|18th November 2009, 14:39||#1|
Our maiden road trip on motorbikes..destination Bandipur !!!
It all began during one of our Tea breaks at office that we decided to venture out for a road trip on motorbikes. Fortunately, being in a gang of like minded people with similar tastes to explore places around, it was easier to finalize the place and date of travel.
Being our first bike trip, we wanted to test our endurance and then chart out our subsequent trips. Hence we decided that lets head off to the Bandipur Forests, stay for a night and return the next day. All in all a 500 kms ride !!!
Place of stay: Referred some TBHP travelogues, called up & reserved rooms at MC Resort. But we changed the place later as we managed to find a better place by the name Tusker Trails for a cheaper price.(I found this place while going to Masinagudi with my family)
Number of riders: 4 - Ram, Rajesh, Sunil, Siva(Self)
Date of Travel: 6 Nov,
Return Date: 7 Nov
Total Kms planned : ~530 roundtrip
Route: Pretty Straightforward
The bike choice obviously was the most widely used Indian cruiser, BULLET and of course without any Pillion as we decided to ride the bikes single. We did a check list of the bikes that we owned and the feasibility of taking them onto the highways. I owned a Shogun and straightway ruled out, as the bike was not fit enough for long rides. The others didn’t own any bikes at all, except for Sunil who owned a Bullet of his own. A quick Google and IndiaMike.com helped us to find a guy’s number in Bangalore who does road trips on Bullets, of course for a cost. He agreed to loan his Bullets (2 nos. for Self and Rajesh) and the above puzzle was thus solved. By then, one of the members (Ram) managed to loan a bullet from his friend. So all set on the bike front!!!
We quickly worked on the budget required for the trip, and everyone seemed to be ok with it. Now the toughest part was obtaining approval from everyone’s family, as we were all married and most of us even had kids to manage. Fortunately we had hinted our families sometime back about this trip in the planning stage and hence we had to spend less time convincing our families about the trip. With a couple of re-assurance statements and since the gang was well known to the wives, the wives nodded YES to the trip!!
I had gauged the road conditions during my earlier trip to Masinagudi along with my family. BLR to MYS as every one knows were quite good. MYS to Najangud, parts of the roads were patchy; especially the patches would be felt really hard while on motorbikes. From Gundalpet for about 6-8 kms there weren’t any roads, as a result of PWD work. From there on till Bandipur forest, the roads were good, though not excellent.
Having briefed the gang about the road conditions, everyone seemed to be take on all sort of conditions, be it roads, weather, breakdowns etc. A week before the trip we visited a puncture workshop where the guy taught us to remove the wheels of the bikes just in case the tyres go flat. We also bought a spare tube, clutch and accelerator cables in case we needed them beyond Mysore where getting Bullet parts would be out of question.
The evening before the travel day, we went to the rental guy to collect 2 bikes. One was a flaring red 99 model and the other a 2001 model. Checked the conditions of the bikes and found them to be proper, with our limited knowledge on Bullet. The guy also assured us that the bikes were serviced and won’t let us down through the trip. We parted ways to our respective houses and planned to meet at 530am on Old Madras road to begin our trip. I went to sleep with oodles of excitement thinking about my maiden bike trip due next morning (though I had done few bike trips in my college, but not to the length of 500 kms)
On 6 Nov, I woke up at 4 am and started preparing for the trip. Checked my bag, purse, clothes, and all those stuffs required for the travel. My son was still fast asleep and my wife came to the basement of my apartment to see me off. Tied the bag with the help of a bungee chord, decompressed the engine and with 3-4 kicks, the bullet started to thump. Bid bye to my wife, and headed off to meet the gang at old Madras road.
By about 5.40 am the gang came by. The sound of 3 bullets approaching still rings in my head, what an awesome sound the bullets made when they rode together!!! We decided to top our fuel tanks at the Shell bunk on Mysore road.
As most of us, except for 1, were not frequent bullet riders, it took some time for us to navigate through the traffic (YES, BLR was clogged even at day break) and reached Shell petrol bunk. Topped up our tanks, took a snap, and kicked off our maiden road trip on bikes!!!..
more updates to follow..meanwhile some pics below !
|18th November 2009, 14:41||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: @ Driver's Seat @
Thanked: 102 Times
Waiting for more pics honey
OT: Remembered just good old serial in Doordarshan : "EK DO TEEN CHAR " of 4 friends together always
|18th November 2009, 14:50||#3|
Yes, will post more updates and pics.
I am at my workplace now & if I spend more time on this, I will be shown the EXIT door
|18th November 2009, 14:54||#5|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanked: 453 Times
Married, have kids, had bike trips once upon a time during college days, can hire bullets.. Guys. you are putting brilliant ideas in to the heads of many so called gentleman (means stuck to 4 wheel trips with family) in this community. Put a disclaimer here "All acts narated here are performed by experts, don' try to duplicate". Waiting for the rest of the adventure before I get in to planning.
|18th November 2009, 14:58||#6|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Thanked: 222 Times
Here's a photo of a person with a mobile phone at a petrol pump. there's a raging discussion in another forum whether to use a mobile or not at a pump.
Posting it here for the benefit of the cell phone user. Your call sir.
|18th November 2009, 16:28||#8|
Thats a Blackberry and he is checking his mails. Blackberry doesnt short circuit while checking mails or dragging the track ball ..so it was a safe act !!!
Thanks ALL for your comments !
@gadadhar..it wasnt that easy getting approvals from our families !!! We will be soon submitting our applications for our next bike trip(atleast 1500kms) and initiate the process.
|19th November 2009, 16:37||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2006
Thanked: 198 Times
Hope you all had a good ride. When is part-2 coming?
BTW how much would he charge for a bike rental? What happens if the bike is damaged or lost. etc.?
Need more pics. Cheers
|19th November 2009, 23:01||#11|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Trivandrum, Kerala
Thanked: 39 Times
@s3va - Ok, you have already kickstarted your bikes & the travelogue, now it is time to shift some "royal" gears, pal. Also, kudos to you & your friends for doing this trip on bike.
Pl. post the next instalment ASAP (with lots of pictures).
|20th November 2009, 12:37||#12|
Thanks Guys for your comments, really appreciate it !
Mostly by end of the day I shall be publishing rest of the logs and snaps.
Now about snaps, since we were concentrating and enjoying our rides we didn’t have any interest to take snaps. But my wife specifically had asked me to keep clicking through out the journey and threatened me of bad consequences if she failed to find any snaps of the road trip. And hence we have the some pics!!!
Will post soon
Ramsagar..I will PM the rates
|20th November 2009, 16:21||#13|
Day 1 ..ride on...
It was my first experience riding a 2 wheeler on Mysore road and it was indeed an exhilarating one. Initially we started off with average speeds of 40-50 to get accustomed to the highway traffic. Later when the roads started to become empty we started to touch 80-90 kmph speeds. I soon realized why the Bullet was a fav to all cruisers. You don’t even feel the speeds when you cruise at 80-90 due to the tank like build of the vehicle and an awesome chassis. But vibrations from the body and engine at high speeds, are something you cannot avoid in a Bullet which is probably you have to get accustomed (or were the vibrations probably due the condition of my vehicle??? Don’t know, Bullet experts can share your thoughts here).
By about 8.30 am, as we were approaching Maddur, Ram and I started to lose sight of the other 2 riders, Sunil and Rajesh. Since our averages were maintained at 70-80s we frequently lost sight of the other two riders as they were constantly cruising at 50-60 kpmh averages, but this time it was for long. So we stopped our beasts and soon they caught up, and then we realized that we had a problem with Rajesh’s rented Bike!!!
The issue with Rajesh’s bike was, whenever the throttle was increased to achieve speeds of 50 kmph and above, the engine started to choke as if the carburetor was not able to supply enough fuel. This was a big concern, as we didn’t want to do the trip at dismal speeds of 50 kmph and below since it would be highly time consuming. We decided to find out a Bullet mechanic on the way (thought we knew it would be difficult to spot one) who could fix the issue. A little later we found a garage open! But the guy was no expert on Bullets, and he said he could try fixing it. As his tone was not re-assuring, we didn’t want him learn fixing a Bullet on our bike. So off we went in search a proper Bullet mechanic. At about 915 we reached Mandya and decided to have breakfast. Though we had stopped frequently for butt breaks, the stop for breakfast was a welcoming one for our bodies.
We ordered Dosas, Puris and Kesari bath, Tea for breakfast and started hogging them in a way that the hotel people got scared at our appetites. Thoroughly satisfied with the morning meal we left the hotel at about 10 am. Though we were told about a bullet mechanic available at Mandya, something made us reconsider the option and decide to show the bike to the authorized Bullet dealer at Mysore.
So we continued with our journeys and this time the avg speeds for Rajesh was 40-50s, while the others revved to attain speeds of 80-90 and then later slowed to assist Rajesh catch up with others. This practice continued until Mysore Country Club junction where we stopped our bikes and called up Sri Venkateswara Automobiles who were the Mysore Bullet dealers. The mechanic was very friendly & guided us to the workshop. The moment he rode the bike, he spotted out the issue and it was not any carburetor and fuel related issue, but the Rectifier that charged the battery was found problematic. He mentioned that the rectifier was not a genuine part, and that was charging the battery beyond the threshold levels which was cutting off the engine at high speeds. He switched on the headlights and showed us that the issue disappeared the moment the lights lit up and consumed the excess charge from battery. Awesome, issue identified and resolved in 40 minutes !!! We appreciated our own decisions of bringing the bike to Mysore dealer.
Settled the workshop bill (about Rs.750 for new rectifier & labour), informed the rental guy about the issue who started to curse the Bangalore mechanic who’d used non-genuine parts, , thanked the mechanic who was very very helpful and who had a nice attitude too.
Lessons learnt: Always carry workshop numbers located at the locations constituting the trip that could prove useful during breakdowns. We had the important numbers stored in our phones before the trip start that helped us get out of the above situation.
Since we lost about 1 ½ hours already, quickly called up the resort to inform about our late arrival and requested them to keep aside lunch. Came out of Mysore city within minutes and we were on the Nanjangud-Gundalpet stretch that was covered with rough patches for about 15-20 kms. Later on as the roads were newly laid the ride was heavenly. Attained speeds of 100 kmph, took butt breaks in between, stopped for tea, biscuit and smoke. Overall it was a fun ride through this stretch and a splendid experience, especially riding through roads with green pastures and meadows either sides.
Reached Gundalpet by about 130 pm and the worst stretch of the journey started. Since roads were being laid, the roads were in a bad condition with gravel and loose sand around. Navigated the bikes meticulously and constantly watched out for speeding buses that was followed a huge dust cloud thus blinding us for a minute or two. For about 6-8 kms were ‘off-roading’ and it was another fun filled experience. I used to do dirt track rides (not professional though) in my Shogun during my college days and I used to love the thrills, but riding Bullet on off roads was a completely different experience in itself, especially with the hard gears and the kerb weight, it wasn’t easy to navigate loose gravels and dirt that easily. Soon the “fun-filled” hell ride ended and we were back on tarmac again. Again we stopped our bikes for a butt break(I know, we did too many breaks. But that was part of lessons learnt and were rectified during our return journey)and took more snaps.
Now about snaps, since we were concentrating and enjoying our rides we didn’t have any interest to take snaps. But my wife specifically had asked me to keep clicking through out the journey and threatened me of bad consequences if she failed to find any snaps of the road trip. And hence we have the pics!!!
The ride through the forest was enchanting and a thrilling one. I had done these routes umpteen times in my car, but only to realize that you had to be on bikes to actually feel the greenery and wilderness of these stretches. During the trip planning stage we had discussed about situations encountering wild animals like Tiger and how to react during those situations. Since we all lacked experiences doing such jungle trips, and since we didn’t enquire with any wildlife expert for opinions, we just decided to face it as it came. And frankly speaking, during my earlier trips through Bandipur, both the Ooty and Sultanbattery sides, I haven’t spotted any Tigers or other Wild animals. It was just for once that we spotted a herd of elephants about to cross the road, and being born-brought up in Kerala, elephants didn’t bring any sort of excitement(though they were potential to create a havoc). I know I was taking this fact for granted, but to move on you shouldnt think too much.
We consciously revved low on the forest hills so as to ensure the engine thump doesn’t disturb the wildlife around. But even at lower rpms the thump was echoing loud enough though the forest trees that was actually pure music to the ears. Rode this stretch completely with the helmet visors open so as to feel the gush of winds and pure oxygen rushing into your nostrils. Reached the Bandipur Forest reserve at about 245 pm, passed MC Resorts on the right where we had done our initial bookings. A few meters ahead MC resort, we saw a turn on the left with board displaying directions to Cicada(Coffee day venture), Country Club and Tusker Trails, the place where we had booked our resorts. Turned left and we started cruising through a combination of good & so-so roads that cut through the forest leading to a village called Mangala. After 3 kms, we found our resort!!! Entered the resort, and we headed straight to the dining area where lunch was awaiting us. The resort manager had been kind enough to reserve the lunch and had assigned the required staff to cater our needs. With a sense of achievement and a great feeling of completing 230 odd kms on motorbikes, we had a sumptuous lunch along with KF(yes ..that malt stuff) to quench our thirst. After lunch we checked into our rooms. The rooms were basically 2 double bed rooms attached to each other in the form of 'L' with a sit outs to relax.
We were quite happy on our decision to choose Tusker trails in the place of MC Resort, as this resort gave you the feeling of staying amidst jungle as compared to MS Resort that was bang on the SH roadside. A the resort quality was far superior to MC Resort. To top it up there was a swimming pool too !!!
By about 530 pm, we went for stroll outside the resort into the village area and breathed fresh air. The resort manager asked if we wanted to go for the Jungle safari and we weren’t too keen about it. Going to the jungle and not going for the safari didnt sound that ok, but we were lost in the excitement of our rides, we ingnored other activities.
As the sun set, we went back to our rooms, quickly freshened up and got ready for the night session (no no, not another ride session). We had stocked ourselves with a good old Desi scotch bottle that was opened up for the occassion. Along with it, we had tasty pakodas and a chicken dish that was prepared especially on our request. Interesting conversations covering all aspects ranging from the riding experience to other topics filled the sessions until we decided to hit the pool. Ram and Sunil decided to stay off the pool, but Rajesh and I quickly changed into our trunks and jumped into the pool. The water was cold, cold enough to create shivers, and it relaxed every nerve that had worked hard through out the ride.
Later we plunged into the buffet dinner that was sumptuous too. I must say, these guys make really good food!
Post dinner, the rider in us woke up that instilled us to go for a night ride. Rajesh and I started our bike, then the resort manager came running to us warning us not to venture into the woods at night as, obviously, it was a risk. We assured him about taking care of ourselves and decided not to head into the woods, but towards the Mangala village direction. The roads were pitch dark if not for our head lights and had insects like crickets making loud noises all around. The feeling was stupendous!!!! Rode for sometime and then we hit the village where we found a group of men enjoying some sort of a game around a bonfire lit nearby. We took a U turn and headed back to the resort.
By then a campfire was already lit at the resort. We sat around the fire for some time, though it wasn’t really cold, the bonfire caught everyone's attention. The resort was packed with foreigners who joined the campfire too.
We retired to our beds by about 1030pm as our bodies didn’t allow us to stay awake any further. Before I slept, I recollected the ride, the moments and the experiences for the day, and looked forward to the next day ride with oodles of excitement.
Trip Logs for the day
> Kms covered – 230
> Weather - Cloudy and Gloomy as if it was going to rain any moment
> Total time consumed for Day 1 trip- 8 hours!!!! This was due to the fact that we had many stops in between and lost substantial time for the repair work. But big deal, as it was only our first trip!!
> Lesson learnt for Day 2: Don’t stop quite frequently unless for butt break and snacks/tea.
|20th November 2009, 16:52||#15|
If you can stretch a little bit, you will enter TN and can go to Masinagudi where there are better resorts for same price range. Tamilnadu part of the forest is more pictureque