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v_siddhardha

Solo Ride to Vellore

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by , 04-17-2014 at 04:00 PM (6381 Views)
It was middle of September 2013 and I was thinking of pursuing a 2nd Masters course in Germany and for that I needed recommendations letters from my lecturers and transcripts from my college, VIT, Vellore. After a brief thought of how to go to Vellore from Hyderabad, I decided to go on my motorcycle. Thanks to my ever supportive parents, I was able to ride to Vellore from Hyderabad.

I decided to take the longer route via Bangalore because of the Samaikhya Andhra strikes and dharnas that were taking place in parts of AP, to be on the safer side as I was going alone.

Day 1: Hyderabad Bangalore
After sleeping for only 4 hours the previous night because of external disturbance as it was the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, I struggled a bit to wake up at 5:00 A.M. After packing my bike with the saddle bags, I was all set to leave by around 6:00 A.M. My first stop was at Hill Park drive-in restaurant, few kilometers before Jedcherla. It is my favourite place on the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway. The food is slightly pricey but the taste is excellent and the ambience is superb. I reached the restaurant at about 7:15 A.M.
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After having a heavy breakfast, I left the place around 8:00 A.M. Then onwards I took short breaks after every one/one and half hours of riding. The weather was cool and cloudy, and as it was post monsoon season, there was greenery throughout and all the lakes and ponds were filled to their limit, and every other pit you can find was also filled with water. Between Jedcherla and Kurnool, I got a sight of big beautiful Ganesh idols which were taken to the Krishna river. As the mighty river was flowing with its full capacity, I couldn't resist my urge to take some photographs and I stopped on the bridge to take some snaps.
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My saddlebags were giving a lot air resistance and the bike struggling at speeds beyond 110 kph. So I stuck to a speed of 100 kph and it was little boring in some stretches as there was absolutely no traffic and the road was straight with no bends at all. I managed to reach Chikballapur in Karnataka by 2:00 P.M. and had lunch at Kamat Upachar. Its a decent place in a Bharat Petroleum compound. Leaving the restaurant at 3, I was able to reach my friends house in Anekal, which is 10 kms away from the Hosur road in the south of Bangalore by 5:30 P.M., traversing the entire length of Bangalore.

I was welcomed with a hot cup of tea and had an amazing dinner cooked by my friends mom. After a long 650 km long ride, and little sleep the night before,I was totally exhausted and hit the bed way before 9.

Day 2: Bangalore to Vellore
As I was staying away from the city, I didnt have to worry about the traffic. So I woke up pretty late, had a nice homemade breakfast and left Anekal at 10:00 A.M. The road from Bangalore to Vellore is very scenic and fun to drive. 3 lanes on each side, there was no need to slow down at all, except at some diversions, as bridges were being expanded. Throughout the route I was recollecting the memories from college days and I made sure to stop at a Ghar Dhaba between Hosur and Krishnagiri. That was the place our bus stopped when I went to an industrial visit with my classmates during my 2nd year.
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There are some steep ascents and descents between Hosur and Krishnagiri. One must be aware of the two paralleling trucks moving at speeds less than 20 kmph uphill and that rash car driver coming behind you who wants to overtake you from your left on the service lane and doesnt want to go at any speed less than 140 kph!! Once past Krishnagiri, the road opens up and traffic decreases. The nature has an excellent treat for the rider. You are surrounded by coconut grooves and the hills behind. It was amazing scenery and it just repeats as you ride along. I felt the 3 hour ride to Vellore short.
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But once I reached my destination, I could feel the heat and humidity of Tamil Nadu and was sweating inside my riding jacket. By lunch time, I checked into a hotel close to my college, refreshed and headed to VIT. The food inside the college is very good and the prices very cheap. Rs 25 for unlimited meals!! I met my professors, got recommendation letters and applied for my transcripts. They were happy to see me and were visibly surprised after they learnt that I came from Hyderabad on a motorcycle! That evening, I met a guy, who came there for the same work as mine. Apparently he was my junior. That helped me save a bit on my hotel bills. Had a nice chat with him and we were happily recollecting old memories.
Day 3: Vellore
It was the day I gave my bike some rest and got my feet to work. I decided to walk the entire length and breadth of my college, cherishing every inch of it. I realised that my college has expanded a lot, and my walking stamina has decreased as I always feel its safer to be on the bike than on foot in Hyderabad and end up using my bike all the time, even if I have to go somewhere 100 metres away. As I received my transcripts very late in the evening, I decided to spend the night in Vellore and leave the next day.

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Day 4: Vellore Bangalore
After having breakfast in VIT, left Vellore and reached Bangalore by lunch time. Just like my onward drive, enjoyed the scenery and it was completely cloudy throughout. This time, I decided to stay in my college friends house in Maratahalli. That is when I got a taste of Bangalores traffic and narrow roads. I covered the first 220 kms in about two and a half hours and it took me 20 minutes to complete my last 3 kms of the journey. I spent the rest of the day playing computer games using the Logitech G27 steering wheel. It was the ultimate gaming experience.
Day 5: Bangalore Ramagiri
I woke up early and left Bangalore at 6:00 A.M. I took a small detour to Nandi Hills. It is one small hill 20 kms away from the main highway. The top of the hill was covered in a cloud and the drive was a nice relaxation for me as I was kind of getting bored of driving continuously on the 4 lane national highways by then.

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I met a group of people who came there to celebrate one of the guys birthday. They claimed that they are bikers and they travelled almost all the places around Bangalore. After a few minutes, I realised that they had alcohol in their bags and they started to drink. I quickly said goodbye and continued my journey. After having breakfast in Chikballapur, I reached Ramagiri by 11:00 A.M. This place is my grandfathers village. It was famous for gold mines which are now closed. There are lot wind farms around. My grandparents had no idea that I was coming and were more than happy to see me. I spent the rest of the day with my family.
Day 6: Ramagiri Hyderabad
This would be my last 450 kilometres back to Hyderabad. Very close to my village is a lake that I have never seen filled to its brim before. When I asked my uncle about the full lakes, he happily said that they dont have to worry about water in the region for another 3 years!! I stopped at the lake to take some photos. As I got back on the highway, it started to drizzle and the road was wet. I did not want to risk speeding and aquaplaning, so I limited my speed to 90 kph.

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As I reached Anantapur, I noticed a long queue of trucks and a few cars. I was wondering what happened as I squeezed through the vehicles to the front of queue. To my surprise, the supporters of Samaikhyandhra were protesting on the road blocking the entire junction. I pulled up to a side and was thinking what to do as the protesters did not leave any room on the road. Not even for a bike to pass! A man standing on the side advised me to take the small lanes on the left through the housing colony to pass to the other side of the road block. He also asked me to enter the highway from as far from the roadblock as possible. I thanked him and within 2 minutes, I was back on the highway and accelerated as hard as I could and went as fast as I can until I crossed Anantapur. I was very relieved and thanked my bike. I would have been stuck for hours if I was in a car. There was a constant drizzle and the road was wet. After a while, I was bored by the slow pace but I didnt risk speeding. After Kurnool the road was dry. From then on I was riding at a speed >115 kph until I reached Hill Park restaurant. After a short tea break, I eased my pace as I approached Hyderabad. When I was just 10 kilometres away from my room, I was welcomed with a very heavy downpour. The road instantly was free of other two wheelers. I was the only moron riding through the water pools. The rain was so heavy that my Zeus waterproof riding jacket and pants were of no use as the water seeped in through the zippers although I wore them as tight as possible.
I was so happy to be riding in the rain that I completely forgot that my luggage has no waterproof covers. Once I reached my room, I realised that I had a lot of things to be dried. There ends my 1800 km long journey and the rain has wiped away the riding stress and I was in all smiles and active.

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Updated 04-19-2014 at 08:49 PM by v_siddhardha

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