BSA-TFN 2010: Day 6 – Roasted, Potholed but Highly Spirited

Waynad Loop of 80 km: BSA-TFN 2010 Day 6

Take a tangy bit of Kerala, Gods Own Country’s backroads, get a few bananas, add a dash of coconut water, barbeque it with potholes in high humid heat and garnish it with bike riders and Jhonny you got the Day 6 of BSA-TFN 2010!

It all started at 8 am on Dec 21st, the 6th day of BSA-TFN 2010 from Kalpetta in Kerala. The plan was to take an interior of Kerala village roads and do a nice and short 80 km loop around Waynad, Kerala and return to the base camp. The morning air had a slight nip as the riders started the day’s odyssey.

Soon enough the quaint Keralite villages appeared with all the goodies Kerala has. One could see numerous banana trees and huge congregation of coconut trees along with miles of expansive cultivation fields crisscrossed by many small murky looking rivers- Yeah baby you are in Kerala!

Morning roads with a few locals

coconut and banana everywhere- well what do you expect otherwise in Kerala?

and lots of rivers here and there

Initially it all looked quite alright. The morning traffic was light, the surface quality pretty decent and the air cool enough to make it an enjoyable outing. However, Mr. Murphy had other plans for the day. As the day progressed, the traffic increased on the roads with drivers of suicidal and homicidal tendencies. The weather turned hotter and humid and finally the surface quality went from decent to bad to worse to @##%&*#. However, the riders toughened it out on those roads which looked like lunar craters! It is tough to bike on a hot day and the effort takes whole new proportions when you add bad roads and traffic to it. It requires skill, determination, tenacity and resolve to live through. The riders showed it brilliantly. One rider, Sandesh wanted to quit on wake of the circumstances but he pulled himself through. Thats what you want to see, people overcoming odds.

a biker in stand out colors looks really striking

thats the wisdom tree and now that Vinay has gone through its overhang, he is surely a wiser guy

Rekha Menon: One of the most versatile women in the trip. She is a livewire 🙂

Biker in a rustic surrounding. We love it as it is such a refreshing change from the cities!

all smiles despite broken tarmac and heat- spirit is a great leveler

Soon enough the sight of the 1st Support Station gladdened all. The support station served the nice refreshingly cold beverages and some refreshments. It was a very short day and the riders were all relaxed and enjoying the outing despite the odds.

1st Support Station of the Day

People exchanged notes on what all they have been eating on the way. Keralite Porota and Appam Curry seemed to be the choice of food many had tried to sink their teeth into. Gaurav, one of the support crew, narrated the incident of being called Harry Potter by a kid (he looks quite close to that for sure). But the most hilarious incident happened with Abhinav Munshi. He was flagged down by a guy and before Abhinav could fathom that he was in an inebriate state, the guy had taken the hydration bottle from the bottle cage and emptied it into his throat!

Post the 1st support station, the surface quality turned good and the views became nicer. The riders were now passing through massive banana plantations through an undulating terrain. Every now and then they would be going over a small river and descend into enchanting village settings.

enchanting banana plantations

the surface quality became very good after the 1st Support Station and the riders were back in rythm

rivers and irrigation canals are plenty in Kerala

hunting in pack

It turned quite warm by the hour and the riders were seen scurrying to get back to the base camp. It was indeed a short day as all the riders came back before the lunch gong could sound.

It was little different story for the racer ilk today. They decided to ditch the village roads and went ahead to the Kozhikode beach by the bikes. It was nice 140 km paceline for the faster guys and they came back all pumped up.

lets push hard and reach the destination quick

I smell food and I got to hurry to reach it early enough

bye bye fellas, I am outta here

looking back, it was not really a bad day at all. you saw the rural Kerala, banana plantations, rivers...

One interesting incident made up for the hardship of climbing and grinding through the rutted potholed roasted ride of the Day 7. Yogesh and Vishnu were lured into a local eatery with the fragrance of coconut curry and hey presto they landed on a lunching camera crew of City Plus television channe!. So, in full glare of 100 onlookers, Yogesh and Vishnu had their share of celebrity moments. So, that is another benefit of riding a bike- you get famous!

 

Hi viewers, I am Yogesh and this is my friend Vishnu. We are riding for world peace, gay rights, saving tigers, conserving rainforests, promoting friendship, saving environment....blah blah..... In short I am now a new celebrity who believes in everything is worth savin

The evening at the resort was made memorable by an assortment of Keralite delicacies and the riders enjoyed the great cuisine.

Tommorow, the ride has a long grueling day in which the riders cross some 140 odd km to sail into Coorg, the coffee plantation heaven of Nilgiris. It promises to be a great scenic affair once again with lots of uphills and downhills. It a coffe plantation and as you know a lot can happen over a coffee so stay tuned for more drama.

-Manasij Ganguli

Manasij.ganguli@gmail.com

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3 Responses to “BSA-TFN 2010: Day 6 – Roasted, Potholed but Highly Spirited”

  1. Sachin Says:

    Hi,

    It is nice to see you all doing such a trip.

    I see road bikes & MBTs in the pictures. Since I am contemplating to buy a road bike – please give your feedback on how did the roadbikes behaved in this trip?

    Regards,

    Sachin

    • YVR Vijay Says:

      Sachin
      Road bikes are great when the roads are good. MTBs are best when the routes involve both good, bad and ugly roads. MTBs however certainly demand greater effort.

  2. rathchakra Says:

    Great job with the blog. Good luck to all the bikers.

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