The heat had already picked up, but so had our zest for another long bike ride. The last big one was back in 2017. It was getting difficult to think of a destination as all directions north and south of Mumbai (atleast realistic distances) promised only one thing – rising mercury levels.
It was going to be our first big ride with our larger machines
- BMW 310 GS for me
- KTM Duke 250 for Kanade
- Dominar 400 of DevD
Thoughts of Himachal Pradesh were quickly out of the window with its 3-day one-direction ride to reach Manali or somewhere close which entailed atleast 7 days of just riding to get to a place and back home. Central India would’ve sizzled, which left us with only 2 options. Either pack our bikes in a crate and send it somewhere or go down south. With Devendra’s bucket-list item of riding in Bandipur reserve and mine to visit the Jog falls created a perfect union of a plan falling in place.
A tentative plan was hatched
- day 1 : mumbai to outskirts of Davanagere : 730km 12hrs
- day 2 : towards mysuru 350km 6hrs
- day 3 : mysuru palace, and roaming
- day 4 : mysuru to ooty 3hrs via bandipur
- day 5 : ooty roaming
- day 6 : ooty to mangaluru 383km 9hrs
- day 7 : mangaluru to jog falls 220km 5hrs – (back to gokarna 120km 3hrs or honnavar 68km 1.5 hrs)
- day 8 : jog falls to kolhpaur – 6hrs – 362km
- day 9 : backto mumbai 374km 7 hrs
- day 10: ??? backup
This plan was along a similar ride that I had done 9 years back. Well – nothing wrong in history repeating, definitely not when its sight seeing.
Day 1, to Hubli
Mar 26, 2022
Davangere was the original destination, but we got caught in a massive Lonavala traffic jam (where some Chemical tanker had turned turtle). It costed us an additional 1 hr just to reach Pune.
The bigger machines under our crotch meant we were riding faster than what we had done in our earlier rides. By the time we crossed into Karnataka it was 3pm post our lunch. And as expected the AH-47 just opens up like a new engine after a few 1000s of km and a nice drink of synthetic oil.
Coming into the Belgaum area, the clouds had started to thicken cooling the weather from high 30s to sub 30. But it also meant that precipitation was about to be encountered. As we hit the wretched single lane Dharwad-Hubli section – it hit us, and hit us hard. I didn’t pay any heed to Kanade’s suggestion of waiting at a tapri for tea and seeing out the rain, so we continued into a drenched halt somewhere on the road. We lost another 1 hour for the rains and Davangere was well out of sight as it was already 7pm by the time we reached outskirts of Hubli and decided to call it a day.