3 day weekends are rare and having a Goan Thruxton ride is rarer. This Triumph Thruxton was with me for a while and I had not really taken it out. Just one trip when I went out to donate blood. So, for the Republic Day weekend in 2015, Kavitha and I decided to head out.
Thanks to Prashanth for letting us use this beautiful motorcycle for this ride.
Alrighty, it is time for Rider Mania 2016! By this time next Wednesday, Rolling Thunder MC would have finished one day of riding and will be chilling out someplace in Telangana. I’m headed to BoBMC RM 2016, with the brothers from Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club. This is hosted by Wanderlust, Nagpur for this year. The boys from the Orange city have got my hopes up with the promise of “the loudest, maddest and wildest Biker bash yet”. And what they want us to do is “rock hard and live free”! You got it brothers, Haha!
Start of another trip, we decided to stay in and explore our very own Karnataka this time around. Bangalore Hampi was not our plan. We planned to head out towards Chitradurga and take it as it comes. As usual, it was a late start. We loaded up HotFix and headed out. The weather seemed lovely, roads seemed to have held up and we made good speed. #8378 on the odometer, as we pulled out.
Bangalore Hampi – A good place to eat
First stop was to get some food. We were already hungry when we got out, and VRL’s hotel after Tumkur had been a good stop, during an RTMC Anniversary ride a couple of years ago. The thought of heading towards the coast or the hills after the stay at Chitradurga was what kept us heading in this direction. After some planning, we wrapped up breakfast. Just the two of us in the hotel, so no worries with getting what we wanted quickly.
A couple of breaks on the highway. To shoot something or the other each time. I’ll upload non-motorcycling photos sometime else. The skies seemed like they were clearing out. Sharp shadows everywhere.
Bangalore Chitradurga, it is not
As we neared Chitradurga, it was clear that the rain was coming in quickly from the South West. And, the whole of Chitradurga and its surroundings were under heavy rain clouds and rain. We kept getting intermittent showers but, we kept going. Finally, we had to stop and make a call as to whether we wanted to hit Chitradurga and spend the next few days riding in the rain, or head in the opposite direction.
Bangalore Hampi, it is
So, off we go. Took a right turn and headed towards Hampi. Much clearer skies and with the rain clouds chasing us in the distance, we rode hard. The plan that did not exist had changed. That’s the thing we like about our rides without bookings. No worries. And, Hampi is a beautiful place too.
Bangalore Hampi Traffic
The road towards Hampi is a regular 2 lane. You come off the Golden Quadrilateral’s 4 lanes into what’s essentially our own version of Fury Road. Massively loaded trucks hauling ass. No one really slows down. Even if they tried, the momentum of the tons of the goods wouldn’t let them slow down effectively. The only thing that keeps traffic slow are the equally massive potholes.
Stopped over for lunch with only about 40 kilometers. The place had tables outside which allowed us to ride up to the tables and sit. Did not have to worry about unloading anything. The food did not seem very good and we went the safe route of Dal and Roti. It was served hot so that in itself was a win. The waiter at the table, an old man, could not stop flirting with K. Buzz off buddy, she’s taken.
Fixing imaginary punctures
Every place has its own fans. Here is someone who loves Bihar. Yup, they exist too. We had hit a deep pothole while tailing a truck. And, I hoped that we would not have to fix a puncture. This was one of the reasons to choose this place for lunch. In case the air pressure dropped due to a slow puncture, we would not have trouble fixing. Next door to the hotel.
Hampi Tungabhadra backwaters
Looks like the government has started making this spot into a bit of viewpoint. The last time I had been on this route, all this was, was a gap in the trees. But, now it has an exit and parking space to let people enjoy the view. With such comforts come cars and people who throw plastic all over. But, it is a beautiful spot and definitely worth a stop.
We spent some time here since it was nice and cool. Moreover, I had started looking for places to stay. This was the first ride for K on this route. And, she was really enjoying the ups and downs of this route. And, it shows on her face.
And, me having been here before did not fail to throw a surprise. The turn off near Hospet is now a massive tunnel and cloverleaf overpass complex. I thought I had hit the wrong route for a moment. It still seemed under construction and should be good once finished. We were soon headed on the last stretch.
When we finally take a left turn into Hampi, plenty of fields and our first view of the rocks. This area still feels like how it did 10 years ago when I rode here to run in the (then brand new) ThunderDuck. As you can see, the sun was pretty low on the horizon. Time to move and find accommodation.
We spent about 10 minutes trying to get a room. We got an extremely basic room in Hampi village. Kiran Guest House was where we stayed. The rooms were of varying levels of basic-ness. From basic to really basic and then to less than basic. If you are the type who does not spend much time in the rooms, eat out mostly and have your own sleeping bags, this place is ok. If you expect comforts look elsewhere.
One of the things we wanted was to stay at a place which had a clear view of the temple. We got that here. The terrace of the house was on the 2nd floor (that’s 3rd floor for you Americans) and we spent a lot of time there watching the sunset.
A huge group of monkeys had made the 4 or 5 coconut trees next to the house their home. So, as they went about screeching and settling in, we just chilled in the balcony. Not one of them made themselves a nuisance (at least physically) and it was entertaining watching their social interaction. I can pull parallels from them to people at work.
Roaming Hampi in the night
We roamed around, had dinner at a place called Mango Tree. It seemed like a popular place with a lot of good ratings. The food that we ordered was good. And later in the night took a stroll. No one was awake and pretty much silent throughout the walk. It seemed absolutely safe.
We walked around and towards the main temple till finally K was spooked and we decided to head back to the room. I left the motorcycle under our window, but out on the road. Next to a washing stone. Oh, what a mistake that would turn out to be.
Only once our neighbours came back from somewhere across the river, from what was supposedly a more “interesting” place did we call it a night. We hoped to visit that soon, over the next few days.
Till later, bye.
Just happy to be back on the highway. We were not sure as to how long we would stay in Hampi. Anyways, seeya till tomorrow.
Mototech Storm Balaclava review, after a week of usage. I needed one, given that Bangalore (after a long time) was getting a bit chilly in the nights. Glad that we had a club meet at a motorcycle store, time to give them some business.
My favourite Ducati Scrambler from the 2016 range is the Full Throttle. It draws its inspiration from the flat-track and racing worlds. Not something that many people are exposed to here, but the motorcycle just feels right.
The “Deep Black” tank – which sports a dedicated logo with a yellow-black background. The seat also with yellow inserts, draws on flat-track origins. The end result is a sporty look and outstanding rider comfort.