"If you don't understand what it means to ride a Royal Enfield Bullet, then whatever written here may be felt as insane ramblings."
The effects of not following ones passion is something which makes life very boring. A long lull in group riding is something which no riding enthusiast can sustain. Ever since the cracker of a ride to the Ooty for the Rider Mania almost 1 year back, nothing was happening in the riding department. The group - Silver Bullets was showing its presence only through the occassional mails. Our group moderator's shift of his work location and an unfortunate accident to one of the most active member only prolonged the lull.
But we know something is gonna come up, but everytime something was planned, due to one reason or another everything got shifted. But against the run of events we found out a reason to ride, we wanna take some snaps of Raghu's bullet which had gone through a complete make over and we wanted to have a breakfast far away from our dwelling place, so a ride idea was born, "THE BREAKFAST RIDE"
The planning happened on one evening and next day as early as 5.00 pm Raghu and myself were thumping hard through the Thiruvananthapuram town with the meaty thumps being audible atleast a kilometer away, thanks to the city which was yet to wake up dressed up with all the bare essentials for a safe riding.
It is very hard to shoot pics during a ride, coz I get too much absorbed in the ride that I hate to stop. My camera started the days action when Raghu stopped for a petrol gulp.
We reached our designated start up point - Vellayamabalam for Anil and Sankar to join. Since Anil's bullet was not with him, he decided to join us along with Sankar, just to get a feel of the ride. It is painful for a hardcore rider to watch others ride, but something is better than nothing.
The bulls parked underneath the bright yellow coloured neon street lamps was a sight to watch.
Raghu's bull was looking really mean and I enjoyed drooling over it, the way each of the newly laid components are put in place, the level of perfection it had, it sure is a masterpiece.
The white A star with those beautiful white lights were soon near us and we were meeting our rider pals Anil and Shankar after a long gap. Exchanging pleasantaries were delayed as we decided to proceed with the ride. The plan was to ride upto Kulathupuzha, a distance of about 60kms, explore Oil Palm India Ltd if possible, have breakfast and then ride back.
The city was still sleeping but our hearts was thumping to the tune of the meaty acoustic effect produced by the bullets enhanced by the free flow exhaust, Goldie. Road development works along the Vellayambalam Peerorkada stretch had ensured that the roads provided ample oppurtunity for the rider to feel like an offroading session. Once we passed Peeroorkada, roads opened up and the small winding roads began. The moment winding roads appear, bullets began to show its character, the rock like stability in taking turns and the confidence inspiring - completely planted on road - feeling makes the rider sway the machine with absolutely effortless ease.
Raghu was leading, and I was enjoying the way his mean machine was presenting itself amidst the beautiful roads alongside the freshness imparted by the real cool morning breeze.
When everything seems so exciting, something happens which overturns expectations. Occassionally I was getting the smell of petrol and initially, thought it as a case of petrol escaping from the full filled tank. But soon I saw Raghu pulling out to a side of the road, his carb was leaking !!!
Within no time Anil swung into action, guided by tech guru Sankar's advice. The carb was opened, and found out that the leak happens when throttle was released after accelarating too much, the petrol inlet was not getting completely closed by the float during the release process, due to which more petrol was getting into the carb eventually coming out of it. The float was taken out, twisted a little, put it back, carb closed and checked for leak, still leak was not completely done away with, but since the nature of leak was understood, Raghu was confident that he could give the throttle in such a way that he can ensure that it does not happen.
After about 30 minutes of this session, we hit the roads again, with Raghu in the lead again, trying to give a continuous throttle rather than open - close method. City roads gave way to beautiful country sides and the effect of thumping through winding roads through rich dense green vegetation in the early mornings is something to be felt rather than explained.
A little after Palode a sign board pointing westward indicated the direction of Oil Palm india limited and the direction of our travel followed suite. The roads were perfect for a ride, narrow village roads, zero traffic, thick forest like ambience
It was a cloudy morning and sun was reluctant to come out and the chillness was still present.
All the while we were moving through the side road of Oil Palm India Ltd. We wanted to have a peek inside the vast property of this corporation which was known to have many beautiful spots. Finally we got to see a small road towards a hill which was just in motorable condition. The bullets were soon put into offroad mode and the fun started. Watch the roads in this place
The lack of roads made the ride more thrilling. Some stretches were good, but all along the scenery was just mind blowing.
The most interesting and exciting part of the ride was happening and we enjoyed every moment of it. Since our friends were waiting down in the main road and since Raghu had to return by 9am we decided to go back after a quick break uphill. Watch Raghu after an exhilarating ride.
Raghu's steed was subjected to a shooting spree, but the dull climate ensured that the output was not upto my expectations. Still got to learn a lot on photographing in such dull light
My pride possession and work horse was also enjoying his day out in these rough roads
Turned back and another good ride through these beautiful hill side continued. At some points the place resembled other famous hill stations like Munnar (click here to view more of Munnar)
God's own country Kerala is really amazing, coz we are just 50 kms away from Trivandrum and the place looks like an exotic hill station. After riding through for som 10 kms more through the side of Oil Palm India Ltd. we decided to turn back and proceed to Kulathupuzha, but since it was already 7.30am we decided to stop at a place before Kulathupuzha, have our breakfast and then do the return ride.
The ride back through the narrow roads towards Palode was equally interesting. The roads were lovely with those beautiful woods around
This place is truely exciting and I have to come back here again for exploring further. We did not get to see any of the oil palms except a few on the road sides.
The ride from palode to Madathara was a quickie with foot peg srapping the ground on every turns. By the time we reached Madathara, Anil's steed was waiting steered by his friend Biju. Soon Anil and Shankar to joined us and it was breakfast time.
The road side hotel at Madathara proved to be more than good, and the taste of the hot puttu & kadala, appom and egg curry surely left a lasting impression on the taste buds. Even the tea served was very tasty that almost all of had atleast 2 cups. The regular Silver Bullet meeting happened at this hotel and discussions ranging from the low end cars to the high end SUVs were being done in full swing.
By the time we came out of the hotel, it was already nearing 9am. The return ride has to be quick and soon we started our journey, through Kadakkal. The ride till MC road at Nilamel was through some tough terrain, but once we got into MC road (Main Central road) the average speeds shot up and a leisurely cruise ensured. The new bypass after Venjarammood towards kazhakoottam has made the travel to Thiruvananthapuram a lot more comfortable as it is easy on traffic. By the time I entered my home, my thirst for rides has been given a boost and such short and sweet rides is going to quench it at least a little.
SMSes were soon sent across to ensure that everyone reached back safely and it was wonderful to see that all who joined were sharing the same feelings. It was a short, it was sweet, it was energizing, it was pulverzing and above all WE GOT TO RIDE & WE THUMPED HARD, REAL HARD.
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