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Old 18th March 2014, 20:10   #1
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Default Homerun! Bangalore -> Bhubaneshwar on an Enfield Bullet

Hi Guys,

This is my friend's write up - though I'll put it up here.

Courtesy: Bibhuti Mishra

This was to be the true test of riding, the epitome of all the solo riding I had done thus far, the zenith of me and the machine in our company for the next 2 days, the bond of 4 years between us getting even stronger...
A prayer on my lips, a pat on the boy's back and a kick to get it roaring.. and off we go!! Amen!!

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The flight tickets to and from were booked well ahead. The plan to celebrate the 33rd marriage anniversary of my parents was cooked between me and my brother. It was all set, when on the 21st Jan, the rider bug bit the right side of the brain too hard.

I just wondered how would it be if I gift my beast to my Dad for the marriage anniversary and make him take Mom out for a ride on it. Shared this plan with my brother and he was very keen, I was pumped up! So I shared this idea with my rider brothers, and guess what the answer was: 'You should do this'. That was the least I owe to the blood and genes that made me what I am today and the rider soul I behold in me.

So it was set, decided and agreed upon amongst my brother, my rider brothers and my mind and heart. I have ridden many nights, solo; in the lap of mother tarmac, slept under trees by her side, smoked on culverts at junctions and reveled in the delight of riding solo.

This one was going to be way different, was going to test if I actually am a Rider that loves to live on 2 wheels!
So without much deliberation and thinking of the adversaries I told myself I am going to embark on this ride to make this HOMERUN.

The first thing I did to ensure my mind doesn’t turn back was to burn the bridge! I called up the airlines folks, cancelled one way ticket to home. Then there was no turning back. So I told myself, all that happens from here is the ride and the plan to ensure it happens just the way I want it.

So now was the turn to get the bike serviced, get it cleaned spick and span, put stock parts back on like the saree guard, since Mom was going to ride pillion with Dad, when I reached. All done, engine oil overhauled, all nuts and bolts tightened and checked for, the drive chain checked, the fog lamps aligned, new set of hot tyres and just about everything to get the beast to the state it was on its Day 1.

All set and in order by the 24th of Jan. and on the 28th was to be the final check by the master craftsman of the bulls. I woke up early, not caring for the lost sleep after the night shift at work, rode to Shivaji Nagar, got the stamp of Quality check Ok from the master, and rode back home. I parked the boy, covered the tarpaulin to keep it away from the evil eyes and I went about to work. The next day, on 29th I lost sleep again, woke up early, went to the fuel bunk, filled the boy up, checked the tyre pressure, got back home, gave him a wipe all over to ensure he shone like no other boy in town, covered him up and let him breathe to sleep. Finished early at work that day and was back home. Stocked up pan masala for the ride (Caution: ABSOLUTELY HARMFUL, PLEASE STAY AWAY) and caught a nap. The plan was to be up by 2, shower up, get geared up, and roll out by 3:30 am.

So not much deviated from the plan, except the sleep! I couldn't even get sleep for more than 15 minutes. I woke up every 15 minutes excited and adrenaline pumping like a tsunami inside me. Well then the clock struck 2:30 and it was time. So I got off the lousy bed, showered, brushed and ready for the sojourn of my lifetime thus far. The doorbell rang and one of the petrol head brothers was here to see me off.

So I geared up, filled water in the hydra-pack, lifted the bags went to the parking to mount it all on the beast. The saddle bag fitted, the backpack strapped, all that was now left to do was, ignite and fire away!

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Well then the butterflies now grew from thousands to zillions and the nervousness of starting off on something like this at the dead of night was overpowering. 200 odd kms solo had not been a big deal but 1500 kms all by myself was going to be true test. Let me confess I was totally apprehensive!

But then, can anything stop a 2 wheeler junkie when his mind is set on something so exciting and exhilarating. So no more pondering of what had happened, no speculating of what could happen, just the delight of the moment and the northward rate of the heart beat! Looked up said a prayer and thanked the Lord!

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I hugged my rider bro and wished a goodbye, was wished back Godspeed by him, and on messages by every other rider brother that I have shared space on Mother tarmac with. The engine was idling all this while, looked into the speedo, felt the beats of the engine idling, engaged the first gear, let go of the clutch, the throttle twisted by itself and YESSS this was the beginning of the best in the life so far!

I had done this stretch of road to Kolar so many times, that I wasn’t even bothered. On all earlier occasions that place used to be the destination, but this time it is going to be just one of the places I roll by and stare. It was 3 45 when I rolled out of the gates of my apartment building. A 2 minute stopover to stuff in cash for the ride and I was rolling about cutting through cold winds and sparse fog. Was absolutely pleasant to ride till the highway divides itself into Old Madras road and the SH to Mulbagal and then to Chittoor.

I pulled over there, to take a nature’s break, while the boy was still idling in style and the fog lamps were glowing in their full prowess. Sipped a large gulp from the hydra pack and was off. The 4 lane highway were now to turn into single roads for the next 200 kilometers. I knew the roads through these towns so was no hassle riding through them in the dead of the night. By this time it was close to 5 and the winter morning just ensured I still had the serenity and empty roads. So I took all the correct turns, followed all the signs and was on the state highway to Chittoor after Mulbagal. There is an inter state check post and in my heart I wanted the cops to stop me and ask questions. But the army combat jacket, the safety reflective stripes the shoes, and my stance on the beast just made them pull the barricades aside and let me roll by, while they stared at me. This was a great feeling, at least I lived my dream for this brief moment.

This was to be the painful and tortuous part of this voyage. The single road being re-laid, the trucks from the opposite side glaring at my eyes with their high beams was definitely testing my riding skills and patience. But the heart and mind were so delighted, we all ignored all of this. The ride was like a smooth sailing boat on a peaceful river, over potholes, over breakers and all other sorts. After the short twisties before reaching Chittor is a Coffee Day (I am not paid by them to use their brand name :P). all over Karnataka and around the state they are the most welcoming site for night riders like me. Dare I not stop here and get some caffeine in the system.

This was around close to 6 in the morning and was just about dawn. I let the boy idle, for a few minutes, placed my order, came back switched him off, and finished the coffee and snack. I called home to tell the I am off to home and have covered 150 kms. Just 20 times more of the journey left. LOL!

Well that though made me feel more ecstatic. This is something I have always enjoyed leaving for rides in the dead hours of the night. You ride the first few hours and when the dawn breaks it brings this new energy and excitement into you and your machine! Not sure if all riders feel this way.

So it was the light of the morning galore when I set out of the coffeday headed towards the Tirupathi bypass just before entering Chittoor. It was I guess a 20 odd km stretch. I was accompanied by a guy riding a Karizma and he got a little jealous of me doing good speeds on a Bullet. So he started to tease me. The easiest way was to show respect to a rider and I instead of overtaking him started riding next to him for 100 odd meters. Then I asked him how far is the Tirupathi bypass; to just make him feel important, even if I knew it. The rest was a beauty! He rode 5 meters in front of me all throughout till we reached Tirupathi. I deliberately tried to take one wrong turn and he was quick to honk and signal at me. He used the RVM quite well I must say. Bugger didn’t even have a helmet on, but must I confess he would make a good rider!

Just before the left turn to get inside Thipathi, was tea shop. The sun had started glaring into my eyes by now and was time to cover my eyes with dark shades. So I pulled over and waved out to the guy to join me. He stopped, saw me pulling over near the shop, put his thumbs up and rode away. I respect you buddy for respecting the respect I showed to you!

Tea was done and the bypass from Tirupathi till the junction that leads to Srikalahsthi and further was a 4 lane road again. It was boring but the unruly traffic on them kept me busy.

After the junction I was back on single lane delight again. I am not sure why do we people on 2 wheels love single lane roads in the day and four lane highways at night. Actually I know, just provoking thought into all of your heads! J

Well then from there till I reached Naidupeta, it was exciting. The lovely ride by paddy fields, by small villages, by a river and a narrow bridge on it that gives you the view of a rocky hill ahead. So was all great, till I saw Naidupeta-5 kms on a milestone!

The road ahead is where the next one and half days will be spent! I wanted to take stock of fuel and fill the boy up, but the excitement of hitting the highway made me overlook that. So I kept going! The moment I got on NH 5, it really sunk in to me that I actually was on my 2 wheeled brother going home.
Ohhh boy, I was bloody overwhelmed!!

The next thing that made my heart beat faster was the signboard that read Bhubaneswar- 1017kms. Man this was the moment. I had done 500 off the distance already, and there had never been a better ride than this thus far. I was even more kicked about living through the same feeling 2 more times (hope you got my mathematics right).

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My next agenda was to find the road side thellaa that made fresh egg dosas and the best vadaas in all of Andhra (according to me). So I rode on for like 30 odd kms and saw the first thellaa. These are the favourite breakfast joints for truckers doing this stretch of NH5 in the morning. Join me for ride and you will agree with each word of what I said here, about the taste of the food!

Well I asked for 2 portions of both the things I mentioned above and called mom. It was close to 7 30 am now and I told her I am alright and stopping for breakfast. Told her I wanted mutton curry and rice the next day when I get home! So hogged the food, gulped water, popped some pan masala and fired away. Just about 100 meters I realized I had left my phone on the bench. Took an U turn, rode back in a hurry and I see the truck driver waving my phone at me. I smiled at him, thanked him and kept it back in my jacket. This guy had stopped his truck looking at my bike laden with luggage and to him it looked different. So he wanted to know what I was trying to do. I told him I am going home all the way alone riding 1500 kms. He said, ‘sir aap paagal ho, kyaa milegaa ye sab karke’ and I thought he had a disgusted feeling of me. When I went back and when he handed the phone over to me, I knew deep within he admired me. After handing over the phone, he offered me a cigarette, saying, ‘sir aap jalaao pehle, main baad mein peeoongaa. Hum toh truck leke chalte hain, aap bike leke bhatak rahe ho’. That is when I realized deep within he respected and he was concerned for me. I have always respected these highway giants and this haryaanvi jaat just made my respect grow even more for them. So we shared a cigarette and I left. He shouted, ‘sir aagey fir se milengey’.

Well then, this was just the perfect start for a full day on the road! Don’t you think?

I haven’t had any moment so far that made me feel apprehensive and scared or jittery. It was all ike a perfect dream so far! A journey would be incomplete without drama isn’t it? This is when the boy decides to tell me he ran reserve. I am on the highway doing a steady 80, had crossed at least 4 petrol bunks. I cursed myself for being complacent and ignorant, but then I know I was good for another 60 kms at least. But we all know riding on reserve fuel is never a very comfortable feeling!

So the mind was hooked on just looking for billboards, signboards that read anything about a petrol bunk. I crossed 2 towns and 1 village and no signs yet. Suddenly, after a curvy turn on the highway was an old timer indian oil. I didn’t think even one and half times. Got in, shut the boy off, and quenched his thirst till the brim. I was all peaceful now and after that was just nice views and conscious riding till Ongole.

Some Views en-route to Ongole
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I had decided to take breaks every 60-80 kms, but the roads were so peaceful and the ride so exciting, the mind Kept pushing the limit. I used to decide the next town is 20 kms, ok cool, lets take a break there for chai and breather and roll. But as soon as this town comes, the next becomes the destination. Playing this hide and seek with my mind I was close to Ongole. I had forgotten to pick up engine oil to top up if needed. There was a bull stable by the highway which I knew of in Ongole. I was watching out for it to buy the engine oil and stock up. The boy was running like an young colt ready to win Derbies so far. So all was good. But you got to feed the winning horse some good stuff too. So I stumbled upon the showroom, parked the beast and went inside to buy engine oil. Picked up one liter and planted it inside the saddle bag.

It was mighty hot by now and so I decided to get rid of my sweatshirt inside the jacket. Well. Little more comfortable with the weather now, I rolled off.

The short stay at the showroom felt like home far away from home for both me and my boy!

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Well from now, it was still 300 kms to Rajmundhry and 500 to Vizag. My plan was to reach Vizag today and get some sleep there. It still looked achievable to me. It was around 1 and I had good 5 more hours of day-light. The highway was a treat and doing a constant 80 was pretty easy. I didn’t want to push nor sprint. So I kept rolling till I was 80 odd kms away from Vijaywada. Guntur to Vizag was like ridng in a city and I couldn’t do anything more than 70 for more than 5 minutes.

So I reached and crossed over Vijaywada by 3:30. In the outskirts of the city, by the highway I stopped over for lunch and to give the boy a break after 120 odd kms. I had taken nature’s breaks but the boy had been muscling all this while. After the lunch Rajmundhry was not very far and 200 was to Vizag from Rajmundhry. So I thought I should get to Vizag by 9 pm. Post lunch was a good ride of 80’s but interspersed with slowdowns due to the traffic and I was closing in on Rajmundhry. CLose to Tadepalligudem the boy went dry and on to reserve again. I was shocked even more this time. I had spent most of my cash and was left with 300 bucks. I couldn’t see a proper town and an ATM by the highway. I didn’t want to stray into the towns off the highway, and search for ATM by my route to save on time. This is when I chanced upon a petrol bunk. I pulled over, filled the 300 and rode on. One hassle was off but the other was I was cashless. It is impossible to not find SBI ATM in any part of our country. So I replenished enough cash now and was off. By this time the sun was setting and it was close to dusk. By the time I got to Rajmundhry, the 800 kms on the saddle were taking their toll on me. The bugs doing their dogfight with my eyes and face, the chaotic and unruly traffic made it even worse. So I gave up Vizag from my mind and decided the pit stop for the night at Rajmundhry. After struggling to find a decent place by the way, I had to stray into the town off the highway and ride all the way to the railiway station to find a decent place to sleep and safely park the boy. The place I found served both the needs!

I unloaded the bags, put them in the room, took the riding gear off me, went and refilled the boy, came back, covered him up safe and nice. Wished him good night and a hearty thanks and went to my room. Some wafers, and a liter of water was all I had for dinner. I couldn’t feel my butt, but the sound from something playing on the TV and the cold air from the A/C put me to instant slumber. I had set alarm for 2 am, with 6 hours of sleep. The clock, the body and my mind worked in unison. I was up, packed, geared and ready for the last leg to get to home.

Went out, saddled and strapped, filled engine oil into the cold heart of my boy, checked oil levels on the engine gauge and fired away.

Riding at 3 in the night, the highway was peaceful with no unruly traffic and only truckers sticking to one lane was easy and fun. But it was unexpectedly cold compared to the heat in the day I had experienced the previous day. My eyes were watery and I was shivering. I wanted to feel the warmth of a blanket on a soft bed and snuggle in to sleep. This was the only time I rued over cancelling the the flight ticket and choosing to ride. As humans we all have our weaknesses and mine is good and sound sleep of 10 hours. I had not got it, so my body was signaling for supplements.

I kept riding couldn’t find any place to stop except the stars in the night sky and the high beams of the trucks. Aftter about 60 kms from Rajmundhry I saw chai shops and the boy automatically ground to a halt. Trust me on this, tea works much better then alcohol to raise dampened spirits!!
Well I drank 3 glasses and a cigarette and I was as energetic as the Ganges in its far reaches!
Till Vizag was a cakewalk of some odd 150 kms. Early morning breeze, the cold weather and the amazing roads.
The exit out of Vizag towards Odisha, on the highway is scenic and beautiful. Hills by either side, the road taking smooth curves and turns is outstanding. After all that scenic view, I stopped for breakfast by the road again. By now you must have realized my affinity towards food by the side of the road.

After a quick and not very heavy breakfast, and after answering some curious questions of the passers by, I was off. I had learnt my lessons of fuel scare twice. So no more complacency. After crossing Vizag, found the next petrol bunk, filled to brim again and was off. Riding from Vizag to the border, Icchapuram; was not very exhilarating. With traffic picking up, people treating the highway as their courtyard or dust bin was annoying, inconvenient and painful. Ask buggers like me the importance of highways and what they signify and you will treat highways like Gods after that. Anyway. As I drew closer to the border, I was getting nervous, excited, jittery, emotional, apprehensive and just about every other feeling! The moment I crossed over the border and was about to approach the state border check post, I got off the tarmac and got my boy on to the soil that I belong to. I let him touch the same soil that fed me and made me what I am today. Let me make another confession, I shed tears thinking about this and I told my boy, we are in our homeland where we belong to!
Crossed the border, crossed Berhampur, Khalikote, Ganjam and didn’t even stop. My mind was all made to show the boy the view of his lifetime. The view of the mighty Chilka lake from the hill on which the highway runs.

Ascending the Hill to get a view of Chilka
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The view of the Chilka Lake from the hill
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After the view, there was just one destination and one pit stop for a breather for my boy because home is what we had both locked on to. Stopped for chai around 30 kms before Khurdha and asked the guy for some tea. He asked me in Hindi, if I had learnt Odiyaa just for this trip. I was astonished and ashamed at the same time. When I told him I am Odiyaa and I am coming all the way from Bangalore, going home alone on a bike, he was like, ‘ saar aama aada loka ei sabu karanti nain ta.. moo jaani parilini’. Which means, sir people from our part of the country don’t do all this so I couldt recognize. I see lot of outsiders riding through but never an Odiya’.
Well things change when you choose to follow your heart. There are many crazy precedents to me, who have done this, but it is just that, we are so few, people choose to not notice. Well anyway, it already has and it will change even more!

So now the sign posts were not necessary, I knew exactly how far I am from home with each landmark that I crossed by the highway. All of them kept passing by and till I reached the bustle of the city, the dream wasn’t still realized untill i reached first traffic signal at Khandagiri and that was it. It was early to celebrate or punch the air, because I wanted to do that after I reached home. Inside the city, at each signal, all I saw was staring and curious glances, some perturbed, some curious, and some jealous too.

Well let me use my facebook quote to end this journey!

A sore back, a numb butt, aching shoulders, dusted eyes...but with all of it the euphoria of another milestone achieved. The heart and mind echoing in unison and thumping with the beat....
1532 kms of pure bliss and endless tarmac...with a roaring beast for my company and to talk to..and boy did he respond, yes he did in all style!!
A new mile-eating record for my boy without a glitch. He did just what the heart wanted- a steady n peaceful 80kmph....and making heads turn all through the way....
So without a doubt a succesful 'HOMERUN' for us!!
Where is the God damn bed!!!

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Last edited by moralfibre : 19th March 2014 at 14:24. Reason: Please see rule #11. Thanks!
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Old 19th March 2014, 12:48   #2
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Default Re: Homerun! Bangalore -> Bhubaneshwar on an Enfield Bullet

~1500 kms. That's quite a lot of thump for your (friends) ears.
When I see all these bags neatly tied up, I wonder what if I need something from the bag in the middle of the road. How convenient is it to tie all this again. Possible to do it with just two hands? Or need some more help.
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Old 19th March 2014, 17:42   #3
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Default Re: Homerun! Bangalore -> Bhubaneshwar on an Enfield Bullet

The saddle bags are plug and play so no hassle with it and the bag in the centre is a backpack, tied with two bungee cords. So there was no hassle with removing the stuff from the bag when needed.
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Old 19th March 2014, 18:22   #4
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Default Re: Homerun! Bangalore -> Bhubaneshwar on an Enfield Bullet

This is awesome and inspiring. The best that I have done on a bike is Delhi - Jaipur - Delhi way back in (most likely) 2004 or 2005. My memory fades. It was three friends. One on a splendor, I was on a borrowed Eliminator and the third one I am unable to recollect. Boy one did feel the air current when a truck or a bus used to pass by at high speed. What all of us did was to wear bright colors so that we were visible from a distance. I remember I was wearing a florescent orange track pant I had brought from Mcleodganj. As I look back on that trip, these are trips in which you cant put too much of logic in. You like it. Do it.
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Old 21st March 2014, 12:17   #5
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Default Re: Homerun! Bangalore -> Bhubaneshwar on an Enfield Bullet

That is quite long distance travel. I do this route on my Safari and again will go in 1 or 2 months. Post Naidupeth road is long straight and quite boring till we enter Orrisa.

The safety gear which your friend is wearing in one of the photograph is not suitable for long distance ride. Full face helmet is must also riding jacket at least to protect rider during untoward incident. I am not able to makeout whether your friend is wearing riding jacket or not.
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