Kolli Hills

Kolli Hills a highly un-commercialized hill station in TamilNadu.
Route: Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Salem – Rasipuram – Kolli Hills

This was destination for Royal Knights MotorCycle Club (RKMC) this month ride. Morning 6:30am on 25th September after briefing from the captain, 32 bikes started and roared through the city out into the highways and villages. As usual there were quite a number of stops enroute.
When riding through villages there was an old man who started communicating with me. We both were riding side by side and he was really happy to see so many bikes thumping down.

At other villages the common questions are always
1. Are you from Army?
2. Why are you riding, any social cause or message?
3. Whats the mileage of vehicle?

70 hair-pin bends to reach to the top which is at about 1300mts above sea level. Nothing to worry its not as steep as Ooty. None of the engines had any issue this time around. With rain clouds also hovering around and sometimes drizzling the possibility of taking snaps reduced. In hills its always nice to breathe the air. And I as always lifted up the visor and reduced the speed.
Many places on the side walls of the roads, they have painted it beautifully. The paintings depicts wildlife, some of the kings who ruled and many more. And you can find this also.

At 70th hair-pin bend we (Shyam, Anand & myself) stopped. There is a small path that goes near this place and inside there is stream of water flowing down.

There was not any amount of water that was to make us give an exclamation of excitement. What worried us was the alcohol bottles around. People never leave any place in its own peace. Just wonder why they react wildly when someone drops few bottles inside their homes.

Nallathambi resort and a 4 per room accommodation was just more than enough to quickly settle down and get ready for lunch and events later. The guys in the resort are very friendly. Infact on request they made even green chilly bajji’s for us.

The party started early in the evening and went on & on & on. Never remember what happens in a party the next day. Next day morning some went to waterfall which is humongous. Heard from them that there are 1200 steps to go down. Marked for next time definitely.

Next day by afternoon we started our ride back to Bangalore not without any issues. One bike had some noise and another bike had some issues with the wheel. Later there were some local people trying to create trouble.

All riders are always supposed to maintain a formation between the Point & Sweep. At wider roads its a two line formation and at smaller roads a single line formation. Its of course difficult to maintain the formation at all times given that there are bullets with varying pick-up speeds. And with so many bikes and sticking to formation when overtaking other vehicles would lead to blocking traffic and pissing off other drivers. But in majority times the formation was maintained throughout the ride and even when returning.

Important lessons:
1. Even with riding formation use own judgment and decisions.
2. If some bike has an issue and stops, try to move to the side as quickly as possible.
3. Whoever is behind when the guy in front has a problem mentioned in (2) do not stop immediately in the middle of the road. In manner of giving company do not take everyone along from this world.
4. Its good to know your machine.
5. Night time post 11:00pm be in a group and ride in a group till the end.

It was a great ride and good fun that we all had. Photos, click here.

Bangalore – Srirangapatnam on Cycle

Kaveri Trail Marathon, few runners from my company SAP were planning to run on september 19th. Three (Amol, MJV, Raghav) first timers in this trail, of which two were running half marathon for first time. All part of our internal community for running and cycling “SAP Roadies”. What was seeded at an random coffee discussion, changed to why not cycle and cheer these runners.

Short postings internally finally we were 8 of us. Venkat took care of logistics, Karthik took care of support vehicle arrangement and my bro (Shyam) joined in. 9 of us.
September 17th was little tough for me in the evening. I went to friends place to pick up a cycle for my bro and urgent office issues. Slept by 12:00am September 18th and up by 2:45am. 5:00am finally we left Silk Board junction and cycled non-stop. With no lights it was pretty difficult at stretches where metro construction was happening. We were heading towards Harohalli.
@ Harohalli ask for Jayaram’s mess. Dont miss “upma + sambhar” combination. While we had some off-roading plans, we decided against it considering that there were few roadbikes with us. And in general, few first timers too.

The stretch till Channapatna was amazing. Nice greenery, cool breeze, sun not being harsh on us, fields, lakes, real uphill climbs, down slopes. We stopped at very few places for photo shots. Frm Channapatna we took more time to reach Srirangapatnam (almost 7hrs) then what we took to reach Channapatna itself (about 5hrs). The last 60+kms was bad on the main highway. Not again, anymore.

We had one dropout at Maddur. At Mandya my backpack was giving pain on my back and shoulders, gave it to bro who put it on his carrier and then we both raced down to Srirangapatnam the last 20kms.
In almost entire journey I stayed behind with my bro making sure everyone was there and also didnt want to tire myself much.

Finally we reached Balaji Garden Resort. And I remember we spent only few hours there. Rest all @ Young Island Resort.

Final route: Bangalore – Harohalli – Kanakapura – Kavanapura – Huchayanna Doddi (nice big rocks at this place) – Channapatna – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatnam.
Total distance: Approximately 100miles +/- 2miles.
For Garmin analysis click here.
For all photos from my camera click here.

Important lessons:
1. For touring purpose, no backpack. Have a luggage carrier. (Preparation for TFN)
2. Ride your own cycle, never take from others.

A special mention about Amol who not only cycled 100miles but also ran full marathon at KTM.