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Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

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  • Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

    This was a ride me and @Divya Sharan did in Jan '15. And somehow neither of us wrote a Tlog for this trip in any of the forums. Yesterday someone randomly liked a pic from this trip on my facebook which made me revisit the album and it struck me that I really wanted to remember this trip in more detail. Yes photos are good, videos may be better. But nothing works better at triggering nostalgia than reading ones own words after the visuals are long forgotten. Besides, I am in a mood to write after a long time !!

    So understand that there are gonna be a lot of words in this, like "a lot of words" - if you are not happy with that, quit complaining and move along !!!

    26th Jan was coming up briging along a 3 day weekend and we definitely wanted to do a trip. Rameshwaram had been on the cards for a long time and so we identified a hotel and Divya Sharan made a booking. Believe it or not but some random politician was coming to Rameswaram with his whole entourage and he booked out all hotels in the whole god damn area which led to our paid booking getting cancelled. The money was refunded instantly before we could even make a complaint !!!

    And so like almost every other trip we do, this too started with CONFUSION. Rameswaram being out of the cards we were disappointed but then new plans started to take shape - Check out what we started out with:



    So - Yeah... that doesn't really match with the title !! FYI That whatsapp was on 22nd Jan. Lovedale looked good except that the weekend traffic pisses me off. Mysore road has become more of a "sore" road with the number of bad speedbreakers on it. Plus I whatsapped @phanikar for route suggestions and he informed that a shortcut I was looking at is closed for vehicles. I wanted to stay away from main roads as much as possible and that did not seem possible.

    So plan change - let's go to Dandeli !! Pinged @nisnth on fb to ask about details from the Dandeli trip he had done earlier but he had forgotten a few things as well. Unfortunately some important work turned up because of which my long weekend got cut down to one day. And only one day in hand meant that round trip to Dandeli from bangalore was out of the question.

    Cut to 10:30 in the night 23rd Jan - next morning we are leaving and neither me nor Divya Bhai knows where the hell we are going. I call him up while picking up my dinner parcel and he says he is washing his bike, so I invite myself to his building parking lot munching away on KFC burgers. And while he washes his bike and I eat my burger* we mutually drop Lovedale, decide Dandeli is not possible, wistfully think about the time Rameshwaram will happen and somehow Kudremukh gets decided !! And I have no idea how that happened. Any way, we realise that once again we will be targetting 700kms in a day and this may yet turn out to be another epic ride - so we call up our equal partner in crime @Adarsh_BK to see if he can come but he has bike issues and 700kms is too much of a risk. So its just me and Divya Sharan !!

    *Just Kidding - I ate the burger later, no way in hell I am sharing fried chicken with any one after a hard day!

    We started off a little late as compared to our usual time of 3 am, BUT, 4:30 am is still early for some. However when you know you are going to be covering upwards of 600 kms in a day, that too at a leisurely pace, 4:30 am is a late start.

    First stop, turn into Mangalore highway and stop for tea and cigs. Properly greeted my ride mate here. After some random talk we decided that next stop will be at Hotel Mayura at Bellur Cross. Roads were deserted and the wind was cold. Time to let 'er rip. We made quick time and by 6:15 we were at Mayura. It was still pitch dark and they were closed and more disappointingly - NO TEA !!

    But the car wash guy was kind enough to open the gate for us and let us sit in their porch for some relaxed cigs. After the smoke we decided to push off and stop at the first road side tea stall. Another tea stop later we decided that next stop will be Hassan.

    Once again on the road and somewhere in between Sunrise happened. Unfortunately it was cloudy and the sun did not make an appearance even though we stopped and waited, so no sunrise pic in this thread ! Since we already took a smallish break and both of us were still fresh we again hit the road.

    Hassan came and we left the highway and entered the town. The town was waking from its slumber, newspaper guys everywhere and all tea stalls steaming with fresh tea. But once again we didn't wanna stop and so rode on. Riding on the deserted Belur Road with peaceful rural fields on both sides was soothing. About 15 kms before Belur we stopped for a photo break. Ok, pee break is a more appropriate term. Cold mornings have that effect on you :P

    We actually spent quite a bit of time taking photos, spotted few peacocks in the wild as well. Though I wasn't quick enough to capture them. Will let the pics do the talking for some time:













    In the mean time a group of bikers sped past us, one guy giving a stunning demonstration of the ABS on his D390 when he was passing us at high speed and a swift unexpectedly came onto the road without warning. The tyre chirps and his ABS kicking in was pretty awesome to witness. Pretty sure he would have been toast without ABS there. Not the best kind of toast to have on a pleasant Sunday morning I would say, another silent save thanks to modern technology!

    Enough of a break, time to saddle up - Belur came and went in a jiffy, stopped a couple of times to refer to my JPS* for the right route. And then solid again on the road to Mudigere. We unfortunately underestimated the distance to mudigere and overestimated our ability to withstand hunger cause by the time we covered half the distance I was super hungry - yep fried chicken of last night definitely turned to nutrition by now !! And absolutely no place to eat anywhere in between !!! Not even a decen bakery to stop. Guess reaching Mudigere had become even more urgent.

    *JPS - Janta Positioning System, you get more accurate results if you wave and point animatedly in front of the friendly villager.

    On the way the same group of bikers who had passed us stopped Divya Sharan by waving their hands animatedly (am telling you animated hand waving always works). One of the R15s in their group had a broken clutch cable, we didnt have spare and while I had a tool kit I had already gone ahead.

    Soon enough we were in Mudigere - found a bakery and it was time for some fresh cream buns with hot tea!! We saw one guy from the group had reached Mudigere while everyone else was still way behind. Decided to talk to him after we stuffed ourselves with some more cream bun. Told him about the problem one of their group member had had. Turned out they were also from Bangalore but were heading to Mangalore to St. Mary's Island. Wished him best of luck and we hit the road again.

    Traffic had increased again because Shiradi ghats were closed and all traffic was taking the Charmadi route to cross the Western Ghats. Progress was slow till we had to take a turn towards Kalasa - and after that - peace! And greenery. Aahh this trip was already turning out to be pretty sweet !!!

    We reached Balur in no time, thanks to less traffic and open roads. Took the uphill U-turn towards Kudremukh and our climb into the mountains started in earnest. Epic roads, superb scenery passing by, low traffic, cool morning sunshine and both of us started enjoying the curves. I stopped because this had to be captured on the GoPro. About 2 kms after setting up the helmet cam the smooth road turned to potholes. What the hell! 'twas like Murphy was riding pillion with me. I was thinking such a waste of battery and space on the SD card for a bunch of useless footage since the road had turned so bad. Not to mention you can hardly enjoy yourself because all the attention goes towards dodging the damn craters!

    And then suddenly out of nowhere - this is what we see!!








    This tea estate really came out of nowhere and I atleast was pretty shocked at the stunning beauty. My camera captured hardly anything that I was feeling then. Decision to stop and explore on foot was made without saying a single word. I climbed up amongst the tea leaves and just walked around enjoying the breeze.







    Idyllic Life. Or more like Ideal Life (?? You choose !!)




    We stopped at a shop right next to the tea estate - nothing better than soothing tea made from freshly packed leaves








    Epic! We spent a lot of time chilling out amongst the tea estate. It was just too beautiful to leave. The tea shop even had fresh exotic spices grown in the Kudremukh range and I bought a few just for their amazing smell. After quite some time we were both content and decided to make a move. After all the destination supposedly planned was still some way to go.

    Few kms before Kalasa, just after a deviation which leads to Sringeri and Agumbe, we stopped to fuel up, I mean I stopped, Divya's bike is a marathon runner, larger tank capacity and more mileage than me! Divya Bhai discovered a small offroad trail in the time I was fuelling up and we again stopped for a few quick pics.










    Once again the hunger games had started and it was nearing noon now with the sun hitting us strong; though once on the move the wind was cool and fresh. We decided to stop at Kalasa for some food. Unfortunately the moment I entered Kalasa all thoughts of food vanished from my mind, what a hot dirty temple town that place is. In general I hate temple towns for the particular brand of dirtyness they carry, the dirtyness that comes with deep faith in religion and absolute disregard to anything outside temple walls; discarded coconut shells, rotting flowers and garlands, random offerings thrown away in polythene bags, pile of discarded plates at the roadside every few meters indicating where a bus of faithful devotees stopped to have their lunch. These people believe in everything related to god except the one line which says "cleanliness is next to godliness", maybe that line was said by someone from another religion so suddenly it can never make sense. Unfortunate that reason has no place in a faithful mind. Even god can't argue with belief.

    Without wasting even a minute more of our precious time we took the left turn towards Kudremukh.

    2 kms out of Kalasa and back in the lap of beauty. Proper ghat roads, corner after sweeping corner, smooth tarmac, trees all around, sunlight filtering through the leaves making a shadow mosaic on the road and all througout - glimpses of green beauty fleeting in between the gaps in the trees. Bliss!

    Touring Nirvana right there. I again thought of stopping and setting up my GoPro - but you know what, chuck it, better to remember this in the head rather than fidget around trying to capture stuff for a video. I could write a whole essay right here on how awesome it was to ride that stretch. But I am not gonna. All right, don't heave that sigh of relief just yet, we haven't even reached Kudremukh yet and we also have to make our way back. I just hope that writing my PhD thesis will be just as easy* !!

    * NOPE - who the hell am I kidding

    We had been riding since morning at a fairly relaxed pace and had covered quite some distance but Kudremukh was still some distance away. Not to mention the cream buns of Mudigere had evaporated long back and we were pretty hungry. I told Divya bhai about a bridge besides Shamse village that leads to the trail of Kudremukh Peak trek. I had been to this bridge back when I did the trek to Kudremukh Peak. That was an epic adventure which deserves its own story. But any how, we decided to drop the plan of going to Kudremukh National Park and decided we will just get down from the bridge and chill out at the river banks near Shamse village and head back from there.

    Shamse turned up soon enough and we took the turn and got onto the bridge. Took an offroad trail which went right down to the edge of the water. Last time I was here I had missed the chance to taste the water, this time I made sure that even my bike reached till the last point possible!








    This place was so idyllic with shade all around that almost instantly we decided that this was indeed the right decision, no point in going ahead, what we miss we will see next time. We decided to just relax away.

    Got out of our gears, Divya Bhai did some of his own photography, the river water was chilled cold and freshening up in the natural clear potable water was absolutely amazing! This is exactly what road trips are meant for.











    After some time we were literally in our own worlds. Divya Sharan was capturing birds, I took some video footage, talked to a couple of curious village kids and then just lying down on the grass in the cool shade and a slow breeze.

    Perfect!










    We ended up spending more than an hour there easy. By now filling up empty stomach had taken first priority. I told Divya Bhai that the small shop across the road from the bridge will have some junk food at the very least. Finding food on this road trip was getting sort of problematic. However the village guy had some puliogare, which was good, apart from junk food and cold drinks. We had our fill there itself. Both of us are plenty accomodating when out on the road. That's what good riding buddies are made of. Meanwhile Divya Sharan took some amazing pics of a chameleon while I answered the "kitna mileage" questions of the village guy and his friends.

    It was 3 in the afternoon by now and we knew we had to start our home run soon. Before commiting to the return journey both of us decided to stop and take a few pics which we wanted to but couldnt while coming here. I wanted to take one pic of the mighty Kudremukh Peak, sort of as a tribute to the last time I was in this part of the world and the amazing memories that had given birth to. And a last photo of the tea estates which gave definition to this pretty much pointless, confused and spontaneous ride.








    And with that - we were home bound!


    Kalasa quickly came and went, few politician convoys sped past us apparently returning from taking VIP darshan, again absolute disregard for other road users. Passing one small village by one. Once again leaning into the sweet corners in the evening light, a memory which I hold precious. Coming on to the same tea estates which had us enthralled in the morning, this time looking brilliantly different in the evening light. But we didn't stop, then over on to the bad patch between Javali Village and Sunkasale Village, whatever. And all of a sudden we were at Balur.

    So we stopped, for some tea. We knew that soon we will join the Mudigere road again and with that will come more traffic. This was the last stop we could relax and stretch out our legs at cause we knew all other stops would be highway stops, special in their own way but not all infinities are comparable. Last couple of tea cups and cigs and then back on the road.

    Mudigere came and went and we were on the Belur Road when we encountered a Ritz. The traffic was moderate and despite weird stickers on the car the guy was driving very nice. So we two motorcycles stuck with him all the way up to Belur. We stopped at Belur to see the sunset and chill out a bit.




    We hit the road to Hassan as it got dark. Riding that stretch between Belur to Hassan was a complete nightmare. Dual carriageway with no ambient light and every damn vehicle driving with their highbeams ON. Vehicle behind you tailgating and driving high beams blinding you via the RVM, vehicles coming from the front with high beams on completely blinding me. Just an utter nightmare. You cannot see the road in front of you and at times like these I literally ride blind, ready at every instant to take a pothole because there is no way I can avoid one on time. If there is car ahead of me then ok but often times that does not help much because it is difficult riding on someone elses judgement.

    By the time we reached Hassan it was 7:30 and I was beyond frustrated !!! The generally calm and composed Divya Bhai was in a pretty similar state as well. We stopped for a cig break to calm down our nerves and I fuelled up again. Riding in these conditions tires out the mind much more than covering long distances. Stupidity of people knows no bounds.

    We decided that next stop will be Hotel Mayura as before. This time our progress was slow. Even though the road was perfect and traffic was low we were both tired after the frustating run between Belur and Hassan. We only reached Mayura by 9:30.

    But good food awaited and we decided to chill out and completely recharge before heading back. A proper relaxed one hour food break, finally some good food more than 500 kms into the trip! We left Mayura by 1030 and I was expecting we will make good progress here on out but Divya Bhai was taking it nice and slow, later he told me he considers this stretch as the National Dog Corridor which is why he was riding carefully. I on the other hand thought he was trying to maximize his mileage which is why I was also trying to the same. Didn't strike me then that it might be an odd time to try a mileage run. That said I actually saw a whole group of 10-12 dogs cross the road just as we were approaching. They crossed and on the other side there was a tempo coming at high speed, next thing I hear is tyre screech and the shriek of a dog. I just kept on going while I could see Divya Bhai nodding disbelief in his helmet in the RVM. Stupidity is not a good survival trait even amongst Humans let alone dogs, stupid dogs die. Cannot be helped.

    So any way with all this slow speed riding we managed to cover just 80 odd kms in 1 and half hours. Whatever! Stopped at Nelamangala turn for the last cig of the trip. Talked about the day and the trip and general stuff I guess. End of epic trips are always weird, how do you get closure for awesome and amazing events? Going back to reality is always jarring! If one day I do Leh, I may never have the courage to come back. Is this why I dont have the courage to go? Questions!!!

    We covered the last 30 kms and reached back bangalore by 1230, one last handshake at the gates of IISc - and THE END.

    ----

    P.s. Damn it - that's what I mean by jarring, just like that THE END! Hate that!

    I guess that's why there is no closure to epic road trips, theres only looking forward to the next one.

    In the end we covered 645 odd kms in about 20 hours in a truly chilled manner. Back home I wasn't even tired, another characteristic of epic rides.

    Check out the short video I made of this ride:


    Last edited by plasmabhai; 03-21-2015, 10:29 PM.
    ---

    ~~Triplogs~~
    H G B | Ooty-Kotagiri-Sathy - Epic Marathon Ride | Yercaud | Kudremukh Tea Estates

    ~~~DIY~~~
    Paint Your Panels | Airfilter Change | Carb Tune

  • #2
    Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

    Approved!

    Now I shall bring out my reading glasses and enjoy the 2nd half of the day.

    ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

    Update: Another epic write up [MENTION=42765]plasmabhai[/MENTION]! I mean, the best part was that I never realized that this is a fairly long write up (that too in just ONE post) and kept on reading.
    Every phrase took me back to the day it happened. I was so easily relating with whatever you have key-ed down!

    The worst part, it ended abruptly! I was so engrossed in reading when I read the words one last handshake/THE END!

    Wish the write up lasted more.
    Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.
    Because everyone who passes, isn't a martyr!

    Bullet Service Guide CBR 250R Parts Manual Fz16 service manual - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1-...VFQmJzakk/view
    Hero Moto Corp Bikes' Parts RE STD 350 Wiring Diagram (CI) Service Manual - Classic 350/500
    ZMR parts - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U...it?usp=sharing
    P200NS Spares' prices - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...taGd5R2c#gid=0

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    • #3
      Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

      Nice trip there DS and plasmabhai, love the tea estate pics. An awesome write-up
      R15S - Current
      Honda Dio - Current
      TNT 600i - Sold
      Classic 500 - Sold
      Pulsar 220 dtsi - Sold
      Yamaha YBX125 - Sold

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      • #4
        Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

        Originally posted by Divya Sharan View Post
        Approved!

        Now I shall bring out my reading glasses and enjoy the 2nd half of the day.

        Thanks for approval

        ----consecutive posts auto-merged-----

        Update: Another epic write up...

        The worst part, it ended abruptly! I was so engrossed in reading when I read the words one last handshake/THE END!

        Wish the write up lasted more.
        Just like we always wish the road trip lasted a little bit longer Thanks bhai !!

        Originally posted by TheArcher84 View Post
        Nice trip there DS and plasmabhai, love the tea estate pics. An awesome write-up
        Thanks for reading!
        ---

        ~~Triplogs~~
        H G B | Ooty-Kotagiri-Sathy - Epic Marathon Ride | Yercaud | Kudremukh Tea Estates

        ~~~DIY~~~
        Paint Your Panels | Airfilter Change | Carb Tune

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

          Some pics from my end too (taken off FB, hence may not be very good in quality w.r.t @plasmabhai's pics who is anyways too good a photographer):

          Tea estate that simply blew our minds off!

          Click image for larger version

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          Rose like a bud from the greenery. [@plasmabhai for all of us]

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          Both our bikes resting after Sid refuelled.

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          Parked my bike in shade by the side of a small river stream.

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          This was the stream.

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          Go Pro - water proof! Tried and tested.

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          She was friendly.

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          Sid and his Dazzy are the beshtesht of friends!

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          It flew, it came, it posed, it flew back!

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          Sid showed me this guy looking at the horizon as per itself, I somehow managed taking 20+ pics before it went away. This came out best!

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          Time to return home.

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          Missed the sun rise, not so with the sun setting down.

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          Heading home, much like us two!

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          Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.
          Because everyone who passes, isn't a martyr!

          Bullet Service Guide CBR 250R Parts Manual Fz16 service manual - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1-...VFQmJzakk/view
          Hero Moto Corp Bikes' Parts RE STD 350 Wiring Diagram (CI) Service Manual - Classic 350/500
          ZMR parts - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U...it?usp=sharing
          P200NS Spares' prices - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...taGd5R2c#gid=0

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          • #6
            Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

            Thanks for putting up the pics there [MENTION=41586]Divya Sharan[/MENTION] - love the "bikes resting after refueling" pic, the HDR of the stream and the "formation flying of cormorants" pic..!!
            ---

            ~~Triplogs~~
            H G B | Ooty-Kotagiri-Sathy - Epic Marathon Ride | Yercaud | Kudremukh Tea Estates

            ~~~DIY~~~
            Paint Your Panels | Airfilter Change | Carb Tune

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

              Damn how much patience you have in adding the Textual content to the blog man. I would have slept twice in the process Nice Pics guys, especially the Oriental Garden Lizard one. #Thumbsup.
              Stories of the open road...........

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              • #8
                Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                Pics are awful.
                Pulsar 150 DTS-i(2005-present)
                Royal Enfield std 350(2010-2012)Sold
                Pulsar 200NS(2013-present)
                Royal Enfield Bullet Electra(2014-Present)


                Hero Octane(2011-2012)Sold
                Cannondale Trial SL 5(2012-present)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                  Originally posted by koolsantosh22 View Post
                  Pics are awful.
                  ???? what does that mean
                  R15S - Current
                  Honda Dio - Current
                  TNT 600i - Sold
                  Classic 500 - Sold
                  Pulsar 220 dtsi - Sold
                  Yamaha YBX125 - Sold

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                    Originally posted by plasmabhai View Post
                    Thanks for putting up the pics there @Divya Sharan - love the "bikes resting after refueling" pic, the HDR of the stream and the "formation flying of cormorants" pic..!!


                    Originally posted by phanikar View Post
                    Damn how much patience you have in adding the Textual content to the blog man. I would have slept twice in the process Nice Pics guys, especially the Oriental Garden Lizard one. #Thumbsup.
                    Yup, its wonderful reading his blog.

                    Originally posted by koolsantosh22 View Post
                    Pics are awful.
                    Thanks.
                    Got a $5 head? Get a $5 helmet.
                    Because everyone who passes, isn't a martyr!

                    Bullet Service Guide CBR 250R Parts Manual Fz16 service manual - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1-...VFQmJzakk/view
                    Hero Moto Corp Bikes' Parts RE STD 350 Wiring Diagram (CI) Service Manual - Classic 350/500
                    ZMR parts - https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-U...it?usp=sharing
                    P200NS Spares' prices - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...taGd5R2c#gid=0

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                      Originally posted by phanikar View Post
                      I would have slept twice in the process
                      Haha, I guess people will also run out of patience while reading it, but I am actually hoping that does not happen :P

                      But one thing I am sure of, its gonna be worth it when I come back to this thread and read it next year

                      Originally posted by koolsantosh22 View Post
                      Pics are awful.
                      Eh.. Ok..!! :P thanks any way
                      ---

                      ~~Triplogs~~
                      H G B | Ooty-Kotagiri-Sathy - Epic Marathon Ride | Yercaud | Kudremukh Tea Estates

                      ~~~DIY~~~
                      Paint Your Panels | Airfilter Change | Carb Tune

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                        Awesome clickz and Thanks for that "National Dog corridor" Tip
                        It's better in the WINDS>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                          Originally posted by TheArcher84 View Post
                          ???? what does that mean
                          I mean Awesome
                          Pulsar 150 DTS-i(2005-present)
                          Royal Enfield std 350(2010-2012)Sold
                          Pulsar 200NS(2013-present)
                          Royal Enfield Bullet Electra(2014-Present)


                          Hero Octane(2011-2012)Sold
                          Cannondale Trial SL 5(2012-present)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                            Awesome writeup & awesome pics toooo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ride to the Tea Estates of Kudremukh

                              Amazing write-up. The pictures are brilliant too!
                              Thumbs up from me.
                              A bike on the road is worth two in the shed.

                              Weekend Rides Around Kolkata
                              My Ride To Sunderbans -
                              Hemnagar & Samsernagar
                              Saagar Kinare - Bakkhali Calling

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