Bike trip to Yercaud/Kolli – Emperors Team 5

I was
frantically scrambling, trying to fill in my info, hoping to make it on time
before the registrations closed. Suddenly I found my typing skills going down
the drain. This was the level of excitement I was in when I first read the CTC Emperor’s  invite to a biking event to
Yercaud.  With a Royal Enfield in the
garage, one would hardly stop thinking about hitting the road.  I waited eagerly for the confirmed list. I
prayed for a lot of pillions to sign up so that bikers won’t be left off.  I was relieved when I got a mail confirming
my participation. Adding juice to it was the confirmation of visiting Kolli
hills as well. 90 mouth watering hairpins in all.
of February finally came and we met fellow riders near Maduravoyal  at 11:30 pm. In less than half an hour, we
were celebrating Arun’s birthday. Black current and Pista fresh cream cakes
disappeared into thin air in a matter of seconds. We did find some on Bharani’s
head though. We were no longer strangers. The group gelled well, pillions
picked riders and we were raring to go.  Finally, the moment of truth, the arrival of
THAR. For enthusiasts, it was a sight they were longing for, for others, it was
a blessing, to help with their luggage. Balaji G and Fazul, helped with the
attendance and we kicked off our ride at 1 AM on the 18th. 
We were
determined to ride throughout the night and reach yercaud as early as possible.
The riders, responded well to the request and in spite of a few mechanical
niggles, we reached Tirupattur in the early hours. We stopped for a refreshing
tea and to fix one of our rider’s flat tyres. We decided to do breakfast at the
foothills of Yercaud, near Kuppanur and so we did. The Harur-Kuppanur road was
recently laid from the looks of it and was an absolute beau to ride on. Clear
skies, winding roads, cool early morning breeze, what more can a rider ask for.
20 minutes
into the climb, we found a perfect spot for resting, along a clear cool stream.
Most of us got some shut eyes under the shade. An hour later, we were off
again. We visited a couple of viewpoints before reaching the top, where we stopped
for lunch. The view point, at the top, provided shade for both riders and their
steeds. We munched away at the rusks and gulped down milkmaid creams. Then, it
was time for some stunts. Balaji showed what his 4×4 was capable of as Bharani
held on to the railing with iron fists, pulling off some amazing stunts.  Adi on his hero impulse was catering to the
photographers demands, with super cool wheelies and stoppies. Passersby even mistook
our gathering for some sort of a stunt convention. Thus were our energy levels even
after 11 hours of riding.
It was
time for our way down and boy was it fun. Riders showed off their cornering
abilities, foot-pegs scraping the tarmac and each one carrying decent speeds
through the bends, flowing like water. 
It was group riding at its best.
A few of
us stopped at rasipuram to get supplies for our dinner, while others were led
by bharani towards kolli. Little did they know about the BBQ. Time flew and we
covered the 70 hairpins in 40 minutes. We reached the top at 8:00 PM and we
found a perfect spot for resting, after an hour long search. It was a rock
quarry with a view of the entire city. It was breathtaking. We setup camp and
started cooking. The group split up, each one taking responsibilities for the
various tasks.
 Surprised is an understatement when people
found out about the BBQ and the biriyani. In colloquial terms, the emperors
became “Nanbenda”.  After a filling chicken and vegetable
biriyani, the group finally rested under a star studded sky.
It was a
beautiful sunrise the next morning. Refreshed and energized, the group set off
towards Agayagangai falls. En route, we met the other CTC group that had come
to kolli. It was good to see them. We exchanged pleasantries and then went our
separate ways. The waterfall was a 1000 step climb down.  The view of the waterfalls cannot be put in
words. You just have to experience it. The water was cold, the force was
immense and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the stay under it. The much needed dip,
refreshed us for our ride back.
Lunch was
on everyone’s mind after the steep climb from the falls. We stopped at a small
shop and had jackfruits and pineapples dipped in honey for lunch. Soft drinks,
vadas, bondas and bajjis, you name them we ate them until we exhausted a week
long supply of items. We were vicious like a group of piranhas. The shopkeeper
was more than happy to have us.  He gave
special attention to Emma and Laure making sure that they had their fair share.
On our
way back, we stopped for dinner at Ambur. We had decided that we get Arun, some
birthday present so we all chipped in and bought him a leather jacket in one of
the leather outlets.  For this gesture
the poor guy owed us birthday bumps and everyone was nothing less than
merciless. Adi was the person behind this whole idea and we really appreciate
him for that.
reached the outskirts of Chennai around 1 AM on the 20th and it was difficult
for us to part with fellow riders after an unforgettable weekend. We promised
that we would see each other soon on another trip and made sure that the
emperors heard that. Now that they have a fan following, they better keep
feeding us. Or else.. Just kidding. 
At the
end of the day, we are grateful to the emperors to have setup this trip and for
taking care of us. One would not believe that this is their first bike trip as
organizers as there was not one moment during the trip that anybody had
anything to complain about. We look forward to joining them on even more
adventurous ones.  We could not thank
Balaji MK and Ajay, enough,  for carrying
our luggages, without which our ride would not have been pleasant. There are so
many people to thank, for so many reasons. The pillions, the photographers, the
villagers, everyone played an important role in this trip. We may have started
as strangers but we are family now. We are sure that we have established a long
standing bond with fellow riders and we look forward to ride together soon.

Write up by Ramkumar

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