Sunday, October 29, 2006

Motorcycle Diary - Ramakkalmedu

Trip Date:

October 21, 2006


Ramakkalmedu, Idukki, Kerala

Start Time:

6:30 am - Oct 21, 2006

End Time:

7:00 pmOct 21, 2006

Total Drive Time:

9 hours, rest accounting for breaks and sightseeing.


My Cousin Manu and Me


Royal Enfield Thunderbird (Me) and Kinetic Blaze (Manu)

Distance covered:

346 kms with around 300 kms of hill route. Although my previous biking trip from Bangalore-Wayanad spanned 800 kms, it had very less hill route drive.

Top Speed:

74 kmph, while overtaking a Truck in the beautiful MC Road. Otherwise maintained consistent speeds of 40 kmph on hill routes and 60 kmph on normal roads.

Fuel Consumption:

The giant 350CC engine of Thunderbird drank just 7.85 liters of petrol for the 346 kms, giving me a record mileage of 44 kmpl, for a trip that had almost 300 kms of hill route drive. I salute thee, the Legend!

Tour Bag:

Cramster Stallion Military Camouflage biking bag.

Tour Kit:

Spare Clutch & Accelerator cables, Spark plug and Fuse for the Thunderbird, Extra Cloths for the riders, 5 litres of Tang, Registration & other essential papers for the bikes, First aid kit, Chocolate bars, Canon Powershot S50 digital camera, Flashlight and Swiss Knife

Route to Destination:

Kalamassery- Aluva- Perumbavoor- Kothamangalam- Neriamangalam- Karimanal- Cheruthoni- Kattappana- Ramakkalmedu through NH47, NH49 and majority through normal broken roads

Route from Destination:

Ramakkalmedu- Kattappana- Cheruthoni- Thodupuzha- Muvattupuzha- Perumbavoor- Aluva- Kalamassery through SH33, MC Road, NH49, NH47

Road Conditions:

Hats off to Kerala State Government for that State Highway 33 from Thodupuzha to Kattappana. Spectacular would be a lesser word about this road – Spotless and Perfect with great road grip. Great curves made very safe with correct bordering of tar and warning signs. Awesome drive. MC Road is also in a great condition, and looks like interstate highways of US. But, NH 49 is nothing short of pathetic reminding me of soil excavations at places, while NH 47 is just ordinary. NHAI really has something to learn from SH 33. The road to Idukki through Neriamangalam-Karimanal is quite bad, but the ride offers quite a lot of beautiful views.

Destination Features:

Ramakkalmedu is a beautiful view spot in Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, giving breathtaking views of Kambamnaadu villages in TamilNadu on one side and the villages around Kattappana in Kerala on the other side. The view and greenery is nothing short of spectacular, and the gushy wind proves that this place is one of most windy places in South India. The giant 40ft statue made by sculptor CB Jinan, depicting Kuravan and Kurathi (tribals) is nothing short of spectacular. Being a lesser-known tourist location makes the place even more peaceful and blessed. In short Ramakkalmedu is 'Where wind plays its heavenly bliss!'. Feels like God’s own country, indeed!

Interesting Conversations:

I was coming out of a local hotel near Karimanal on the way to Idukki, when this seemingly well-dressed and educated gentleman approached me, after keenly monitoring my Royal Enfield Thunderbird for a few minutes.

The Gentleman: Your bike?

Me: Yes, Sir. (Thots: He’s noted it! )

The Gentleman: Hmmm… (looking at the sides, handle etc)

Me: :) (Thots: Seems to be a bike lover. Must be a knowledgeable person)

The Gentleman: My son also has a Thunderbird

Me: Wow! (Thots: So this guy is an expert!)

The Gentleman: He bought it 10 years ago.

Me: Ehhh? (Thots: Oops. That must be a mistake. TB is 2002 release)

The Gentleman: His Thunderbird had right side gears.

Me: Oh ohhh…(Thots: Syntax Error. Only left side gear found. )

The Gentleman: Handle was not curved. It was straight.

Me: Ngeyy?? My Gawd! Ahem..Push slowly sir. (Thots: My god. Bulls horns are straight?)

The Gentleman: How many gears?

Me: 5 (Thots: Now, Whats that question for?)

The Gentleman: Might be a cheaper version. His one had 6

Me: Including neutral! :) (Thots: One must be spare! OR He must have had a bulldozer, sir)

The Gentleman: And he bought it new for 55,000.

Me: What a Deal! (Thots: Next he will say - in spite of being offered a minister post, Karunakaran rejected it!) and I start running towards my bike

The Gentleman (shouting over my shoulder): And my son’s bike engine was……….

Me: Thumppp…Started the bike and escaped!! (Thots: his son’s engine surely was Google Search Engine!)

Other Bikers:

Not many. Saw a Foreigner driving a brand new Royal Enfield Thunderbird (black/silver) to Kattappana through the SH 33, and he had a ‘naadan’ chap with a ‘lungi’ as his pillion and guide. Then saw couple of ‘real’ bikers with long hair, beard and cup type helmets driving on an old Bullet Standard 350 – the moment they saw the Bird, they started shouting and waving the hands! Was nice to see the long runners!


None, except almost every single person on the road ogling at us and hearing comments like “Nokkedaa!” (“Look there!”). Had a nice time when we overtook a school tour party and the kids started clapping and whistling…

Overall Ride Feel:

Safe, Beautiful and Serene!

But, I missed the company of Dhanush’s Red Bird as much as I missed his Chikmangalur trip. I hope we make the Bangalore-Pondi trip soon!

Ride Safe, All!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Alexis' Tag - II

The versatile Alexis Leon tagged me almost 2 months back. And the eversolate me is finishing the tag only now!

I am thinking about how I can make my carpenter finish the furniture work at home that he should have finished 40 days back. The best scheme till now is to assault him with my Chalus (PJs).

I said what I said. I am trying to take some back, but can’t. Seems there is some error in my system. :)

I want to do something that makes me feel contented when I seal my eyes. I might well be on the way for it.

I wish that world is a better place, which does not make me feel undeservingly fortunate.

I miss no no. I mister :). I miss a person who used to give me answer to all the questions I asked.

I hear the silence and start dissolving in it. Then I hit my head in the keyboard, which made me wear a helmet, while sleeping at work. :)

I wonder if the valley would turn green tomorrow. I wonder if tomorrow would rise as a Utopia.

I regret absolutely nothing, except a few things ;-).

I am a mystery to myself. I hired Scotland Yard to solve it. They committed suicide.

I dance when I hear ‘duppankoothu annaachi’ songs.

I sing and they declare Nationwide Hartal.

I cry in my mind, without tears.

I am not at all a serious chap as people think I might be….

I write stuff that basically can be termed as crap.

I confuse myself by thinking what I would do if I was the person I see in front of me. I think I have exhausted a key fraction of my life doing this.

I need my thoughts, my drive towards my dreams and some time to let it evolve.

I should try to control my temper, which I only show to people really close to my heart.

I finish only when I get finished. Till then, let the madness continue.

Anyone interested can pick this tag. Alexis - This one was real nice.