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 WILL HAPPEN..
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.
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