Weekend Trip to the Lake of Bliss- Kere Tonnuru

7 Royal Enfields, 11 riders, 280 kms of tyre against the road over 15 hours. Sandwiched between all these, were a 100 bajjis, a puctured tyre, an awesome trek, a "could have been" sooper swim, lost routes, dust and mud, greenery, cute Sudeepu (a future IPS officer), about 400 photographs, coffee, tea, sandwiches, biscuits and chewing gum. And not to mention loads and loads of attitude!!!

It was a month since we got our new royal enfield classic 500 and we were itching to take the bike for a long ride. What started as a casual plan for 4-5 friends to go for a day trip, grew to 7 bikes and 11 people. The experience was as diverse as the people and the bikes.

- The oldest bike was Kaushik's 1977 Standard 350 and the newest Shubra's 2010 Classic 500

- The age group of the riders varied between 22 and 61 (yep 61)!!!

- We had students, working professional and businessmen

- 7 men and 4 girls But all of them knew to have fun and loved their bikes.

We gathered at 7:00 am at Banashankari temple and hit the road sharp at 7:30. We really looked like a group of roadies that grabbed every eyeball on the roads we passed. Steady and as a group. Then, we entered NICE road and everything went berserk!!! Each one of us wanted to try the fastest our bikes could go. I think most of us hit 120 kmph. Shubra & I were on her Classic 500 and we just crossed 135 kmph. I have never felt the air hit us so hard on our faces. Harsha and Madhura joined us on Mysore road after NICE road.

The next stop was to be Hotel Kadambam's about 10kms after Channapatna. This was a bad choice. The place looked grand from outside, had lots of parking space and the food was good. But the ambience was pathetic, seating was chaotic and random, and service nonexistent. But we got the best pictures of all bikes and bikers here. Having finished breakfast, we had to weigh our options for packing lunch. So, our next stop was Adigas near Maddur. But it was still 10:30am and lunch was not yet ready. We decided to make do with biscuits and chips. Our next meeting point was to be just before Srirangapatna, where we had to take a right towards Pandavapura and take the path less taken to Tonnuru Kere.

Just as we reached Tonnuru Kere, Pops' (G.V.Acharya) bike had a puncture. So Pops & I took out the wheel and went to get it set right. The rest of them decided to trek on to a hillock near by. We came back and joined the trek. It was a beautiful, rocky stretch, leading to a small temple and again down to the lake. The lake, I must tell you was much larger than I had imagined. Very serene, very clean and sparsely crowded. We came back down and ate everything we had and everything that the shop at the foot of the hill had to offer. Mention-worthy were the sooper hot and sooper spicy bajjis and the cute little kid Sudeepa, who was loitering around chatting with us. This kid wanted to grow up to become and IPS officer and we all gave him our share of motivation to be what he wants to.

It was around 4pm by the time we decided to resume with the original plan of going around the lake and taking an alternate route, that leads to a part of the lake where we could swim and there was hardly anybody else. We were too late to swim and we regretted not having come earlier. The path to this place was one of the roughest terrains and taking our bikes through this short but rugged stretch was amazing fun.

Around 5:00pm we left from the lake and planned the next stop to be Cafe Coffee Day between Maddur and Mandya. Just as we exited from this town, we lost each other and we split into two groups without our knowledge. Satvik and Shubra on one bike and Rahul on another who were behind us took a different route and went ahead of us. The rest of us did not realise they had sped away and we were riding slow so that they could catch up. These guys thought they were way behind us and were ripping to try to catch up with us. All this confusion cleared up when we finally met at Coffee Day. A grand plan was hatched! This was our first ever ride, and right there, we decided we would do the Ladakh ride in June! :)

Royal Enfield trips are all about LOVE - RESPECT - PRIDE. This, we could see by the way the kinship was building. All of us wanted to do this more often and the plans were starting to take shape for the next ride. Does this look like the formation of a club? May be...

Srikanth Acharya

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