October 13, 2007

The weekend trip

Many a times, the most unforgettable events are set into motion in a moments notice. Many a times, a certain group of people happen to be around each other in which ones decision is immediately taken as the groups decision. Such was the one taken on friday evening @ 4.45PM.

It all looked like a very normal weekend trip home coming up on friday... all of us (Me, Arun, Pra, Shibin, Abe) planned to leave office @ 3.30PM to catch the train @ 6.50PM. Just as Praveen and myself were about to leave from office, Shibin calls up to say that there's been a HUGE mix up and that the train is at 5.15PM! This meant an emergency evac procedure to be executed by latest 4.30PM. With the cloud of impossibility looming over our heads.... we packed up all what we could, in a haste, and took the auto to the railway station. By mid way - it was clear - with the prevailing traffic conditions - it would be impossible to reach there.

[David Guetta - Love don't let me go]

Then came that one line from one of us - I don't recollect who ('Who' doesn't matter) - "Ok, if we miss the train, we head home on our bikes!". It was like everything was planned - all agreed!!!
So 'hoping' to get the train we reached the station...only to see the train just leaving the station. So close yet so far. All of us looked at each other for a moment and with a wicked grin we said - bike time! We headed back home, and meanwhile tried cancelling our tickets in hope of getting back some money. (we got 50% returned...).

The plans were set - by then - Abe's friend - Narasimha (we call him Simba) also agreed to join us. The proposed start time was 7.30PM so that we could cover max distance before it was too dark... but it all started (after dinner, heading to E-City to pick up Abe's bike papers.. etc etc...) only by 10PM.

[Enigma - Eppur Si Muove]
Then it was a like the best experience ever just set into motion - one that lasted 10 hours straight. Gruelling, but exciting. Amazing. We started off with a blast - beautiful Hosur highway lent its tarmac to us - we owned it. The pulsar's(my 150, Simba's 180 [stunning acceleration on this one!], and Abe's mighty 200) cause came full circle as each of these mean machines (for Indian conditions) screamed past the 10k RPM darting down the excellent blacktop @ over 110KMPH. Stable, damn stable, even my 150, is!.

[Moby - Porcelain]
We took our 1st break after around 80kms of rpm redlining. ( :) ). I kept to riding my bike even when Arun n Simba switched rider-pillion positions. The road got a bit tricky as it was just a 2 lane highway to hell from there on. Our average speeds dropped to 60 for the next 80kms or so.

The pace picked up once we were around 80kms away from Salem. In between which Abe also switched riding seats with Shibin. I still continued to ride the 150CC hellhound ;). Now the total distance covered was around 180kms. Still nearly 320 to go...

The roads became a lot better again on route from Salem to Coimbatore.... speeds staying in the 80kmph region. Beautiful roads, I say!

[Quake Video-Mercurial - playing it for the tracks ;) ]
We were riding at a pace better than even the normal volvo buses that run at that time. Staying around half hour ahead of their time. >:).
We reached the by-pass to palghat so that we can avoid getting into Coimbatore.
Man, that was like the most deserted road i've ever seen and also one of the best maintained. It was deserted probably cuz it was about 4AM in the morning. There was heavy fog and when there was a vehicle coming from the other side of an incline - it produced this haunting shadows into the fog... looked damn cool...
we stopped for a snack when we around 325kms into the journey. I stopped biking for a while as my eyes looked bloodshot - my helmet doesn't have a visor :D - so all the dust from riding at such speeds doesn't really help... so for the 1st time in the trip - I gave my bike to Shibin and I hopped on as the pillion. He did a damn good job of riding staying clear off the gutters.

We reached Palghat-Trichur route at around 6AM. The route was like as if roads were built around the gutters - or worse - there were NO roads! That section - around 5kms - took nearly 1 hour with horrible early morning private bus traffic and terrible road conditions.
From there on - it was a pretty smooth ride till Trichur by-pass. We reached this point at around 7.15AM. We had a small break to stretch ourselves. From there - I took over again - but I was only about 30kms into the stint - I could feel my eyes giving away - Visibility and judgement couldn't go hand in hand as my eyes were all red from the dust allergy caused by all the biking I had done earlier. Shibin took over again. By then it was nearly 8.15AM. Necessity is the mother of inve... err - hi-speed biking, I guess - All the 3 bikes ripped through the angamaly-aluva-kalamassery-airport-seaport road-kakkanad section in under half hour and we were at Shibin's place at 8.45AM.

Now was the time when we all told our parents that we made the trip on the bikes! ;)
We got the usual dose of advice. But I guess - whatever-howmuch ever sense they make - this is one trip we learnt from! A superb experience. Now when ever I close my eyes - all I see is me overtaking some bus through the narrow highway, my bike's RPM reading 9 * 1000 RPM and the speed near to 85kmph and all I can speak about is the trip! Its the same for all 6 of us!

Btw, one key learning - your @$$ hurts like hell after sitting for a while on the bike - it's worse if you are the pillion! :D

Here are a few pics:

The start - the riders of the storm:
(Pra clicked the pic and Simba hadn't reached.)

The hounds of hell:
Thats Simba's 180, my 150, Abe's 200.

Now this was an ABSO-FRIGGING-LUTELY amazing trip!
Cheers to the 6 of us! \m/!