Road trip to Ooty

In the midst of all the other stuff I've been doing, I clean forgot to mention the awesome trip we had a few weeks ago. This year, the TW Away Day was at Ooty, and the resident hell-raiser, the good Mr. Narla suggested we ride there. Sure enough, in typical Narla style, he went ahead and made it happen. Come October, he had Royal Enfield lined up as sponsors for the trip, supplying us with six Thunderbirds. Apparently they consider it a rather long test ride which is a pretty cool point of view. Besides the six sponsored T-Birds, there was one custom T-Bird (the yellow one in the photos) and two Pulsars.

The fact that they were giving us T-Birds and not Electras worried me - I'd spent a couple of years traveling to college on my friend's T-Bird and I knew it was literally a pain in the ass for the guy on the pillion, which has next to no padding and transmits every bump on the road to the pillion rider's backside with loving attention to detail. This is made worse by the fact that the rider feels no bumps worth mentioning, and so cheerfully races over the worst roads without a care in the world.

Anyways, the Away Day was on the 27th and 28th (the last weekend of October). We left a day earlier on the 26th. Quick bullet point summary, and I'll let the pictures do the rest. You can also read Chris' far more detailed account here.

  • Rained off and on all the way to Mysore. Which was cool - I was completely water proofed and really got to use my Cortech jacket for the first time.

  • Post Mysore to Gudulur was slow, with a couple of incidents along the way, including my bike's key falling out somewhere with neither Vishnu (whom I rode with) nor me noticing.

  • After Gudulur, the roads were totally awesome, Indian style. Vishnu was pillion, luckily, or I wouldn't have survived to reach Bandipur. I mean, they're lucky I'm even using the word 'road'.

  • Bandipur and Mudumali were mind blowing, seriously. Clear roads, sunlight slanting down through the trees and a little gentle rain. The occasional elephant watched us go past. Chris has videos of this bit.

  • After that came the steep climb to Ooty, which we took mostly on first, and which my bike's gearbox didn't quite survive. When we reached the top we found we couldn't engage fourth and fifth gears.

  • A quick stop to refuel at Ooty and we headed to the Holiday Inn where the away day was happening.













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