A looooong drive

I've been longing for a long drive in bike. Somehow we made it to Pondi, but it doesn't look at a long drive at all. Now I drove to Coimbatore. At last :-)

When I said this, the response from everyone was:'Chennai to Coimbatore? In a two wheeler? Alone? Are you crazy?'. After much scoldings/warnings/advices from everyone, I decided to go on. I started on Thrusday early morning at 6.30 from Technohut. Filled up petrol, checked air, brakes, headlights and wrrrrooooom. I decided not to cross 80 km/hr speed limit and make a compulsary stop after every 75 kms.

The road from Chennai till Dhindivanam was really good. The entire strech of 120 kms was a four lane road and separated neatly by a divider. The road was the far better than ECR. After Dhindivanam till Ulunthupettai the road was not so great. It will be good and if you think you can stay in 80km/hr speed suddenly there will be a pit. Its a good test for maneuverability of the vehicle. I was bored with it. One good idea was to catch a speeding car and tail it from a safer distance. From its sudden brakes and turns, you can predict the road and drive accordingly. That happened for around 40-50 kms. Then till home the road was fine, except for a 15 kms strech before Palani. That was horrible. You can see pits everywhere and can't go beyond 45 kms/hr.

When I reached Trichy I took the by-pass to go to Dindugal. I was thinking whether to have lunch here/Dindugal. But then alas, I got a flat tyre. So I had a hard stop. Luckily there was a shop 10 mts away and left the bike there and went to a near by hotel for lunch. By the time I finished lunch, the bike was ready. Then the ride was smooth. Reached home by 6 PM. My trip meter showed 550 kms when I reached home.

My mom was standing before my neighbours home. When I stopped my bike near her, she thought it was someone else. She was surprised & happy to see me. She thought I came to Cbe in train and borrowed someone's bike from there. I told 'no its mine' and have to show the Chennai registration for proof. She got angry. She forgot that it not inside our home, its not even inside neighbour's home & we are standing in the road and everybody is watching us. She raised her hand to slap me. But then I've not yet removed my helmet yet and so she didn't know what to do. For a moment she starred at me and went into the house without any more words. It took a long time to convince her. I know wearing a helmet protects, but not to that extend !!!!

The return journey was also good. I started on Sunday morning by 6.30 AM. I went to Coimbatore and met my friend there in Karumathampatti. Had break fast and started there. This time the journey was via Trichy. Till Salem its NH 47 and it was again another perfectly maintained road. But from Salem to Aathur the 40 kms strech was very pathetic. I couldn't even touch 50 kms/hr. After that it was ok. When I reached home it was 6 PM again.

Unlike everyone thought its not a very wild idea. I just drove 1200 kms and that too the entire strech was national highways. If I had a CD 100 or a Splendor, I would not have thought of driving this far. Neither I preferred the trip two weeks earlier, as I would be soaked in the rain nor in the month of May where I would have half cooked in the hot-sun. The weather was simply perfect. And more important thing is I didn't drive during night. Every 20 kms I see a Police Patrol Vehicle standing and every 30 kms an Ambulance. A ride in highway is safer now. All you need is a solid bike and good mental/physical preparation.

Overall I thought the after-effects might be little trouble-some. I expected a heavy back-pain and said my PM that with most probability Monday, I might be on leave. But surprisingly not so. I could go to work on Monday. I won't say that I'm perfectly alright. There was a slight pain and felt tired on the whole day, but not that bad as I expected. Its worth for the experience.

Yesterday, one of my teammates was complaining to my PM, 'Ajit, look at this idiot. He has gone home in bike'. The reaction was bit unexpected: 'Really? hey thats good man. Some years ago, even I drove a scooter from Hydrabad to Pune. That was a good experience'. Hydrabad to Pune? That far? In a two wheeler? mmmm. Seems like a crazy idea. But then I've always have this sticked in my cube. Here's to the crazy ones.

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