Mission Coorg: An entailing view of a motorcycle ride
The very thought pertaining to a motorcycle trip invokes visions associated with a stretch of tarmac, a rider and a ride; that becomes an extension of the rider as he switches on the ignition that initiates an outburst of the inner mechanical energy. However, there is more ambiguity to it than what we usually think. It could be bloody, sweaty, frightening and lonely; and could give you some serious hangovers. But all that matters would be the determination to do it, but not everyone resorts to it. This report entails an overview of a journey that I embarked while I was doing an apprenticeship in Bengaluru.
Coorg has always been a long-term fascination for me and my mates, and it remained as one of our unfulfilled New Year resolutions. So, we decided to make that dream come true on one of our friend’s birthday. We planned a Coorg trip and resorted to the modern-day communication tools to set up feasible accommodation facilities. Planning and discussions went like clockwork. We had three rides; two Yamaha Fz’s of our own and a Bajaj Avenger 220, which we sourced from a local provider. The South Indian Scotland is about 300 kilometres from the Garden City. We left our residence at 4.00 am in the morning to skip the annoying city traffic.
I was on the pillion seat for a while, and the ride went smoothly. However, on the way we witnessed an accident; in which, a car hesitantly kissed a truck in a road hump. It disturbed our minds, as we were into a long ride. We continued riding. Not after long that we realised in shock that the lady luck was not favoring us. One of the rides was missing! We then got a call from our avenger buddies saying they met with a minor accident. So, we went back looking for them and found that they skidded off the road while they were passing a hump, thanks to avenger’s poor ground clearance and stretched out ergonomics. My friends were lucky that they eluded the incident with marginal injuries. It was observed that the left footrest and the crash guard had piddling bends while some paint on the mudguard was squandered.
We were desperate to find a hospital, and the sun was merely peeking out of the horizon. We went back to the city and finally found a government hospital which welcomed us with unending medical rigmarole to dress the wounds. When we were done with the hospital formalities, we headed to a hotel wondering whether we should continue or go back. However, my injured friends were in no mind to go back so we decided to repair the ride on the way. Since we were out of the city, the availability of spare parts invoked a concern in us since the bike is a rare bird. So, we decided to contact some friends in Bengaluru to buy the spares and repair the bike when we get there.
We resumed our ride on the Bengaluru-Mysore highway, and the navigation suggested that we had to take a diversion at Srirangapatna in order to reach Virajpet. So, we took the detour, and a poorly maintained village road welcomed us. The torture was unbearable with more distance remained to conquer and all of us were almost worn out. Our body demanded rest owing courtesy to the smirking sun and the treacherous tarmac. We finally got on some nice road, but our happiness was short-lived. After some 20-30 kilometres; the road was as pimply as a teenager’s face till we reached Kabbanakkad. Now we had to park our bikes, as the 3km route to resort mandated 4×4 jeeps with experienced drivers. Finally, we reached our destination by dinner time, though we were scheduled to reach for lunch.
We checked into our rooms, and everyone became busy caring the wounds of my friends. My buddies got tired and slept due to the tough journey, and only two of us remained awake. It was a sad silent party with memories of a hard ride. Our neighbours were some foreign kids who were quite noisy. However, we slept quite well as the climate was heavenly and refreshing.
Next morning everyone seemed energetic by absorbing the flamboyance of flora and fauna in the coffee estate cum resort atop a hill. Then we had breakfast and planned to move on. We settled our bills after breakfast and concurred that we would never go back on the same route we came by. So we took the other way round and reached Madikeri by noon.
Then, we booked a bus ticket for one of my friends who could not continue by bike following the accident. We headed to Kushal Nagar to visit a Tibetan monastery, and the road towards there felt like a Moto Gp track with all the twists and turns. We enjoyed the ride. It was especially awesome when you are riding a bike like Fz, with its large sticky rear tyres.
We took a diversion heading straight to the Tibetan settlement and reached the Nyingmapa monastery, devoid of any glitches. We spend about two hours; admiring the artwork, painting and construction pertaining to Buddhism and Buddhist way of life. We also visited a wildlife park; which bedazzled people with spotted deer, elephant ride and an alluring riverside which was the dwelling place of young minds.
We left the place by sunset and proceeded with our journey to Mysore to see the famous Brindavan Garden. We reached there just before closing time, and it felt nice in there with all the fountains and gardens.
From there, we slowly rode away from the city and parked ourselves somewhere in the outer laps of Mysore for making some phone calls and getting some rest. Besides, it was not our home, and we were getting late, as another Monday morning was awaiting us with all the responsibilities of the workplace.
We got back on the rides; even passed through some parts of the village road we came by and reached the Mysore-Bengaluru highway. We proceeded towards Bengaluru, and the road was nice again. The hunger started to haunt us, as we never really had any hard meals after the breakfast. We finally found out a small roadside restaurant and had a satisfying dinner by midnight. After steaming ourselves up, we hit the tarmac again; and what awaited us was a cold, freezing ride reminiscent of an ending winter. It was a delightful night ride on the open road, and we reached home by dawn.
Moreover, what I felt most important for a long ride was a good pair of gloves, a pair of riding shoes, a decent riding jacket and plenty of water, beside a bunch of crazy friends to share the experience. Furthermore, it is imperative that the riders never forget to wear the helmet and obey traffic rules to expedite their safe return.