Bike Ride: Good Bye Avenger

Last backroads ride with the trusty old Avenger. After 9 years of service, it was time to get a younger sibling. But this one is about the Avenger and the last beautiful ride.

Lock down had everyone cooped up in their homes. Not only it was boring it was stressful, especially for people like me who like their open spaces.

So the first opportunity, I went on the a small ride. The fact that Gulmohar’s are blooming late this year was a blessing.

I wanted to go towards Venkatagirikota and Koundinya Wildlife century, but the Avy had other plans.

At Hoskote I turned towards Malur. The Hoskote-Malur road was once a narrow lane lined with Gulmohar trees. One of my early rides on Avy was on this road. Below is a picture from that ride.

Much has changed since then. The road is no longer the rural back road it once was. The trees on the side of road are gone. The road itself is transformed into a divided highway, bringing with it a promise of prosperity.

A brick kiln or perhaps a poultry farm on the way. Soon these would be gone.

Some of the Gulmohar’s are still standing. These are mostly ones next to existing building giving joy to the people living nearby.

At Malur, I turned towards Tekal. Plan was to hear to Bangarpet and then towards VGirikota.

Few Km before Bangarpet, the plans changed. A nasty nail gave me a rear tire flat. Didn’t have much choice but to drag the to Bangarpet. 6Km of huffing and puffing with the heavy jacket and warm sun. Fortunately it was still early in the morning. So the hot summer sun was still not beating down mercilessly.

On the outskirts of Bangarpet, found a puncture shop. While the tube looked fixable to me, the person insisted that he needs to change the tube. Off he went to buy a tube and came back with one several size thinner. Didn’t have much choice and asked him to go ahead.

Post the tube replacement, I was not very confident of safety the new tube provided. Decided to change my plans and turn back towards the Kolar highway and then slowly limp back home.

So at Bangarpet, I turned towards Kolar. Stopped at the railway crossing just after Bangarpet and walked on the track taking a few pictures.

The Gulmohar’s were in full bloom and I started rethinking the plan of returning home via the highway. By the time I reached NH75, I had changed my plans once again and decided to head towards Srinivaspur and then return via Chintamani.

Tomatoes thrown on the way due to lock down.

Kolar to Srinivaspur route was a surprising find. The entire stretch is lined with Gulmohar’s blooming at the time of the year.

Enjoy the pictures below.

At Srinivspur, turned towards Chintamani. Took the bypass and reached Hoskote and home via NH75.

All in all a good last ride on the Avy – 9 years and 60,000Km of companionship.

Ride Month: May 2020
Distance: ~190Km

Bike Ride: Dominar 250 1st Solo

Having recently acquired a Dominar 250, and in a hurry to get the 1st service done, did a short 200Km ride on the backroads.

As usual, the route map. Headed North, then turned East and then South, then West to reach home. One good part of staying in the outskirts is the ease of getting out of the city.

Let somewhat late at 0530, yet it was still dark when I crossed the Hoskote toll.

By the time I left Hoskote behind for Sidlaghatta, the morning had turned grey with the sun obscured by clouds.

The road was surrounded by fields with a temple here and a graveyard there.

Stopped to take a few pictures next to an old shiv temple.

And then stopped next to a few graves. Also spent some time to figure out how to tie the tail bag so that it does not slip forward and push against the rider.

Another angle for looks.

After driving an Avenger for 9 years, getting used to the sitting posture of Dominar will take some getting used to.

I wanted to sit down and take a break, but could not find any place other than on the grave. Decided not to disrespect the dead.

How age changes ones perspective. Decades ago, when we were young, we used to play cricket in an open area of a graveyard in Nainital. At that time, I doubt any of us thought about how that would bother the dead.

At Sidlaghatta, I turned towards Chintamani. Till now I had not decided to turn toward Chikkaballapur or towards Chintamani. Decided at the spur of the moment and turned right.

Couple of Km before Chintamani, spotted this hill shrouded in clouds. Turned inwards to find this field with flowers. Time for some quick pictures.

At Chintamani, stopped for a coffee. Next to the coffee place was an idli place. How can one resists Chintamani Idlis. Few piping hot ones under the belt and I was off towards Kolar.

The road to Kolar was nice and green. Gone are the red Gulmohars which I enjoyed only a few months back.

Stopped next to a temple complex for a break and stretch my legs. Ate a guava which I had packed with me.

I was about to reach Kolar and was in two minds on whether to take the highway back home or extend in some other direction.

Finally, I decided to cross over towards Bangarpet.

The road from Kolar to Bangarpet, goes parallel to a railway line. I was hoping to get close to the tracks and get a picture with tracks receding in the background.

Didn’t have much luck with that. All crossing were either barred or an underpass built.

At Bangarpet, turned towards Tekal and then Malur – Hoskote – home.

In between, before Tekal, stopped for some picture near a stretch of yellow flowering trees. This was the stretch where I had a flat tire on the last ride.

The road from Malur to Hoskote has been upgraded to a mostly divided highway. There was time when this was a narrow road lined with Gulmohar trees. I came down this road when I had just brought the Avenger in 2011. The pace of modernization has now taken over. Below is picture from that ride.

I was home by 1130 and after 200Km ready for 1st service.

Ride Month: Aug 2020
Distance: ~190Km