Coastal Karnataka Ride – Bangalore zombie apocalypse and the ride back home.
If sleeping was a job skill, I would be a billionaire. I love being lazy, getting up late, not brushing, eating fast food, not bathing, just lying in bed and watching Youtube crash and fail videos all day long. I don’t understand why everyone is in such a hurry, and what they accomplish by being miserable all the time. People suck ass.
Plans are made to be broken:
Anyways, here I was, being a sloth and loving it. It was a Saturday, and the “plan” was to get back to Mumbai on Sunday evening.
Like all of my other plans, this one was also doomed from the start. It’s like a virus, starts slow, grows overnight, and before you know it you are lying in bed, bleeding from your eyes and vomiting your anus out your mouth. Here’s how my itinerary changed over the week:
- Saturday: I’ll leave on Sunday and join office on Monday like planned.
- Saturday evening: Just 1 night in Bangalore? Isn’t that far too short? I’ll leave first thing Monday morning and join office on Tuesday. 1 day won’t make any difference!
- Sunday: It’s New Year’s this week, and I’ll spend it in Mumbai and have a good time!
- Sunday evening: Well, I don’t have many friends there, all my favorite people are here. If I can take leave on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, I can then get back to office next Monday!
- Monday: No, I should go back tomorrow, all these leaves will lead to loss of pay and my notice period will be extended.
- Monday evening: Well, fuck.
So the plan that was supposed to span 4 days now stretched to 11, for no other reason apart from I don’t care. Called up my work friends, told them to handle it, avoided calls from my boss and had such a grand time being a smelly, dirty, lethargic, piece of rotten meat at a friend’s place.
Nothing even comes close to the joy of watching somebody else get up early morning and leave for work, as you pull the pillow on your face, curl up into a ball, and decide to get up “soon”.
The Zombie Apocalypse:
It was a glorious week. I was given food, shelter, internet, PS4, and all the time to the do whatever the fuck I wanted. I never even got out of the house, apart from 2 occasions. One when I broke my friend’s laptop and then ran to fix it, other when I went to meet some friends for New Year’s party.
Bangalore was attacked by Zombies at 11:59:59 PM, 31st December 2014.
People suck ass, and they suck even harder when there’s a festival or celebration. As soon as it was midnight, people started bursting crackers on the streets like it was Diwali! You could hear loud music everywhere, and then suddenly you could hear shrieks and cries and shouting. The undead had risen from their graves. It was time to fight or die.
Actually they were just these stupid, ignorant, dumb motherfuckers riding along on their bikes, and for some reason yelling at the top of their throats like an invisible black cock was penetrating them till their intestines. I just don’t get these people, these useless retards who only have 1 job in this world, to scare the shit out of everybody whenever there’s anything even remotely significant to celebrate about. I was with a lady friend, and we were advised to wait for a few hours and leave when the zombies had blown their throats out and died.
1 hour, no change.
2 hours, no change
3 hours, no change.
Finally we realized at this rate we would never get out of there, so we said fuck it, let’s ride!
Indians are a weird bunch of men and women. Be it Republic Day, or Ganesh Chaturthi, or Diwali or Pongal or Gandhi Jayanti or New Year’s or Chintu’s birthday, we just need the slightest excuse to discharge our happiness on other unwilling people by getting drunk and riding three-up on our motorcycles without any helmets or safety gear and shouting like a mentally challenged person. We were on the ORR, and we could see so many of these ignorant bastards doing random stunts around us, doing rash riding and just spreading a very sad feeling all around.
These guys have just so much happiness inside their hearts that they can’t help but ejaculate some onto your body.
To stay away from their ejectamanta, I was riding a bit quick and trying my best to get back home without any incident. You can’t really expect to argue and win with someone who’s stoned out of their mind! Here we got another gift of insanity from our loveable people, a gift that is distributed liberally all over our roads and bylanes.
I just flew over it! It was dark, the bump was unmarked, I never even saw it come under me! It felt like riding through a war zone, not being sure when an enemy sniper was going to get me, or when a mine was going to go off below me. Somehow finally made it back home in one piece and swore never to go out during any festival, ever.
Bangalore fuck fest and the rules:
Time flies when you are having fun.
It was Sunday again, time to ride back to Mumbai! I had planned to ride during daylight only, so got up around 6 and got going around 7. Again I was surprised by a working traffic light and traffic and jam at 7 in the morning! Bangalore never sleeps, Mumbai is nothing in front of it.
Kept pushing and finally made it to the Pune-Bangalore highway. There’s one very interesting thing about Bangalore that I’ve always wondered about. Why is it that the main access point from the highway, the start of the ORR, probably the most important and most used road in that city has a fucking railway crossing on it? Why is that road always in a bad shape? Why hasn’t a city of intellectuals and sophisticated IT folks done something to fix that eyesore? Everybody goes and gets stuck in a huge jam there, on a daily basis, yet no one does anything about it. I’ve seen that stretch remain the same since the last 1 year. Is it haunted? Cursed? WHY?
With those thoughts I started the 1000 km journey towards Mumbai. The moronic part of my brain kept telling me to try some new route, like go via Chorla ghat and then take the old Goa highway to Mumbai. Fortunately the non-moronic part won and I kept going on the straight route via Pune.
I have done this route a lot of times, too many actually. It’s a beautiful road, but it doesn’t have any character. It’s just a vast expanse of perfect asphalt that you just ride out. To make things slightly interesting, I had decided on the following rules for this trip:
- Speeds should never exceed 130 kmph.
- No racing anyone, no matter what.
- No following anyone, no matter what.
- No unnecessary stops.
- No unnecessary risks.
And it was awesome! I was alone, didn’t have to think about anyone else, and was having the time of my life! I would mostly ride in the middle lane, letting all rash people overtake, be always careful on turns and intersections, never miss a speed bump, and just really enjoy some pure saddle time.
Then I got slightly greedy.
Death by Tree:
There was a Fortuner, like there always is, doing some 140 kmph, and I thought I would follow it and make up some distance. Bad fucking idea. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, there was no reason to, no use either. But something came over me, and I did.
So there I was, somewhere before Hubli, following the Fortuner’s left tire line. He wasn’t speeding too much, he probably also was getting bored and wanted to have some fun with me. We were comfortably moving ahead, without hurting anybody else. There was a left turn in the road, the Fortuner went in.
I momentarily lost sight of it. When it came back out, I saw there were 2 people trying to cross the road in front of the Fortuner. Both of them had 2 logs each of a fresh cut small tree on their shoulders. What happened next was over within 5 seconds, but felt like a century to me!
One guy suddenly bolted to cross the road, and in his haste dropped 1 tree log in the middle of the road. The Fortuner guy saw him and braked hard, this reduced the distance between him and me considerably. The log was huge, spanning the entire length of the road. There was no way the car could’ve missed it.
The dude knew there was no time to pick the tree up, so he just ran across and reached the other side. Now it was the car and me, on collision course with a tree in the fucking middle of the road. I braked as hard as I could, but I was concerned somebody will smash me from behind, and also the distance wasn’t enough at all.
The Fortuner’s front wheels went over the log, this lifted it up and it violently hit the underbelly of the car. Then it got caught under the rear wheels, which compressed and then sprang it about 5 feet into the air! Imagine my situation.
I was looking at a tree flying on the road in front of me, and I was going to die by hitting it at 100 kmph.
The brain is a funny object, even under the most intense situations it does hilarious things. At this moment when I was looking at serious injury, if not certain death, my brain was remembering Final Destination! It would surely have been possibly the weirdest way to die on a motorcycle, but fate had other plans in store.
As I kept getting closer to the tree, it kept losing altitude. About 2 feet away from me, it hit the ground again, but it was still bouncing and moving around. Now I thought I was gonna die the more conventional way, by hitting an object on the road and flying from my bike and grating my bones on the asphalt. The death-by-flying-tree option felt much more enticing now, I would’ve preferred that for sure, if only for it’s dramatic touch!
The final milliseconds before I was going to hit the tree, I instinctively let go of the brakes. As I approached the log, my body tensed up and I got up slightly from the seat, shifting my weight onto the footpegs. The front wheel hit the tree, and the handlebars almost flew out of my hands! The front jerked up high, and the rear followed, which merely kissed the tree rather than hitting it head-on.
After being airborne for a while, I touched the ground again. I could see the Fortuner guy slow down, he also knew he had done something stupid, and so did I. I am sure he could see me hitting myself on my helmet, thinking about what just happened and how lucky I am. I didn’t stop to check for any damage. I guess I was in denial, and since the bike was working as before, I just didn’t want to remember how badly it could’ve ended.
I have behaved very well since that incident.
Fun with the R15:
A few interesting things happened during the remainder of the ride, which was otherwise quite unremarkable. Just like the Udupi-Manglore section, I saw a bunch of Royal Enfield riders out touring on our roads. I didn’t see any other bikers out there, except a dude on an R15. I instantly liked him.
He had a Viaterra Claw at back, was wearing a jacket, helmet, gloves, knee-guards and boots. Even though he had modified his exhaust, it wasn’t too irritatingly loud. He was doing 110 kmph, and I gave him the thumbs up as I overtook. I guess he liked me too, because he started following me.
I’m sure doing 130 is not a very big deal for an R15, but it’s definitely near the limit of comfort for that bike. I could see him struggling in some sections, but he always managed to stay within a few hundred meters of me. He never came too close, always maintained a respectable distance, and I loved the way he rode.
Even though I had decided to not make any unnecessary stops, I really wanted to meet this dude and chat up with him. Found a petrol pump on the side and went in, but he didn’t follow me! Fueled up, tried to catch up to him, but he had vanished! I don’t know how he did it, but I finally caught up to him after about half an hour of hard riding. The problem was that he was parked on the side of the road, and I couldn’t slow down in time to stop near him. So I continued on.
We kept doing this cat and mouse game for a few hundred kilometers. I stopped for lunch and saw him cross ahead again! Well, somethings are just not meant to be. Hey there R15 owner who saw a Duke 390 guy from Hubli to Kolhapur, if you are reading this, you are awesome 🙂
Pune fuck fest and the Bonnie:
Had a really tasty lunch with some special tea as local kids checked out my bike. Paid a massive bill of 28 rupees and then pushed on again towards Pune.
Things are awesome till Satara, after that everything goes to shit little by little. First I got stuck at a toll, where some assholes had completely ripped open half the road, with the remaining part covered with cars and trucks. Bikes, which are supposed to just zip past on the left, were forced to stay with the cars because the bike lane was constructed in the MIDDLE of the toll. I didn’t even notice it, and kinda got into an altercation with a car guy for blocking my path! My visor really fogs up whenever I slow down, and I can’t really open it because of my lenses. It was kinda funny I couldn’t see the motorcycle lane 2 feet in front of me!
Then it was time to fight 50 kms of Pune traffic, which everybody knows is probably the worse in India. There was this WagonR guy driving like he was in a fucking Ferrari! The problem is he wasn’t alone. Saw a couple on a Triumph Bonneville, gave them the thumbs up. Somehow made it till Dehu road, by which time it was dark.
Speed is irrelevant:
Stopped, got some fuel, changed my visor and goggles and then rode on again! I hate riding at night, but sometimes it just becomes unavoidable. I was being extra nice to everybody, didn’t piss anyone off, didn’t get pissed off by anyone, and comfortably made it back home at around 8! I was quite surprised by the timing.
The first time I came back from Banglore to Bombay, I did that route in 12 hours. But that trip included speeds of over 170 kmph, a lot of risky riding, and a sore butt at the end of the day. This time everything was SO comfortable, so safe, and so painless, and it took only 1 hour more.
Rash driving makes no difference. Is your life worth a 1 hour lead over 1000 kilometers?
I was surprisingly fresh after such a long ride! My roomies were kinda surprised, they expected me to just hit the sack and die. I went out, got some food, then got back home and watched TV till 11, after which I went to sleep. It was THE best ride of my life, the most disciplined, the most fun, and the most comfortable (apart from that tree that almost killed me of course).
This concludes the travelogue of my ride! Unless the others share their story of visiting St. Mary’s island and then their return ride back home, this is it. Even though this trip had a similar route to my Goa ride, it was a completely different experience because of my patience and use of brain. Hope you guys had fun, and probably learned something too. Cheers 🙂