Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Welcome Ride with Bangalore Bikers: Devarayanadurga (DD Hills)

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A Refreshing Ride on the weekend to one of my fav places near Bangalore- Devarayanadurga(DD Hills). Its always a great experience riding with Bangalore Bikers.

I still remember the last time I visited DD Hills with BangaloreBikers a few years ago. I've been to DD Hills a number of times. Both DD Hills and Nandi Hills are my favorite places for a short Ride/Drive so I endup visiting them often, though every time I keep looking for new places to Ride to. This time the place did not matter, I just wanted to Ride with the group.


Date:
28th April 2019

Destination: Devarayanadurga Hills (DD Hills)
https://goo.gl/maps/UH526xCHnmqZy1N99

Riders: around 30 Riders from https://www.bangalorebikers.com/

Meeting Point:  Indian Oil Petrol Bunk, Toll Gate, Tumkur Road(after Nelamangala)
https://goo.gl/maps/XQSLgxZbpbG2Distance: Roughly 120 kms to and fro.

Meeting Time: 5:00 am Ride Start Time: 5:15 am

Route: Home - Meeting Point(Nelamangala) - Kyathsandra turn- Siddagange Mutt- DD Hills
Followed the same route for the return leg since there was some road work happening in the alternate route (Uridgere-Dobaspet)

After a long time I Rode with this group. The Ride was very well organized and co-ordinated. Thanks to everyone from BangaloreBikers for making it successful. Special thanks to John(Founder), the lead and tail riders(Rahul Mohanty, Bala_Madhavan, Chandu and others). It was a Safe, hassle free and Refreshing Ride.

We had a whatsapp group created just for the Ride and there was lot of fun chat happening the previous night.

3:00am: Woke up and got ready quickly. Riding gear and my gopro bag was all set the previous day itself. Added some songs to playlist and put some 3M tapes on the Knee guard to fix some wear and tear which took some time.

Left my home by 4:10am. Since the meeting time was after Nelamangala which was some 35kms from my place, I was not sure if I'll reach on time. But since there was not much traffic, I reached the place soon by 4:35a.m itself before everyone else which I did not realize at first.

My bike's timer was incorrect, it was showing 4:55am. So I was surprised to see that there were no bikes parked there. I was expecting a big lineup with Z900s, GSx750, Daytona, R3, RCs, Dukes etc but the whole place was empty. Just when I was wondering if I've come to the right place, I saw a guy(Aryan) on the side who was sipping tea alone. He was not wearing any helmet or Riding jacket so I was doubtful if he's part of the group. Also, I did not spot his bike anywhere(RC200).

He came up to me and asked "hello are you from Bangalore Bikers?" and Thats when I got assured that I'm at the right place. This guy had come from KR Puram side and had reached the meeting point long back itself. It was his first Ride with the group. Soon another guy came in his Pulsar 220(Akmal) and we parked the bikes side by side. We usually park the bikes one beside another in a line which just looks fantastic in the dark and also very convenient to take pictures and start the Ride.

As we were discussing, other Riders started coming in one by one on their Pulsars, followed by Dominars and Dukes. But I was still waiting for the R3, RCs, Z900s and Daytona :) (I've a Crush on Sports bikes you see, specially the faired ones. I wish there were some Ninjas joining the Ride too.

Since I was joining a group Ride after a long time, I was feeling a bit strange to do the hi hello thing :p So I quietly sat in a corner talking to some folks. Did not take any pictures of the Bikes :(

The group assembled in some time and finally z900 and Daytona also came in. The group had been split into two. John and Rahul started taking attendance of Group1 and Group2 respectively.

People were still exchanging pleasantries and I was eagerly waiting for the Ride to start as I was kinda getting bored.

Finally, John started the briefing session which quickly got the group together. What an amazing guy he is. The briefing helped break the ice for new members and for introverts like me. Briefing session was really good and detailed as I expected covering all the points about Safe Riding, Group Riding etiquette, formation, hand signals etc and it was fun too. Not like a serious monologue. One of the main reasons I joined the Ride was because John was organizing the Ride. He's passionate about Biking and Photography and fun loving. Lots to learn from this guy.

Even though we were late to start the Ride, no hurry was shown while starting the Ride and I really liked that. Some things come only with experience. Took some video of the briefing.

I was part of group2 and we finally started the Ride by 5:35am. In each group the order of the Riders was pre-decided. But not sure how many people noted the order in that short time. Something that we can address the next time by interacting with our group members to understand who'll be Riding behind whom. As recommended by John and other experienced folks, the One Rule that we must and should follow to stay together as a group is to just "Keep the Rider behind you in your rear view mirror" and everything falls in place. When the Rider behind you slows down, you slow down and when you slow down the Rider ahead of you slows down and so on. So you never fall behind and the group sticks together no matter what.

Anyways as the Ride started, the Riders took off on their bikes one by one like Rockets. I was tailing a Cbr 250. It was a pleasant Ride and we took a number of breaks as the distance was short. Keeping the Meeting point on the highway far from the city, early in the morning helped beat the heat.

Even with different capacity bikes, we managed to ride as a group. At Kyatsandra junction(towards Siddganga mutt), we slowed down and was waiting at the turn for Riders coming behind, but they couldn't spot us and went ahead. Honking and shouting did not help :p So me and Bala(funny thing that he was the tail Rider) had to go ahead, take u-turn and come back. If not for Bala, those Riders would've crossed Tumkur I guess :p.

Finally we reached DD hills stopping for some pics on the way. Strangely I did not take any pictures of my Bike or the group. May be next time I'll do that. But I thoroughly enjoyed the Ride through the forest. I did feel like stopping as we neared Namada Chilume between the canopy of trees. That place is so good that you'll feel like stopping. Its a must visit if you are coming there for the first time.

Also one should definitely visit the Bhoga Narasimha and Yoga Narasimha temples and trek up to the top where you get a 360 deg view of the surroundings.

Earlier I was interacting with a Lady Rider and she was a Kannadiga too which I was not aware. Funny thing was, we started conversing in English without knowing that we both speak Kannada well and the whole conversation got recorded on my GoPro without my knowledge. I had a good laugh while watching the video coz when two Kannadigas are talking to each other in English, the accent is somewhat strange. Its like we're speaking English by translating Kannada :p Once we knew we are Kannadigas we switched to Kannada coz its always a pleasure to converse in your mother tongue specially about topics that interest you.

The CBR guy's name was Dhanush(who apparently has been to 'Dhanushkodi' :p). I was tailing this guy for the entire Ride and It was nice Riding behind the CBR. Its like we became Ride partners. He was a kannadiga too and it was a pleasure interacting with these guys.

In the group Ride we normally just head to a view point near the guest house which is a quiet place, perfect for the intro session. Once we parked our bikes and got settled on the rocks, we started having some chit chat. John flew his drone and it soon went so far and disappeared that we were wondering if he lost it.  The Intro session was interesting and fun as usual. With lot of leg pulling and double meaning jokes etc but everything in the spirit of fun. It was nice to meet many new people from different walks of life and to learn about their biking experience. I became friends with a couple of them.

After the intro session, we took the mandatory group photos and then headed to our next destination- Kamat Restaurant for the breakfast. We all were damn hungry by the time we reached Kamat. Spoke to few other Riders-Iqbal, Pavan, Parishrut, Aryan etc. And it was a nice interaction. Bikers usually bond really well within a short time and never run out of things to talk about.

We had a small photo session there as John clicked our pictures. It was so nice of him to take our individual pics as we posed one by one on our beloved bikes. Also got couple of BB group stickers, thanks to Lohith. The time was around 11:30 am and It was getting hot. We started our Ride back and took a small break after the same toll where we had started the Ride. 

Overall it was an amazing ride and I can't wait to ride together again with Banglore Bikers :)
Some pics that folks shared in the forum:-

 

Me in the bottom row. 4th guy from Left.




                                              

Hopefully more pics and videos on the way. I've some Gopro footage too and the Video will be up after editing.
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One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.