Our very first ride ever, way before we were even called The Travelling Circus, was a breakfast ride, to Tonnuru Kere, off Mysore Road back in 2010! That was the only official breakfast ride we had ever done.
Over the past few months of having done some beautiful rides across the country, we were toying with the idea of having another breakfast ride, open to all, who had wanted to experience what it would be like to ride with the Circus. After much back and forth on the destination, we decided on riding to Avalabetta Hills, about 85 kms outside of Bangalore city, off Bangalore- Hyderabad highway.
We put out the ride on our Facebook page in early September, inviting riders from everywhere to join us. We never have a restriction on what motorcycles are allowed, and this breakfast ride was no different. The ride date was set on 2nd of October, the Sunday. Our ride had started to get a lot of registrations from the very first day. As the date approached, the registrations started increasing even more! On the 1st of October, we had 67 registrations for the ride. However, since it was an open-ride without any restrictions and without any monetary commitment, we were unsure how many of the 67 registered riders would actually turn up the next morning!
We were to meet on the outskirts of the city at 6 AM. When we got there, there were at least 4 other groups congregated waiting for their riders! Good learning. This popular spot will never again be our meeting point for any rides with TTC. We had decided to start the ride, after a quick check on numbers and registrations at 6 45 AM. The total number of riders was 55 in total! I was absolutely thrilled and excited about getting to meet so many new people and getting to hear so many new travel stories!
I did a very quick briefing about the route, and told everyone about our style of riding. That we don't expect riders to stick to each other. It was as much their personal ride, as it was a group ride, and that no rider will be expected to ride the way they are not comfortable riding. I briefed them that they only had to stick anywhere between the lead - Satvik on this ride, and the sweep- myself. After all was clear to everyone, we started out on the ride.
The sun had just started to shine bright, but the cool breeze and the lack of traffic at that time of the day was a perfect start to our ride. I had anticipated some confusion considering the sheer size of the group, but there were none. Riders took their breaks in between, and I would ensure I hung out with them, and continue sweeping. Our first stop was for breakfast at Kamat Upachar near Chikkaballapur. Once all the riders reached, we entered the premises of the restaurant, and what a sight it was! There bikes everywhere. Almost every inch of parking space was occupied by bikes- all kinds of them! I believe I must have seen every kind of bike I have heard of or seen in my life- the BMWs, the Harleys, the Triumphs, the Goldwings, KTMs, REs, Bajajs, just about anything! Due to the lack of good places for breakfast on Hyderabad road, most people travelling here end up at the same few restaurants! However, most of us got in before everyone, found ourselves some tables and chairs, and in smaller groups had breakfast. I could see friendships building everywhere. Absolute strangers an hour ago were now becoming friends, exchanging stories, talking about rides they wanted to do, and so on!
In about 10 kms after the breakfast point, we were going to deviate from the highway. So as not to miss any rider, Satvik was to stop at the turn, ensuring everyone was there, and only then head forward. Those of you who have rode with the Circus before probably know this, but those of you who haven't Circus has never ever left a rider behind. Whatever be the case, whether a mechanical failure, or losing the route, someone from the Circus will always come back, irrespective of how hard it may be, to make sure you are alright, and bring you back to the group!
After deviating from the highway, it was a beautiful ride through little villages, narrow winding roads- a typical ride through the rural India! The locals were looking in amazement at the vast convoy of bikes that went through their villages. I even saw some of them video recording the whole jingbang of bikers! The road had craters during the first few kms of this ride, after which it was smooth tarmac over narrow roads, with lush green on either sides. Not much later, we reached an arch that was the entrance to the climb up to the hills. This short 3 km stretch was good concrete roads, with a very steep incline! The curvy roads plus the incline made for an amazing ride up, but just as we started to love it, we had already reached the point till where bikes could go! From here on, it was a trek up to the hilltop.
Few of us had tender coconut to hydrate ourselves, knowing the daunting task that the climb up would be, and started the walk up on steps that never ceased to end (at least to me)! Half way up, we could see the beautiful landscape around. We could see many hills at a distance, and they all seemed to somehow be strategically places equidistant from one-another! Knowing that the view would only get better as we got higher, we continued the walk up. There were way more people at the top than I personally had imagined. There was a small pond we had to cross (actually more like a puddle) soon after which the landscape opened up! The shrubs made way to flat rock, with nothing obstructing the view. A 180 degree view of hills, lakes, and a thick green cover! We found nice flat rock surfaces, and slowly everybody began to settle down there and rest.
Since most of us were together here, we decided to do a quick intro session, so we get to know a little more about the others we were riding with! A beautiful session ensued with people opening up about their stories on travel in the past, and the places they wish to ride to very soon! We had riders who wanted to do the Golden-Quadrilateral ride, a ride all the way to Singapore, North-East India, Mongolia and so many more places! You could see the passion in their eyes when they talked about their dream rides! I was so happy listening to each of their stories and their dreams! I am so sure all of them with definitely achieve those rides in the very near future! :)
After all the stories and chit-chatting, we headed down to ride back to Bangalore. A lot of the riders had plans of going other places directly from here, and wouldn't be riding back with us. So, as against our original plan of riding back together with everyone, the group split and went their ways from the hills itself. A few of us rode back together, had some yummy Punjabi food enroute, and after maneuvering through Bangalore traffic reached home safe, sound and most importantly content!
View Full Gallery of the ride here.
Until the next ride!