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[ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

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  • [Photo Feature]: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

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    It was a lousy Saturday afternoon in the city of pearls. But there is this one guy active and excited. Full of life and preparing nothing less than a soldier preparing for war. Yes. You guessed it. A Ride on Sunday. Not just any other ride, but an endurance ride of 800 KMs. For passion, for the love of travelling and for pushing our limits. Not just me, but my steed was also prepared for the big ride.

    The messages in the WhatsApp group was just never ending. We kept talking about what to carry and exchanging ideas and Jugaad. Going to the supermarkets for purchasing food and snacks. It was completely busy & no sleep all night despite knowing that I need enough rest for the ride. Bike all setup, chain cleaned & lubricated, removed the rear tyre hugger & the pillion foot rest.

    I wasn’t alone here. No surprise, nobody could sleep. Everyone excited, Goosebumps and waiting for the clock to tick 3AM. Till then I was tossing and turning trying to sleep eyes closed, brain actively thinking of the ride, shivers running down the spine with the very thought of the ride. Thinking of all the stuff we need/might need. Lying on the bed, remember something, running around the house and picking and shoving it into the bag & back to bed.

    Finally!! It’s 3AM!! The alarm rang!! Trrrrrrrrinngggg…….

    I don’t usually jump out of the bed. But when I do, it’s followed by a ride!!!

    We decided to meet up at the infamous “Pillar #145” at 5.00 AM in the morning.

    I woke up at 3.00, and the meeting point being a good 24 KMs from my home, calculated my time to reach the place, time to suit up & eat. And finally got out of the bed at 3.30 and suited up for the day.

    Had curd rice as late as possible so that I can stay “not hungry” for as long as possible.

    Saddled up the bike, bid farewell to mom & dad, praying to god for a safe ride, I got on my steed, she was equally excited. Put on the iPod I took from a friend of mine, loaded it with fast beat and party songs and some old ARR Tamil Songs that I love for the highway, reminding me of my childhood when I used to listen to the old 90s Hindi songs when travelling on the highway. It was like a dream-come-true!!

    Locked & loaded, I set on course. As a matter of habit, I took the route towards my office only to realise halfway that I’m on wrong course!! But I know the city routes well. So took a turn & back on track towards the “Pillar 145”.

    The “Pillar 145” is the 145th pillar in the country’s longest flyover. The “Airport Flyover”!!

    Yes the PVNR Flyover!!

    Finally reached there at 5.05 and found everyone there already and waiting for the last one of us.

    We were 5 – two KTM Duke 200, one KTM RC 200, One Yamaha R15 & One Yamaha R3 for the ride.

    Two Yamaha R3s (@pkhammu2005 & @mustang28 ) decided to join us till half of the way.

    We were on the way in the dark of the early morning. Riding crazy fast to keep up with the schedule, in a line like ants but at high speeds catching everyone by surprise about the passion we have for placing a hot moving block of metal with inflammable material on top of it and keeping the whole setup between our legs, balancing on two wheels.
    I was the “sweeper” going back and forth making sure no one was left behind, the R3 by @Sarvajit leading us. @s1d on his D200 who was followed by another D200 @arun7, a young dude of 20 years completing 800 KMs – give him a big hand please ) & the R15.

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    "The Highway.. Makes me drool like I drool for Ice Cream.. "

    We rode till our first designated stop, Jadcherla. As scheduled, we stopped for a quick break at 6.30. That is about 100 KMs from here. It was supposed to be a quick break of 15 minutes, turned to be a big break & by the time we started back on track, it became 7.15. One R3 (@pkhammu2005) bid us farewell and turned back.

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    "The Stop"

    and a little photoshoot....

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    "The Steeds"
    @s1d trying out his new GoPro:
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    "I see you are very comfortable in using the GoPro "


    The rest of us continued and rode as fast as we can & per the plan, we should have our breakfast at Kurnool at 8.30 AM. That’s about 220 KMs. But we were so hungry that we stopped a good 20 KMs before Kurnool & had breakfast at Ghar Dhabha, filled our bikes too to the brim.
    Nice clean place with clean washrooms, and decent food for breakfast. That went till 9.30 AM.

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    "Guest appearance @mustang28 "

    Then we vowed not to stop till we reached Belum Caves. It is still about a good 180 KMs and out of which, a good 130 KMs was Bangalore Highway, have to take a left at Gooty. And about 50 KMs from Gooty that’s got bad roads through villages. Not to mention the speed breakers that were there almost invisible and almost everywhere slowing us down. Along with pothole ridden roads with bad patchwork.

    Sadly we broke our vows. But to err is human. We stopped under a tree at 11.45. We badly needed a break. I took out a pack of perks wafer chocolates and we were munching on it till 12.00. Had water & got ready to continue the journey. Riding slowly on the bad roads, our happiness knew no bounds. We were screaming with happiness when we saw the words “Belum Caves”. We were mad with happiness. Like a sailor stranded on an island for years seeing a ship approaching. Like you are going to marry the love of your life. Like you just got the dream bike gifted to you.


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    "Oh!! Wait!! There's something written over there!!!!"



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    "HELL YEAH!!!! WE MADE IT!!!"

    With 400 KMs covered, we reached there at 2.30. There was no cloak room sadly. Luckily [MENTION=81117]arun7[/MENTION]
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    "The Steps"

    Except the visitors, it’s an amazing place for pictures and to spend some time alone. Peaceful. But it was humid and we were sweating so hard, and as luck would have it, no, no AC there, not even a fan, but air pressure!! Yep you read that right. There are many holes bored from the upper ground to the cave underground. They are for the cables for the lighting to pass from above to the caves, the air is rushing from top to the underground. The air was so forceful, that we stopped under the dry wind for a long time to dry ourselves off of our sweat.

    here's the circle immediately after you descend:
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    Our Faces after descending the steps:

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    reminds me of this below [emoji14]

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    Please do not use flash, the pictures won’t be so good, the ambient lighting gives the caves some life, but it also gives out heat. Thanks to the bulb they use, transmit a LOT of heat!!

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    "Pic with flash"

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    "Pic without flash"

    Recommended clothing inside – something light & cotton or polyester.

    The caves just keep on going, at every turn, every pass, you will say, “just a little ahead and we’ll turn back” and that keeps going on and on and on. We spent a good 1 hour trying to explore the caves saying the same, while our target at the caves was only 30 minutes!!

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    "little ahead, little ahead & that's what happened to us!!"

    I came out, tired as a goat chased by cheetah, done with moving always. Got out, took off my jacket, laid my bag on the ground, and removed boots. We started to eat a pack of perk chocolates and drink water. We wanted to eat something so that it keeps us fuelled till we reach lunch.
    And hello there, you are surrounded like you are some alien!! People range from asking a LOT of questions. Some questions range from “which village are you from” “what do you do” till “What do your parents do”.

    A group of folks gather simply seeing you and what you are doing, just ignore them. And they will look at you like that only if you are dressed like I went. In full biking gear. No, the villagers are NOT dumb! They know English and speak it well. They use iPads also. Just that they wanted to know where we are from.
    Be careful of your bike parking and all. @s1d lost his phone mount on his bike. Someone there broke it.

    Now, the time to go back. We were happy again that we came out of there!! So the time we started back, it was about 3.40. The rider and the steed hungry, we started back. Finally a fuel station at a nice crossroad, we filled our faithful steeds up to the brim. And continued to ride to fill ourselves now. We kept riding on and on. @Sarvajit spotted a couple of dhabhas along the village roads!! I couldn’t spot even a single one!!! @Sarvajit went ahead of us all and stopped at a Rajasthani Dhabha. We all reached at about 4.15. There were cots lying all over, it was so relaxing that we ordered EVERYTHING!! Yeah! EVERYTHING!! Not a big menu, but we had dal fry, bendi curry and a LOT of rotis!!

    The lassi was just AWESOME!! Sweet and chilling!! Bill came to about 800 Rupees.

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    "Inside the Dhabha & our Steeds resting"

    Starting back, it was 5.30 and we wanted to hit the highway before dark and we hit the Bangalore highway at about 6.30.

    The very sight of the highway made me so happy like I achieved independence or freedom from slavery!! I just went out of control, I was following @s1d and @arun7, the moment we took a turn and joined the highway, I released the throttle for my steed, let her loose, let her munch up all the miles!! I let them all behind!! It was getting pretty dark, I must have covered about 70 KMs in that constant high speed of adrenaline and fast beat music that I specifically loaded up for highways. It felt like heaven. My steed just want to go faster and faster. Topped out at 135. Riding crazy constantly, my butts started to scream. I just HAD to stop!! Now I envy the R3 of @Sarvajit . Plush seating comfortable, had I had the R3, I would not have stopped & I would have reached Hyderabad in 3 hours!! Yep, the R3 is THAT good in highways.
    A personal opinion/note, the MRFs aren’t doing justice to the R3 at speeds over 120. Again, just a personal opinion but @Sarvajit is perfectly happy with that. So, I guess it depends on the rider and their comfort zone.

    Others caught up with me in 10 minutes, and we all started riding together. @s1d and [MENTION=81117]arun7[/MENTION] on dukes kept on going, while I began to feel the tiredness. I was keeping up with @Sarvajit & @doonankit.

    Please note that if you feel sleepy or tired, STOP for 10 minutes near a dhabha or a nice place. Wash your face, have a cup of tea, relax and then continue riding!! I slept off thrice and almost crashed twice!! Not good at all. It was about 10.30 and we were about 180 KMs from Hyderabad.

    I couldn’t take it anymore. I raced forward, put the indicators on to indicate @Sarvajit & @doonankit to stop and we stopped at a dhabha, washed my face. Splashed water on my face. Ordered a cup of chai. It was masala chai that came in. It felt really good and refreshing, but the sleep waning away slowly. It took quite some time to let go of me.
    @Sarvajit and @doonankit patiently waited. They kept covering me for good. I owe them big time.

    We maintained good speeds about 90+. Mostly @Sarvajit on rear, me in the middle and @doonankit on R15 leading us. We stopped for about two times after that, a small smoke break of 10 minutes, and ride on.

    Sleep didn’t touch me till I was about 20KMs from Hyderabad. I managed myself for the last 20 KMs where we had a short break again & lunged forward. The outer-ring road, the very sight that gave me happiness that I reached the city. Still a little sleepy. But the moment I reached Mehdipatanam, the traffic and the busy streets, the sleep just vanished. I felt at home. Happy and warm. Lovely feeling. And from there, we parted our ways.
    @s1d and [MENTION=81117]arun7[/MENTION] reached home at 11.10,
    @Sarvajit , @doonankit and I reached home at about 12.30.

    the way @s1d & @arun7 were riding, looks like they can keep going on and on forever, we might need a new concept of "mid-ride refuelling"

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    "Something like that for @s1d & @arun7 's bikes"

    Here are our trip meters:
    - 780kms for me
    - 800 for @arun7
    - 750 for @s1d and @doonankit

    Fuel consumption for the KTMs were about 23 Litres. About 27 for the R3 and about 19 for the R15.

    It was a good ride. I learnt the value of taking short breaks on highways. I almost failed the endurance. But breaks are the little ones that help you in keeping up your endurance. Lovely ride that. And body tired, it’s a good sign. A satisfying sign of a ride well done. Heart full, no gaps left, loving my faithful steed now even more!! Patted it for the amazing job it did.

    Now, I’m planning on some gifts for my steed. New parts and make her more attractive.

    Love you baby..

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    Last edited by Ajay Vishwanath; 12-25-2015, 09:20 PM.

    live long.. live happy.. that's the best revenge that can be served to the people who hate you..

    PDI Checklist here - Emergency Contacts

    Gear:
    MT Revenge [Arrowtip] | SMK Twister [Blade]
    Spartan Helios | Spartan Icarus
    BB Gears Racer Gloves | Aspida Phaeton
    BB Gears Tourer| Allen Cooper 1157
    Spartan Odysseus
    2007 - 2010 Kinetic Nova
    2010 - 2015 Honda Unicorn
    2014 - 2019 KTM RC 200
    2017 - Today KTM Duke 390

  • #2
    Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

    Travelogue Approved.

    A Good trip you guys had there. Thanks for sharing this.

    Although, please make it a rule to take a rest, even a half or 1 hour break on the cots they keep at dhabas, if you're feeling sleepy.
    Its not worth saving time by taking such risks, or going on thinking that nothing will happen. Take care guys.,..
    Last edited by Samarth 619; 12-22-2015, 12:08 AM.
    ---
    Brotherhood, Rules, Freedom. Xbhp.
    Indian riding = Alertness, Anticipation and Adjustment.

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    • #3
      Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

      Let me add some info here.. ajay feel free to update this info above and i shall remove it then.

      Riders & their rides
      @Ajay Vishwanath RC200
      @Sarvajit R3
      @doonankit riding @Sarvajit 's r15 since his r15 was held up at service due to parts unavailability.
      Arun Duke200 (youngest guy in our group, barely 20!)
      @s1d yours truly, Duke200
      All the above folks rode all the way to Belum caves completing between 750-800km that day.

      @pkhammu2005 r3 -- rode with us till the first stop at jadcherla.. i made use of this long stop to have a dosa + 2 idli !!
      @mustang28 r3 -- rode with us till the breakfast point i.e. around 200km [it was the second breakfast for me]
      this being the second time I was riding with @mustang28 doing a run in on his new bike (it was on his rc390 a few months ago)

      btw, Arun and myself reached at 11.10pm [guys, this is no way bragging about how fast we rode.. we went on to cover the distance much quicker due to fewer breaks and a steady 85kmph all along].. fitness thambi fitness

      And you forgot to mention the need of a mid highway refueling truck for me.. ala mid air refueling for the fighter jets
      my d200 returned a healthy 36kmpl over all.

      did i mention that i was trying out my newly acquired toy.. the go pro. sadly being a noob with camera's, the footage from my end wasn't any good hence no videos.
      Last edited by s1d; 12-22-2015, 03:41 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

        Originally posted by Samarth 619 View Post
        Travelogue Approved.

        A Good trip you guys had there. Thanks for sharing this.

        Although, please make it a rule to take a rest, even a half or 1 hour break on the cots they keep at dhabas, if you're feeling sleepy.
        Its not worth saving time by taking such risks, or going on thinking that nothing will happen. Take care guys.,..
        Thanks [MENTION=50548]samrat[/MENTION]h. yes. I do agree with you here..

        live long.. live happy.. that's the best revenge that can be served to the people who hate you..

        PDI Checklist here - Emergency Contacts

        Gear:
        MT Revenge [Arrowtip] | SMK Twister [Blade]
        Spartan Helios | Spartan Icarus
        BB Gears Racer Gloves | Aspida Phaeton
        BB Gears Tourer| Allen Cooper 1157
        Spartan Odysseus
        2007 - 2010 Kinetic Nova
        2010 - 2015 Honda Unicorn
        2014 - 2019 KTM RC 200
        2017 - Today KTM Duke 390

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

          Sadly, this winter isn't like winter at all. But hats off to you all (Sid is a machine) for doing this ride!
          Hope we can do another before the summer sets in!
          Quench my thirst with gasoline!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

            Nice to see you guys riding, and here i thought the plan had been canned!

            I have sent a PM!
            Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

            Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

            Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

              Nice one Ajay bhai!
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                Nice ride and good narration.

                You guys would have definitely looked like fighter jets flying one behind the other, since all were riding pure performance machines.. sorry - jets.

                Would you prefer to be awake and enjoy your ride or dream of riding your bike in your sleep? Please do take sufficient breaks during such endurance rides so that you can fully enjoy your rides.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                  Good going there and glad you made it back safe. Long distance riding is all about managing the fatigue factor, so in that respect, the R3 being a twin will be way ahead of the single cylinders given good tarmac on a highway. Someone mentioned fitness and frequent short breaks which is really important.
                  Ride To Live

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                    Common sense should prevail over fitness and fixed breaks. One should put their ego, time limits in the back seat and take a break whenever they feel tired or see the need to take a break for whatever reason. Simply pushing ahead just because other members are doing it is not a good thing to do.
                    The final 150km or so, it was Arun and myself since we failed to spot the other three who were ahead and stopped for a break (blame the darkness coupled with a fast moving highway traffic). The two of us did stop a couple of times for 5-10min to get off the bike and stretch and for me to check on the kid if he was ok.
                    Here are a couple of pictures that came out ok on my go pro.

                    At the breakfast point, and the opening at the top of the cave.

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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                      Nice little travellogue and pics...
                      HH Dawn - TVS Star City - Yamaha Gladiator - TVS RTR 180 - Honda CBR 250R - Yamaha R3

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                        Originally posted by Sarvajit View Post
                        Sadly, this winter isn't like winter at all. But hats off to you all (Sid is a machine) for doing this ride!
                        Hope we can do another before the summer sets in!
                        Hey , hows the R3 on highway? Was it comfortable? Any heating issue? And what was your avg?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                          Originally posted by ROHAN SPEEDOFREAK SHARMA View Post
                          Hey , hows the R3 on highway? Was it comfortable? Any heating issue?
                          its at home on the highway
                          comfortable, yes. and it depends on the rider's fitness and getting used to long rides. if you take any bike out the first time for a long ride, you will definitely have body aches etc the next day. i would put it at 65% rider fitness and 35% bike when i talk about comfortability
                          Some folks will say a duke is not comfortable on long rides, but i would disagree with them considering my experience with it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: [ENDURANCE RIDE] : The Ride to Belum Caves

                            Originally posted by ROHAN SPEEDOFREAK SHARMA View Post
                            Hey , hows the R3 on highway? Was it comfortable? Any heating issue? And what was your avg?
                            R3 is made for the highway Bro. No heating, ample torque and weight. Soaks up potholes like an SUV and rides majestically. Average 30kmpl.
                            Quench my thirst with gasoline!

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