Coast to Coast Dash (Part 1 of 2)

What happens when you take two daringbaaz guys (who at times lose their cerebral screw), put them on a 200cc bike, give them smooth (like butter) 4 lane highways, single lane scenic ghat roads and the stamina to ride for 44 hours????

THE GREAT INDIAN EAST COAST TO WEST COAST DASH

Tushar, the bike owner- route planner cum chief driver, and yours truly, the treasurer- navigator – cameraman – and co-driver, decided to clear this to-do item from Tushar’s ‘Things to do in LIFE’. You can read Tushar’s story here. Now let’s here my story…

… It’s 8pm, phone rings (and yeah… am in the office..)

  • tushar – when do we leave???
  • maheep – tonight…
  • tushar – time??
  • maheep – by 2am

“Why would you want to DRIVE all the way to Mangalore?”, asks my colleague (and whosoever heard of the plot). “Why not?” i ask. Moreover, having worked madly for the week, one deserves a break. A break where you do not think anything, just drive and drive endlessly.

That pretty much raps up the WHY part for me. Now the details… I left office at 2am and we started from Chennai for Bangalore at 2.30am. After travelling some distance thru halogen lit chennai streets we hit the moon lit national highway. Now let me take this opportunity to thank the Indian Govt for building good roads. The road to Bangalore is simply smooth, with low traffic during night time, so we drove comfortably at >80kmp & <110kmph for the whole stretch and 60kmph for a small patch when the bike ran in reserve. We rode in turns, and stopped whenever we felt that our posteriors couldn’t handle the pain (more on that later). By sunrise, we were greeted by scenic mountains immersed in clouds near krishnagiri. A quick tea and we were off to hosur. Hosur, for the uninitiated is located in Tamilnadu and is known for the mfg facilities and proximity to Bangalore’s famous electronics city. Having said that you can guess how badly our speedometer would have travelled counter clockwise. After Hosur, it was electronics city and then bangalore city, the traffic kept getting worse. We managed our way through the ‘Bangalored Traffic’ and crashed at Santosh’s place. After a day’s long work and 350 kms, 2 hrs of sleep “banta hai yaar”. The recharge was complemented by hot Parotha’s at Santosh’s place. But to my dismay, the recharge was cutoff by Tushar’s plan to leave bangalore ASAP (btw, i’ve started to hate this word). We took a country road to reach hasan form bangalore. The road, as described in Tushar’s own words is ‘Biker’s Paradise’. This was not a commercial route, so was free of heavy vehicle and luckily potholes too. I was sleeping though out the stretch. I woke up at the end only to find that we have reached the highway. This part of the highway is WIP all the way till Mangalore. The roads converted from 4 lane to two lane to single lane (through the ghats) and no lane at all (near mangalore). The roads were bearable till the ghats. After which only the serene environment kept us motivated, coffee plantations and lush green forests in specific. Tushar drove through most of the bad roads like a warrior, but finally had to give in favour of some rest. but to my surprise, when i was in the drivers seat, the roads got better. not just that, when tushar drove next, the roads got as worse as they can get (guess i was lucky with the roads). A smal 20km stretch just before mangalore took us around 1.5 hrs to complete. The road was under construction and had hell lot of potholes. To add over that, it was raining and the vehicles passing by were splashing the muddy water all over us.

The stretch made us rethink about our return journey. We decided that we would drop our bike at mangalore and catch the next train to chennai. Atleast our body would get some rest. So anways, we somehow reached Mangalore by 7pm. Shivaditya had pretty much everything ready. Had some good hot food and medicinal brandy.

will continue the rest of the story in part 2

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