I was frantically scrambling, trying to fill in my info, hoping to make it on time before the registrations closed. Suddenly I found my typing skills going down the drain. This was the level of excitement I was in when I first read the CTC Emperor’s invite to a biking event to Yercaud. With a Royal Enfield in the garage, one would hardly stop thinking about hitting the road. I waited eagerly for the confirmed list. I prayed for a lot of pillions to sign up so that bikers won’t be left off. I was relieved when I got a mail confirming my participation. Adding juice to it was the confirmation of visiting Kolli hills as well. 90 mouth watering hairpins in all.
17th of February finally came and we met fellow riders near Maduravoyal at 11:30 pm. In less than half an hour, we were celebrating Arun’s birthday. Black current and Pista fresh cream cakes disappeared into thin air in a matter of seconds. We did find some on Bharani’s head though. We were no longer strangers. The group gelled well, pillions picked riders and we were raring to go. Finally, the moment of truth, the arrival of THAR. For enthusiasts, it was a sight they were longing for, for others, it was a blessing, to help with their luggage. Balaji G and Fazul, helped with the attendance and we kicked off our ride at 1 AM on the 18th.
We were determined to ride throughout the night and reach yercaud as early as possible. The riders, responded well to the request and in spite of a few mechanical niggles, we reached Tirupattur in the early hours. We stopped for a refreshing tea and to fix one of our rider’s flat tyres. We decided to do breakfast at the foothills of Yercaud, near Kuppanur and so we did. The Harur-Kuppanur road was recently laid from the looks of it and was an absolute beau to ride on. Clear skies, winding roads, cool early morning breeze, what more can a rider ask for.
20 minutes into the climb, we found a perfect spot for resting, along a clear cool stream. Most of us got some shut eyes under the shade. An hour later, we were off again. We visited a couple of viewpoints before reaching the top, where we stopped for lunch. The view point, at the top, provided shade for both riders and their steeds. We munched away at the rusks and gulped down milkmaid creams. Then, it was time for some stunts. Balaji showed what his 4x4 was capable of as Bharani held on to the railing with iron fists, pulling off some amazing stunts. Adi on his hero impulse was catering to the photographers demands, with super cool wheelies and stoppies. Passersby even mistook our gathering for some sort of a stunt convention. Thus were our energy levels even after 11 hours of riding.
It was time for our way down and boy was it fun. Riders showed off their cornering abilities, foot-pegs scraping the tarmac and each one carrying decent speeds through the bends, flowing like water. It was group riding at its best.
A few of us stopped at rasipuram to get supplies for our dinner, while others were led by bharani towards kolli. Little did they know about the BBQ. Time flew and we covered the 70 hairpins in 40 minutes. We reached the top at 8:00 PM and we found a perfect spot for resting, after an hour long search. It was a rock quarry with a view of the entire city. It was breathtaking. We setup camp and started cooking. The group split up, each one taking responsibilities for the various tasks.
Surprised is an understatement when people found out about the BBQ and the biriyani. In colloquial terms, the emperors became “Nanbenda”. After a filling chicken and vegetable biriyani, the group finally rested under a star studded sky.
It was a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Refreshed and energized, the group set off towards Agayagangai falls. En route, we met the other CTC group that had come to kolli. It was good to see them. We exchanged pleasantries and then went our separate ways. The waterfall was a 1000 step climb down. The view of the waterfalls cannot be put in words. You just have to experience it. The water was cold, the force was immense and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the stay under it. The much needed dip, refreshed us for our ride back.
Lunch was on everyone’s mind after the steep climb from the falls. We stopped at a small shop and had jackfruits and pineapples dipped in honey for lunch. Soft drinks, vadas, bondas and bajjis, you name them we ate them until we exhausted a week long supply of items. We were vicious like a group of piranhas. The shopkeeper was more than happy to have us. He gave special attention to Emma and Laure making sure that they had their fair share.
On our way back, we stopped for dinner at Ambur. We had decided that we get Arun, some birthday present so we all chipped in and bought him a leather jacket in one of the leather outlets. For this gesture the poor guy owed us birthday bumps and everyone was nothing less than merciless. Adi was the person behind this whole idea and we really appreciate him for that.
We reached the outskirts of Chennai around 1 AM on the 20th and it was difficult for us to part with fellow riders after an unforgettable weekend. We promised that we would see each other soon on another trip and made sure that the emperors heard that. Now that they have a fan following, they better keep feeding us. Or else.. Just kidding.
At the end of the day, we are grateful to the emperors to have setup this trip and for taking care of us. One would not believe that this is their first bike trip as organizers as there was not one moment during the trip that anybody had anything to complain about. We look forward to joining them on even more adventurous ones. We could not thank Balaji MK and Ajay, enough, for carrying our luggages, without which our ride would not have been pleasant. There are so many people to thank, for so many reasons. The pillions, the photographers, the villagers, everyone played an important role in this trip. We may have started as strangers but we are family now. We are sure that we have established a long standing bond with fellow riders and we look forward to ride together soon.
Write up by Ramkumar
Write up by Ramkumar