From the beginning I was a bit apprehensive about the ride, since this was my first ride alone without any support; most of the rides I did till now was with a group. I talked to my fellow riders about it and they encouraged me to go ahead with it. The planning started almost 2 week before the actual date, but until the last few days nothing concrete was done and I only got my motorcycle serviced the day before, I know experienced people say you should have got it done at least a week before, well due to some constraints I only got time to give my bike 1 day before. I told my mom that I am going by bike the day before my departure, she protested however I told her I’ll be fine and not to worry. Journey on 7-12-12
I got my leave approved only about 3 days before the ride, lot of things were running in my mind whether I would be able to do the ride or not or if anything would come in the way and spoils the plan. But luckily nothing happened, the day before I left I slept early and had a bit of a good sleep which is rare since most of the times if I have to ride I don’t get good sleep, woke up around 8 and got onto the net to check the route and the location of the hotel where I was going to stay, I got out the tank bag and then ironed one pair of clothes to attend the wedding.
While riding I usually take out a pair of old clothes which I don’t wear daily, this way even if the clothes get dirty I wouldn’t have to worry. Time just flew by on the D-day, cleaned my bike and polished the tanks and the side boxes with a bit of wax polish. Had lunch around 12:30 and then went to ATM to get money and then to the petrol bunk around 1:00 PM to do a full tank, in went about 12.4 ltrs costing about 800 change. Got packets of 2T oil as well to keep the engine cool on the highway, back to home and ran the rest of the errands and by the time I got ready it was almost 2 PM. Started of around 2:10 PM and hit the NH 9 (now NH 65) just near to my home.
There was heavy traffic and it was hot as well that day, with the thick jacket and helmet on I was getting cooked inside nicely, till L.B Nagar traffic was moderate and there I got stuck in traffic for about 5mins, slowly inched ahead, the traffic was heavy till Hayathnagar, after crossing the outskirts of the city, the traffic was moderate till the ORR flyover and after that it was just open road. I kept to the left lane mostly unless I had to overtake from the right lane (fast lane). From here on I kept cruising at 80-90 but intermittent deceleration to keep the bike from overheating.
Most of the ride was uneventful thankfully no accidents anywhere and the road was simply awesome or should I say butter smooth to just glide on it like the butter in the hot pan. The apprehensions about the ride were still lingering on my mind but after some time they just got washed away once I got on to the highway. I would really thank the AP Govt. that they finally made the most notorious highway into a 4 lane one and saved many lives from perishing.
I kept riding without many breaks, it was getting a bit uncomfortable for me to keep my thighs from feeling pressured since the way I kept the tank bag was not correct and due to the position I had to open my thighs wide. When I checked the milestone it showed I crossed 90+ KM already, finally decided to stop at a milestone for water & pics break. Stopped at exactly the 99KM mark on the shoulder lane on a bit of long straight stretch, since I was the only one and no one with me to take my pic, I put the camera on the milestone balance it properly and did a self portrait on the highway with my point and shoot of sony cybershot.
Time was about 4 PM and I still had about 40KM to go before I touch Suryapet, I started for Suryapet and again the ride was uneventful, stopped at the outer of Suryapet to check where I should take left turn to head towards khammam, and checked my position on Google maps with GPS on. I was 3KM away from the left turn to Khammam, started off again and was looking for the sign towards khammam, finally found it near the flyover and got onto the road to khammam, after riding for about 15 mins decided to take a tea break, found a dhaba and ordered for 1 tea, I was feeling a bit dumbfounded that I have done it so far and it has been uneventful. The tea costed Rs. 8/- I was like what?!?!? in my mind didn't argue paid the amount and got ready to leave like always people gathered around me seeing my attire of armored jacket and knee guards.
The road was good on and off, 60% of the road was good and 40% was ridden with pot holes and sometimes downright dangerously placed speed breakers with no signs to indicate them, time was 5:15 and the sun was getting ready to shine on the other side of the world, a little ahead 3 guys were driving in a Zen and the guy was not ready to give a go ahead to me, I somehow managed to overtake him, then a little ahead I was overtaking an auto and out of nowhere the idiot honked when he came right beside me when I was overtaking, there was a slight curve to the left on the road and I already saw no oncoming traffic, the honk scared me a bit but I composed myself and after ranting a bit about no respect for bikers by the car drivers
About 10mins later I came to the reservoir which is about 20KM away from Khammam, had a quick pit stop for photos and then started off again, I was already feeling a bit cold but the jacket helped in keeping the cold at bay.
I maintained my speed of 80 as much as I could however the traffic started to get heavy once I neard the town, once I got into the town and after crossing the ROB, I was quickly able to identify the bus stand and took the lane beside it where Hotel Sindhu was located. I parked my bike in the parking space which was there luckily and went to the reception for a room, the guy said AC room was 1200/- and deluxe was 800/- I asked him you said there was a single room, he said we do have single room which is 400/- asked him for the room, he took the details but I asked him to see the room before I take it, he said you should have checked before I took the details, I said ok fine no issues.
The room wasn’t great and the bathroom was not good either well the flush was broken and not usable. It was 6:15 when I settled down in the room, had about 1 and half hour before I head to the function hall, watched some movie till about 7:30 and then got freshened up and changed the dress, took my headphones and connected them to the mobile so that I could hear the navigation. Came down and turned on the navigation to where I was supposed to go, the navigation was patchy since it is still in Beta stage, it kept saying signal lost, but the maps I had didn’t let me down and was able to reach my destination, after attending the marriage and dinner came back to the room, watched movie till about 1AM and then slept, after a little while I started having bites on my body, like some bugs biting. I couldn’t sleep and was tossing and turning to find a sweet spot to get a few winks but to no avail, I then decided from next time I will carry the bug and mosquito repellent cream. I slipped into a bit of dreamy slumber for sometime Return Journey 8-12-12
I put the alarm for 4:30 but woke up at 5, by the time I packed my stuff and checked everything it was 6 AM, went down to the reception and got Rs. 100 back as the caution deposit they took. Started the bike and checked the oil level if its fine and finally set off for the return journey to Hyd. The light was just a bit brighter in the sky enough to see the road properly. I had my summer gloves on with protectors, I rode for a distance then realized that the gloves won’t help in protecting me from the biting cold, so out came the leather gloves with foam inside (I have Cramster winter gloves as well but forgot to take them with me).
The towns along the highway were slowly waking up but there was a bit of truck traffic and adding to that lot of mist, engulfing the road completely with visibility dropping to just about 20 feet and at some places to 5 feet, I tried to maintain a good speed and kept my headlight on on the single lane road, it was a bit difficult to ride with the visor getting fogged out and I had to keep cleaning it regularly with my hand to have better visibility, however riding in the mist was an experience in itself. Stopped at a place to snap pics of the mist and at the reservoir as well, saw the whole reservoir was engulfed in fog. After the pics session I started off again, after riding further for another 30KM the fog cleared completely but the chill in the air was really biting.
At about 7AM I reached Suryapet, again at the outer had a break for 5mins and the left, went a little ahead for about 10KM and the bike went into reserve, I had to slow down and ride at 60 it was a bit weird to ride at 60 with the bike running at a higher RPM all the time, after about 3 or 4 KM found a HP bunk, went to it and tank full again and emptied the 2T oil packets as well into the tank, about 10.88 ltrs went it and cost about 700 change. Time was 7:15 AM started off again from here on I kept riding for a good time, I planned to reach the city by about 9 or 9:30 AM, so didn’t take any tea or breakfast break even though I wanted to eat aloo ke parathe at a road side dhaba.
About 65 KM away from the city I took a break for about 5mins for water and putting on my polarized glasses, time was 8:05 AM started ripping again at 80-90, in approx an hour I was at the ORR flyover on the highway, from here on the speed kept varying due to lot of incoming traffic, it was madness for me to ride in the city after a long and stretch of riding without much braking on the highway. Took the bypass to the Sagar Ring road so that I can take the internal route and reach home quickly, finally I reached my home at around 9:40 AM 10mins behind the time I decided on however a record in itself to do 200KM in under 4hrs, the last time I did 200KM in 3hrs was from Lonar to Nanded.