Monday, November 26, 2007

Nandi Hills - Cycling

Ride date: 07.09.2007

After checking out the route tips from fellow riders in www.bikeszone.com, I set-off on my Hero Octane DTB at 5:25 a.m. This time it was a solo ride. I set-off to the tunes of “Beautiful dawn” from James Blunt singing into my ears. I had downloaded the satellite image of the Nandi hills from bikeszone and the challenge was inviting.



The ride on the NH7 was smooth and I had a complete lane for myself. I was surprised to see that Bangalore had extended this far till Devanahalli. It took me 2 hours to reach the board which read “Bangalore International Airport Limited” – Take Left 5 kms. Wondering whether it made sense to construct an Airport this far without a rail link or high speed special road, I kept pedaling my way ahead on NH7. Just before the Saibaba temple in Devanahalli, I decided to take a pit stop for refueling myself. The hotel man was puzzled to see me there and later was glad to accept me as his first customer for the day. “Oota sikatha”, I kept it short and sweet in Kannada. “Rice bath eethey”, he said smiling. Anything would do for me, hot rice bath turned out to be a blessing along with some “muruku”. I got the route to Nandi clarified with the Hotel man and kicked off again.

I took the left diversion from NH7 and my eyes were wide open and I was looking around for the mountains. I could see none, so I just stopped and enquired and the crowd screamed in unison, “Straightaa hogi”. After few kms, suddenly from nowhere I saw a huge monolith squatting at the far end of the road with clouds strewn allover it. Boy! It was a scene worth framing and so did I.

[Clouds strewn over Nandi Hills]

It was time for a second pit stop. It was a scary thought to me that I was going to scale this monster without food and water. I better get ready for the challenge. I bought 5 bananas and a 2 ltr bottle of water. The villagers welcomed me with a smile and some smiles meant, Boy you are going to get screwed. I was all alone to take this monster on. This time it was Bryan Adams singing into my ears “Its heaven” and I saw a companion ahead of me… my shadow. The scene was frozen for posterity.

The ascent started and I recalled Shree telling me that the last 8 kms is a descent outright climb. After recently doing a Talacauvery climb in Coorg with a team of spirited bikers, I felt I could climb this monster without stopping. For a change the milestones invited me with altitude info and they were spaced intelligently and they served as motivating factors. I was given thums-up by joggers coming downhill. Soon was I greeted by a military truck with jawans and in unison they cried “All the best” and waved hands at me. After reciprocating the encouragement, I kept pedaling.

The gradient was getting steeper and it was telling on my pace. I had to do a bit of talking and singing to keep me motivated to scale the heights. I took the curve 31 and the going got tougher, I was n’t still the tough one who can keep going. I shifted to grannie, but grannie could help me. The Curve 32 had the better of me and it was an inevitable pit stop at Curve 32. I could here abhi mocking at me (this is what I have been exactly saying in the forum…)

[Curve 32, I will back to take you on next time]

After this there were 10 & odd curves and I made to the summit easily, only to be stopped by gate keeper who denied me an entry into Nandi hills with my bicycle. I recalled Avinash telling this disgusting experience at the gate where they permit cars into Nandi hill but not the bicycles. Unfortunately, we are categorized as 2 – wheelers without any credits for running on a naturally aspirated zero emission human-powered engine (phew).

[Plan of places to see in Nandi Hills]

I felt immensely happy after reaching the summit and happy to know the fact that I was at 1492 m above sea level. It was time for some serious photography. After having mini meals for Lunch, I had a stroll in the park in solitude. Robert Frost’s words were fitting to this juncture, “Miles to go before, I sleep”, so I made my mind to reach home before dusk. What goes up, should come down and it did pretty fast. I was zipping past all the cars which were finding it hard to negotiate the hairpin bends. In just 20 mins, I was back at the foothills and took the road which connects to NH7. The way back home was easy except for the headwind and the merciless sun who kept doing what he does best, tan me from top to bottom.

After a couple of pit stops, my lungs started choking and that meant I was entering Bangalore City. After heeding to the greetings of the innumerable traffic signals, I reached home at 5:05 p.m. Having conquered myself, I switched on the TV only to see the men in blue reeling at 123/6 at the Lords. My legs were screaming, while my heart was singing n the brain was doing some number crunching after the trip… Here are numbers for the data hungry bikers n wannabes

Trip Stats:

Starting time: 5:25 a.m. , Finish time: 10:45 a.m.
First pit stop: 7:45 a.m. for 15 mins @ Hotel “unnamed” near Devanahalli – Saibaba temple Second pit stop: time unknown, foothills of Nandi. (10 mins)
Third pit stop: Curve 32, boy! It was too steep for me. (10 mins)
Bangalore Altitude: 960 m Nandi Altitude: 1492 m
Starting time: 1:00 p.m. , Finish time: 5:05 p.m @ Koramangala I Block
First pit stop: 10 kms before Yelahanka on NH7. (10 mins)
Second pit stop: Yelahanka (10 mins) (for 5 bananas great energy boosters )
Third pit stop: Kodigehalli (10 mins) (for 2 Maaza drink)
Total trip time: 11h 40m (cycling, photography, sightseeing all inclusive)

Total dist: 140 kms

[Thats the National Highway for you]

[How do I get down from 1462m]


[Wow! See the shadows casted by clouds]


[Stunning view]

[ Tipu's drop, from prisoners were furled down]



[me, basking in the sun]


[There is no short supply of lailas n majnus]



[Lotus pond blooming with algae]


[The pillar in temple]

[He accompanied throughout, my shadow]

[Who shaved the top of the mountain? Clouds?]



[Milestones, Nay...... I call them Altistones]


[Carvings on the temple wall]

[Inside Yoganandeeswara Temple]

[Count the monkeys, you get a different number each time]

13 comments:

Rohini said...

Hey Gut2,
Great going man! I cannot believe that you have gone this ahead in cycling!! I remember we used to laugh at our colleague when he used to come to office, but this has definitely inspired you to such an extent that I think all your thoughts just cycle around "cycling"!! I am very happy to see this excitement! Keep this page updated with your latest rides! The photos and videos are definitely adding "tring tring"! I wish you and your team GREAT cycling years ahead!! On the lighter side, never let your cycle seat get cold! ;-)
All the best!!

Anonymous said...

hi dude iam also a biking guy but i always wanted to go on tours but i never used to get a chance . if u are interested we can take a tour some day

aby

Inayath Ulla Khan said...

Hey guys,

We are planning a spectacular cycling event soon.....

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Anonymous said...

huy guys,
i m very intrested in expiditions i did many expiditions like mysore, madikere,bannerghatta and many more can i join with you.
my email id : Ravin_green@hotmail.com

Name: Ravi

Nivendra said...

hey guys!!is it possible to do Nandi,without a gear bike?

Vishwanath said...

hey dude..!
im a student..i live in bangalore.
recently i took part in the bsa hercules cyclathon....in which i had to cycle about 50kms...:)
this has inspired me to do a bigger cycling expedition..maybe to mysore or even chikmangalur(nd then to mullyangiri)..i wanted to knw if u could assist me in any way..i would really appreciate your help..:)
i wouldn't mind some company as well..i would most probably plan this in mid march.
cheers~!
keep riding..:)
and please reply..:)

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Sumil said...

A really nice article. Even i went there last winter on bike with my wife.Being our first time the experience was awesome. The return was a bit back breaking though on bike.
Check our trip on http://www.thefloatinglens.com/sunrise-at-nandi-hills/