The Circus stretching the boundaries..
When you have a RE, there is never a wrong time to do a trip. So, amidst semester exams, feeling the need to ride and take a break from all the studies, Shubra decided to ride on Sunday the 19th of December for a few hours with her then boyfriend (now husband :P) Satvik, and be back in time to prepare for the next day’s exams. Thus started the“supposed to have been short ride” on Bannerghatta road. Satvik was on his Standard 350, and Shubra on her Classic 500. Since the two were dating without Pops knowing it, Shubra wasn’t sure if she could ask him to join! :P
They set off from BTM Layout at 7 30 AM. The initial plan was to ride a few kms to a small hill near the outskirts, trek up the hill (which had a beautiful view of a breathtaking landscape). However, with absolutely no traffic at that hour of the day, they reached their destination in no time. The thump and the feel of the ride had not set in at all. One look at each other and they knew they wanted to ride more. And so began the ride on the roads less taken.
They chugged along on the state highway for a little longer until they glanced upon an indistinct right turn. The signboard did not reveal much about where the road led to, other than some random names of villages listed on it. Being in the adventurous mode that they were in, they turned right. The road was narrow, bumpy and lined with farms on either sides. The green surrounding them and the absence of traffic was a welcome change.
After crossing a village and few more farms they came across, to their delightful surprise, a signboard that read “Welcome to Bannerghatta National Park range”. Beyond the board were winding roads that passed through a hilly terrain. Their smiles broadened at this sight and in unison they decided to ride forward. Before entering the park they took a brief stop to soak in the fresh air and for a small photo session.
They had begun to feel the ultimate feeling of riding through these country roads. It was just them, the road and their thump. The wind hitting them in their face, carrying with it the sweet fragrance of farmlands was a lovely experience. As they chugged along, not knowing where they were heading to, they asked a few villagers if the road would lead to Kanakapura Road, which was closer to Shubra’s house. The villagers told them that the road did connect to Kanakapura road. They had to make a choice — either to head back on the same route they came by or explore this new found route to Kanakapura road. The former sounded safe as they did not know much about the latter route or the distance. But like every other bulleteer, they did not take the safe option.
As they went forward on this new found route, they came across a small rock facade with a valley on the other side. There were some cars parked, mostly villagers’. There were beer bottles and gutka packets thrown around. They heard lion/tiger roars from the forest side. Satvik, who had been here before, told Shubra that they were coming from the Bannerghatta lion/tiger safari which was very close by. The experience of listening to these majestic cats roar was a thrilling and a scary one.
They continued their ride through this rural landscape passing more villages and hillocks until they hit a small dead end. The right went down into a muddy uneven road into the forest and the other one went towards the next village. They rode towards the village, pretty confident of that the muddy non-existent road couldn’t be the way forward. After reaching the village, bam, dead end again. Upon enquiring it turned out that the muddy road into the forest was the road that would lead to Kanakapura road. The two exchanged surprised glances at each other. Satvik asked them again, reconfirming if it was the only path. The locals assured us that it was just a 5 km bumpy ride that would end with a small water patch, and crossing that they should get a main road that would connect to Kanakapura road.
With this reassurance they turned back to head towards that road. They entered the road with caution. The road was muddy, uneven and not a patch of tar was seen anywhere. Around it the jungle looked quite dense. Satvik, who loves the wild was excited and was hoping to sight an elephant or some other wild animal. This place was known for being an elephant corridor. Shubra, on the other hand was vary! They progressed slowly, cautious but enjoying their off roading experience. As they finished the 5 km stretch, they reached a small pond. This was the small water patch that the locals had mentioned. Only thing, upon reaching, it was not small enough.
They saw a small alternate path that led to the far end of the pond where the water was shallow. They took a u-turn and went along on the path. This path was meant more for people walking and not for bikes. The path was slippery with water on one side and muddy patch on another. They reached a steep incline after that which led to the path. They parked the bikes, checked the incline and were wondering if they could do it. Going back was an option, but a boring and lengthy one at that. Satvik got down, pretty tensed and checked the incline. He decided to go first.
Shubra ran down the steep and with my camera in hand was ready to capture the moment. He slowly inched towards the incline, his engine turned off. He made it comfortably till the middle of the incline. At that point, there was a small bump after which the incline got steeper. His tyres were not in the best condition, in fact almost balding and his drum brakes not the best for this situation either. Combine this with the weight of standard 350 and he slipped. The bike slipped a little to the right and he had to put it down. After gathering his breath, he started again, this time making it to the end and riding it through the shallow water and towards the main road on the other side. Reaching there, he shouted out in joy!
Next was Shubra’s turn. But after seeing his adventure, she was not very confident. Her motorbiking experience on well tarred roads was a little over a month. And that in off-roading was a big zero! So it came upon him to ride her bike too across the swamp. So with an additional responsibility of making sure that her brand new bike was not damaged, he started the bike. It was much easier on Shubra’s bike, thanks to the disc brakes and the fact that he had already done this once. The bike took the steep beautifully and crossed the swamp like a champion. On the other side, on the main road they were so excited about their feat! They had gotten much more share of adventure and adrenaline rush than they had bargained for, and no one was complaining. From then on it was a comfortable ride through the country side that existed so close to Bangalore!
They reached home by around 4. Their original plan was to reach home by max 1 pm. The trip was an amazing experience consisting of adventure, exploring new roads, pushing not just the bulls, but their own comfort zones, experiencing pristine nature so close to Bangalore and of course the off roading bit that gave them a rush.
All in all, a perfect day!