The first two days opened up the thinking, few issues, falls and misses. Temples were grand and the route in rains newly washed was fantastic.
Day 3 started lazily with a mild hangover. The crowd was sleeping and as I stepped out saw K.G contemplating and staring into distance. I introduced myself, we had not got properly introduced last night since it was busy and confusing. Then Sagar come out, his hand was still swollen from the last nights fall. He got it massaged with coconut oil and K.G’s experienced yoga therapeutic hands.
I thought that my head needs some clearing, so went out for a walk/jog. The ride, lack of sleep and other factors made the joints stiff. I stretched and with “trying to be light” feet and slightly heavy head climbed down. The road was neat and just as I got into the rhythm it started to drizzle and it was fun but then the rain intensified so i had to turn back. I got back in time for nice steaming tea, some simple hot breakfast. At all these hills with their hill station misty wet weather, a nice cup of tea and simple, fresh hot food makes you glad, takes care of a lot of things – well almost.
The crowd was still sleeping and I packed up the gear and went for a cold water shower. I could not make out how to turn on the gas geyser. Later I found out the supply was not turned on so …
I guess the return to home day is meant to be lazy. No plans were made and there was no hurry to make one now. I saw the mood of the group that was chatting over tea and thought of catching twenty winks again.
Other group that split last night must have had a quieter night went to a fort it seems. We slowly geared up, packed the bag, warmed the engines and went to the rendezvous point. We waited there for the other group to catch up and also get updated stories of their night and day. It was about a lead who disappeared and the tail that vanished. We all posed and clicked while waiting like every other mobile and camera wielding crowd does. Our official photographer was busy too. Now I am wondering why after so many clicks I see so few snaps. Too few to fill this post at least.
Once the group was together we rode towards Vinay’s house. What a house it was, clean, tidy and into the nature. The trees, fruits, animals tempted us all for a long stay there. I thought we should retire in a house like this. Lucky are those who can truly go home to such peace. One of the reasons for this visit was to catch a glimpse of Vinay’s infant boy. Barely 2 months he was a brave lad and had tons of expressions to give. All things new bring such a joy and invoke the protectionist in you. Looking at the infant so fragile, so dependent I could see so much promise. Every new beginning has this promise. First day in college, new job, first serious relationship, first day ( night ) of marriage, first glimpse of the kid, first long ride. All of them open the vision to a new world, new promises, new perils. New what ifs. There is hope , there is danger and then there is advice.
We all played with the boy, had fresh, just plucked fruits. Posed with the guns and got one fired
. Morning became afternoon but our lazy mood continued. Later afternoon we finally started back. As we hit the high way small group decided to head to Mysore rather than Bangalore. So we did our good byes to the host and the splitter group. Took off.
The day was clear, sunny, the roads were smooth and traffic moderate. The lead was in a mood to play and set a pace that blew us and we flew. This leg was a ride ride. No time to pause or wonder. The furious pace set meant alert senses, melding with the machine, keeping the formation and zip. I felt we got into the zone as a group and maneuvered the road, traffic in a synchronized steps. In that pace, destiny had to introduce a pause. I heard load wild flapping. My Jacket’s zip came loose and the wind spread it open. I indicated, veered to left and stopped. So did the sweep and Kiran. We asked Kiran to move on. I zipped up and locked it and then scrambled to catch up. Now the formation was at 100 and to catch up I had to press on and 120 on the meter, heart in the hand, exhilaration all over caught up with the team.
As we hit the Hassan four lane highway it became more fun. Two files, no oncoming traffic. The formation smoothly overtaking the trucks, giving way to the faster cars and put up a metal, paint and chrome show on the tarmac. In that instant I felt like part of a fighter squadron doing formation show flights. All orchestrated by simple rule of keep up the distance from the front, watch the rear and keep up but be under control. This pure rush cannot be put into words, the awe of it needs to be felt, in a group. I wonder what would a real formation flying would be like. For now this was it. No other thoughts, movement by feeling and feeling the elements. FREEDOM!
The streak was broken when we reached Hassan and the Dhaba for lunch. It was way past the time but lunch it was. We rode the bikes via a narrow gate right into the dining place. Lunch done we started back and luck shines only once. Inspired by our run it seems the rain clouds had raced ahead of us. So the roads were wet. We consequently were slow. And then the drizzle started, intensified. The rain drops and dirt were making visibility bad. Yet the sequence moved forward. We were drenched, stealing a cleansing wipe once in a while and focusing on the red dots ahead. With time Swati restaurant appeared and it was time for last pit stop.
You know the trip is seeking closure when the group starts plotting its split to reach home. So at Swati I started to seek routes and company and the best option to reach home on the Bannerghatta road. Got hold of Ritvij. We debated Nice Vs ORR and selected ORR. Rode with the group till Nellamangla. Post the sentimental, customary and heartfelt thank yous and good bye, Home! It was little late, dotty dear was fast asleep. Wify dear happy( so it seemed ) to see me and the beast in good health. A warm cup of milk, lot of catching up on the week end from both sides and then it was done.
What a trip it was, one that seeded so many thoughts, so many observations and yet most I remember was the feeling of one with nature after the first rain where I thought the machines were reverberating with hills. Each leg gave one thought and the final day ride showed what fun clear roads are. Caution and control needed for these trip cannot be under estimated, so ride hard but ride safe. Finally I can relate to the club line – Blood in the tank , fuel in the veins.