An Unplanned Ride

By
Jaichandran Jayapalan

This was a completely unplanned ride. As a run-up to the India Bike Week 2013, the organizers of the event had planned a promotional bike ride from Chennai to Pondicherry. A couple of friends and I had met up the previous night. We read about the ride on Facebook, and decided to take part in it.

 

The next morning, the three of us were on our way to the starting point on the Old Mahabalipuram Road. We were on two bikes, a KTM Duke 200 and a Bajaj Avenger 200. Around 30 bikes had assembled at the start point. 

 

It was the first time that we would be riding in a large group. Before the start, we were instructed the basic rules of riding in a group, and taught a few simple gestures to communicate effectively with other riders while riding.

 

The ride commenced at around 6.30 am. We entered the East Coast Road, and headed straight to Mahabalipuram, where we stopped for breakfast. Post that, most riders split, heading towards different directions. Just seven of all the riders who started headed on, towards Pondicherry.

 

The East Coast Road was a charm to ride on. The route is a delight for any riding enthusiast, a scenic road that snakes along the Eastern Coast, with numerous exciting corners, ranging from fast sweepers to tight S-turns. The roads were well-surfaced throughout the way. The only gripe was the fact that the road was single-lane, which gave us many heart-in-mouth experiences when overtaking.

 

We reached Pondicherry by around 1pm, and had lunch by the famous Promenade.  After a brief photo shoot session, all of us were set to head back to Chennai, but my two friends and I decided to ride on a little further. 

 

All the way to Bangalore.

 

That's right. Although the ride to Pondycherry was great, we were not completely satisfied. At the lunch stop, we discussed if we should head back to Chennai with the others, but unanimously agreed to carry on further. Bangalore was 350 odd kms away, and we had to get there before it was really late.

 

We headed out of Pondycherry, on route to Thiruvannamalai via Tindivanam, when trouble struck. The roads were atrocious. It was as though there were no roads at all! Both bikes took quite a beating. Riding on those roads also worked us out quite a bit, and fatigue started to creep in on the three of us. On the outskirts of Thiruvannamalai, we took a call to return back to Chennai. Bangalore would have to wait for another day.

 

The ride back home was quite pleasant. The four-lane highways meant we could relax and cruise back home at a steady pace. We stopped for dinner at KFC near the Irungattukottai Race Track, and called it a day, heading back to our respective homes.

 

It was the longest ride we had ever been on, clocking 510 kms in 17 hrs, through a variety of places and roads. Surpassing this ride is going to be a tall task for sure!

 

Jaichandran Jayapalan

Travelogue Brief
Start Date 2014-01-13T05:00:00.000Z
End Date 2014-01-13T22:30:00.000Z
Region Chennai
Route Chennai - Pondicherry - Tindivanam - Tiruvannamalai - Vellore - Kanchipuram - Chennai
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