Caution: This is going to be a long boring story for the nonriders. Please continue at your own will!
I checked the watch and it was 3 AM in the morning. I have been working since 8.30 AM and already crossed 18 hours in the office. But little was I worried or tired. All I knew was I have to push my limits and avoid any chance of working on weekends. Because after 12 hours, I will start my longest ride on the new bike. The xBhp Tri-state meet was on the horizon with close to 130 bikes confirmed to participate.
Switching of the workstation, I went to the parking lot to take my bike. The blue beast was glittering in the night lamps and a layer of water drops left after the rain added to the effect.I had spent only 2 weeks on this bike, but the bonding was quick and strong. My mind was going through a zillion thoughts on my ride back to home, and the brightest of it was whether the new engine can withstand the strain it will be put into. Throughout it’s lifetime of 2 weeks, it crossed 3 digit speeds only for a couple of seconds though it completed 1000+ Kms. I decided to keep a speed limit of 100 Kms for the entire trip. As always in my case, decisions go opposite to actions
Friday 8:30 AM: Sitting in the office on the day of such a great ride is something you have to feel and know! The work was piling up and I failed to concentrate. Deep inside my mind, I was having a nightmare where the project breaking and I getting forced to work on weekend skipping the trip. 3:30 PM: But things went fine and I left office at 3.30 PM. Went straight to the Petrol pump and topped up the tank. I still had around 20 minutes to meet Trivandrum gang and decided to install the mobile charging unit which I bought a few days back. Installation was simple, and right after that, I got a call from Lijo enquiring about my location. Lijo and Tintu were already on their way to Ernakulam.
I soon joined the rest of G2G gang along with few Trivandrum xBhp members arrived to give a sent off! The ride started at 4.50 PM with destination for butt break fixed as Kollam which was some 70 Kms away from our starting point. 5 hours of the poth hole infected road trip we reached Ernakulam only to meet the Ernakulam members leaving the O-mall after G2G. This part of the stretch was the worst in our close to 1500km ride. Gutters big enough to park an entire bike was spread across the road allowing the poor two-wheelers no chance to have a peaceful ride. Leave the expressways, stop the 45m – 30m fights. Give us some ride-able roads for the sake of a future with backbones!
11:30 PM: The hunt for a place to park our bodies and rides was started and with the help of Anand, rooms were arranged near Ernakulam South for Trivandrum and Kottayam riders. The night was uneventful with the urge to start the long ride pushing from deep inside. Sleep was alien that night because of the slight fear that I’ll be late to get up and spoil the fun.
Saturday 3:00 AM: My fear of waking up late was lame as the super punctual Lijo woke me up right on time! We all rushed through the morning rituals and was ready to leave the room by 3.50 AM. The meeting point was decided as the IPB pump near Edapalli, Ernakulam where the Ernakulam members were waiting for us when we reached there. Riding etiquettes were shared among the riders and tanks were topped up. We were 15 in total with 6 from Trivandrum, 4 from Kottayam and 5 from Ernakulam and I was meeting most of them for the first time. After some casual chats, bike drooling we started the ride. Next stop was fixed to be the first tea shop in sight as the early morning energy drop was having an effect on everyone’s enthu. Tea definitely poured some energy into us and it was proved in the riding style. Roads were narrow but good and empty with tempting curves.
Few miles before Athirapally I checked my rear view mirror and noticed that no one was behind me. There were some 8 bikes behind me and I slowed down. Soon a yellow Karizma came visible on my mirror and was honking like there was some message to pass. I slowed down and enquired only to know that he was also clueless about what happened. We both then zoomed to notify the riders in front and stopped them after a few honking and flashing lights. Meanwhile a bug managed to get into my right eye and crawled its way through the tear glands. It was killing me with pain and in those few seconds, I realized the need to invest in a clear visor instead of my current tinted one! After a few futile attempts to push the bloody bug out of my eye, it came out from another tear gland opening close to my nose! It was half dead and without a second thought I killed it! Sorry bug lovers, but my deed was purely out of uncontrolled frustration! Soon the droppers joined us and the reason for the missing was because we had our first fall when Anand slipped on a bend on the sand and crashed his bike. He survived the crash without any injuries, thanks to the slow speed! Hunk broke one of his indicators.
[To be Continued]