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Old 28th October 2015, 16:30   #16
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
Among the numerous trips/rides I have done in groups, the most I enjoy is doing solo trips/rides. The feeling of being one with the nature, machine and one's own self cannot be experienced in a car, for that one needs a motorcycle.
That's so true! Driving a car with the windows and sun-roof (if you have) down is never going to give you the same feeling as riding a bike through the winds!

Thanks for the nice words navin, arul, sid and LoneRidder. Wasn't expecting such a positive response to my first post here haha! Will strive to better this post in future.
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Old 28th October 2015, 18:42   #17
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Hey Shreyas,

Please can you update on the road condition between Mangalore and Gokarn. Any specific stretch which is really bad.

PS: I will be driving (not riding) :-)

Thanks!
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Old 28th October 2015, 19:55   #18
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Very very well written travelogue Shreyas! Pictures of the good old Totti Mane and Mangalore's Huli Vesha are such a delight to see!

My first solo ride was on the coast too and I could totally connect with your emotions. Keep riding and keep writing!
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Old 28th October 2015, 20:36   #19
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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Hey Shreyas,

Please can you update on the road condition between Mangalore and Gokarn. Any specific stretch which is really bad.

PS: I will be driving (not riding) :-)

Thanks!

The road between Mangalore and Gokarna isn't bad as such, it's been recently asphalted. However, road works are going on and they are widening the present 2-lane single carriageway to a 4-lane dual carriageway. So the road is alternate stretches of 4-lane and 2-lane roads with intermittent work going on. You have a lot of diversions every few kms.
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Old 29th October 2015, 14:21   #20
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

There is usually only one partner I ride with who is FM tharian. We are child hood pals, shared many interests right from cycles to cars and trains. I headed the partner, then family way and we no longer ride as much as we could. If it ain't tharian, I much rather ride solo. Somehow, the whole group riding scene never worked with me. To be honest, I feel a majority of folks today, who turn up on a nice motorcycle aren't really in for the ride. It is more about image than anything else. I take up long rides no more than twice a year compared to over a dozen single day trips tharian does, mostly alone. Riding solo is what really sets you free. In fact; I can't even deal with music while riding. I have to hear the bike. Listening to the engine note, how the bike responds to changing temperature, landscapes continually changing, is all part of the experience.

My first solo ride was done at night, to chennai, on a borrowed Enfield Avl Thunderbird, back in 2003-2004. I was ready to hit the sack. At 1030pm and out of the blue, I decided to hit the highway. A couple of things holding me back was money and the route. I had no map and it was the first time I was exiting Bangalore in the direction of Chennai and on a road I have never been on. Pay was pretty sad back then and I had less than a grand in my account. I did have a credit card so the first thing was to find a bunk that would accept a credit card. The first pump I hit had the option to pay by card and I was off. Just me, the bike, some basic riding gear. I did not check tire pressure, if the tool kit existed and had no experience dealing with Enfield gremlins. Luckily, the bike ran fine. These were the days the new highway from Bangalore to Chennai via Krishnagiri was being built. Dusty, single lane highway for the most part, blinding headlights. It was tiring after a point but I was enjoying it. At around 330am and with around 90km to go, I started feeling sleepy. I had not stopped even once so far. It was four lane, closing in on Chennai, I dozed off for a few seconds while riding. I opened my eyes and it was a frightening feeling, how did my eyes close in the first place. It felt like I blacked out. I pulled over immediately, got off the bike, looked around, slapped myself hard a few times, got back on the bike and resumed journey. I reached Chennai safe and knocked on the door of my friends place who freaked out on how I reached Chennai. I was useless for the rest of the day but the ride was totally worth it. I have never done a night ride after this.

Gokarna brings back memories of a ride I did in the same year as the Chennai one. My first 500km journey. I had company though. My friend, his girl friend and their kitten. He rode a Yamaha RD350 and I was on my Yezdi 350 Twin. We set out at 4am and reached Gokarna at 5pm. Not bad for those days. We went via Arsikere, Shimoga, Sagar, Honawar. The roads were great, traffic was low and we did not stop too often, which is how I like a ride to be. A leisurely journey. There was nothing in Gokarna back then. You had OM beach, one ordinary joint to stay, on the beach, for Rs. 150 a night (common rest room. Rs. 200 for a restroom attached room), one restaurant and one shack. That was it. Sadly; I had to sleep on the same bed with my friend and his girlfriend, for one night, cause we did not make a booking and the joint was out of rooms. The room was so small that with all the luggage around, there was no place to even walk. We stayed for 4 nights and there were no more than 20 people on the entire beach. All I did was look towards the sea and listen to the waves. It was bliss. The ride back was depressing though. I did want to go back to Bangalore but had to.

I hear the landscape at Gokarna has now changed. Lots of fancy places to stay and more tourists.

It was nice to read your solo ride report. Quite a few points in there I could relate to.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 29th October 2015 at 14:27.
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Old 29th October 2015, 15:31   #21
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Reading your blog just made my day !
Keep riding!
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Old 30th October 2015, 08:18   #22
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Dear Shreyas,

Your writeup was really touching and inspiring. The way you elaborated every thought that was going on in your head during the trip felt like I was with you on the trip.
Most importantly, I have been and am in a situation wherein I have 2 cars (santro and Honda city) but not many adventurous friends who are ready to do road trips often. Have been wanting to do a road trip on my KarizmaR for a long time. Your travelogue was a real inspiration and I just bought a cramster jacket after I read it. Hope to go out soon. Keep writing bro. Love your style.
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Old 30th October 2015, 09:19   #23
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I hear the landscape at Gokarna has now changed. Lots of fancy places to stay and more tourists.

It was nice to read your solo ride report. Quite a few points in there I could relate to.
Although it's yet to become as commercialized as Baga or Calangunte beaches in Goa, there are quite a few shacks and cafes that have opened up along the beaches of Gokarna. It was so crowded when I went there, I had trouble finding any accommodation for myself. The beach was overcrowded but thankfully not dirty. I ended up walking quite some distance to find some isolated and tranquil spot to relax with my book.

Thanks for your kind words sir! I hope one day I manage to take a trip at 11pm at night just because I felt like it too!
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Old 30th October 2015, 17:21   #24
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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Originally Posted by shreyascashyap View Post
It's a 'toTTi-mane' style of architecture, with a central open-air courtyard of sorts with a washroom sunken into the floor and has rooms and other areas leading out of this. A very unique style of architecture many city dwellers don't get to see these days.
This is a very famous architecture used in lot of areas. It was primarily built to get in more elements (air, water when it rains and sunlight). Even to this date most of the new independent homes in Kerala are built according to this style. My grandparents say that there were other benefits in this architecture. for eg. from the kitchen the lady of the house could see who is entering the house (from a safety standpoint), all water poured into the central sink place would go out of the house to a ground water recharge location etc. talk about engineering in those days

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This was the location shown on the map, bang in the center of the city. Upon reaching there, I spent quite some time trying to find out where in the middle of this ramshackle building I was led to was the entrance to the hotel. The pictures on the app looked so nice ,this surely couldn't be the place!
Sorry to hear. But many have had the same complaints. Would suggest to have some local contacts through friends or our forum to the place you visit. it really helps. Had a situation when i took my family to Kushalnagar and had same experience as yours. But a quick call to one person from my friends list changed a lot of things

wonderful language. you could become a good writer of short stories. Had a great time reading your travelogue. all the best for many more.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 08:16   #25
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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Would suggest to have some local contacts through friends or our forum to the place you visit. it really helps. Had a situation when i took my family to Kushalnagar and had same experience as yours. But a quick call to one person from my friends list changed a lot of things

wonderful language. you could become a good writer of short stories. Had a great time reading your travelogue. all the best for many more.
While that is usually what I follow, I didn't want to have any such options this time. I generally plan things to the dot before I set out of home, but this one time I wanted to take things as it comes. No advance booking, no contacts, I didn't read up on road conditions or anything else to make the trip less stressful.
But I have to admit, I did enjoy it this way. The thrill of not knowing if you'll get a room to stay at 11pm in some tiny hamlet was something to be experienced! I took this liberty only because I was riding solo. I wouldn't dare attempt this if I had company.

Thanks for the words of encouragement nagendra, maverick and fuel injector.
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Old 2nd November 2015, 14:59   #26
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

A solo ride on a RE is what separates the men from the boys. All other bikes are relatively trouble free and can easily do a 1000 Km trip without a sweat. RE on the other hand is like the Sea. You just have to ride with your "feel".If you take her for granted and abuse her you will definitely pay the price. I see so many wannabe riders trying to take on the RE and fail and then complain about it and go to more fancy bikes. And for that alone, my friend you are a hero. I really envy your grit and determination to see this through.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 05:44   #27
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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I coax the bike along and it's complaining every single step. I finally see the check point up front. A whole cluster of lights. A few enterprising folk have put up some makeshift stalls near this checkpoint that's at the intersection of two roads. I have never felt happier seeing a police jeep in my life! I am now coasting along for the final few metres and the bike gives one last gasp and comes to a complete stop!
When I read this, a strange smile appeared my face. About a year back, I was on the same road with my CBR. I was doing a Bangalore-Goa-Bangalore ride. That was 1200 km in one single day. It was the last leg of the journey. It was about 8pm when I was riding through that exact location. The saving grace for me was, I had fuel in my bike and a friend on another CBR (both of us did the mad ride ). But again, that same morning, en route to Goa both our bikes suffered a tyre puncture. We were scared of what would happen if we suffered another flat tyre in this location you are talking about. To make matters worse, the entire stretch was so isolated! But that feeling that you went through upon seeing the check post, my friend and I experienced exactly that! We literally through our hands in air out of joy when we saw civilisation! All in all, that stretch was a wonderful experience and I can just imagine what you went through having ridden solo. Bravo!
Keep riding!!
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Old 3rd November 2015, 09:09   #28
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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. And for that alone, my friend you are a hero. I really envy your grit and determination to see this through.
Woah that's some high praise indeed! Thank you very much. I ensured that I had the bike serviced before I left, I was lucky to not suffer a puncture. Apart from that, I feel most Enfields work well as long as you don't try to ride it like a sport bike. Cruise along all day at 80-90kmph at 3k RPM and you won't ever hear one word of complaint! Trying to scrape the footpegs taking in a corner at speed is what would end up in disaster. I tried it a few times - but every time the front wheel would wobble and start slipping and sliding. I had to wrestle with the handlebars to keep the bike on the tarmac. The hassle and the associated gut-clenching fear seemed like it would turn the whole experience sour so I eased off and decided to take it easy. No more drag racing with that errant Activa which dared to overtake me

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That was 1200 km in one single day. It was the last leg of the journey.
But that feeling that you went through upon seeing the check post, my friend and I experienced exactly that! We literally through our hands in air out of joy when we saw civilisation! All in all, that stretch was a wonderful experience and I can just imagine what you went through having ridden solo. Bravo!
Keep riding!!
1200km in a day? Hats off to you sir! I don't know if I can attempt that yet haha. I doubt I can ever forget the feeling of finally coming to that crossroad. I was literally so frantic with worry that I was nauseated and feeling extremely pukish. I was sweating and my pulse was racing. It was so isolated that even seeing a solitary speck of light in the distance would be reassuring, even it ended up being a man walking along with a torch in hand. All the noises from the birds and animals in the adjoining forested areas did little to help! When I finally saw the checkpost, it felt like a balloon being deflated. Such a huge sigh of relief and everything seemed to settle down lol
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Old 3rd November 2015, 09:47   #29
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

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1200km in a day? Hats off to you sir! I don't know if I can attempt that yet haha. I doubt I can ever forget the feeling of finally coming to that crossroad. I was literally so frantic with worry that I was nauseated and feeling extremely pukish. I was sweating and my pulse was racing. It was so isolated that even seeing a solitary speck of light in the distance would be reassuring, even it ended up being a man walking along with a torch in hand. All the noises from the birds and animals in the adjoining forested areas did little to help! When I finally saw the checkpost, it felt like a balloon being deflated. Such a huge sigh of relief and everything seemed to settle down lol
It was a mad run, the 1200 km. And I wish I get that much energy to do it again! I am not too old to be addressed as sir.
I once did a solo trip to HYD and back from Bangalore. It was completely uneventful. But even with two bikes, the two of us were literally shivering in this stretch before Sagar. The darkness, the road, the isolation, the fatigue, all of it just hit upon us hard. I can just replicate the feelings you went through. Glad you, my friend and I made it through that rather exciting horror. And reading your travelogue made me feel like I did the same just yesterday. Kudos to the way you described everything and refreshing my memory about that ride!
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Old 3rd November 2015, 11:45   #30
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Default Re: Nirvana at Gokarna - A tale of my solo ride (Enfield Thunderbird)

Such a lovely write-up; I love such free-flowing prose rather than interlacing it with adjectives. It's as if you were talking and this is one post that I've read every line in recent times.
Most of the times I just skim through :P
You Grandpa's house reminded me of the one in which I spent my childhood. The central courtyard is called a "Manduva" in Telugu. Thanks a lot for bringing back those old memories.
For the same reason that you like solo drives, I too like cruising along on nondescript roads, stopping to listen to the sound of birds or just kill the engine and enjoy the silence.
Keep on riding and writing.
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