Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Motorcycling is by its very nature potentially dangerous – perhaps that’s why we do it!

Odometer reading 13000 kms
Accident rate: 1/4333kms

Auto-gynec Accident
Place: Opposite to the Sagar Automobiles on Banerghatta Road.
Damages: Rs. 20 for removing the crash guard bend.
Physical Damages: Rs. 50 for Anti-Tetanus injection and dressing.
I was riding to work, just crossed Accenture, at a steady 40-50 kmph. One pretty gal was crossing the road, small momentary distraction and an auto in front decides to move into the right lane. I braked to avoid collision, my front disc brake locked, the sand near the divider side of the road made me lose balance. The crash guard met the divider on its way down. My right leg got a bad bruise after scraping against the divider.
By the way, the gal was gone before I regrouped myself and turned around.

Whenever you fall, pick up something. I couldn’t pick her up though!!

From Bhat to Butt..er
Place: Yelagiri
Damages: A few thousand rupees
Physical Damages: Nil

My claim to fame at RTMC, the infamous tagging to ‘Butt..er’. If you draw a 2x2 BCG matrix (my MBA education is now taking over and I am now going to talk intelligently) with financial impact on vertical axis and physical impact on the other, this one accident would lie on the top left box. Top, meaning, really top and left, meaning, extreme left.
(MBA is abbreviation for Master in Business Administration and we are taught, among other things, to present data in boxes and pies).
In case it greyed your grey matter, all that was cryptic for “it cost me lots of money”.
RTMC rode to Yelagiri on the 19th March. You would have guessed from the ‘giri’ part of the name, that it is a hill station. There is a Ghat section climb on the way up (what else did u expect) - a narrow winding road with some hair-pins bends. There was no traffic on our way up.
I was doing good on the turns and I guess I got carried away a wee bit on the ride down. There were two bulls ahead of me and I was trying to catch up. On one of the left turns, I found myself in the middle lane, gunning straight at a Tata Sumo Victa. I braked hard and got most of the bike out of the way, but couldn’t avoid the brake lever and the mirror go whack against the mirror and beading, ripping the plastic off. Metal against plastic is not too much of a contest.The sumo full of doctors let me go after I promised to make good the damages (why?). We considered the option of using the comprehensive insurance I had, but it would take time for the formalities and then I heard the future premiums go up.
I got away with a bent brake lever but a badly hurt ego and image. I thought I did well to hold my nerves, stay on road and prevent what could have been worse.
I paid through my nose for the damages. I guess, I could have bought Yelagiri with that kinda dough.

House Full
Place: A few hundred meters from home - Boopsandra
Damages: Bent crash guard (I don’t remember it straight now)
Physical Damages: Rs. 50 for Anti-Tetanus injection and lots of Soframycin.

On 13th May, went on this Penukonda ride (check archives). After a heavy dinner, at around 10pm, I decided to pay a visit to BeeKay who was leaving to Singapore that night. My sister, Madhu, who had not seen him in a few years, decided to join me. Rishabh and Aryan her handsome sons wouldn’t miss any ride on the Thunderbird.
Any long ride gives a good high and there is always a hangover - there is a thump thump in the back of the head, the adrenaline levels are high and so is the confidence level.
I was turning right off the main road into a 100ft road. With a building in the corner and the rains leaving sand on the road, it was a bad idea to take it fast. I had slowed considerably, but nevertheless, had to steer the bike to turn. I remembered using the front brakes till the point of taking the turn, for some reason the bullet skidded. In a few seconds the four of us were on the road.
Aryan was crying, people from the chat stall nearby crowded around. Rishabh looked fine, there was no contact with the silencer, so there were no burns. Madhu’s pyjama was torn at the knee and there was some bleeding. Someone from the crowd brought a jug of water to clean up the wounds. Aryan had landed on my sister and was unhurt. It was when the water was poured on the wound, that the real pain surfaced. Rishabh, who had maintained his composure till this time, couldn’t hold it any longer.
BeeKay’s dad is a doctor and we decided to get the first-aid done at his place. When we reached there, 3 bleeding patients used up some 5liters of Dettol and some 1 kilo of cotton.
For the next one week nearly, everyone had their accident tales to share when they heard what happened. Thanks everyone for the wishes, I did get away this time…
Sister was back on the saddle the very next day, I feel trusted!

It took me two weeks to get back to using the hand fully. I survived all the oohs and aahs everyone who saw my bruise had to say. The pain of the wound per se was nothing, but the thought of putting my nephews and sister through this was.

This is one blog roll I don’t intend to add to!

I was wondering if accidents can be addictive, I must admit there is a sense of wild craziness to it. Searched the net for it, but drew a blank. Let me know if you have come across something on this before.

Some favorite quotes I picked up:

The chapter of accidents is the longest chapter in the book.
John Wilkes (1725–1797), British politician. The Doctor (Robert Southey).

There are no small accidents on this circuit.
Ayrton Senna (1960–1994), Brazilian motor racing driver. Remark made before the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, during which he was killed. The Independent (London) (December 22, 1994).

Whenever you fall, pick up something.
Oswald Theodore Avery (1877–1955), Canadian bacteriologist.

The only way to be absolutely safe is never to try anything for the first time.

There are no accidents. God's just trying to remain anonymous.

Small Accidents are good for you, your reflexes improve with every fall.
Gurunandan, one passionate Bulleter.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

24 Karat Action - Penukonda, Timbaktu Ride

Date 14th May 2006
Total Distance traveled: 330kms
Destination: Timbaktu
Objective: Andhra Meals
Route taken onward: Bangalore-Yelahanka-Doddabalapur-Hiriyur-Gouribidanur-Hindupur-Penukonda-Timbaktu.
Route taken return: Timbaktu-Penukonda-Chikkbalapur-Bangalore
Photos uploaded at http://100kph.fotopic.net/c957887.html

24 Karat Action
One more ride with RTMC. In mid May, if one ventures out to Andhra braving the heat, the reason better be strong. ‘Genuine’ Andhra meals was promised and all of 24 Karat Action happened. (The inspiration for the title comes from the movie poster for the gult pillum Bangaru – 24 Karat Action). To avoid having to ride in the afternoon sun, we decided to start late, lunch and rest in the afternoon and ride back in the night.
For this ride there were almost no newbies from the announce group, but for this one techspan guy who was running in his bullet supposedly. We were some 15 of us, who started off near the HP petrol pump near Hebbal at 11 in the morning.
Dhak-Dhak Roads
We were warned that there were craters on this road that were visible from the moon. Right side or left side, road, off-road, ride sitting, ride standing, slow/fast/medium - just keep off the pot-holes!!
There were two regroup breaks – at one we emptied a tender-coconut vendor off his stock and on the second occasion, finished off the last drop of Buttermilk at Gauribidanur.
I was plugged to my Network Walkman mouthing some old Kannada songs – SPB, Annavru, Ravi chandran songs.
Thanks to all the dhak-dhak roads, my nuts came loose, literally. (If you think you read this joke, in my previous blog, you need to know I’m an advocate of recycling, jokes and girlfriends included). I had to pull over some 10kms before Penukonda. One kick in the butt (read silencer) every 2-3kms and the bullet was back to highway fit. Reminds me of Prof. Mulky’s KITA motivational technique (KITA acronym for Kick-In-The-Ass), who says management principles don’t work on Bulls.

Genuine Andhra Meals
It was some 230 when we reached Penukonda. Now the group split, the non-veggies settled for a Highway restaurant and about 5 of us headed to a Mess near the Penukonda fort. It turned out the guy was a Kannadiga, and he was serving Andhra meals without Parpu (Gun Powder). So much for ‘genuine’ Andhra meals.
Andhra meals typically has rice in the first course. Here you need to add about 2 liters of ghee to it, and then add one more spoon, then add parpu pudi to it, till it becomes light orange in color. Now mix this with Pappu. Pappu is the staple food of Andhra but keeping in view the global food shortage (esp. in the neighboring state of Amma) Pappu is served in a small quantities only using a tea spoon (the govt has not objected to this practice because of the employment it generates).
As you are getting done with the first course of rice and pappu, there is the second course of rice and sambar, then the third, with rice and rasam and the fourth, with rice and curd.
As we were finishing off our four course rice meals, the rest of the guys came thundering down. Because of chicken flu (or because the chicken flew) non-veg food was not available and they had to settle for the four course meal.
For 2 rupees, I got a nut for my silencer, and it solved my KITA problem.
Post lunch, we went to pay our respect to Kumbakarana. A bench mark for most Gults, Kumbakarana, the brother of Ravana, slept for 6 months a year, ate for the remaining 6 months and had a huge pot belly. (evidence that Beer dates back to the Tretha Yuga). With a great mines-not-so-big feeling we left to Timabaktu.
There is a Shiva temple 3kms off the highway. The dirt road is good for off roading. The only thing we did was to go there and get back.
I don’t recollect exactly, but it was some 6 in the evening when we started back. Sumanth was point and pp was the sweep. We stopped over at Penukonda again for some juice. Naxalites who:
After Penukonda, as we were getting into the Karnataka border we were stopped by the Ananthpur police. (With those fiber lathis, we had no choice but to stop). Someone had tipped them that there were there 10 odd bullets riding up and down, in that area. The Naxalite prone area that it is, routine interrogation took more than a few mins. An?l went into the police station to settle things out. No one could notice any lathi marks with his Joe-Rocket on.
The group had split into 2 when we reached chikbalapur, but we met up again at 9 near hebbal. It was one of those few rides when we all stuck together till the end.

kar·at [kérrət] (plural kar·ats) noun
measure of gold content: a unit of proportion of gold in an alloy equal to 1/24 part of pure gold. U.K. term carat[1]

Monday, May 22, 2006

Friday, May 05, 2006

To Heaven and Back

Kumara Parvata, Veeramangala, Karinja Temple

The Team:
Bharat – Member SJCC currently pursuing PhD at NTU, Singapore.
Dr. Sathyanarayana Bhat (Joint Director, Karnataka Biodiversity Board) –
Dr. Girish – ardent student of Dr. S Bhat
Yours Truly
Day 1
Saturday, 29th April
0335 – Left home on my Thunderbird headed on NH-48
0615 – First butt break at Suvarna Sagar, Hassan for 15 mins
0830 – Kukke Subramanya. Quick breakfast of Idli, vada and Buns.
0930 – started the climb to KP
1200 – Bhatas place
1400 – left Bhatas place for the top
1600 – Mantapa
1845 – Top of Kumara Parvata
1900 – Sleep, on-the-rocks!!
Day 2
Sunday, 30th April
0545 – Wake up to the twilight
0600 – temple on top of KP - Sunrise

0615 – start to descend
0900 – back to Bhata’s place in less than half the time taken for the climb
0910 – resume descent
1045 – back to Kukke Subramanya
1130 – Bath in the Kumara Dhara, followed by sumptuous lunch at Subramanya Mutt.
1330 – 45km ride to Veeramangala village near Puttur, Mangalore
1800 – Bath in Kumara Dhara

Day 3
Monday, 1st May
0900 – Left Veeramangala towards Karinja via Puttur and BC Road
1030 – Went to meet the Kambala Buffaloes near Puttur
1130 – At the foot of the Karinja Shiva and Parvati Temple

1215 – On top of the Karinjeeshwara Temple
1330 – Left Karinja to Bangalore
1515 – Discovered break failure on the Sakleshpur Ghat, nut gone loose
1545 – Repaired the break at Sakleshpur, took my only break of the 330kms ride
1915 – Non-stop 230kms ride back to Home Sweet Home.
Links for futher reading:
Kumara Parvata
http://www.visorview.blogspot.com/ ;)

Kukke Subramanya


Kambula/Kambala – Buffalo Race




Bowing down to public (who?) demand, I have decided to append this blog with some patchy details.
The early morning ride to Hassan.
Total distance of 180kms, made it non-stop in 2 hours 40mins, that is an average of close to 70kmph. There is this strategy called Tail-light strategy. What it says is, in the event of foggy, obscure, hazy conditions, where it the road ahead is unclear and the going gets tough, it suggests that companies can survive if they follow a market leader’s moves. The risk here is in identification of the leader. I am a good follower and not much of a leader and I followed this strat to the letter.
The high beam of my bullet was dysfunctional and the visor with some scratches make things worse. As luck would have it, a Tata Sumo taxi zoomed past somewhere near Nelamangala. From there all I that had to do was to follow the tail light. Mast technique this one, if it were not this one, it would have delayed the trek by a couple of hours.
The KP trek – First half Uphill
Within 10mins of the steep forest climb, we started to feel the exhaustion. Our first break was after a mere 20mins of trek and the next one after 10 more mins. This was the only time during the trek when had doubts if we could make it. Dr. Bhat was not even speaking, may be in an attempt to conserve all the energy he could. But we quickly adopted to it. Later we felt it could have been the dense air in the forest that could have made breathing difficult. But then, we actually made good time. 2.5 hours to Bhatas place is very good. Bhata himself makes it in 1.5 hours. I got some education in Botany on the way up. Tasted a wild fruit of the PentaGyna family. I remembered it because of the ‘gyna’ link ;)
The KP trek – Second half Uphill
Rashmi Bansal once said “Life is like an onion”, you peel off one layer of expectation, only to find another layer of expectations to peel. When I was in school they told me, I had to be a topper, done. That branded me as an intelligent guy in the family, then the next set of wannables – seat in a good engineering college, then, a good MNC job, then, something more, like an MBA from a premier institute, then a still better job, a fatter pay… those never ending layers.
The reason I brought this up is because the trek was so much like the layers. You get to the top of one peak only to find a teasing path around this leading to a higher peak. I acting as the guide, had to constantly remind the team that this wasn’t it, there is a lot aof trek left to the peak.
The sight was something no camera in the world can possibly capture. As I close my eyes now and recollect the view. Wish I could freeze it right there – mountain ranges as far as the eye can see, with all hues of green that you can conceive, and the green fading into the blue horizon, a small patch of barren land, a shiny patch of some lake/river somewhere, an eagle hovering high above. Wow, I wanted to jump off the hills and fly.
I want to go back there again, stay there for like… forever.
And guess what, for all those endless mountains, there was only *one* KP. Get the drift??
Amidst many oohs and aahs, we reached Mantapa at 4, 2 hours after we left Bhatas place. We crossed the Shesha parvata (see the fotos to know why it is called so, one side of the mountain looks like a five-headed serpent with its hood opened. This we noticed thanks to Dr. Bhat).
There is a stream (trickle, actually) close to the top of KP. I can never forget this and the scene from my trek to KP (in 1998). My close pal, Salil had filled up one bottle full of this water (which, the rest of us were contemplating, would be potable after boiling it three times or so). He lifted this bottle, complete with the dew formation outside, held it up, and without so much as a blink, downed half its contents in one go.
This time around, thanks to the last experience, I filled up all our empty bottles. There was little to rejoice when we eventually reached the top at 6:45. Like Dr. Bhat had hoped, KP entirely belonged to us on that night of 29th April. (if you are one of those sexy gals reading this, I missed you so much up there J , serious)
There was a thick dark cloud, threatening rain. We couldn’t see more than a few feet. BK and I went scouting for some place to crash. We didn’t find the temple formation on top. We just settled for some somewhat flat rocks for bed. The thin bedsheets that we carried were no match for the cloud and the steady chilling breeze. Dr. Bhat, now deputed to the forest department taught us some good treketiquette – no littering, no camp fires. That we managed to catch some sleep, was an achievement in itself.

The KP trek – the toe-crushing descent
Uncle wanted to get back to Kukke in a big hurry. On borrowed time, BK and I explored the top just as we were preparing to trek down. And what we found was to become the high point of the trek. A sea of clouds and the sunrise.
The climb downhill was about twice as fast as the climb up. We met loads of people crawling their way up (some 50 atleast) in various stages of physical degradation. “how longer is the top” “is there water on top” were the FAQs. We reached Bhatas place non-stop in about 2.5 hours. Dr. Bhat had a bath there and within 10mins we were on our toes again, watching out for loose rock and taking care not to injure a knee or an ankle.
BK fell about four times and I slipped thrice, but none so serious.
We reached Kukke at 1100 and headed to Kumara Dhare to wash off the fatigue.

BK and family had a threading ceremony to attend at Kukke. In what would go down as one the heaviest meals, I consumed 3 vobattus, 2 laddus, payasam apart from two helpings each of sambar and rasam rice. Can’t say I didn’t earn this one!!