Trip Date: Nov 15th 2015
After a crazy week between work deadlines, Diwali and Kids school functions, Sunday was planned to be chilled affair. However, last minute decided to ride to Vaniyambadi for biryani. Given that it had been raining for almost two weeks, it would have been prudent to check out the weather forecast. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I did not.
Morning started out as usual. A spattering of clouds on the horizon raised hope for a spectacular sunrise. I headed out my favorite Bangalore exit – Kolar highway
By the time I reached Narsapura lake, rain clouds had captured the blues of the sky. Off towards my right, the clouds hung ominously. I was starting to have doubts about the ride towards Vaniyambadi. Suddenly the recent Chennai rains came to my mind. Looked like another low pressure buildup in that direction. Though I was prepared with the rain gear, I wasn’t really in the mood to ride in the rain. This was supposed to be a warm sun-on-my-back ride.
At Kolar I turned towards Bangarpet, fully aware of the clouds ahead. Still hoping to catch a lucky break. A whiff of rain sprinkled the visor. Now I really wanted to turn back. Maybe I could get a coffee in Bangarpet and turn round. I also wasn;t sure where to turn towards. Cutting the ride short wasn’t a pleasing thought.
A little ahead, I spied a railway line parallel to the road. Cutting a diversion I did a short photo shoot. As the rain started its steady drumbeat, I decided to turn back. The skies up North were more welcoming. So I turned towards that. Now I was being chased by the rain. Little did I knew that this is how the day would proceed i.e., rain on my tail.
Once inside Kolar, the cravings for a hot cup of coffee increased. Stopped by a small shop and hot idlis emerging out of the steamer were too tempting to resist. Fresh filter coffee: charm of riding down rural South
As I wrapped up my breakfast, rain again caught up. Took out the rain gear as a precautionary measure.
After crossing Kolar, I saw a board to Madanpalli. Decided to turn in that direction. Worse case I could ride till Horsley Hills and return; though that was something I didn’t want to do. The Chintamani-Madanpalli road is something I like. It is flanked by good amount of tree and there are a few rain fed ponds which make for good break-points. My guess was that I would join that road somewhere in between.
Riding ahead of the rain, I hardly stopped; hoping to keep the lead and stay dry.
At Madanpalli I turned North again. By now I had a rough plan in mind. I would head North/North-West till I get to Bangalore-Hyderabad highway and then make a straight run home on the highway.
Past Madanpalli, I went offroad up to a small hillock and sat down to enjoy the view. A cool breeze blew across bringing a few drops of water floating through the air. Somewhere far south it was raining with abandon. I sat around a little longer, contemplating whether to take a nap or not. The arrival of a local cow grazer broke my reverie.
Unable to get me to answer his question (asked in Telagu), he gave up and sat down besides me, shifting his gaze from my bike to his cows. I wondered whether he sought the similarities between the two.Or maybe the wastefulness of one vs the other.
With a wave of hand, I ended the silent conversation between us. For some reason I felt that burning an image to camera’s memory would be insulting to the moment. Slowly I rode down the hillock fully aware of the stare on my back. At the bottom of the hill, I turned round to wave another bye. He was still sitting, hand raised as if anticipating my wave and ready to reply in kind. Both of us mirrored the gesture and then tar blurred under the rubber.
North of Madanpallli, the landscape opened up. Trees gave way to open grassland punctured by occasional rocky outcrops. Habitation was few and far. It was fun going off the road into one of those mud tracks and letting the tires frolic with the dry grass.
The ventures into the grasslands had slowed me down. As a result, the rain again caught up and was chasing my tail. At Kadiri, I gave up running and turned West to catch the Balgalore-Hyderabad highway. On way saw the ancient Madhavaraya temple at Gorantla.
Somewhere near Hindupur, I joined the main highway and turned South towards Bangalore. A few Km down the full force of rain caught up with me. The home run was going to be a wet affair.
As the rain intensified, I took a lunch break at a small dhabha.
It wasn’t much fun riding on the highway, so after reaching Devanhalli, I took the back roads towards Hoskote and then home.