakfast.

However, I noticed something unusual.

Our veteran biker, sammyboy had started to clock some serious miles on his bike. First at CSS and then on these Sunday rides. It had been over a year since I had met the old fella and I quietly promised myself to call him and catch up on all the lost time. I was specifically more interested in the CSS bit. His experience of the track school which is considered one of the best in the world. I had been to the indiMotard TWO track school multiple times but this was another level altogether.

Anyway, back to the present. I was busy with work and it is pretty much hectic all day. A week before this ride, I got a PM from sammyboy, asking if I wanted to join for the overnighter. I had just done an overnighter the week before with another group of buddies so asked to consider me tentative and that I would confirm by late evening (had to ask the missus, I couldn't be roaming around with the green lady a.k.a ninja, all the time huh?). So when I got back home, I popped the Q and I was in for the ride. My wife is very supportive about my riding but since she works 6 days, leaving for this ride on saturday was a challenge since my son has no school over the weekends. That was sorted though - he would spend time in the school library that saturday.

So I was all set. The day before the ride I charged the batteries on my Sena bluetooth and the one on my SJ4000 WiFi camera. I had 2 spare batteries for the SJCAM so running out of juice wasn't a bother.

The meeting time was set to 6am and I took the NICE road to the meeting point - just past the electronic city flyover on Hosur road. Reached the meeting point, met Snehal, Abhishek and Imran who were first on the scene. In the next few mins, the others started pouring in. We exchanged pleasantries and after a safety brief (we were a big group of 14 riders so it was important to share the do's and don't's) and checking if our luggage was securely strapped, we were on our way.

First pitstop was at Shoolagiri where we stopped for a much needed breakfast. Some of went the american way and munched on burgers from McDonalds (we wanted to keep an eye on the bikes, that was the real reason ) while the others went to the adjacent restaurant for authentic south indian dosa's and idli-vada's.

Breakfast done, we did a quick fuel check and topped up. We were on our way and in a short while we were heading towards Krishnagiri and then on to Dharmapuri. Traffic was moderate but the highlight was the wonderful landscapes. I rarely get to appreciate the awesome landscapes around since I am either riding or driving but looking at the pics from my SJCAM, I must say, one must take this stretch and stop to "take in the sights".

Here are a few pics from my action camera:

At Dharmapuri:


Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123359_025.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123415_028.jpg

At Thoppur ghats, following the lead rider, Suhas (Added_Flavor). Check out the wonderful landscapes:

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123751_070.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123811_074.jpg

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Did Sammyboy just wave to someone familiar?

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123939_091.jpg

Nope, he was signalling the riders behind him to watch for traffic cones on the right lane

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_123944_092.jpg

Following Snehal:

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_124046_104.jpg

Nearing Salem town:

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-2013_0101_124539_161.jpg

In a little while, we reached the resort and boy, was it wonderful.

Check out the view from the room:

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-img_20150725_182548_hdr.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-img20150726wa0054.jpg

Hungry as we were, we quickly changed into something more comfy and headed to the restaurant where the 14 of us tore the kitchen down.

A hearty meal later, we sat outside taking in the view and deciding if we should ride the loop the same day or the next.

A few shots while we were deciding on the next steps or revv's:

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-img20150726wa0127.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-img20150726wa0129.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-pano_20150725_130127.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-pano_20150725_151334.jpg

Yercaud - A memorable ride with the boys!-pano_20150725_151514.jpg

I was so tempted to hit the sack but Anil offered me his 650 to ride and that was it. Thanks a ton, Anil for trusting me with your brand new babe.

I had a great time riding in the pouring rain. My rain gear kept me dry so it was not uncomfortable.

Here is a peek into how much fun we had on the loop ride:



We finally reached the resort and after a quick shower and dry clothes, we headed out to the restaurant for hot coffee.

Time flies when you're having fun and it was dinner time even before we realized.

We decided to head out early the next morning and beat the chaotic Blore traffic.

We were all up by 7am the next day and after coffee, breakfast and the works (abhi's bike wash) we bid goodbye to Yercaud.

Thankfully, traffic was light and we made it back home by 3pm IIRC. We stopped again at the same McD for lunch enroute.

** A BIG thank you to sammy for sending me that PM without which I would not have met such a wonderful bunch of people.

** An equally big round of applause to Suhas for organizing everything so impeccably to the T.

** And of course, to everyone who made my weekend so wonderful. I made some great friends and cherish the memories from this ride.

** Special thanks to Anil for patiently editing out all the pics.

Until the next one...! Ride safe, Ride Hard.

Last edited by n_aditya : 29th July 2015 at 22:21.
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