It is always a passion for people to be on long bike drives when they start to get a hold on things. It all started for me when I first went to Tirupathi (detailed in my other blog). The thought started to hover around my mind on I should do some long bike drives. The thought went back to sleep for sometime and came back alive in May 2019. If you ever wanted to know about Geo locations and wanted to learn about distance/reaching between places – your best assistant is Google Maps. Had I known Google Maps in my school days i would have learnt Geography good 😉
I searched for many places, and had many places pinned. Before, that it is essential that you wanted to ensure that if you/your Bike cooperates for such long journey. My earlier trips were very short less than 200KM one way, a break over there and head back to Chennai same day. I wanted the long trips to be a “actual” long trip covering at-least 500KM a day. To test the endurance of my bike and myself I came up with this trip of Chennai-Coimbatore-Chennai.
I had fixed the dates of Aug 14-18th, 2019. Aug 15th was a Thursday and having a leave on Friday makes a long weekend. The preparation was quite intense though. When you are on a bike trip there are multiple things that you will need to focus on:
1. Safety of yourself, Bike & Baggage
2. Proper Protection gears.
3. Adequate fluids to fight dehydration.
4. Knowing the basics of repairing for your bike problems.
5. Knowing how to tie your luggage at the back.
When you are on an unknown terrain it’s always best that you do your trips on a day time rather than at night as it is helpful in many ways. As a first step, i ensured to study the route between Chennai to Coimbatore & back. There are two possible routes 1-via Villupuram, Salem & 2. Vellore, Krishnagiri, Salem.
I chose the 1st route as I felt that the route would be pretty OK and reaching Vellore weekday will be a humongous task. I marked that route as ‘preferred’ while returning back. I fixed the date to be 14th Aug noon 1.30 PM.
I did a Work From Home and that took sometime for me to get ready. I did a rain check on the route and it was OK.
Started from Chennai around 2.30 PM on 14th Aug. Timelines:
2.30 PM – Started from Home
2.45 PM – Before Pallavaram – To fix the Baggage that was sliding.
3.00 PM – After Chrompet – To fix the Baggage again. It was so irritating that the baggage kept on sliding often. Unfortunately, there were two baggage and only one had the cover the other didn’t.
4.00 PM – Melmaruvathur fixed it finally by taking off the polythene cover which kept it sliding.
5.35 PM – Break while nearing Vilupuram.
6.05 PM – Break for rains on the highways. I was lucky that i got a place to stop😃
7.05 PM – Aathur
8.30 PM – Outskirts of Salem for snacks/dinner break
9.05 PM – Salem
10.30 PM – Perundurai
12.30 AM – Coimbatore Home.
While returning back on Aug 18th, i thought of coming via Vellore route to experience the scenic view. Later, when i did a rain check got to know that the highways itself are flooded. So, i had to take usual route. Timelines:
2.15 PM – Started from home
4.00 PM – Perundurai
5.30 PM – Salem
7.30 PM – In between Salem and Ulundurpet toll.
9.00 PM – Ulundurpet toll. Break for dinner to have home made Chappathis 😜
10.30 PM – After Melmaruvathur
12.00 PM – Home Chennai.
It is essential to take a break every one hour. Which is good for you and for your Bike. There were a quick 5min break as well in-between just to keep you going.
Have sufficient water during the trip.
Start early and take break during the noon.
Take a quick break of 5-10min every 1hour.
Ensure that the baggages are tightened properly.
Don’t raise your Bike past 80Km as you won’t have any control whatsoever.
Don’t overtake lorry’s on the left especially at night.
Don’t push your bike to any extent.
No racing even provoked and never take the eyes of roads.
Always keep a constant check on rear view mirror.