Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Road Trip to Land Fort …

Distance : 405 km Bangalore - Dindigul - Land Fort ( Nilakottai )

Duration : 6 hrs 30 min

Start time: 5.45 am Reached : 1.30 pm

LandFort , don’t think it is someplace in United states. It is the place near to Kodaikanal.It is known as Nilakottai (Nilam + kottai ) .This place is famous for flower market ,Gold jewels and Bronze vessels. Nilakottai can be translated in English into Land Fort :P. Kodaikanal is just 65 km from land fort.

I have recently shifted to Bangalore. It was really difficult to live in Bangalore with out a bike.

Last month, I got one too, though it was not a high end model(Bajaj wind 125 cc, 5Gear), but sufficient for office goers.I did not expect great mileage from my bike becoz of my riding style :P.

Need to test my bike’s max speed, riding comfort. I got 15 days vacation, so planned to go hometown by bike.

Long trips required good conditioned bike and good planning. Let me say some thing about how I prepared for the trip.

Started preparations before a week, my room mate asked me about the week before preparation and laughed at me, but it was really helped for better preparation.

Check List:

=> Ensured that I have all the necessary documents with me ( RC book , Insurance and emission certificate).

=> Checked the validity period of the insurance

=> Checked the First aid box and tool kit.

=> Took some ID card with me for safety purpose incase somebody questions it might help.

Preparing Bike –

- Check engine oil and change if required ( bought Castrol Power 1 and changed )

- Ask the mechanic to check Clutch, Accelerator, and brake cables. Change those if required

- Adjust the brake according to your comfort level.

- Head lamp, take one extra one bulb with you.

- Ask mechanic to adjust the chain tension and apply grease.

Checking the cable was very important. If you did not changed it recently better I advice you to change. Otherwise remember race seen in actor vijay movie “kuruvi” :P

Bike was ready well in advance.

The last working day was (18 Dec 2009) as usual not able to do much work. Don’t want travel in night time, so planned to start the trip at 5 am in the morning the next day.

On Friday evening filled up the tank and air.

Always I tank up at shell petrol bulk because of assurance of quality, quantity and service. My bike gives 50 kmpl but don’t expect the same in NH, since the speed will vary greatly: P. Filled up petrol for 450 rupees.

Fill the air according on your preference [Mileage / Comfort]. Correct level gives more mileage. A bit less air gives more comfort.

Did not sleep well in Friday night, I was dreaming about tomorrow’s road trip. Woke up early and got ready. Carefully choose the dress. I chose 2 in 1 loose pant and casual t-shirt. Even chosen the inner garments carefully J.Don’t forget to take the sun screen lotion.

Loose pant gives you comfort while driving. You can make it as shorts if you have 2 in 1 pant. Sun screen lotion protects your skin from direct sun light otherwise there is a possibility that your skin will get damaged.

Thanks to Rajith who always said “long rides should not have pillion”. If you are going with group of friends one bike may have pillion in case if somebody not well/ tired the pillion can help him. We can rotate the persons in round robin fashion too.

Getting ready with map:

Since this was my first trip from Bangalore to Land fort, I was not sure about the road directions. I decided to ask our good friends Bing and Google.

Do you know who is giving better results? Let us find out.

Bing gave route which has distance of 376 km. NH 7 route from Bangalore to Dindigul.

Bing directions link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/y97ssxy

Google gave route which has the distance of 364 km. Wow that is cool. They have some intelligence which tells shortest route. It gave the route which is not straight forward. It is a mixture of NH 7 and SH 17, SH 74 etc …

Google directions link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/ybos8p9

But this is my first trip from Bangalore by bike , so decided to follow the route which Bing gave. Very straight forward – follow NH 7.

Took the print out of the map and kept it in my jacket for easy access.

Split the distance into multiple milestones.

Having long term goal is good but don’t forget to split it into short milestones which always gives you the joy and satisfaction :p.
I don’t remember who said, but one of my mentors.

Planned to start around 5 am in the morning but my friend advised me to start bit late to avoid rash lorry drivers. In fact most accidents happen in the early morning because of sleepy drivers. I started at 5.45 am on 19th December from my friend home at electronic city.

Don’t forget to reset the trip meter before start. I took the first break after 50 km and then after another 50 km. Next goal is to travel 100 km non stop.

The morning ride was awesome. It is the golden hours (5.45 am – 8.30 am). The weather is perfect for ridding. I could enjoy the rising sun from the farm field; some times between the hills.

Near Karavur mist came down suddenly and swallowed the road completely.I was looking for some beautiful girl who might appear from it but no luck.

After doing 200 km, reached Salem around 9 am (3 hrs 15 min from Bangalore).

Stopped at a small hotel by the highway. Food was really good and hygienic. It is not always true that small hotels won’t be hygienic.

Most of the trucks were going at snail’s pace since it was fully loaded. It was reminding me the pregnant ladies walk. Anyhow it was good that they were driving slowly, so we are safe.

After taking break, Every time before I start, I was focusing on the objective (safe driving)

There are some good points to learn about over taking, that we will see in my next post.

About NH 7:

After completing the Golden quadrilateral project travel time reduced dramatically. The road was looking very good. Safe to drive at good speed but beware of straying dogs which might come from any directions, any time. It is good that SOS telephones are placed at every ~2 km distance.

Tested the max speed of my bike. I was doing about 113 - 115 kmph. Maintained the speed for 15 min continuously then decided not to cross the 100 due to safety reasons.

Since I tied my bag with back seat, felt very comfortable while driving. Make sure you covered the bag with some plastic cover so that bag won’t get dirty.

I reached Dindigul around 12.30 pm and have to travel 25 km in State Highway towards kodaikanal. After reaching sempatty need to deviate from kodaikanal road to reach Land fort. I was reached home around 1.30 pm. It was a wonder full experience.

Hope you too enjoyed reading this and also got some useful information.

Stay tuned for next ROAD TRIP !

1 comment:

  1. Its been a while.... still staying tuned for the next road trip


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