Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yelagiri Ride - Christmas Day 2008


on the NH46, between Vellore and Ambur.

#3(i think) of the 14 hairpin bends


on the way back, on the NH46

self timed shot, had to run across the to get into the pic.

Started from my place at 5.30am, we were out of the city and on the NH4 before 6am, next stop was at Vellore with very few butt breaks inbetween. We held a steady 70 kmph through this stretch of our ride and i started listening to music on my iPod. Highway + Unicorn + relaxed speed + cool climate + AR Music = Bliss. Reached our (now) usual hotel, Hotel Vasantha bhavan near the Vellore bus stand at 8.15 am. Gorged on idlis and dosais, the food is good and cheap here.

Started towards Yelagiri, the route we were to take was, Vellore - Ambur - Vaniyambadi - Ponneri - Yelagiri. The 4-laned NH46 till after Vaniyambadi and the twisty 2-lane state highway towards Ponneri and took the detour towards the hills just after ponneri. The 15Km road up till Yelagiri from here is a treat for bikers with 14 hairpin bends and awesome roads, hard sporty riding is possible, however we did none of that. We were enjoying the view and started riding up at a sedate pace, stopped to take pics along the way and i tried shooting some one-handed videos too. Got to the top just before 11am.

Stopped by to check out the 'lake', the only place of interest in Yelagiri. The travel sites called it a 'tiny man-made lake', so i expected a small pond-like lake but it was way bigger than i expected it to be. Convinced Venki to try boating and we took a two seater pedal boat. After we got on we realized that the pedals were useless and the boat was very slow even when we pedalled real hard, the rudder did not seem to work either(the boat started changing direction even when the rudder was held straight). We let the boat drift on its own after a while and started discussing plans to ride back, eat etc. Hung around in the park overlooking the lake for some more time after the boat ride and then started riding back at 2.30pm (ithink).

The ride downhill was done with our engines turned off and we just rolled down with the help of gravity, but midway I decided to start the bike and try a little bit of hard riding, this went on till i had a close call with a truck on one of the hairpins, i was running a wide line expecting to pass the truck on the outside comfortably, but midway through the hairpin realized the truck was right in front of me on my lane. Somehow managed to avoid crashing into the truck, after the usual exchange of expletives i decided to pull over and wait for Venki to catch up.

Started riding sensibly after that, we made a stop at Ambur on my insistence, for i wanted to try the 'Ambur' biriyani. Vellore was 50 kms away and Venki had to wait till we got there for veggie food. We did pretty good speeds after that to reach Vellore in very quick time, made a stop at the same hotel that we ate in that morning.

Started riding back at 5pm, we were a little delayed and it was beginning to get dark. I find night riding very difficult, so we decided to cover as much distance before the sun went down completely. I began listening to music on my Pod again and we set a steady pace of 85-90 kmph with no breaks till the light went off. Took a long break after that, we were still 50 kms from Chennai and it was going to be night riding all the way back. We dropped to very low speeds of 50-60 kmph till we reached city limits. Got back home at 7.30pm

End of the day i had done 445 kms in all, all of it on my Unicorn ( we never exchanged bikes) and this was the most number of kilometers in a day for me. (I've once travelled 525 kms in a day during my Ooty ride, but most of that was as a pillion).

Got my bike back from the first service today and plans for the next ride have begun already. Hoping to squeeze in a ride to tirupathi before my college reopens next month.

That is all...

Thanks for reading.!


Yayathy said...

How can you ride that long. Wont you people get tired? When you both have such good understanding, you could do anything.

Krishna Prasad said...

Dog....You never gave me a call...

Guru said...

@Yayathy: People do Iron butt, SaddleSore attempts in India on Indian bikes, ie. 1000 miles on a motorcycle in under 24 hours, and 445 kms is a piece of cake actually when you ride on 4-laned highways and in such superb weather like we did.

@Kicha: Very sorry macha. Plans were made just the previous day, also we decided we needed to ride solo this time. Thats woy .. Anyways next month we can go again with the whole group, what say ?

Rayees Ahamed said...

Hi guru, I came to your blog through rahman´s RSS. cool dude, 70 kmph is usually the optimum comfortable drive, especially for long journeys. When i used to go to vellore, NH4 was ideal place to hit the max engine rpm. still, 450 km is too much Man.. enaku, athukke pazhuthu pochi ..

Guru said...

@Rayees: Yep, 70 kmph feels great on our highways, speeds any lower will make the ride seem like a crawl( on the 4-laned roads at least) and speeds any higher requires us to concentrate hard, will not let us relax, and will also bust the mileage/L, which is very important for us cos' we ride on a very strict budget.

and the NH4 is awesome. ya.. but not so much fun. wide straight roads are boring, the best roads on this ride according to me was the state highway off the NH towards Yelagiri( SH18 ithink), narrow 2-laned village roads with lots of turns and paddy fields on both sides. now that is AWESOME.

thanks for coming by here

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