Everything that has a beginning has an end. I’m sitting here, thinking about where I was in the last 4 days of my life. I had been touring to distant places on a bike, an event that has always been in my dreams. I did things that I generally thought only crazy guys do. Where did I get all the guts from? I don’t know.
We didn’t get much sleep as we had planned. The previous day, I was caught up with some official work and I met Allen a fews hours from the planned time. The mega dinner only kept things worse with respect to the trip. I can’t refrain from mentioning it was one of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. Allen woke me up at half past three in the morning. We were in no mood for a bath. Getting ready as quick as we could, we started packing things in 2 bags. I have to mention the saddlebag I’d borrowed from Kiran, without which most of the things we carried would’ve stayed home. It was such a blessing for us.
At about 4.30, we were slowly rolling on the streets of Chennai. It took us about half an hour to reach the highway. Allen is not the kind of guy who likes to rip early in the morning. Neither is he the guy who would ever rip. He was pretty comfortable at low speeds and I was starring at the speedo with irritation. I prefer something to change every moment and riding at very low speeds makes me feel static thus making me lousy. I hate to do this as I start riding subconsciously which isn’t the safest way to ride on the highway. Though we were at lower speeds, I was seeing ‘change’. The sun was breaking in. Darkness was slowly vanishing giving me lesser reasons to complain about the slower speed.
I managed to ride with him as long as I could and the moment I felt I wasn’t riding with full concentration, I would speed. We didn’t spend too much time for photos since the highway has been traveled enough in the recent past. However we stopped occasionally for the engine to relax itself. Somewhere before Krishnagiri, I was feeling hungry. We’d started the trip with an empty stomach. So we found a good spot for some tea. Finishing the relaxed tea, we cleaned the visors off the insects that had committed suicide and headed for our next stop, Krishnagiri.
My brother owns a fuel pump there, that I normally prefer as you can’t trust every other pump on the highway. Due to unavailability of regular petrol, I tanked up with the octane version. Allen still preferred the regular content and topped up at the next pump. Soon after the top up, we were heading towards Bangalore where we planned to have breakfast. But somehow, Allen was riding very slow. Slower than his normal speed. Something was wrong. I saw him shoulder to the side in my rear view mirror. He came up and said the bike wasn’t responding. The power generation was very low. We doubted the fuel and stopped at a following pump. We requested them for a quality check in the fuel that was in the bike. It took them about 20 minutes after which they said the density was fine. We were clueless. We’re not the guys who know the complete science behind the object in motion. Thinking we could fix this in Bangalore, we started riding again. To our surprise, the bike was just fine. It was due to the engine overheating and all that it required was a break. The Royal Enfield people had told Allen about it earlier, but we were so excited that we kept riding on and on.
We were a little before Bangalore during mid day and I’ve heard of a bye pass that leads to Mysore avoiding the heavy traffic inside the city. We inquired about it, but people were not very specific about the route. Nobody told us the exact information, but just asked us to head in a certain direction and then ask. As we rode, we climbed on a bridge that exposed us to a scenic six lane highway, with almost zero traffic. I could see Allen riding with a smile inside his helmet. So was I. The roads were terrific, but not for long. All of a sudden, it ended abruptly with just trees in front of us. Nothing but just trees. We saw 2 cars taking a U-turn, and heading into a very small muddy area beside the highway. Clueless, Allen asked them. We understood that since the highway was under construction, it has been competed in parts. And between the place where one part ends and the other part starts, you have to off road on muddy uneven areas with no tyre marks to follow. Once you are in a nowhere land, you have to wait and watch for vehicles approaching from some corner. Understanding there is a strong possibility it would be the right path, we kept following such corners. The actual incomplete highway was pretty cool showing us some of the best highways we’ve ever seen so far. We finally made it to the road that has a decent amount of traffic and leads to Mysore. The whole thing gobbled up an hour of ours.
On our way to M
ysore, there were so many townships where we had to wait and watch for people crossing the roads. I was somewhere in front though, letting Allen ride at his own pace. We made sure we regrouped every fifty kays. In the last fifty, we were not sure about the route. We were doubtful if there was a bye pass to Mysore. So we rode together as we spotted a Dhaba on the right. I gave him an “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” look. We stopped by to ask if they had food since it was close to evening. They did.
The Dhaba was quite shady under trees and had small huts perfect for couple. Yeah, we sat outside. The food was pretty normal and we wrapped the session pretty quick. On the bikes, we were, again. We had to go inside the city of Mysore to actually take the road to Gundulpet. The road was nice and the countryside feel was getting better by the minute. We were seeing more green things than brick things. Not quite sure about the availability of pumps, we topped up again. We made sure it would do good for the whole of next day. The ride to Gundulpet was less than a couple of hours and the evening time was making it much interesting.
Then came the interesting signboard… “Welcome to Town Municipal Council, Gundulpet.” We clicked a picture and moved on in search of a good place to stay. There was a small resort like area that had lodging facilities as well as a restaurant. The place looked quite secure for the bikes. We picked up a standard room and rested for the day.