Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Passion for Two Wheels

Every day morning I find this piece of long, black and hard cushion between my legs,
The toes firmly rested on the floor
Both hands resting firmly on a piece of metal tube covered with grips.
Soon I find my right leg on top of a small lever.
With a gentle push the lever goes down and
Wow, my ear is blessed with the music which I enjoys the most.
It has a rythm, it has bass, it has a DISTINCT feel.
Even a kid can dance to this tune
So does my little cutie pie

My left hand slowly pushes a lever close to the grip,
The left leg in a swift action presses a lever down.
A gentle twist using right hand.
Off goes my legs from the ground
Now I could feel the rush of fresh air.

The fun has just started.
Amidst the chaos created by the man made machines running criss cross.
Never do I feel bored,
Never do I feel irrittated
For I am enjoying the song of my machine.

The twisting action of right hand,
the sudden pressing action of left hand,
the quick shifting action of left toe,
the swing and the sway of my body with my machine
Everything adds to the fun.

Be it rain, be it hot, be it cold, it is the same routine.
Something which happens every morning and everning,
something which makes me ready to face the challenges of the day,
something which makes me brush away all the ill feelings of the day,
something which I cherish to happen again.
Even with the choice of a more luxorious four wheeled wonder,
I keep chosing the two wheeled royal all these years.

Is it because, I am a bulletteer?

Thumping To IDUKKI - Kulamavu

The ride plan
The passion in me for long rides in my macho Bull is just not dying down; rather it was growing day by day. A 120km solo drive to a relative's place one day made me increasingly feel the need to have a solo long drive, to some beautiful and pleasant location where I can be alone with my Bull and the nature.

Finally a time came when I had an opportunity to visit some of my colleagues in Idukki, a 350 km ride from my den in Trivandrum. Once the idea of this ride sunk in, I began planning. The thumpers in 'Silver Bullets' Bullet riding club of Kerala were advising me on the preparations for a long drive. The trip page of RE website also lists out a check list of items to be carried and things to be checked which is of great help. Soon I realised that planning for a ride should be given utmost importance to have a pleasant ride.

My plan was as follows:

Day1 - Ride to Idukki via Ernakulam, Moovatupuzha and Thodupuzha, approx., 350 km. Stay with my colleagues in a guest house at Kulamavu.

Day2 - Ride back to Thiruvananthapuram via the same route.

Pretrip butterflies
The anxiety and eagerness of the drive was really taking its toll on me as the weekend approached. On the previous night of my journey I got fever and in the morning I was trembling. I had to take a very painful decision to postpone my ride. But I was determined to go, even if it meant taking leave from office for 2 days.

Day 1 - Trivandrum - Ernakulam

By Tuesday morning 6, I bid good bye to my wife, who was not so fully supportive to this drive, because I was going alone. But knowing my 'so called craze of Bull' she did not stand in my way for that journey.Well, soon I was thumping my way through the NH 47. The early morning time had ensured that traffic was only minimal and everything was set perfect for a drive. My running in period was over and this time around there was no need to look at the speedo to know whether I was over speeding or not.

I could drive at my own leisurely pace, which is in the range of 70-80 km/hr, in a cruiser like machismo.After about 1hr 45 mins, I found that I had reached Kayamkulam which was nearly 100km from my starting point. I visited one of my friends house there and had breakfast. He started admiring my Bull and started asking the usual questions which normally I have to answer whenever I park my Bullet near some enthusiastic people. The chrome in machismo gave the Bullet a brand new look every time it was cleaned up. He was surprised that I was going to cover such a distance in machismo. Then I told him that this ride was only a very small one in a Bullet and encouraged him to visit the trip pages of hardcore bulletters to know the places where people usually go.

Soon I could hear the thumping again, as I started my drive to Ernakulam. By that time traffic began to grow as did the number of onlookers because of my riding gear. Soon I got into the 4 lane part of the NH in which I had to travel approximately 40km to reach my next stopping point Ernakulam. It was for the first time that I got into this stretch in my Bull. Soon I had to look at my speedo and slow down a bit, because I was thumping at more than 100Ks effortlessly.

Even though it was a four lane stretch, there were lots of cross over junction where people usually cross. Frankly speaking I had a difficult time in keeping my Bull at a speed less than 90Ks in such a beautiful stretch.

Windshield Fitted @ Ernakulam

After about 4hr ride in total I reached my uncle's place in Ernakulam, where I had another task in hand. I had purchased a windshield for my macho through a friend of mine, at Ekm.

Since I reached Ernakulam before noon, and as afresh as I started, I thought that I'll fit the windshield from the dealer in Ernakulam itself. I contacted the dealer, and took my Bull there. A small confusion on the location of the dealer made me ride almost 50km through the Ernakulam city, amidst the scorching heat and the tightly packed traffic of Ernakulam. I almost travelled for 2hrs under that heat. But still I don't know why, I was enjoying that ride also.

The dealer had told me that it will take only about 1hr to fit the windshield. I reached the service station only at 1pm. But a problem with incomplete accessories in the windshield packet had ensured that I had to stay there for 3 hours. I had lunch while the windshield was being fitted into my macho. The delay caused at the service station made me even think of postponing my journey to Idukki to next day, because I was not very much familiar with the route to Idukki.

But by 4pm my macho was ready with the new windshield. The windshield actually added to the cruiser looks of the macho.I started my ride back to my uncle's place. During my ride, I could notice that more eyes are falling on my macho. Soon I understood that windshield had added another dimension to it. The macho had enough of chrome to be in the centre of attraction. But the windshield seemed to have made it a real head turner.

Day 1 - Ernakulam to Idukki

By the time I reached my uncle's place I had decided to carry on with my journey, a 100km drive, most of which will be through the hilly areas. I had a cup of tea from my uncle's den and then started off immediately to my destination for the day. Against my expectation, the route from Moovatupuzha to Thodupuzha was simply awesome. Believe me, it was a road through a hilly area, but the width of the road combined with its finish was making me drive at about 90 km/hr even in the biggest of curves.

Before I fitted the windshield on my Bull I had a series of discussions during which some guys had told about the drag factor caused by a windshield. Drag was there or not, one thing which I found out during that drive was that the effortless ease. With which I can drive at higher speeds had increased because of the fact that high pressure air was not blowing on my body due to which I could not judge my speed. To be frank, I was little concerned on, whether the drag will cause problems due to the windshield. After riding for half an hour in that stretch, all those fears were laid to rest and I was cruising along.

At some places I could even see people pointing my Bull asking others to look at it, when I was speeding through. Within 30mins or so I reached Thodupuzha, from there I saw an arrow board pointing direction to Munnar. Two months back I was in Munnar in my car. I bookmarked that direction for my next ride and headed the road to Kulamavu. Slowly and steadily I had started climbing uphill and I could feel a marked change in the temperature. Time was only 5.30 when I had started to climb the real Ghat roads. One of the sign boards made me aware that I had only 30kms to cover with 11 hairpin curves. Even though I had started at 4.30pm, I was way ahead of my planned time from Ernakulam to Kulamavu, thanks to the superb roads plus the raw-power of my Bull. Soon I slowed down so as to enjoy the beautiful place. The climate factor was really making the place look much more beautiful.

Even though I was tired by the drive in the ernakulam city in that heat, once I reached this stretch of road, all my tiredness went away and I was feeling fresh again. Soon I began feeling the silence of forest. All the Bulletteers who have gone for solo drives to such lonely but beautiful places will really know what it feels to be with the Bull and Bulletteer alone with the nature. By 6.30pm I was at my destination.

My friends welcomed me, and we had a terrific night out there. The chillness of the place had made my body forget stiffness, if any due to the long ride. I had travelled a good 400km on the day. Before going to sleep, I went near my Bull who took me till here. My macho was standing there shining as ever, with his head held high and I felt as if he's smiling at me. Have I gone mad?.

Day 2 - Kulamavu Dam visit

Next day, I made a visit to the beautiful Kulamavu dam.

Kulamavu Dam

It is so serene and beautiful, the color of water, the vastness of water, the silence , the stillness of water, the cool climate everything made me sit on the banks of river for about 1 hr doing nothing but just watching the nature with the Bull on my side. It was terrific. That place was really worth a visit. The beauty of this place again delayed my travel plans back. 



Day 2: Return ride - Idukki - Ernakulam

I could start back to Ernakulam only at 12 pm. I was descending as slowly as could so that I could be in that area for as long as possible. Soon I could feel the heat which indicated that I have completed my downward journey and was approaching Thodupuzha

For the second day running I was riding, during the time which was not the best of condition to ride. Riding with all your riding gears on at a temperature of about 40C will really take its toll on anyone. By the time I reached Moovattupuzha, I had to stop for lunch. Soon I reached my uncle's den again, where I took a quick nap for 30mins or so.

Day 2: Ernakulam - Trivandrum

My uncle told that he'll join my ride back to Trivandrum. Due to his commitments there he could start of only at 6pm. We were soon in the 4 lane stretch.

This time I have a small story to tell for all those who have a racing in mind. I do believe that racing is not advised especially on roads, because then your aim will be different and your road sense will go hay ware. When, I was speeding through the 4 lane road, a guy on a pulsar 180 vized past me. I had this one doubt in my mind, whether the Bull has got more power in it than the pulsars. I began revving up just to see whether I could at least reach near him. Well the weight on my Bull was more than on the pulsar. My Bull was carrying a load of well over 150kgs of which I contributed almost 85ks.Soon I found out that I could catch up with him. I decided not to overtake him just to avoid a racing scene. Somehow he sensed that I am following and he began to increase his speed. By this time we were travelling well over 100k/hr. I decided to test the limits of my Bull. Revved up further and to my surprise the macho was showing his character. The Bull was pulling me further faster and soon I realized that I could not go behind the pulsar. I vized past him and soon I was so far ahead that the pulsar disappeared from my rear view mirror. Soon I slowed down because the four lanes were ending and darkness started to pour in. I stopped for a tea break and start all over again.

Even though racing was not good, I just could not stop testing my Bull against the pulsar. I vowed myself that I would not race again in this journey, because I was not here to race but to enjoy my ride. All this time my uncle who was sitting behind never uttered a word. During the break, I asked whether I am over speeding, to which he replied that he was enjoying the ride. After the break, I travelled at much less speed enjoying the night ride.

By about 9.30pm we reached my house, where my wife and son were eagerly waiting for me to arrive. Parked my Bull, had a good shower, good dinner, one more check at the Bull to see whether everything was ok and then off to sleep dreaming about the beautiful Idukki and my ride. My first real-ride on my Bull a total of 750km. Felt a sense of satisfaction & of course wanting for more

Nearby beautiful locations


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