Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Part 4 - A Humane Gesture (Rider Mania 2009)

What happened to the threesome?

We were thinking in the lines of going back to see what had happened when we saw Anil approaching us. He had a story to share.
Some 1 km behind where we were standing now, they saw an accident. One local guy in a TVS 50 moped was travelling ahead of Doc, when a dog jumped in front of the moped. The moped guy lost his balance and fell towards his left side. Unfortunately his head hit on the ground and he started bleeding immediately.
Seeing this Doc, Anil and Bala stopped their rides. Doc went near the injured person and the doctor in him came out in no time. Quickly he took out his first aid Kit from his travel kit. He soon was into the thick of things cleaning up the wound, applying medicine, bandaging the wound, giving an injection. Meanwhile some one called a local hospital and requested for an ambulance.

Doctor was trying to keep everything normal and the injured person was lucky to have such a helping hand nearby as a result of which atleast he could get immediate medical attention. The ambulance came. The person was taken in to the ambulance and our good pal - Doc decided to accompany him to the hospital.

What a nice gesture !!!

A help given to a person whom he had met for the first time in his life.
A help given to a person in need.
He put to use whatever he has learnt and in line with the oath taken by him.

What if all doctors around us were like this?

So now Bala was waiting at the spot and Anil has joined us to update this information. Now crankie and myself went to the accident spot, to take back Doc's bull which was kept there. When we reached there the people who had gathered there, all of whom were villagers were treating us with respect, a respect which was given due to the act of kindness shown by doc. Crankie rode Doc's bull and we all returned to the place where other were waiting.

Anil proceeded to the hospital to get back Doc from hospital. We decided to wait until Doc returned from the hospital. Meanwhile we found time to take some snaps apart from our routine bull discussions.

Our steeds parked by the road side

That road on the background takes you to coimbatore city

The near straight stretch of the bypass can be seen at the back

I found some similarities between these two high risers

Crankie, Raghu and myself sharing a lighter moment

Akhi's ride, those rubbers is adding to the macho look.

Soon Anil and Doc were back. We were eager to know about the status of the accident victim. Now Doc has another story to share. The hospital where he took the person to, did not have any doctor available in casuality. So he himself took over and suggested to the nurses on duty there, the medicines to be given. But the sad part is that they did not oblige and the excuse they gave was that unless the doctor in charge of the hospital prescribes, they won't be able to give the medicines. Partly they are right since, if our pal Doc make some mistake the hospital's name will be affected, but on the other hand they were playing with the life of a person in need of urgent medical care. Soon Doc left the scene as he was of no utility there.

What an unlucky end to what happened till now. We don't know the fate of that person. As per our Doc he was in a very critical condition as he vomitted two times when he was in the ambulance and his chances of survival were the least. Also the hospital people seems to be more concerned of the fact that they would not get paid if they treat this poor villager. Business is business, they will look for money even when the person is fighting for life.

Anyway we all got a lesson or two from the acts of our pal, and more importantly the importance of wearing a helmet. The person was completely ok, except his injury of head.

Now it was time for us to proceed further. Soon we could hear the sound of thump ringing our ears and the black tarmac was swiftly going backwards under our feet.
Continued in Part 5- Coimbatore - Ooty climb & RiderMania Day 1

Topic index
Part 1 - The onward journey
Part 2 - Day 1 Continued: Thrissur - Palghat ride
Part 3- Palghat - Coimbatore : Day 2
Part 4- A Humane Gesture
Part 5- Coimbatore - Ooty climb & RiderMania Entry: Day 2
Part 6 - Events @ Rider Mania Day 3
Part 7- Return Ride: Day 4

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Part 3 - Palghat - Coimbatore (Day 2)

(To read Part 1 Click here or to read Part 2 Click here)
All of us were up by about 5.30 am. Getting ready was real quick with the enthusiasm of the mega event, serving as a catalyst.

We are ready and fitted our riding gears.
Aren't we happy and excited

Settled our bills with the metropolitan club and off we go to the parking lot, our minds already doing the twisties at Ooty.

Did a quick inspection of our bulls, a must before a long journey.

and we are ready

Got into our bulls, kicked it to life and it was time for one more photo session. (photo courtesy: Akhi)
Time was already 6.15 and it was time to start. Off we goooo.....

By 6.30 we decided to have a cup of morning tea, this time to cool off our already high level of adrenalin in anticipation of the impending ride and the meet.
Parked our bulls by the road side.

And its tea time

Time for some photos too as we might not be stopping too much during our rides for photo shoots.
Crankie wants some memories of this trip

Rider pals,

from left, Bala, Subu, Doc, Anil, Raghu and Akhi

After a 15minutes break we were all into our bulls, and are ready to thump to Ooty.

After a kilometer or so we were joined by a brother gang in a Thunderbird Twinspark who were also heading to Rider Mania.

The roads were pretty well maintianed and traffic was less too, resulting in our speedos pointing to the direction of our velocity vector.

We reached Valayar checkpost, where the long queue of vehicles to cross the border is a regular sight, thanks to the effectiveness of the staff manning the check post, who takes a lifelong to clear the papers. Since we were on two wheels, managed to find space between the heavy traffic to proceed ahead.

Crankie and myself were riding ahead, followed by Akhi, Raghu, Twinspark, Anil, Doc and Bala. After some spirited riding through the empty bypass roads of Comby, Crankie and myself lost sight of others from our rear view mirror. Hence decided to stop for others to join.

Soon Raghu joined

followed by Akhi

the twinspark also joined us.

We waited for Anil, Doc and Bala. But even after 15 minutes they did not join. Are we smelling some trouble here.

To be continued in Part 4 - A humane gesture

Topic index
Part 1 - The onward journey
Part 2 - Day 1 Continued: Thrissur - Palghat ride
Part 3- Palghat - Coimbatore : Day 2
Part 4- A Humane Gesture
Part 5- Coimbatore - Ooty climb & RiderMania Entry: Day 2
Part 6 - Events @ Rider Mania Day 3
Part 7- Return Ride: Day 4

Monday, August 24, 2009

Part 2 - Day 1 continued.. Thrissur - Palghat

We were still pondering on what happened to the other group.

Finally got in touch with Crankie, he was nearing Mannuthy, and from him we came to know that Akhi is stranded on the road, Anil was with him. Crankie lost them due to traffic and was way ahead of them when he contacted them. Soon he also reached Mannuthy.
Crankie, Doc and Bala at Mannuthy
We got in touch with Anil. They were trying all their tricks up in their sleeve to bring the bull back to life. Nothing was working up. In between it comes to life, but after some time it will huff and puff and then engine will shut off. Meanwhile we were in search of a workshop and found one in the Mannuthy - Thrissur route. Directed Anil and Akhi to reach that spot.

We decided to have coffee at Indian Coffee House. By about 7.00pm they managed to reach Mannuthy and they proceeded to the workshop. Raghu and Sankar also decided to go to the workshop. Bala, Doc and myself decided to proceed to Palghat where our stay was arranged. One of Bala's friends had arranged the accommodation and we could not make him wait till late in the night.

So there started the next leg of the journey, again it was in two groups. The traffic in this route was really horrible with the narrow highway stretch making it difficult even for the two wheelers to overtake those huge container lorries.

By 8.30 we reached Vadakkancherry. We decided to have a short tea break. Meanwhile we got info from the other group that the problem was solved, and the reason was a faulty fuel stainer. In reserve mode fuel was coming, but in main mode fuel was not coming. A simple thing, but made life uneasy for us.

Relieved on getting this info we proceeded to the Metropolitan club, Palghat. Being on the side of NH 47, it was not difficult to find this place. Our host of the day was waiting for us and he turned out to be a very good company for us that night.

We ordered some food and went into a relaxed mood.
Doc with our host in jovial mood
But mood swing was on the cards when we got a call from the other group that, they have reached Vadakkancherry, but Raghu has gone back to Mannuthy, because he forgot his camera at Indian coffee house. Anil and Akhi were wating there for Raghu to return, while Crankie is proceeding to Palghat.
Within next half hour came the next message that Raghu got his camera back and they all will join us within next 1 hour. Another sigh of relief.

Soon crankie joined and we had fun.

Ordered dinner and waited for the others to join. Soon Raghu, Anil and Akhi joined and we were all soon discussing the happenings of the day starting from the morning ride.

That is the club house where we stayed. Anil and Raghu marching in.
It seemed to be a long long day and we had to face the routine troubles of a long journey. But group riding teaches us the worth of having a good team, rider pals are there at our help and we all got a good lesson of being part of a team, helping each other and making all of us reach the destination.

We thanked our host who was with us till late in the night, we enjoyed his good company and he made us feel at home and the arrangements were exemplary too.

It was nearing 12.30 when we all retired to bed after setting our alarm to 5.00am and our start was planned at 5:30 am, all of us quite excited about RM 2009 which is just hours ahead.

Continued in Part 3 - Day 2: Palghat - Coimbatore

Topic index
Part 1 - The onward journey
Part 2 - Day 1 Continued: Thrissur - Palghat ride
Part 3- Palghat - Coimbatore : Day 2
Part 4- A Humane Gesture
Part 5- Coimbatore - Ooty climb & RiderMania Entry: Day 2
Part 6 - Events @ Rider Mania Day 3
Part 7- Return Ride: Day 4

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rider Mania 2009 - Part 1 - The Onward Journey

Do we ride to earn for a living?
Do we ride to reach some place urgently?
Do we ride because we don't have any other mode of transport to rely upon?
Do we ride to show of our riding skills?
Do we ride to show of our gleaming and modded riding machines?

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO...........

Whatever questions you ask the answer is NO.

They why do we ride?

To find an answer is difficult. What will it be like, if more than 500 such people who don't know why they ride, and who have nothing in common (color, caste creed, qualification, job) except their passion for the riding on the legendary royal enfield, joins together.


Rider mania, the annual get together of hard core riders of the legendary BULLS was being called for and we the riders of Silver Bullets Kerala Chapter promptly responded, coz it sure provides a quench to ride thirsty minds and this time it was happening in a destination which is reachable in a one day ride.

The planning began much early, the mail group of silver bulleetters was flooded with ride plans, preparations etc which itself served as a good appetizer for the ensuing ride to Ooty.

After all the bookings, cancellations, deliberations, plans 7 riders turned for the D Day.
Bala, Raghu, Anil, Doc, Crankie, Akhi and Myself. Anil will be joining us only from Ernakulam.

Only sore point being our Moderator with his Ironbull could not join since he was recovering from an accident.

The upward route plan was
Day 1 - Trivandrum - Quilon - Allappuzha - Ernakulam - Thrissur - Palghat.
Day 2 - Coimbatore, mettupalayam Ooty
Day 3 - Spend at Ooty
Day 4 - Ride back via, Gudalloor, Nilambur, Pattambi, Vadakkanchery, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Quilon and Trivandrum

Everything set and at sharp 5.30 all the 6 riders were at Pongummood junction which was the slated start up point.

Off we go with all our headlights turned on and the sound of a group of thumps in harmony must have ensured an early morning wake up for those poor souls dwelling by the side of NH 47.

By 6:30, we reached Neendakara Bridge just after Kollam.

First stop, the riding jackets reflecting the camera flash, just like the way they reflect from the headlights of the oncoming traffic.

After 10 minutes we started again, but I felt like I was not able to control my bull. It was swaying towards side, I stopped to check my back tyre. Phew, it has gone flat.

Now in a group ride flat tyre means, time for another regroup and a mini meet until the issue is resolved. Raghu and Crankie went in search for a tyre repair guy and luckily they got hold of one in the next junction, meanwhile Bala, Akhi and myself waited there. Soon the tyre wallah arrived and normalcy was restored. It was a very good crack and he had to patch with another rubber inside.

After a good round of discussions about travelling, especially about Bala's long lonely stints in his life which he describes so excitingly and could generate keen interest in the listeners, we were off by about 8 am, a good one hour lost because of the tyre episode.

It was already time for breakfast and we found that we will not be able to reach Alappuzha for having breakfast, so decided to stop at Motel Aaram, Kayamkulam, The lead signalled for a stop and all the riders duly obliged except Doc, who made missing regroup points a habit of sorts.

Our steeds resting after a the short journey so far and eager to do more..

All people in the hotel were quite amused at the sight of some guys in there riding attires, coming inside in bulls which is loaded with heavy luggage, a sight which is not so common in this side of the country and at times it seemed as if they were suspecting us to be some goons. We were enjoying their admiring glances along with a little bit annoyance coz our every move were being watched upon. Meanwhile Doc contacted and we suggested him to take breakfast from the place where he has now reached, which was a good 20 kms away from where we were.

After a relatively long breakfast we started at 9.45. Doc joined us from Harippad and from there on we were on a song, the lead and tail had switched on the lights, the lead to alert the oncoming traffic and the tail for us to identify him from other vehicles through our rear view mirror. All the riders were riding in such a way that the lead ensures that the tail is always visible in his rear view mirror, and the tail ensures that no other rider in between gets behind him.

Soon the NH 47 Four lane road arrived and being a working day and the morning rush subsided means we could get a fairly traffic free one way stretch and the twistters kept under our right hand suddenly seemed to be reaching its limits more frequently and at times some the guys went ahead of the lead to quench their rip thirstiness, after which they will slow down to retain their positions.

By about 11:45, we reached the Aroor junction from where the Ernakulam bypass starts. Decided to have an extended break here as Anil could join us only by 1.30 pm or so. Found out a nice space on the left side of the road, Parked our bulls and got out of our Riding gear, enjoyed another session of discussions and slowly all the riders were getting mixed more and more eventhough they are not coworkers or had been friends earlier, which happens only due to the common passion for riding.

After a 1hr break, we started off to Ernakulam. Did a small bit of shopping (everything for riding), Akhi left to collect his cramster luggage carriers, bala got his battery checked. We got into a hotel after Edappally at 2pm, where Anil was waiting for us. We had lunch from this hotel, and it was time to leave for another round of thumping. But Akhi did not join us in time. After waiting for 30 minutes we decided to split the group, the first group will start riding, the second group will ride with Akhi and will join us in the next regroup point which is Mannuthi.

Bala, Raghu, Doc and Myself started our journey at 3:00pm and by the time we were approaching Angamaly we got a message that Anil and crankie has started along with Akhi. It was a sort of very busy traffic in the stretch between Angamaly and thrissur, which resulted in us not able to keep track of each other. After a sort of solo rides, we reached Mannuthy at 4:30pm, the place where we have to take right towards Palaghat.

Parked our bulls near a nursery and had a cup of refreshing tea, after a really tiring leg of journey from Ernakulam to this point.

We were expecting the second group to join us within 30 minutes. But even after waiting for 45 minutes they did not turn up. We called them up and they were not picking up their phone. We smelt something fishy here.

Topic index
Part 1 - The onward journey
Part 2 - Day 1 Continued: Thrissur - Palghat ride
Part 3- Palghat - Coimbatore : Day 2
Part 4- A Humane Gesture
Part 5- Coimbatore - Ooty climb & RiderMania Entry: Day 2
Part 6 - Events @ Rider Mania Day 3
Part 7- Return Ride: Day 4

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kannur 0% Hype 100% real - Part 2

Part 2 (click here to view part 1)

It was almost noon and the sun was at its scorching best. The vehicle this time stopped near a big fort. It was the tipus fort.
The construction still retains its originality. Never has any one of us heard about this, hence stepped in with enthusiasm.
Climbed up the steps and I should say that it is a sprawling campus of engineering marvel. The bricks are the ones which we see in houses in northern part of Kerala. They are cut out from big hills in which the soil are heavily bonded. In local slang it is called "Vettu Kallu", meaning cut out stones.

The tall walls of fort had strategically located weapon system.

Examiners of weapons

The view from this point good
These are the remains of the toilet. One among us wanted to strike a pose here.
On one side there is sea. Huge rocks are present in this area. The wind at this region made us forget about the sun's heat.

Enjoying the sea from top of fort
Had a quick nap under the trees here

The ice cream wallah was of high demand here.

After refreshing ourselves got into the act of placing ourselves at strategic locations for a photo shoot.

But one among us had another plans. Kindly don't misunderstand this guy, hez completely normal except that he chose this place to sit.

Now its time to visit the inside of the palace.
Another foto shoot with the guys in front of the doors of those royal rooms.

This location is famous with the filmi world, many a songs has been picturized here.

The steps here are a beauty to watch. They are the originals created along with this fort.

More of the beach view from top of the palace.

There was flag post here

After a visual inspection of the entire fort, got out. Found out that this guy was complete lost in the telecom domain.

We decided to answer the call of our stomachs.
Lunch was arranged at the Kannur guest house.
Had a stupendous lunch and to our surprise there was another beach near where we dined.

This is definitely a land of beaches. Already 3 covered by noon. And all of them quite attractive too.

The arrangements were so fine that we never faced any delay in anything and we were already having one of the best tours in life, kudos to our colleague who made all the arrangements in a typical kannurish warm heartedness.

Time to take some rest. Next destination was a park. As soon as we got into the park near Payyambalam beach, people were seen lying flat in the ground
A quick nap, energized ourselves and strolled around the park.
As we marched ahead the park gave way for payyambalam beach. These are the monuments in memory of some of Kerala's "real" political heroes.

Saluting the erstwhile leaders.

The payyambalam beach was in sight and this time we couldn't resist the temptation of taking a bath. Off goes our dress and all of us were quickly enjoying the rush of the cool tide giving us the softest massage possible.

The water musketeers.

The dip in these tides after the long sight seeing journey under the sun really made us forget all the fatigue and we laid there for a good 1 hour or so.

The thought of visiting our friend on the last day of bachelorhood made us all jump out of water. Quickly we went back to our hotel, dressed up and went straight to the bridegroom's house.

The house was decorated and we could see happy faces all around

We had the yummy yummy Kannur biriyani. The whole day work out and the tasty food ensured that we all ate much beyond our capacity.

Soon we retired to our nest after bidding good bye and wishing all the best for one more night's sleep as a bachelor.

DAY 2 - Marriage and a small outing (again to the same beach)

Next day we were all at the marriage hall well before time. The neatly decorated manadapom was a treat to watch

Soon the ceremony began.

The traditional music sounded. The bridegroom arrived, the bride arrived, got blessings from parents, tied the thali at the auspicious moment, garlands exchanged, all the events are here.

After a traditional sadya, we all bid goodbye. I had some other plans. The beaches which we visited yesterday was still lingering in my mind. Decided to go there once again.

Suggested the idea to 3 of my ex-colleagues who are now donning the flying colours of some of the leadings MNC's and they all readily agreed. Within no time I was driving my car through the Muzhuppilangad drive in beach.

We are here

My kid and wife too enjoyed the vast beach

Got a coconut shell and this time my kid was seen throwing it to sea

There was simply no crowd and we were the only souls moving around. To add to the fun we started our activities here
We ran around

One of us started dancing to the tune of the tides and the wind

Synchronized jumping was tried out

My kid seems to enjoy the old folks jumping up in air..

After some 2 or 3 out of sync jumps, these folks managed to do a sync jump.

The dive session started. The snaps gives a feeling that these are some kind of new creatures around.

The first dive

The second dive.

This dive resulted in a crash landing

But who cares for crashes, coming out of a crash smiling is the best way to enjoy the crash..

And here comes the most awkward jump of the day.

The vastness of the shore is on display here.

After a good 3 hours of pure fun at one of the most beautiful beaches with absolutely zero crowd we returned.

This trip made us understand Kannur. I wonder why such a beautiful place never gets a mention in the tourist map. This place is much much more beautiful than many of the promoted tourist destination.

The expectations were very less when we ventured out for this trip. The only aim was to attend out friends marriage, but it turned out to be an exciting trip with the landscape adding a new dimension to the whole experience.


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