1/22/2012

Pune - Chennai Solo Run 1250 kms 18 hours!!

Pune - Chennai Solo Run 1250 kms 18 hours!!

Prologue

It has been about 2 years since I was away from my home, Chennai. Career demands brought me to Pune . Pune was an awesome city to live and I was in love with Pune for its climate and the surroundings (Western Ghats!!! ) But my desire to switch job made me to relocate to Bangalore. I had a two week gap in between my two jobs. Obviously either I was going out for a ride or spend time entirely at home. But the biker inside me would not settle for the second option! And two week ride was not possible considering I will not have salary for the two weeks and the previous month salary was spent on giving farewell treats! So I wanted to ride down to Chennai from Pune satisfying my biker instincts.

It is going to be a solo one. My previous longest solo ride was around 500 kms Chennai-Mysore. And this ride will be my longest ever solo. The first thing to do was to convince my folks at home. As usual my mom was okay for it with the condition that I ride at sane speeds and keep dropping her SMSs whenever I stop for a break. My dad was against it but mom convinced him finally.

I told them that I would halt at Bangalore and then start off the next day to Chennai. But I had plans of making Pune-Chennai in a single day. Got the bike prepared for the ride, acquired saddle bags and everything was set for the ride when a disaster struck. My colleagues had planned for a weekend outing to a nearby place for rafting. In that trip my mobile got stolen. With just one day left for my ride I have lost my mobile and all the contact in it! I cannot be without a mobile phone on such a long ride that too when making it solo. I was very much depressed not only for the lost contacts but also to the music collection I had in that mobile. The phone was my only source of entertainment during the ride. Purchased a basic mobile and a SIM card for just the ride day and borrowed my friend’s music player.

Day 0 Dec 5th 2011

Since I was relocating I had quite a bit of luggage to carry. A saddle bag and a travel bag to be placed on top of it was packet full. Checked my usual spares, first aid kit, tool kit and put the alarm for 2:30 am and went to bed at 12: 30 am. Yes I had only 2 hours to sleep!

Day 1 Dec 6th 2011

The stupid tone of the new mobile buzzed. It wasn’t the alarm though; it was a call from my friend. It was just 1:30 am and he had called thinking I would be up getting ready. I had told my friends that I will start at 3: 30 am from Pune. They were coming to send me off. So there goes off my sleep! Had a bath and got geared up and all set to roll. Wait a minute I had to tie up that huge luggage to my 220! It took nearly 20 mins to had it all set up behind.
So after bidding farewell to my close buddies from Pune I was on the NH4 only at around 4:30 am which is going to be my companion for the next 1250 kms! With the memories of 2 years in Pune running in my mind I was riding on the broken pot-holed roads of NH4 at a decent pace. Early hours meant only trucks would be the fellow road users. Truckers are a very decent bunch of people on the NHs generally. They maintain lane discipline, follow rules and won’t make any stupid moves on road. My first stop was after the Khambatki Ghats. I had hot tea to evade the drowsiness.

I feared if I can make it to home by night. Sipped the hot tea and was feeling better. Back on the saddle and now the thing which hit me was the cold. It was December and this part of the country was extremely cold. Road was covered with fog and the sun hadn’t come yet. In spite of the jacket and gloves I was shivering inside. Next stop was somewhere after sun rise. Still the coldness was prevailing; this time had two cups of tea and made a couple of calls to inform mom and dad. Crossed Kholapur and was closing in on Belgaum.

First stop after sun rise


Foggy morning in MH


Entered the Karnataka border and stopped at Belgaum for fuel for my 220 and myself. I had to get into the city to find a fuel pump. Mileage returned so far was around 32 kmpl. It was decent considering the weight my bike was pulling and the speeds I was maintaining. Had my breakfast at a Udipi style hotel and moved on. This part of my ride is going to be very tough considering that the scenery I am going to see is not interesting and the roads are super smooth arrow straight ones. It becomes boring in such stretches of the road. That’s when the stupid instincts in you come out to keep you awake. I was singing out very loud and sometimes even scream! Like this kept munching some miles.

The boring stretch


The Kms left for Bangalore kept reducing at a good pace and that was a positive sign. I wanted to reach Bangalore in 12 hours i.e. by 4:30 PM. Passed a lot of toll booths which I vaguely remember from my previous bus journey to Bangalore. At one such toll booth stopped by for some tender coconut. It was refreshing but not enough to keep me energetic. So came to rescue one of the two Redbull cans which I had purchased previous day.

At some point I felt very sleepy and was cursing myself to have started the ride with just one hour of sleep the previous night. Pulled aside and slept on the road, beside the bike, for a good 15 minutes. That was a power nap and I was all recharged. Back on the road I stopped somewhere where it said 220 kms left to Bangalore. Took two pics at this milestone with my bike and looked out for a decent hotel for lunch. It was around 1:30 pm , had a decent lunch , made few calls to update my folks at home and was back on the saddle.

220 with the 220 milestone



With only around 200 kms left to Bangalore, a hatchback ( Ford Figo) was giving me good company. Driver of the car was very good in overtaking and maintaining speeds. Hanging closely to the car I covered the final kms toward Bangalore pretty fast. At 4:00 Pm I was at the outskirts of Bangalore. Called my parents and informed them that I reached Bangalore and will be going to my friend’s house to stay for the night. After informing them I was thinking whether to push it off to Chennai or take a halt. Chennai was around 380 kms from there and I was sure I can make it.

Outskirts of Bangalore


Nice Road


After entering TN


So took the NICE road which helped me totally bypass Bangalore city and connected me at the Hosur Road towards Chennai. NICE road was too good, I managed the top speed of the ride – 130 kmph. At this point stopped and called my parents. Told them I reached my friends house and that I was going to take rest there. I told my friends that I will be continuing to ride to Chennai. After crossing into TamilNadu stopped at Hosur for a break. Took a long break and started from this place at 6:00 PM. After few minutes of riding the sun light had vanished and I was riding in the dark. So I had to do a night ride of close to 300 kms. My already irritated eye was going to get more strained due to the headlights of the oncoming vehicles. Though it was on the other side of the divider at some points the light would be directly hitting on my eyes. It wasn’t a major distraction though.

Somewhere in betwen Bangalore- Chennai when the trip meter said 999 kms



After crossing Krishnagiri stopped for refueling the bike and energy drink for me. Then the ride was pretty easy as the Kms to Chennai was decreasing and the feeling of reaching home made me forget my tiredness. The feeling of riding to Chennai from Pune in a single day and reaching home after 2 years of being away from home was amazing. This kept me going and soon reached the outskirts of Chennai city and I was reminded of my previous rides when we used to stop for a last break before reaching home. After Sriperambathur there was a huge line up of the Hyundai Car Careers. It was like many long trains standing beside the road. Not sure what was going on some kind of a checking or tax clearance. I have never seen so many trucks together at a place. This caused traffic jam before entering Chennai. I managed my way through the traffic and reached Koyembedu Flyover. My friend Vignesh had come to receive me at the flyover. I was dead tired and also very content that I had completed this ride. He took the last customary picture of my bike with me. Reached home and gave my parents a huge surprise! Time was 10:30 PM Pune- Chennai 1250 kms done in 18 hours, solo!

I did it!

I did not ride to prove to some community that I can complete so many kms in so many hours. I rode to fulfill my dream of riding back home by bike. I always kept telling my colleagues that when I relocate from Pune I will be riding back home and I did it. I have always dreamt of riding to Chennai whenever I cross the Hinjewadi flyover over NH4 at Pune while commuting to work. It is not a feat that many wouldn’t achieve but for me it was special. I now know of my riding skill and my endurance levels. And not to forget my beloved 3+ years old 35k kms run Pulsar 220 Fi which performed flawlessly without even a small issue in spite of the huge load I made it to carry along!

I did it!

3 comments:

Zidane Ram said...

gethu da eb!! :)

Brian Daniel D'souza said...

Nice one buddy.it was a good read.:-) Not to mention the achievement of riding Pune-Blre..! keep up d passion.. Cheers..!

Brian Daniel D'souza said...

Good read. quite an achievement..! keep up d passion buddy.. cheers..!