Friday, October 12, 2007

Biking around Bangalore

It was quite some time since I took my "Hero Hawk" for a long ride (around 8 months).
Thanks to Shree's narration on his experience of "Tour De Coorg" (http:\\, which motivated me to restart pushing the pedal.

All started with me and Shree planning for a 4 day Mountain-to-Sea cycling trip (Ooty to Kasargod), this time I had to practice well to keep up with him and his new found team.

Big Banyan Tree – Sept 8th (Wrong road at a wrong time…)

This was aimed to be a pleasure trip, Me, Shree, Manohar, Priya, Miraj, Choodi and Vishnu started from Padmanabhnagar at around 6.45 A.M.

Manohar : Awesome strength and stamina, ready for Trek and/or cycling on any weekend .

Choodi (Vishwanath Choodi) : My Colleague, and a very enthusiastic person. Very active and athletic. Cricket, Trekking, Cycling, Yoga etc..

Miraj : My colleague and a proud owner of new “Hercules Omega”.

Vishnu and Priya : Introduced earlier!!

All started with clicking a photo of Choodi tranporting his bike to the starting point from his house, half cup chai to celebrate the start :)

Road upto Kengeri Via Uttarahalli was in a very bad shape.. the only respite was the predominant downhill. We took 45 minutes to cross around 10 Kms with frequent breaks.

Breakfast at Kengeri and proceeded towards the Doddaladamara deviation on Mysore road. Being on a Road bike, riding 4 Kms on this smooth road was respite for me and my back.

After the deviation we had to travel another 13 kms, apart from the first 5 kms the rest of the path was very bad. Not much traffic on the road though. The path passes through lot of Nurseries and Farms.

Reached Big banyan tree around 11. The shady park under the tree was inviting for a nap, we just rested there, emptied 2 ltrs of “Slice (Mango Drink)” and started our journey back at 12 Noon.

Note : Manchenbele dam is around 8 kms from this place. Its a nice scenic water spot.

On the way back, we stopped for a nice Lunch on Mysore road-BigBanyan tree Junction and decided to take the NICE road towards kanakapura road. This i would call Bad Road at a bad time, it was 1 PM when our bikes entered this road. There are no shades/ trees on either side of the road (Obviously). We took around an hour to cover nearly 10 kms of this stretch. Most of the time resting under “Fly Over Bridge”.
Shree was particularly not happy since he had to cycle slowly and expose himself more to the sun.

Nice Road-Kanakapura road Jn was a welcome sign, due to the shady trees around the latter. We stopped for tender coconut drink on the way and reached the Family Mart junction around 2.30 P.M.

Choodi, Shree, Priya and Me turned right towards BTM Layout and the others Left towards Padmanabhnagar.

Total Distance : around 65 (BTM to BTM)
Road Condition : Not good for road bikes. Mountain bikes might enjoy riding.
Food: Kengeri is a good option. The place where we stopped for Lunch (Mysore road – Big banyan tree road Jn) is also decent. There are lots of shops around Big Banyan tree for water or snacks, but we could not find a decent hotel for Lunch here.

Sarjapur - Hoskote - September 16th (Awesome Ride …, bike trouble)

Me and Manohar set out for a 90 Km in 6 Hour ride on a sunday morning. The route was the one Shree had explored an year earlier.
This was my first time riding to Sarjapur, and belive me.. some reason or the other, i am on this road pedaling 5 continous weekends.

I met rather gloomy looking Manohar at 5.15 A.M near Advaith Petrol Bunk (BTM Layout). Front wheel of his bike had no air. Got to know that it is flat inspite of pumping some air in the morning.

Luckily it was not a puncture, I just pulled the wall-tube out re-fixed and pumped some air... everything was fine after that.

It was around 5.50 A.M when we started... met Choodi and his friend near ORR-Sarjapur Road Junction. Choodi's friend was struggling a bit because of his bike condition, we decided that me and Manohar should continue to meet our 6 hour deadline. Choodi and his friend decided to ride slowly to Sarjapur and return.

The Road is very good, newly laid. After 55 Minutes and 20 Kms of cycling we were inside Sarjapur town. One need to go through the town and take a left turn towards Chiktirupati. Chiktirupati is 13 kms from Sarjapur, the path is mostly uphill, and the road not as good as the previous stretch.
Reached Chiktirupati around 7.40. Stopped for tea, took our first break of the ride (20 Minutes).

Hoskote is 28 Kms from Chiktirupati, we decided to do this stretch and stop for breakfast. The ETA at Hoskote was 9.30.
But the cycling gods were not with us (Manohar) on that day and just 6 kms before Hoskote, rear wheel of his bike got punctured.
I continued riding towards Hoskote in anticipation of finding a cycle shop and Manohar started hitch-hiking. Luckily, a Tractor fellow stopped and obliged to transport him and his biketo our next destination.

I reached Hoskote at 9.30, Manohar arrived 10 minutes later. Dumped his cycle at one of the shops and off we went in search of a hotel. Manohar tasted his first Davangere Benne Dose. It was 11 before we could get the cycle repaired and start our journey back to bangalore via KR Puram.

We knew that the deadline cannot be met as one hour was wasted for the repair. The revised time now was to reach my house (BTM) by 12.50P.M. The rest of the journey was non-eventful except for the heavy traffic on the Highway and the scorching sun.

We were sipping cold Apple milkshake prepared by my mom at 12.45 at my house.

Total Distance : 93 Kms.
Stretch 1: BTM to Chiktirupati – 33 Kms, good road, nice scenaries. Lots of elevation changes.
Stretch 2: Chiktirupati to Hoskote – 28 Kms, road quality was O.K, not as good as the previous one. Sparse traffic. Mostly flat terrain.
Stretch 3 : Hoskote to BTM (Via Indiranagar) – 31 Kms, road quality was good. Lots of traffic. Mostly Downhill.
Food : Hoskote is a good option for Breakfast, for early eaters Sarjapur would be a better option. Tea stop at Chiktirupati.

An alternate route would be : 11 Kms before Hoskote, take a left turn towards White field. Then you can reach BTM via Outer Ring road. One can avoid much of the Bangalore-Kolar Traffic on this route.

Kanakapura – Bidadi – September 22nd (Change of plans on the fly)

Sarjapur – Chiktirupati – September 23rd (Journey too good when compared to destination…)

Dommasandra – Varthur – September 30th (Pleasure trip?!...)

Kaggalipura – Bannerghatta – Oct 2nd (no Yogavana hills  )