Freedom and open roads
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Freedom, Open Roads, Mind Over Matter

One of the prime reasons for backing off from your responsibilities, I believe, is the lack of confidence, the other is being lazy, for which there is no cure but self-determination. Either way, we might find ourselves entangled in a maze, lost in thoughts of ‘Can I do it?’ or ‘nah, I’ll give it a pass, let someone else take the trouble’. But what really holds us back is something we need to ponder upon.

I have to admit that I was one of the ‘no’ people, but that’s just the past. Everything changed for me from the day I laid my hands on a motorcycle, a ‘Royal Enfield – Classic 500’ to be specific. So how does a motorcycle really change a person? Isn’t it just a mode of transport for the less fortunate who cannot afford a car? Well, that’s what everybody else thinks at least. But for all they know, a motorcycle is a window to the world out there. It lets you explore, dream and discover. For me, it is my soul reviver.

Look back at your past and you will wake up to a rude shock that people just threw muck at your true potential by institutionalizing your whole life. Twenty years of schooling and they put you on a day shift? Is that the real you? It’s time to think beyond and break free to the other side. Rediscover yourself.

A casual meeting with my friends last Thursday evening sparked the excitement for yet another road trip. “So, guys, we have been riding to all the popular tourist destinations, why don’t we push our limits and ride a thousand kilometers in 48 hours flat? Let’s ride to the Western Ghats,” suggested both Diwakar and Prajwal. “Are you out of your mind? Its monsoon and it rains 24/7 there, plus Western Ghats means off-roading without tarmac!” replied the rest of the gang. I said, “Why not? Let’s get some excitement” and lo! The road trip to Kodachadri was on.

In pursuitSaturday early morning started with adrenalin rush + 500 Cubic Centimeters of raw power, oodles of torque and 27 horses working in tandem, all waiting to be unleashed with a twist to the throttle. The highway sings its own songs and we were humming to its tunes till we cleared the plains and reached the hilly areas. Then began the overwhelming greenery and the mystic forest and the curvy roads, boy it was a delight to feel liberated, to feel the fresh air, to wonder about how beautiful the world is out there. What better way to do it than riding a Classic Royal Enfield eh?

The motorcyclesThe real challenge began when we started to ascend the Kodachadri peak, especially because there was no road to reach the top. We had to brave boulders, sharp cut rocks, two feet of slush, freezing cold water paths and insane hair-pin bends all the way up! Some of our biker friends took a look at the magnitude of the task ahead of them and the risk involved and decided to give it a pass. But we persuaded them to accept the challenge and believe in themselves that they can do it with concentration, courage and most importantly, the goal to reach on top of the peak.

Tough way upOur way up was filled with hardship and risk, every corner was banked with loose gravel and it was impossible to push our bikes because one slip and its good bye dear earth. Two bikes got stranded in the slush and had to be ferried back in jeeps, yet the rest of the gang managed to reach the top! It was a truly exhilarating experience and we got our reward: a view of heaven!

View from Kodachadri peakWhat enabled us to finish the dangerous climb was not ‘only’ the power our bikes had but sheer determination, grit and perseverance. We really need to believe in ourselves. It is amazing to learn about the limitless possibilities we can achieve.

When I returned to office on Monday morning, after 40 hours of riding, I was still fresh as a cucumber and was filled with zest to work. I now know not to be afraid of the challenges ahead of me but to take them up with a ‘bring it on’ attitude.

So, when are you planning your next road trip – your own crazy adventure of self discovery?

15 Responses

  1. Anil
    December 26, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Cheers road trip with Royal En-field..Bullet is bullet always…

  2. September 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Cheers Team! You connected the dots very well with your words – Bike – Life. Many times we miss the opportunities just by saying “NO”.
    You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

  3. August 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Happy miles and kudos for completing the attempt.
    The blog caught my attention because of the RE image, as I am a proud owner and die-hard fan. Imagine yourself, comparing the beats with a Harley and concluding your bullet sounds better.
    I have been a RE fan and eating miles was not a problem. I can relate to your articles in a much better way from my recent passion perspective, cycling.
    I took it up to lose some pounds. But really started loving it for the suffer fest(the longest being 324 kms in 20 hours). As you rightly pointed out, these kinds of activities help you perform better and stay focused. It also helps you to meditate and spend time with yourself. These long rides have helped me understand others better, forgiven people and make valuable contribution at work.
    Now bring on the next challenge. :)

    1. Toby
      May 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Hi Raj Anthony.

      RE is having good sound. But don’t even compare it with a Harley.

  4. Subhrajyoti Basu
    May 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Short of words. I wish i could have joined the road trip..

  5. March 2, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Kudos to Adrenaline junkies at pepper square.

    I’ve beeen to kodachadri several times by both trekking & off-road drive, but going to chadri in bikes especially during monsoon is really nuts.

    I have a similar experience , few Yrs ago we went to chadri in bikes , purely off- season almost sept- oct, reainy, knee-level dirt & gravel, & lots of leeches too.
    I know how it feels it’s ‘A killer experience’ thanks to all our bikes we made it to top (i learned we need to do little tuning & modifications for such tracks).

    That was my last bike trip there well im looking forward to it, would like to join if you guys are planning again.

    The trekking route is also awsome, it takes around 3-4 hrs to reach top. Little further you have shankara peetha – the top, only trekk route. Once you reach there is a track which will go down & this joins kollur(it’s almost jungle). Over-all it’s a beautifull place.

  6. Phanikar
    October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    As set of words louder than the thump. A message delivered right out of the woods. Cheers Sawan

    BTW, isnt that Parvatha home stay in Sampekatte, If i am not wrong ?????

  7. jyothi
    jyothi
    September 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

    And the bikes went up the hill powered by the will mo’ than the fuel. Three cheers to the mind that steered the machine and the muscles up the mountains. And the breathtaking view surely looks worth the trip.

    may you continue to romance the mountains forever.

  8. Ranjoy
    September 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

    osom man … you are the bike guru in psq … cheers …

  9. santosh
    September 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Reading it itself was like a “hands free” ride on an open highway ! kudos to the writer. Revving up on the curves with a thick jacket and a flashy helmet can indeed make the ride an exhilarating experience.As long as the wind is hitting your face, you have no thoughts,no worries. Only after you finish the ride and get back home do you realize that you have an office to go back to.

  10. Bhagya Sridhara
    September 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Your blog got me happily high! Open roads, Enfield, Roadside ‘chai’, muddy track, Rains, Freedom – what a classic trippy combination!!

    Cheers to road trips!

  11. September 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I know the thrills of a bike (I had a Jawa between 1974 to 1982) but never could do the kind of adventurous things that you did because a tearful mother between me and my bike would weaken my resolve. However, This brings back memories of a trip I did in a car (a Maruti van to be precise) accompanied by my colleagues who were on three bikes to B R Hills. This was donkeys years ago and there was no road for the last 20 kilometres or so. Troublesome hairpin bends, slushy tyre-spiining tracks and eventually, a forest that was so dense that it inspired fear in us as to what lurked within. The feeling of “josh” was incredible!

  12. Arjun
    September 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Awesome. I am sure the adventure would be been even better. A event of a lifetime, unless you up it next time.

    Will forward it to a biker friend of mine. I am sure he would enjoy it…

  13. Prajwal
    September 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Sawan this ride is an account of what a human mind can do as long as we have positive emanations or thoughts flowing inside us or outside from good friends. A REALLY GOOD NARRATION . Riding is like a echelon to the niche where you learn more and give out more ..Hope that others get inspired in whatever thy do by checking out this write up..

    EOD its about what you learn be it a bike , be it a ride or be it your work ..Awesome mate keep the free flow gunning for the Pepper square Mile

  14. Diwakar CH
    September 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Cheers…

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