Biking thro Bisle

Lets get to it - Two weekends without treks!!!! I was pretty amazed that I was still breathing. And mom wouldnt let me go anywhere on Saturday as she wanted to reverently pray for everybodys well-being that day!!! That left me with no choice than to head out on Saturday evening.

Sudarshan invited me to bike with his Nature Awareness Club mates - Teju Murthy, Bhaskar, Yuva and Sud's bro. We set out from Bangalore at 1600 hrs, reached Mysore to meet the first three, and then embarked on the journey to Somwarpet thro Hunsur, Piriyapatna and Kushalnagar. We stopped about 9 kms before Somwarpet near a picturesque grassy meadow that would have put the Windows desktop to shame. Midnight conversations were about the various climbs that Teju had done and near-deaths each of them had survived!!!

The Team - Sudarshan, Srikanth, Yuva, Vasanth, Bhaskar, Teju Murthy and me
Date - Nov 19,20 2k5

I didnt expect anything great on this biking trip. It was just something better than sitting at home as far as I was concerned. And no great surprises came my way for a long time. We headed towards Subrahamanya from Somwarpet and stopped at Bisle to enjoy the view of the entire ghats spanning Coorg, DK and Hassan Districts. We chalked out various approach routes to KP thro the Bisle ghats for future treks and got back on the road.

A looooooooong chat with the caretaker at the entry of the Bisle forest range was dismissed by me as a plan for a future program by the NAC. Teju enquired at depth about an approach route to the Donigal - Yedakumeri track from there and I had no reason to assume that it was intended for that day. How would we take our bikes on a trekking trail?? How wrong I was!!!!

We drove through Mainoor on jeep tracks and the locals blatantly dismissed the possibility of anyone biking thro that route. Nevertheless, we carried on ..... Biking on jeep tracks is one BIG challenge and I was totally unprepared for it!!! These were the kind of places that I had only trekked thro before!! The thought that I could even get my bike there sounded crazy to me!! But then... there I was - putting my bike thro stuff that I would imagine only a drag bike would endure!!

A localite drew our attention to the fact that a huge tree had fallen on the track and it would no longer be motorable. No big deal - says Teju. He finds an alternate trek route - as narrow as a trail can be and nowhere close to being in a plane - and gets all our bikes through that!! We reached Kurkamane and the villagers were astounded!!!

We continued on and just when I though the worst was behind me - we were at a stream!! We had to bike along the stream for a good 70 mtrs only to reach a bigger stream where we had to take the bike across the stream spanning 30 mtrs!!!! It was an experience I wouldnt forget for quite sometime!!! I barely managed to keep water out of the exhaust and my hopes of reaching Bangalore were still alive!! ;-)

This was probably one scene that all the villagers at Jakaata would never forget either. We had 70 year old men telling us that they had never seen any vehicle approach their village through Kurkamane - it was a first for them too!!! Children, men and women gathered around and flooded us with questions - Were we insane?? Why were we doing this?? We just told them we were shooting for a movie!! Catch it later on TV!!! ;-)

Now, I was happy that I was on a jeep track!!!! Enroute Hongadahalla, I even got asphalted roads!! I was never happier to see potholed roads!!! We enquired at Hongadahalla and found a jeep track that would lead us to our ultimate destination - the Railway track! It was back to square one for me! Jeep track - careful!! Don't fall!!! I had already slipped and damaged my headlights earlier in the day and I intended not to fall anymore!

Around 10 kms later, we were on the Sakleshpur Railroad trail. :-)

Walking across this long bridge about 2-3 kms before Yedakumeri brought back memories of Kudre, Rajath and me traversing the trail in the good old college days ...... A goods train rattled past us with a reminder that the trail is no longer the same. :-(

We got back on the road to Sakleshpur for dinner and were all set to drive thro the night to Bangalore. Teju's bike had taken a fall on the road back from the track and Yuvaz bike had a flat tyre earlier that morning. Three bikes down ... one to go!!! The safest bike so far had the biggest fall yet - The Fiero rammed full-speed onto the road-divider at Hassan and I saw the bike catapult in front of my eyes .... I shuddered fearing the worst ..... The rider walked out of it - unscathed - Nothin short of miraculous ......

Bhaskar used his mechanic skills to get the bike on road again and we spent the night at the Reliance petrol bunk at Chennarayapatna. Some more tuning of the bike was in order before we drove back to Bangalore on Monday ...... What a ride!!!!!!!

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