Ride 9 – Kodaikanal

A ride to Kodaikanal was pending for quite a long time considering that a very close friend who is also a fellow rider has a guest house in the hill station. I was not able to accompany him on his previous visits by car to Kodai, so when the next trip was planned as a bike trip, I just couldn’t say no.

Itinerary

After covering large chunks of distance with overnight stays, the routine gave us the confidence to get to Kodai without a major stop. Apart from breakfast, lunch and a couple of tea breaks, we didn’t want to stop unnecessarily. Or at least, that was the plan. We reached Kodai in about 12 hours despite it being something we should’ve covered in less than 10 hours. What happened? Read on!

Kms covered

I started off from Chennai at around 25,082 and when I got back, my odometer read 26,317. The total distance I covered in this ride was approximately 1235 km.

 

What’s new

Usually, I fill this space with something new I got. In my last post, I spoke about this happened unplanned when I had to buy a new clutch cable right during the trip. This time, it went a step ahead and instead of adding something to my arsenal, I had to let go something that’s deemed necessary for a Classic Royal Enfield.

All the battering that my crash guard took before the trip and during a little bit of off-roading while this trip happened, did take a toll on it. When we reached Kodai, it was missing a nut and was wobbling but I didn’t know that while returning to Chennai, it would completely give way. Shockingly, it happened as I was in triple-digit speed and the other nut gave came off leading for the bottom part of the guard to get wedged below my front mudguard. This made me lose control as the handlebar just wouldn’t budge. Thankfully, the road wasn’t extremely busy and I was able to slow down enough to get to the side of the road, kick it out of the mudguard and dismantle it. The guard was beyond repair and it felt more like a sacrifice for the roads that made us travel so much. For a few hundred kilometres, it meant that I had to ride without a crash guard — not a dealbreaker but risky enough.

What actually happened

It was meant to be quite a straightforward ride, considering we aren’t stopping anywhere for extended periods of time. But nature had other plans for us. The trip was riddled with a mix of weather conditions and I am saying it the most subtle way possible. Less than halfway through the trip, it started pouring. It took us a while to find a place to stop and take shelter but by the time, we were drenched.

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After resting till the rain subdued, we hit the road again. It started shining so much that we were almost dry in the next 100 odd km only to be met with the next batch of rain. By the time we reached the base, we were almost dry again. We began ascending the beautiful hill and halfway through enjoying the hairpin bends, rain wanted us to meet us one last time and this time, it was heaviest we had seen in recent times. After reaching the destination with not a single sq.cm of dry patch on the body, we decided to kill the rest of the evening in the comfort of the house with some local fast food for company.

The next day was extremely productive. We decided to act all touristy and decided to do a little bit of sight-seeing. We also indulged in some photoshoots and thanks to the backdrop, the pictures turned out to be amazing ones. The roads were covered in fog and out helmet visors were completely covered, but for all that chillness, seeing some piping hot food made up to it. The Tava Vegetarian restaurant in PT Road came highly recommended and despite being hardcore carnivores, we loved this place. If that wasn’t enough, we also stopped to try some delicious ice-cream at the famous Pastry Corner.

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And the evening was spent on buying some homemade chocolates that these hills are famous for. Once we’re back at our place, the sun was yet to set, so we decided to continue the photoshoot – this time with aerial shots. The next day, we packed and left later than what we had anticipated. Thankfully, because of the weather, which was absolutely pleasant, I suppose people were worried about the rains and the roads were free. We made up to the lost time easily and despite losing my crash guard as mentioned above as a sacrifice to the tarmac, we got back to Chennai safe and sound.

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