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Old 28th January 2009, 14:13   #1
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Default Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE

22 January, 2009

At about 4:45 AM, I wake up. The dream is about to begin. The preparations have all been in place for over a month. The bike is ready and the road is waiting to be seen, touched and enjoyed.
Loading complete, I reach Mehdipatnam Food World.
My co-riders are waiting. Everyone as excited as I am.
My biggest mistake is hidden in the picture.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-morning.jpg

Confident of the tightness in the straps, I donít secure them with a bungee net/cord.
Paid a heavy price for this a few hours later.
However I stick by the concept of these bags and will be just be a little more careful in future.
Another such bag made the entire trip without any problem.

The team before take off
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-group.jpg

We stop for breakfast a couple of kms later here.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-bf.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-bf2.jpg

Found these beauties tucked inside this place.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-beauty1.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-beauty2.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-beauty3.jpg

As a biker, I pray almost right thru the ride. I pray everyone on the ride.
Crashing is the worst thing to happen to a biker and unfortunately I ride into one that has happened just a few moments back.
A rider from Hyderabad takes a blow from a passing MUV and a truck. I hear later that he was caught in between them as the UV was overtaking the truck. The smash has rendered bent his badly designed crash bar into his leg. He also suffers a broken wrist.
My prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and good health.

The ambulance surprised me by arriving within 10 minutes. Satisfied that his friends can take care of the situation, we leave and carry on with our ride.

I wear army trousers and another rider in my group wears an army jacket. The public refers us to as the military on more than one occasion.

Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-tea-break2.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-tea-break.jpg

Irfan signals me to stop and is quite frantic about it. I am in for a shock. My straps have slowly gotten loose because I kept fiddling with the bags to remove my camera pouch. The straps burnt down first, released the bags onto the silencer. Luck had however not departed me completely. Only my toolbox suffers extensive damage on one side. The extra engine oil and a can of WD40 are safe. If they had taken off, I would have flown all the way to Ooty and missed the ride.

We are almost at Gooty, so stop at a nearby Dhaba. As lunch arrives I transfer all my stuff into one bag and give some to my other riders to carry with them.
Lunch is a simple roti+dhal+chicken.

We take off and the open roads are very inviting.

DJ asks me why his bike is not running as fast as the others. He shifts early like any good Std 350 rider should. I tell him to up shift the gears after maximum revs are attained. Warn him that this is the best way to blow an engine as well. I don't think he paid any heed to the warning. He flies off like his tail is on fire.

A couple of kms later I meet him again. He has a silly grin on his face. The bike sounds funny. It almost sounds like a tB. We find a mechanic. I am quite sure that the rockers have a problem. The mechanic confirms the same after checking the tappets. He recommends a mechanic in Anatapur. We call up the others and tell them to carry on towards Bangalore. As I enter the Anantapur city road, we find a rider. Ride up to him and find that he is going to Bangalore. He mistook the signboards at the highway with information from his group. That just reminds me of how often we take things at face value and never really apply our heads to what is being implied.

We find Amanullah. He is our hero. The bike is fixed. But light is fading fast and we have a long road ahead of us. I lead as DJ trails. Traffic is luckily quite less and we are making up for the lost time.

Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-dj.jpg

A clean headlight is a bright headlight. I don't see any point in those expensive and useless addon lights. For a short period of time I request DJ to lead. I love riding in the night trailing behind with my lights off. Its magic. Reach Hebel flyover and call up to get directions to our hotel. 600 kms of riding does strange things to the human mind. I can hear Subhayu explain the route. He is obviously doing a good job. But I can understand nothing. I ask him to come down to someplace in between and guide me thru Bangalore.

I can only wonder which perverted mind came up with unmarked speed breakers at Signal crossroads. As the light is in green and may switch to Red we speed up. Only to come to a drastic stop at a huge speed breaker. We were not breaking the signal. We simply wanted to cross it and actually had enough time inspite of the speed breaker. But keeping it unmarked. Some idiotic mind at work in this.

Anyways, I run out of patience waiting for Subhayu. Ride on following bits and pieces of information gleaned from the Hotel clerk and an auto driver. Reach the hotel and as soon as I look at the rooms my anger disappears. They are fantastic. For food I go down to a Kerala joint nearby and get back with some nice grilled chicken, rotis, gravy and so on.

Dinner over, we spend a relaxed night.
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Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d1-bike.jpg  

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Old 28th January 2009, 14:19   #2
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23 January, 2009

Wake up refreshed and relaxed. Pack my bags in such a way that almost everything fits into just one bag. I just realize that I am carrying too many extra clothes. All that is needed during a ride is a clean underwear for everyday. Anything else is just excess baggage.

Bike ready to go
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-1-bike.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-2-hotel.jpg

We keep riding and loving every bit of the Bangalore-Mysore Road.

Subhayu stops to help a biker whose brake pedal has dropped off.
After fixing it he finds that there is no back light cluster.
I have seen fused backlights, but this takes the cake.
One needs to be on a death wish if they think that riding without lights in the rear is acceptable.
Maybe with experience will bring some knowledge.
God save all of us from weekend warriors.

Stop for lunch sometime in the late afternoon.
Huzeffa and I finish Friday Namaz together.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-3-lemon.jpg

While the food was good and service excellent the prices are high. Infact the most expensive lunch for this entire trip.

Enter Mysore, confused and sort of lost in the back roads. Confuse a lot of peaceful residents who suddenly find a bunch of loud bikes in their backyards. Also some school was just letting out so we had to ride extra careful.

The road to Bandipur reserve has a stretch of real bad road. I love it. For some reason I am most comfortable riding on broken tarmac. Generally skim over the surface and fly. I lean to the left and push the bike to the left. This improves the balance and lets the speed increase. However bad roads also have quite a few deep craters on them and one has to be very careful when doing this.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-4-road.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-mountain5.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-group6.jpg

Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d2-subhayu7.jpg
We enter Tamil nadu. Smiling border guards beckon us into a piece of heaven. Words defy me in trying to even explain how beautiful the landscape looks as we ride on.

We reach Thepakadu. Meet Giri who has been waiting for us. He was bored stiff but is glad we made it safe.
For dinner we order Rotis, Rice, Chicken fry and gravy.
Expect to have about 12 odd guys staying in this lovely cottage with us.

Couple of guys leave to get some booze.
I ride to Masinagudi along with Subhayu. Need to call up and inform my family. No cell network anywhere around the cottage.
The ride is in darkness and the starlit night between heavens above, below and all around us.
As we come back I realize that itís cold. Oops, Forgot my gloves at the phone booth. We return back. Now that we have this road charted out the speeds are higher and we are enjoying every bit of it.
On our return we meet Chandu. He is waiting for Swaroop and Dada. Also informs us that he was told that some biker has crashed behind us.
Subhayu and I leave right away. A couple of kms away we find a bike with a busted fork and its rider sitting in the grass. A friend accompanies him. The front mud guard has distorted and is stuck into the front wheel. The bike is not moving anywhere.

Some bikes pass by. They don't slow down. Maybe itís the first time on the road for them or they simply don't care. I feel a tinge of sadness in the absence of biker solidarity by those idiots.

Anyways we are met by Dada and using a bunch of tools we remove the mudguard. Subhayu rides the busted bike, while I ride his back to the resort. Glad we went there cause both these guys are really nice. They spend the night with us and grace the evening with their presence.

As dinner is being done we riders huddle into a room. The club we have been a part of for so long has disintegrated due to a bunch of people none of us have any respect or love for. We refuse to accept the way the things have gone and would rather break of our association with them. A new name is chosen and we call ourselves as 23ONE.
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Old 28th January 2009, 14:24   #3
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Default 24 January, 2009

Breakfast is served. Idly, Pongal, Dosai with Sambar and chutney. This is followed by loads of tea and coffee.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-dom-1.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-bike-2.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-wide-3.jpg

I move all my stuff into Dada's Scorpio. The 36 bends of Ooty await us and I am in full mood to ride them.
Because of my luggage problem I stop at Masinagudi and luckily find a bungee cable for use during the return.

The 36 bends are an absolute delight to a motorcyclist. Every turn hides something more and more fascinating.

Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-ghat-4.jpg

We enter Ooty and soon get lost inside it. We riders have a fascination with getting lost in every city we enter.
Anyways itís solved soon enough and we enter the venue with our horns blaring and revs screaming.
Finish the entry with a grand rendition of happy birthday. For some reason it seemed like a good idea at that point of time.
Roughly 600+ bikes registered themselves at RM09. This translated into a huge queue at the registration counter.

RTMC guys luckily provided some tea, coffee and biscuits. But I was getting hungry and lunch is just getting served.
Reach the place and find a good friend Anil in charge of this.
Since he knows me and I know my registration number, I have lunch before registration. The food was quite decent and I was back to being my happy self.
Irfan called me up and informed me that he has finished my registration formalities. Cool dude helped me out and I am glad I donít have to bother with that queue for now.

Meet a lot of my old biker buddies and every one is happy to see each other.
Inform the registration desk that we would like our club name changed in the registration sheets and that we want accommodation in the same place. They oblige on both counts.
We then go to the Elk Hills resort and unpack our stuff.
A hot shower cleans us up and we get into some fresh clothes.

Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-park1-5.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-park2-6.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d3-view-7.jpg

Its cold and the wind is making it very chilly. I need a monkey cap and so ride down to the city.
Irfan is out of cash so he and Veera go over to find an ATM.
I chill out with Anand and gorge on some chocolates.

We come to the main venue for dinner and a lot of talking.
As I stand in queue for dinner a drunk dude stands beside me.
The line is behind me and I tell him so.
Bad mannered fellow. May you always stand in queues.

Its quite late by the time we return to our rooms and we switch off for the night.
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Old 28th January 2009, 14:31   #4
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Default 25 January 2009

By the time we reach the breakfast counter its almost empty. So we go to the City center.
Find a decent restaurant that serves us some pooris, rotis and coffee.

We return to the venue and loiter around. Its nice being in the one place where we are all normal.
We talk about bikes and then a little more about bikes and then again about bikes.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d4-view1.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d4-view2.jpg
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d4-view3.jpg

For lunch we find a long queue again. So we drive down to the lake area. Find Malabar.
They served some excellent food and great service. Enjoyed every moment of that spicy food.

Swaroop and Chandu leave for Hyderabad at about 5 PM. They plan to reach Hyderabad on the 26th.

Most clubs prepare a presentation for showing at the RM. We sit thru the entire show.
Loved the presentation by Mad Bulls and Eastern Bulls.
Incidentally Subhayu Roy prepared the Eastern bulls presentation. He was my co-rider and is also a good friend.

We formally announce the launching of 23ONE to the audience. Most of us who were at RM get on the stage as well.
Feel like a big burden is removed from our chest. I no longer have to be associated in any manner whatsoever with my earlier club. A club that was part of me from 2003. Every one of us on the stage that evening had been part of it for more than 5 years.
For those responsible for this I have a simple prayer.
May god always put everyone at the mercy of people like themselves.

Last edited by bblost : 28th January 2009 at 14:32.
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Old 28th January 2009, 14:33   #5
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Default 26 January, 2009

I wake up at 5:30 and don't want to leave. Its just too cold. But the road awaits. So I pile on 2 T-Shirts and a sweater under my jacket. Wore my sweatpants under the army fatigues and a monkey cap under the helmet. Its still cold but I just have to live with it.
We miss the turn to the 36 bends and instead land up on the Gudulur route. It is a fantastic experience riding those curves.
A hint of fog adds to the almost surreal experience. We top up on petrol and start heading towards Mysore.
This time I take the bad stretch even faster than before and am literally flying.
We are forced to take a 30 minute break as a procession of school student goes by.
It looks lovely seeing everyone celebrate Republic Day.

Reaching Mysore we decide to use the ring road. Get onto the Bangalore-Mysore road and feeling hungry we need some food.
Meanwhile Sudhir's bags need to be rearranged. He does it while we wait for food to arrive.

As we enter some new road into Bangalore we pay a toll for bikes. This is a first for me. Never have I paid a toll for a motorcycle.
Subhayu's bike has an electric issue. The wire connecting the negative to the chassis has melted. Luckily for us his horn had fallen off long time back. We use that wire to connect the battery and start the bike. No more issues with his bike after this.

Its about 4 PM and we have crossed Chikbalapur. We find 2 bikes by the side of the road. Royal Beasts Delhi. On one of the bikes the sprocket has lost a couple of teeth. The chain slipped and is stuck between the sprocket and the chain guard.
Using my tools, Jeetu removes the guard and realigns the chain.
The bike is rideabale but cannot cross 60.
We manage somehow.
Find a mechanic who tightens the chain and we plan to stop at Anatapur. As I already knew a mechanic there we move on.
The mechanic ofcourse did not have a spare sprocket. But we managed to get in touch with the spares shop guy and a sprocket was procured.

At about 8:30 PM, we leave the beasters and continue on our way.
For dinner we stop at a Ghar Dhaba by BP.
Rider Mania 2009: 23ONE-d4-night.jpg

We chill out for sometime and Sudheer takes a quick nap.
Since we are feeling fine we decide to heed to Kurnool.

The traffic on this road at this point of time is terrible. I cannot ride. Earlier the Volvo's used to run with one extra set of lights. Now they have a total of 6 lights arranged as a V. They are terrible and I flat out refuse to ride any further.
We reach Bharat dhaba where we had had food on Day 1.
They allow us to park our bikes and no one disturbs us as we sleep on the slate benches.
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Old 28th January 2009, 14:34   #6
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Default 27 January, 2009

We leave the Dhaba at 5AM.
With day break our speeds keep increasing and we finally enter Kurnool city for a quick breakfast.
With some food inside us the ride become more fun.

I reach my home at 11 AM.

The lift is being serviced. So I have to carry my stuff up 8 floors. There is a young lady arguing with the security. She does not want to carry her groceries with her.
But I am the Zen. These things happen. I smile as I await my next ride on the open road.

Life, Fate, Destiny: Whatever.
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Old 28th January 2009, 15:44   #7
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Default Was there too

A few things that went missing in that write up above...

...cant think of anything...
just as he put it
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Old 28th January 2009, 17:37   #8
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Wow . That is one hell of a travelogue. The total distance you covered was about 2000kms round trip right?
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Old 28th January 2009, 17:41   #9
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Roughly about 1800+ or so. But am not sure about this.

Felt the absence of the console a couple of times during this ride.
No milestones to tell me how many kms left.
No idea what speed I was actually doing and so on.

But I like the no odo no speedo no range limits on my bike
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Old 28th January 2009, 18:02   #10
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Superb. Fantastic write-up. Maybe OT but why do ALL biker groups have such issues amongst their members?
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Old 28th January 2009, 19:03   #11
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Bikers are a wierd lot .I am one - I know . Very few want to conform

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Old 28th January 2009, 21:05   #12
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Just Brilliant! Loved the writeup. As you aptly summed it up in the end. You were the zen!
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Old 29th January 2009, 05:16   #13
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Nice writeup. Glad to see Blackjack make his long trip with Betty(?)
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Old 29th January 2009, 11:16   #14
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Nice travellogue. Keep thumping and keep penning.
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Old 29th January 2009, 17:39   #15
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Keep thumping on buddy. May your kinda guys increase and may safe riding be adhered.

Thump Away to glory
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