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Old 28th February 2012, 15:32   #1
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Default Exploring around- Reports of my solo rides

My first out-of-city ride after acquiring my green terrain tamer-the Hero Impulse was to a water reservoir which is about 75km from Hyderabad.

The place is called 'Singur dam' . Came to know of it when I was exploring google maps for places of interest around Hyderabad.
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Even before buying the Impulse, I wanted to bicycle to this place, but called it off due to some other issues.

So, this is the first place that came to mind when I wanted to do a short out of town trip on my new bike.

It was afternoon of Republic day, I started at around 2:30pm from home. Got petrol filled and left city outskirts by about 3:15pm.

About 3km after Sadasivpet, a small road to right leads through a few villages, green fields and finally to the dam. The roads upto Sadasivpet are good and traffic was moderate. Riding the bike out side city limits helped me to get to know its gear ratios and handling better.

The road from Sadasivpet to the dam is strictly a single road and is good upto some 5kms. After that, there are frequent bad patches, occasional stream crossings(no water, though) and dirt roads(red soil type kacha roads.) Riding the bike through all these was quite a lot of fun. Bike handled superbly over bumps and dips alike. On one occasion, I entered a tight corner at high speed and had to do brake while cornering-was the only scary moment in the trip.
From the google maps, I understood that fresh water is sourced from Singur to Manjeera and I had a chance to observe those huge pipelines:
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A distant view of the dam, ok not a big dam:
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As I reached the dam, the tar road continued straight ahead to water pumping stations where as a left kacha road leads to the tank bund of dam. So I first went ahead to visit the pumping station. But, being a holiday, I didn't find anyone around there and gates were closed:
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The dam wall is nicely paved and I was surprised to notice that there is another 'good' road this place which comes from Zaheerabad side. But people said it is about some 20km longer.
View of road on wall of the dam.
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That day being Republic day, good number of school/college students are seen there.
There is even a hyder power plant but I doubt if it works for more than 4-5 months a year. Because water levels doesn't seem to be high enough to generate power.
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They are slowly developing some picnic spots around the place. There is this park with 'No Entry' board but still has got people inside, may be through some back entrance.
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There is this goddess P.O.P idol abandoned outside the park. It looked in good condition, but don't why people left it out.
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There seemed to be bridge being constructed further down. Didn't explore all those areas as it was getting dark. I promised my self to atleast carry a small air pump all the time I ride out. Because In such remote areas, the easiest trouble which even a new bike can befall is puncture.

The dam would be full and will sure be worth a visit in rainy season:
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Old 28th February 2012, 16:00   #2
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Default Re: Ride to hills

By this time it has been three weeks since I got the bike. The bike just crossed 1000 km mark and after the short trip to 'Singur', didn't go anywhere else outside. So, again started searching for places to explore within a 250km radius around Hyderabad. I wanted to do a day-trip so that I will get to know the highway behavior(post run in) of the bike and more importantly my capability to do longer trips. I chose Srisailam for it falls within a 250km distance radius and has got good offroading opportunities (that's what I thought then).

So far 110 km has been my longest oneway solo ride(on a 125cc). Since the is first time am doing a longer trip all alone, my wife insisted that I should do it in day light. So, my plan was to start at home by 5:30 am, take a break at 8 am and reach Srisailam in another 2:30 hrs. So, a safe average of 50kmph is what should be fine, I thought.

The day before, work in office extended till 10pm. So, by the time I reached home and packed all the necessary stuff-puncture repair kit, first aid, some tools, spare phone, sims, food etc.,. into a backpack, it was 12:30 am. So,went to bed hoping to wake by 5:00 am, not wanting to spoil my schedule. But my body clock had other plans.

By the time I woke up, it was broad day light and quickly grabbed the phone to find it is 6:30 am already. It is only by 7:20 am that I finally bid good bye to folks at home and hit the service roads of outer ring road. There are frequent speed breakers and broken patches on service road and it was about 8:30 when I finally reached Srisailam highway. Trip meter was showing 40kms. Seeing that my schedule is already broken, I thought for sometime whether I should return back. But I thought, I will ride for another 40kms and think again then.

And I kept going for another 120km till I crossed Dindi by 10 am. As the roads till this place were good, bike was doing a relaxed 80kmph at about 6200rpm. I rode over to the reservoir spill way at Dindi for a snack break.

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The road on top is not paved:
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There were lots of monkeys running on the spillway. A causeway in the path of the water flow from spillway is just enough for one bus. I wondered what if this gets washed away in some flash floods during rainy season. There is no other connectivity to Srisailam Highway, a very weak link in the long chain.

Roads after this point were fairly long and good except for badly laid speed breakers. It is safe to assume that every village in sight welcomes you with a couple or more of speed breakers.

The long road winding up the hills, the first ghat one encounters:
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After Munnanur check post, forest got denser and every now and then there are small trails and paths leading away from road. I was so tempted to take them and explore the forest but time crunch kept pushing me. I thought I will go free while coming down, if I manage to save time.

However it was past 12 pm by the time I reached Vatuvarlapalli and Srisailam is still a good 60 km away. So, I realized I have to cut short my ride this time, if I meant to reach home before dark. So,took left here to visit Mallelatheertam water falls.

The falls are about 8 km from highway, and it is only red dirt road all the way.

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This tree was peculiar.
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The waterfalls are accessible after descending some 350 steps.
Some pics:
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Some one selectively scrapped letters to alter the meanings:
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Climbing back 350 steps under 1 pm sun with a heavy back pack was much tougher than I imagined it to be.

As I promised myself, on the way down, I explored some forest trails but didn't go too deep for the fear of encountering the big cat. To be honest I was 'very scared' after going only a km into it. All the time I am watching in all directions and I could feel my heart racing. Looking back now, I think stupidest thing I did is to get off the bike to take some snaps.
Anyway, here they are:
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So, called it a day, thanked god for bringing me back safely to tarmac and rode home without any incidents. Didn't do many stops on return leg. Reached home by 5pm.

So, that's how my second ride ended prematurely, nevertheless am content with the fun I had.

However, next time, I may not dare to do such offroading without company.
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Old 28th February 2012, 17:55   #3
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Default re: Exploring around- Reports of my solo rides

So, you acclimatised her!
really cool!!
Thats really using it like it was meant to be, or rather shown.

So, how'd she fare?
I hope she didnt bring back any rattles.
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Old 29th February 2012, 17:47   #4
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Default Re: Exploring around- Reports of my solo rides

I wanted to explore certain places around the hills that I only heard of but never saw before. I didn't have enough time on hand. So rather than pushing my self, I settled with what I could see leisurely.

Bike was quite good. Only odd sound is somewhere from front fork area, (when I go into a pot hole) which was heard since my first trip out with it. Service guys could not fix it. Other than that there are no issues after all the battering it took.
More than the bike, I think it is the experience, fitness and skill of the driver that matters more.This ride made me understand where I stand on each of those scales. Miles to go and much to learn!

An expert rider can traverse a tough trail even on a 100cc street bike. Thing is, with the right machine, the inexperienced can build up the skill quickly. The whole experience will be some thing much better to cherish. On a 4 wheeler, a mistake or bad judgement may cost the vehicle to get stuck or scratched. On a 2 wheeler, a mistake will almost always cause a spill and can disable the machine as well as the rider.

On dirt roads, I should have gone easy with tyre pressures. Had inflated rear tyre to a cold 24 psi and front to 22 psi. Also, torque in first gear is huge, so if the rear tyre is not on a hard surface, sudden twist of throttle should be avoided if one is not interested in doing any stunts.

In the trails, I was riding only in 1st and 2nd gears. Negotiating rocky terrain was very tricky and scary. I should say I was harsh with the bike and was more head on in my approach. Rather, I should have gone slow negotiating each rock by rock. But then, I was quite scared with all the boards on the way screaming of tiger territory. All those stories of Kenneth Anderson were replaying in my mind. I just didn't have the guts to explore more leisurely. Moreover, if I take a wrong turn or if I have a flat tire, my plight would be quite pityful. So, I backed out without venturing too much deep inside the forest. Looking back at it, that scary part of it is what thrills me even now. But still, it is not advisable to venture alone into reserve forests.

At the end of 230km return trip, my hands and bottom were sore and my concentration started slipping. I took small breaks and slowly limped home. Thanks to the riding posture and good suspension, I didn't have any back or neck pains. I just got refreshed and could go out to attend other chores.
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