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Thread: K2K | Because i love to ride.

  1. #1
    Addicted joshi.varun91's Avatar
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    Thumbs up K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Kanyakumari to Khardungla

    No, this isn’t gonna be one of those ‘I wanna discover myself’ trips, or the ‘into the wild’ kinda stories. Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you’re expecting that, you my friend, are in the wrong place. I was gonna embark upon a really long journey, why, cause i love riding. Plain simple, with no fancy words or thoughts attached to it. This idea had been swirling in my mind since about an year back when i finally saw an open window in my hectic and heavy life, wherein i just wanted to ride in the open.
    But wait. Let me introduce myself. I'm Varun Joshi , 24 years of age, and like many, an IT 'professional'. I am 6 feet 2 inches, I weight about 95+ kg and I ride a 2010 Yamaha R15. One might wonder why I'm telling all this, it is because I feel many have a notion that a Huge guy cannot ride a relatively smaller bike. Oh the comments i got to hear when i first bought the bike, and even today I laugh out so loud !!! Trust me, throughout the journey , not only my bike has stood the test fairly well, but even I did pretty good. The maximum stretches that I covered in one day were 950kms and 900 kms , and trust me, neither the bike, nor did I face any problems whatsoever.

    Anyways, back to the story,

    It was one of those days when i was frustrated from office and life, that i started marvelling on the fact on how ‘free’ we actually are. Yes, we live in an independent country, and our constitution lays out the “right to freedom”. But are we really free ? I mean , common, you have so many factors influencing your decisions, parents, friends, society, circumstances , financial situations, emotional pressures etc. So in a sense, i just dont feel “free”. You wanna travel, nope you cant. You gotta finish your work, apply for ‘leaves’, then work much more just so you can please your superiors in letting you take those leaves. Then you have your parents and friends, who have their opinions, and most likely doesnt add up to yours, so you gotta fight there as well.

    Aren’t we chained by freedom ?

    Before I start with the travellog, I would like to thank XBHP and all its members for the support and help that I got in planning and executing the journey.

    Pre-ride discussions here.


    Travelog starts once its approved

    Journey:

    1) Mysore - Kanyakumari - Mysore
    2) Mysore - Bangalore
    3) Bangalore - Pune
    4) Pune - Mumbai
    5) Mumbai - Udaipur
    Last edited by joshi.varun91; 02-26-2015 at 10:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Travelogue Approved

    Congrats on a wonderful ride. Waiting for the rest...
    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!

  3. #3
    Addicted joshi.varun91's Avatar
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Mysore - Kanyakumari - Mysore


    So the journey begins. I was really excited for this part of the journey for various reasons. One being that I had never ventured on bike to this part of the country, where the demographic is totally different. Even though I had visited Kanyakumari back when I was a kid, i was really looking forward to touching the southern most part of the country on my bike.


    Another reason why this trip was very important was because this was going to be my trial run, on a very long stretch ( about 750kms ). In one day, the maximum i had covered was about 250kms , so this was literally 3 times than that. I wanted to know how i hold up, against the changing weather, riding for very long hours, what kind of clothes would be the best, how do i fare with all the riding gear on etc etc. A special note of mention to my friend and roommate , Rahul and avid tourer himself , who accompanied me and taught me many important things which really helped me a lot throughout my journey.


    So armed with all the riding gear, the bag all saddled up on my bike, we started from Mysore at around 4am in the morning. The routes were pretty clear since Rahul is a regular on Mysore-Coimbatore route after which we just took the national highway all the way till Kanyakumari.


    Just before we hit the Sathyamangalam Ghats, a light drizzle prompted us for our first stop, to put up the rain liners on the jacket and have some tea.

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    BTW: thats me. notice the height difference between me and the bike


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    Lovely weather.


    The start of the Ghat section was amazing. Nature at its best. Beautiful weather, lush green mountains and the cool wind. We stopped for a moment to admire the view.



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    But the happiness was short-lived as we moved further down. As the sun came up with all its glory, the weather became warm. Lush green ghats gave way to arrow straight roads with traffic and warm air.


    After covering about 80kms odd, we again had to stop to remove the rain liners as we were getting roasted inside them.


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    By the time we reached the National Highway 7, it was blazing hot and we were facing dehydration. Stopped for a quick lunch, had lots of water and continued. Even though the highway was awesome 4 lanes highway with dividers and arrow straight, the heat had become unbearable. We decided to stop every 50 mins for a water break.


    PS: I had to remove my inner knee guards as the sweat and continuous riding position made them scratch my skin really bad. I don't like inner knee guards, period.


    The heat had become so unbearable that even the water in our bottles had become too hot to drink. Battling with the heat and the thirst, we stopped once again at a small restaurant and i had one bottle of water without stopping.



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    Finally we reached Kanyakumari by around 4 30pm, checked into a hotel, quickly freshened up and headed for the beach to see the sunset.



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    Now because of the heat issue while travelling through the day, we brainstormed and thought of starting in the evening, travelling through the night and reaching back early morning.


    This would also test my skills of riding in the night. Though a bit apprehensive, i reluctantly agreed to it. What i didn't know that an amazing adventure was about to unfold during the travel.


    So after spending the day loitering around


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    I love this picture. We took our bikes onto the beach, and behold the mighty thunderbird sinks into the sand while my r15 looks on ( and laughs!! ) .


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    We started our journey back and left Kanyakumari around 3pm. Again, once we hit the highway, we followed the ’10 minute break every 50 mins’ schedule


    Pictures along the way


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    Now comes the exciting part. Trust me, you are gonna love it.


    It was around 1am when we hit Sathyamangalam Ghats once again. Normally the police check post don't allow 2 wheelers to pass, but when we reached, they were busy with other vehicles and no one stopped us.
    So imagine this. Its dead of the night, 1am, a full moon, just a few trucks but thats it. Absolute silence. As we started the climb through the hair pin bends, in the dense creepy forest, i couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. With only the brightness of the full moon and our bikes headlight, we could make out deers and wild boars amongst the shrubs, crossing the road sometimes. All this, at the speed of what 10-15kmph. Very scary.


    Now get ready for the goosebumps. So I'm trailing behind Rahul who is planning to overtake a truck. We had slowed down much more as the truck was going very slow, and as rahul goes into the opposite lane to overtake the truck on the steep mountain, i decide to move towards the left and overtake once he's done. As i slowly inch towards the left of the road and my bike’s light illuminated the edge, i suddenly saw 2 bright eyes looking back at me. Now I'm doing what, like 5kmph, so after 2 seconds, when i came closer, i notice that the body of the animal is yellowish. Another 2 seconds, and i notice whiskers and an open mouth. I see sharp pointed canine teeth and a growl. Wait, what! Exactly my thought process. Realising in that split second that i was slowing moving towards a leopard,i immediately severed right. Probably he thought i was coming right at him, he swung back with his paw which grazed part of my shoes and bike, and i distinctly felt a thud. Not wasting even a microsecond, i immediately revved my engine and raced ahead of the truck. As i reached next to Rahul, i shouted at the top of my lungs “ Rahul Cheetah Cheetah run run run “ and i raced ahead like a motogp racer. After 5 mins when rahul finally caught up with me i told him “ dude cheetah “ to which he was like “ nah maybe a deer or something”.

    Finally when we reached a small village where the trucks had stopped and a small dhaba was open, we stopped. My heart was still beating frantically when rahul came over. By the time i caught hold of my breath and got down from my bike, 2 drivers came up to me and started checking my leg if i was hurt. They then told that they were behind us and saw the whole thing unfold. A lot of people gathered then and were discussing the same thing. Apparently a man eater was on loose the same time and had killed 2 men already.


    I thanked my lucky stars that i was saved and oh god, decided never to ride in the night!!!




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    Not much to tell. we stopped once more on the outskirts of mysore cause my behind was paining like hell. We finally reached home at around 4am.

    A very eventful journey came to an end. Learnt a lot !!!

    Stay tuned for more
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by joshi.varun91; 02-07-2015 at 03:13 PM.

  4. #4
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Beautiful photos. Will stay tuned for more.

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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    awesome pics and plot,,,, was wonderful to read,, and hell yeah we all are tuned up,,, i mean we just read the first K of K2k,,, bring it on dude,,,,,,

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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Good going there. Glad you like riding the R15 and I agree that this is a decent bike in its class to tour, contrary to what many think otherwise. The cheetah incident was epic and on the brighter side if that's what it took to put you off riding at night, then perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.
    Ride To Live

  7. #7
    Addicted joshi.varun91's Avatar
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Thanks all Does everyone feel a lot of silence in the tourer section nowadays or is it just me ??

    Quote Originally Posted by akshay View Post
    Good going there. Glad you like riding the R15 and I agree that this is a decent bike in its class to tour, contrary to what many think otherwise. The cheetah incident was epic and on the brighter side if that's what it took to put you off riding at night, then perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.
    Yes the cheetah incident really scared me a hell lot and was one of the strong reasons for not riding during the night. Also I'm short sighted, so need spectacles all the time to look at things far away. Night time, with people always resorting to driving with their high beams ON, and insects getting stuck to specs make it much more irritating and difficult. Day riding is always good , atleast for me

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

    Mysore - Bangalore ( 150kms short ride)


    So i learnt a lot from my previous ride to Kanyakumari.


    1) I was pretty sure that I will not be riding during the evening and night
    2) Butt-ache was a problem that needed an immediate solution, especially for longer rides. I knew i had the stamina to ride for very long distances without getting tired, but the pain while getting off the bike was unbearable.
    3) Keeping few things, like chocolates, a small pack of biscuit, loose change handy in the riding jacket pocket for the quick breaks. Ample water, in arms reach to have water without getting off the bike. All these small niche details help in saving a lot of time.
    4) Bit of stretching to do, while riding. Like I used to grab the 'grab handle' behind the pillion seat with one arm and stretch.
    5) Get all the necessary and important parts like clutch cable, throttle cable, spark plug, tyre puncture repair kit and keep them for reserve. Learn the basics like tightening the chain etc.
    6) All the documents to be kept safely and updated aswell.
    7) Power bank for charging the phone on the go
    8) Service the bike
    9) After going through thousands of travelogs and learning from them, I learnt many cool travel hacks. For example, if you line the inside of your saddle bags with polythene (Garbage bags), they help insulating against water, and trust me, even with a rain liner, there were places where water would come through eventually.
    Was able to get hold of only one bungee chord, so went and bought the cloth-hanging ropes
    10) Was really doubtful about the 'legal' number plates. Apparently in many cities, including my hometown chandigarh, if you dont have the high security number plates, you can get caught easily. So went ahead and got myself a new number plate which adheres to the RTO.


    4th July:
    So finally it was the D-Day! The day I had been waiting for. The day i had long planned, probably an year back. There were many factors contributing to my higher levels of excitement that day. No work for the next month, no crazy calls , no status reports, no issue fixing. It was just gonna be me, out there, on my bike with the wind blasting against my face and just solitary enjoyment.


    Id like to add something here. People often ask me , dont you get bored while riding for so long ? Let me tell you something here. Im an awesome guy, trust me. When im not burdened with anything, Im really fun to hang out with and have fun. So i had myself for company, and nothing could be better than that


    So anyways, i went to office, had a lil bit of work but i was in no mood to work. My teammates , more like friends were happy to take upon themselves my share of work, while i checked out the weather forecast and finished up the last minute preparations.
    So it was about 3pm when i finally decided to go home and saddle up to go to Bangalore, just 150kms from Mysore. It was gonna be an easy ride which i have done countless number of times, so no shock there.


    Also, my squash partner and a really good friend, was gonna fly to Netherlands the next week for his masters, so i met him the one last time before leaving.

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    Thats me on the right, in white


    Bid adieu to all the team mates , who wished me best of luck and were sweet enough to gift me chocolates Once home, i quickly packed, and mounted the saddle bag on my bike. By about 4 15pm i was all ready to move on. Called up my parents, updated everyone on whatsapp, and i was off Couldnt help but smile and shout with the immense joy that i got immersed in when i hit the main highway!
    The trip ahead was gonna be epic!


    While packing the previous night:
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    All Saddled up
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    I had done just 50 odd kms, just before Mandya, it started to rain, and heavily. So much that my rain liner inside the jacket proved to be helpless against the heavy rain and the wind blasts. Stopped at a roadside bus stop where other people were also taking shelter.

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    One awesome thing that i faced all throughtout the joruney was that everyone expected my bike to be a superbike, twin cylinders since it looked so cool and agressive , with it being all saddled up and even the rider (me) wearing jackets and gloves and knee guards.But the moment they saw that its just an r15, i really laughed out loud at their disappointed faces. Anyways, it had started to become dark an i really dont enjoy riding in the dark, so the moment the intensity of the rain reduced, i again started. Finally i reached Bangalore at my cousins place around 8pm. Also tanked up at the Shell pump, got the tyre pressure checked.


    I had a feeling that my saddle bag is pretty heavy even though i did minamlistic packing. So i again opened up everything, removed a few more clothes. But still. Not happy. I guess im carrying a lot of food stuff. Gotta check that. So the day ended there.


    My gloves were soaked, even from inside, so was my jeans. I hung them out to dry, and used a hair dryer to dry my gloves. at least the gloves should be dry from the inside. And they were. Slept off around 11 30pm for the mega journey that lay ahead the next day. Bangalore - Pune


    Stay tuned for more

  8. #8
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Hi buddy,
    That's really great to read the travelogue... That too with R15... Although I loved to tour the countryside, never attempted to cross beyond Chennai-Pondicherry and Chennai-Yelagiri. After reading your story my heart pumps its fuel faster to throttle my fazer for longer rides... Happy to read... :thumbup:
    I never really questioned why I ride,Because for me its as basic as breathing.

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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    fantastic just love the way things have been building up,,,,,how did u over come the butt ache did u use anything like towel or something,,,??

    i mean i use r15v2 ,, and we all know how unforgiving this bike is on butts,,, i used towel during my last ride to Bhutan it did provide quite a bit comfort,,,

  10. #10
    Addicted joshi.varun91's Avatar
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    Default Re: K2K | Because i love to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by vijayfazer View Post
    Hi buddy,
    That's really great to read the travelogue... That too with R15... Although I loved to tour the countryside, never attempted to cross beyond Chennai-Pondicherry and Chennai-Yelagiri. After reading your story my heart pumps its fuel faster to throttle my fazer for longer rides... Happy to read... :thumbup:
    Hey Vijay. Glad to hear it. Bro, its after about 6 months that I am writing this travelog, so the enthusiasm, the energy, the excitement I had when doing this is beyond comparison. After the trip was done and i came back to Mysore, i faced some hard events in life which kind of killed all my joy and energy which thus led to this delay in writing this travel log. IF someone asks me now, whats the best moment from your life, I can easily count this roadtrip, as THE BEST time of my life. Period.

    There will always be some obligations , some hurdles, some problems which might make you postpone your plans , be it a roadtrip or anything else. What i suggest is, if it is something you really aspire to do, you dream about it, the best time to do it, is NOW. And trust me, when you put your heart and soul into something, other things WILL fall into place. !!!

    I read in " The Alchemist ", When you want something truly and deeply, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wanderer View Post
    fantastic just love the way things have been building up,,,,,how did u over come the butt ache did u use anything like towel or something,,,??

    i mean i use r15v2 ,, and we all know how unforgiving this bike is on butts,,, i used towel during my last ride to Bhutan it did provide quite a bit comfort,,,
    I'm extremely sorry for missing out on that detail. Dont know how it slipped out of my mind.

    For butt-ache:
    1) All the way from Mysore- Chandigarh, I didn't do anything except take the hourly breaks in between to give rest.
    2) Kept shifting my weight here and there just to let the blood flow.

    Pain would creep in after covering about 500kms. and the last 100 kms would be the worst. SO after reaching Chandigarh, i thought i had enough.
    I read various threads online.

    Few folks suggested to get a innerwear especially meant for bicycle riding. Those have paddings inside. I got one from the Decathalon store in Chandigarh.
    I wore that too, but even that didnt help much.

    In the end, i just kept a bed sheet which was the best solution ever!

    Ride to bhutan seems awesome !!! Travelog please. I too wanna do it soon !

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