Sunday, January 25, 2009

Choreo Nite @ Saarang '09

warning .. long post. skip to the last part of the post to know what the rant is about and save time.

I was really intent on attending the choreo event, first cos' this was the cheapest ( ticket price wise) pro show at Saarang and ya.. dancing events are fun.. at least good timepass. I was supposed to buy tickets for venki and me. Tickets were on sale at the fruit shop on greams road outlet near my place, but then i kept postponing buying the tickets till they got sold out. screwed it up.

So, instead we rode to Pondicherry that night. :D The ride plans were made in a hour after i randomly suggested we ride to pondy that evening. We started out like we were going to the beach or something. Tanked up and started off towards Tirivanmiyur at 6.30 from near my place.

Left the city at 7.30ish and took the OMR till Kelambakkam and then switched on to the 2-laned ECR. Stopped for dinner at mahabs, we knew the next stretch was the toughest part of the ride cos' for 60-70 kms after mahabs the ECR gets really twisty with a lot of blind curves. Decided to ride at a relaxed 50 kmph, anything more than that became tough for me. Venki is comfortable with night riding with his awesome projector headlamps and all, but for me riding with the puny Unicorn headlight was scary (the high beam has a very stupid throw, like the light is spread all over the place). Upped the pace to 60-70 kmph after a while, cos' we got used to the darkness, the blinding oncoming traffic, the curves etc by then. At one point of time, we were really comfortable with the roads and started riding like it was daytime. Opening the throttle hard on straights, i guess i even went past 100kmph a few times ( i was too scared to look down at the speedo).

Reached the beach at Pondicherry at 11.30pm, parked our bikes and went to check out the beach and had a small snack that we brought along. We had nothing else to do after 15-20 mins, but ride back home. Filled up fuel for 300 bucks each, btw fuel costs 43.3 bucks here ( 49.xx @ Chennai), so we get close to 7 litres instead of the 6 you get at chennai. wow.

Decided to take the NH45 for the ride back, asked around for directions to get to the Tindivanam road. We had no idea about how good/bad the road was, all we knew was that after 40kms or so of riding we would get to the 4-laned NH45 and then riding would become really really easy(?).

So.. what we had was - pitch dark, narrow, dusty, broken roads + extreme chilly weather with light fog( i'm sure the temp must've been very close to 20c) + frequent road diversions with little/no warning ( cos' of the road widening project on this stretch) . I was a little scared by now, we were riding on unknown, unsafe roads at 2 in the morning and somewhere inbetween i lost sight of venki, he was riding way too fast for me and i couldn't keep up with my screwed up head lamps. Decided to slow down and let him go ahead, so now i was riding alone. :( all my night riding fears were back, i started seeing things that weren't there. I would brake hard to avoid non existent dogs etc., slowed down even further and started riding at 40kmph. Caught up with Venki near the end of the road, got onto the NH45.

Remember .. the ride was supposed to get so much better after this with the 4-laned roads, the wide median blocking the light from oncoming traffic etc. but, i still wasn't comfortable. The NH45 has one single kind of traffic, at least at night - Trucks. Slow moving, rear reflector less trucks, so when you try riding at 80 kmph, you sometimes don't spot them till you're really close. This was getting really irritating cos' i had to slow down from 80-40kmph everytime i spotted a truck late, and again i lost sight of venki, with his projector headlamps, he started with his usual 4-lane act ( which is.. riding at a constant good speed with slick lane changes weaving through traffic without a care). Then it became even worse for me, the fog started coming on and off and at some places it got really thick, visibility was less than a few meters and i was really cold throughout, (even with the three layers of clothing i was shivering a little), my fingers became numb and it was like i did not control them anymore.

Found venki waiting at a toll plaza, took a butt break, asked him to slow down and help me through the maze of trucks. It was almost 3.30am and we were still 50 kms from Tambaram, after sometime of following venki around, i got used to the traffic, the roads. Next time when he left me behind (ya, again) i did not have to struggle so hard.

Reached tambaram at 4.15ish, found him at a tea shop, we had a hot tea and started off towards home. Venki was really sleepy by now, so decided to stick to low speeds inside the city even with the well lit, wide roads. We finally got to our place at 5 am. zzzzzz......

Short trip log:

Venki and me, 22-23 Jan 2009, Night Ride, 6pm - 5 am, Chennai - Pondy - Tindivanam - Chennai, 325 km.

I need to make sure i get saarang pro show tickets on time next year, else .. a Bangalore night ride maybe...

btw, got my seventh sem results today(the 25th). sic. aggregate but i managed to get through in all my papers. that is good enough for me..


Venkat said...

You think we'll wait till next Saarang?? I doubt it and lets make an attempt not to go for one. That should be more of an effort than riding [:P]

-=A.R.N.=- said...

Ah, the days when you could go someplace just for the sake of 'going'.

I miss college.

Guru said...

@A.R.R: tell me about it .. :(

i'll get done with college in another 3 months..

Rayees Ahamed said...

man ..

college days r the happiest.. owning a bike at college days is a blessing. despite I studied at IITM, i missed to enjoy saarang in my final year ..

Rayees Ahamed said...

long drive in the night, outside city in the pitch dark background, with blinding oncoming vehicles, in the midnight cold, that even in a two wheeler.. good man :D,

Do the trucks had Danger lights functioning, at least when they apply brake ?..

the pink orchid said...

interesting blog here.. blogrolled you.:)

Guru said...

@Rayees: That was the toughest part, most trucks had no brake lights, no reflectors even. I had to spot trucks off my headlight at 80kmph and ride on. Scary ride.

@TPO: thanks for dropping by...

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