A Solo Escapade through the Escape Route

The Plan
Ever since I got familiar with the pain and pleasure of cycling, I had this thought of taking it to my own world...
Riding the forest trail from Kodikanal to Munnar through the escape route was something I had in the wishlist.
Doing it on motorcycle seemed impractical due to permission issues and condition on the road (cant call it a road).

Motorcycling on mountain roads have always been fun.
Doing it on cycle too must have some thrill and doing it solo must be a "thriller".
That is how I land up in Kodai bus stand last weekend with my cycle and a very light backpack only with few essential stuff.

Initially, I wanted to do this trail totally through the little known Escape route via Berijam. But then, I don't have time to go behind permissions and checking possibilities of taking a cycle in there. So the route through Poondi - Kilavari, bypassing Berijam side seemed more practical.

The Ride 
There is no time to curse KSRTC for making it late to Kodai. I thank them for running a Volvo to the hill station.
Had two energy rolls (masala dosa) and energy drink (tea) from a road side tuck shop and I'm on road.
Managed to do fastest timings on downhills and slowest ever on climbs on the way to Kilavarai where the real offroad begins.
Now I know the use of that slow slow slow moving 1st gear.

When I'm too much thrilled, tendency to forget/ ignore some very essential things are more. This time it was lunch and extra bottle of water. I could have avoided a muscle cramp due to dehydration and tiredness of empty stomach and could have saved some precious time. I wouldn't have made it without water from a forest stream and from a small village on the way.

Had to pedal in crawling speeds, carry cycle on shoulder and push through nonridable terrains and by the time I reached Koviloor it was 4:30pm. That's where I got something to eat.

From Koviloor, 9km to Top Station and then another 35 to Munnar town was cake walk. Got good speeds at the downhills.
When I called it a day, odo read 117km of hard ride and trek (7h:47m riding/walking time)
Another 80km km the next day morning took me home in KL (03h:13m riding time)

The route I took is like this
Kodaikanal - Mannavanoor -  Poondi - Kilavarai - Koviloor - Top Station - Munnar (Total 110km)
The extended ride : Munnar - Adimali - Neriyamangalam - Thodupuzha (90km)

The Escape Route
Made in the British era and renovated at the time of World war 2, destroyed by ignorance and political reasons by us, this route has always fascinated me ever since I came to know about it. History says that the trail was renovated as a road at the time of world war II as an escape route if Japan attacked south India. It's in a real bad shape now, literally nonexistent as a road. A 4x4 could make it with difficulty. But is not ridable with a motorcycle now. Especially now when the rains have made the terrain really bad with slush and trenches like waterways.
Locals do transport goods between two states on mule back through this route. That is the only use this trail has now.

It's sad to learn that...
- The road is no more in existence officially. It is closed. Befijam side even has trenches made by forest dept.
- No vehicle traffic allowed too.

GOA again!

Long rides are quite not frequent nowadays, but it happens...
This time it was to Goa; to Goa again...
My third ride to Goa, once from Pune and Twice from Bangalore.
Three days of chilling time in Goa and the blasting rides to and fro.

Chapora fort is beautiful, the view is amazing... went up for the first time.. What a 'Dil chahta hai' feeling...

Goan specialities this time...
1. Everyone knows that beer price is the lowest in Goa.
Finally Goans brought petrol price (Rs 54.9) below or equal to the beer price.
Rs 54.9!!! when I pay Rs 20 more here in Bangalore. Our governments loot a lot!
2. Beach activities very much active unlike last time. What a nice time at beaches!
3. Nice to meet old friends Dominic and Jai, nice to meet their friends too...
4. Wonderful ride back through the highways, Kongan sea side and the western ghats.

It's bliss when the beach and the mountains come in the same package. 

NERM 2011 - Babies head start

NERM 2011
24th, 25th and 26th of Nov 2011 and ofcourse the ride around North East...
Bikes have been packed and sent.
What a beautiful feeling... The point of no return....
The bikes have already gone to the other end of the country.
I like to trap myself like that.

Now the only prayer to GOD is, not to let KF cancel our rescheduled flights.
Macha Malya, please concentrate. Don't sink so fast. Please...

Devarayanadurga Ride

Oct 2011
Devarayana Durga Ride

Nice to have a ride after a long time!
Though a short one, had a nice time raving up on the Tumkur road and climbing the small hill at Devarayanadurga.
I expected it to rain and have a cloudy day, but it turned out to be just opposite.
I don't like sunny days though...

Thanks to Meppa and vijay for the company.
Meppa had a good time with his new possession 550D and Vijay sure will remember his first "Ride*" experience for a long time.

*Ride means riding to somewhere else other than office/glossary shop/wine shop