Monday 5 October 2009

Coast2Coast: Day# 0

16th Sept 2009, 6:30pm: I was rushing through the defect tracker for any open issues with the project we delivered. As our plan's execution time is getting closer, I needed to rush n wrap up the work before I leave for the ride. I've worked out my schedule for the whole month just to ensure that I can make it, and I wouldn't really appreciate any last minute fuss! Luckily Sushma(my TL for the proj) is quite understanding, so she assured that she'll take care of things, if any urgency comes up,
and I can leave. Said thanks to her and checked with my body double(resource who will be in my shoes till am out:p), if he's confident of taking care of things in my absense. Got the "GO" status, so wished neighbours(cubicle mate Dinesh, Preetham) happy holidays. Dinesh was busy with some work, still wished me happy journey and told he'll be waiting to hear from me, once am back. Switched off my system, pulled my backpack(same one I'll be carrying for the trip) and gracefully moved across the cubicles towards the floor exit. Wished the security, stepped out of the building, full of excitement and speculation of how the ride is going to be. Finally I can see it coming, WOW!!! It feels good. Recalled I had to purchase a pair of gloves. So rode to Balaji Helmets@JC road n bought a pair of protective gloves for which they gave me a good deal. I had to change my visor to a clear type as well, cause I was catious about the night ride n I don't trust the tinted ones. Was busy checking out gloves, got a call from Abhi's mom.

She got worried when she heard that am on the way from office(time: 8:00PM), where as we were supposed to leave the city by 9PM. I think she got an idea, of the level of professionalism involved planning and execution[:p]. I assured her that I'll be home in few minutes n packing is done n everythin is set(Am soooo sorry, as I had to lie :( ). I just wanted her to be relaxed as any worry on their(parent's) part would reflect at our side as well. It worked(atleast I felt so:p ). I finished the purchase n rushed to room. Reen had promised she'll help in packing, so picked her up on the way. Gave her the checklist we had prepared earlier, n all my stuff. Abhi was already in room and was taking his time in packing. Messaged other riders to report their status. It seems Raj was the early bird for this trip n Jeetu was also ready n Rahul was waiting for my signal to roll. So told everyone to assemble@ my place n we'll roll from here. I was eagerly waiting to see the Handycam Raj had got, as that will help us document the ride.

In couple of minutes I could hear the noise of Jeetu's engine. Raj n Jeetu entered shouting what took me so much time. Apologised for the delay and asked Raj to show the device. Raj carelessly threw a palm sized leather pouch towards me. Upon a closer look at the pouch, I was sure it must be a Panasonic, cause I had seen a ultra compact Camcorder of Panasonic before, which was of the same size. Impatiently opened up the pouch, n I was stunned with the equipment I was having in my hand. Of course it wasn't a panasonic! Nope not even a sony! Wait, don't waste time in guessing, as I was sure I won't be using it. It was toy from some village fair. It wasn't time for retropect what went wrong. So just smiled at Raj n said 'thanx':) Now I knew my cell is our last resort. We set the cam on tripod n posed for a group pic:)

R2L: Raj, Me, Jeetu, Abhi, Rahul

Once I locked my door, a short photo shoot took place. Find the pictures below:-

^Rahul n his Pulsar

Me n Mah CBZ

Jeetu with his Eliminator

The Roadies(Me behind the CAM:)

The Ride has begun, we rode past the city streets with the open highway in mind. Few things we tried to avoid, most importantly - Cops, as Rahul's vehicle is a Delhi registered, hence a conflict could cost us our dear trip. But as I always have realised that you can't escape the hands of law("Kanoon ke haath bahut lambe hote hain":p). There was troup of 15 cops and the moment we saw them, we jammed our brakes, and tried to take a U turn and find another way out. But as fate had it that day, another cop came from behind n stopped us right there. 'Scr#wed' - thats wot I must hav uttered(sorry for the language). Cop asked us to breathe in order to check if we were on alcohol. Luckily we weren't! Before they could think of checking the numberplate and papers, I told him that we're getting late for our trip. When he got to know how far we are going, he let us go without a questions and also indicated a bunch of other cops standing ahead to not to stop us:) Cool!!!!! They were Kind:) and of'course our intentions were good.

Rode past the city streets and kept checking with auto walas and finally reached the NH4 and started heading towards Tumkur. I lost half of the mud flap(front) while escaping the city outskirts the road was unders constrction and in horrible condition. The only vehicles you would see are trucks. Next stop was near Tumkur.:

broken mud flap

Tea Stop@ TIPTUR p.s. substitute for REDBULL :p

Simply makin use of the lighting, didn't had anythin here :p
the 'Guardian Devil' Raj
Another tea break. Can't get enough, as it was the starting of our ride!

Till here, everything was cool, we didn't had much to complain or talk about other than the fact that we are running late. From Tiptur we headed towards Hassan a.k.a Checkpost#1. As per 'The Plan', we were supposed to have a night halt at Hassan by reaching there by midnight. But as you can see(from the time stamp on the pics), we are already late. We asked few people we saw on the way for the route to Hassan and continued riding, without having even the slightest idea, whats waiting for us ahead! The road was deserted and it started to rain. We had no option but to ride, cause in a way we were ready for it and also there's no hope that the rain will stop anytime soon. So we kept riding towards Hassan. With every passing kilometer, number of vehicles on the road started reducing, till we realised we are the only one on this route. Things started getting spooky when we rode for almost 20kms, still couldn't see a single sign of civilization. Due to the rain all we could see is the portion of road lit with our headlights and bushes and trees on both the sides. Just to add to the situation, Abhi was getting a feeling as if we are trapped and behaving in a predictable pattern by following this road. I told him to shut up n kept riding, but I was more alert than I was before. Suspensions were tested to the core! 15 inch deep(appx) potholes, one after another. Average speeds dropped to mere 25kph or may be less. Had no other option but to keep moving forward.....And then we saw light, it was dawn:)......

Survivor Hassan: season#1 :p

"Woh toota hua pull", haunted highway tales....

Now what to do ?!?

Road ahead :/.........

The way we came...Were happy to see a Bus:)

Stood on the road, streatched. Laughed at our situation and realised, google maps is 'NOT ENOUGH' :p Shouted at Jeetu for not ensuring the road condition during the planning and so on. finally tightened up the saddles and revved our engines as we had places to go:) Hassan calling......(to be continued)

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