American Pillion

November 20, 2009

An eclectic group that included two personal trainers and an author braved weeks of incessant London-style drizzle and the kind of storm-laden sky that horror films thrive on to ride the 120km to Galibore, on the banks of the Kaveri. 

A little after Horahalli the group of five bikes encountered a lone and rather forlorn Bulleteer climbing out of the Kaveri valley.  Joel it turned out had in a spout of enthusiasm arrived at the start point an hour before the group was due to meet and, thinking he was late, had set off to catch up but had just turned back having found no trace of Road Veda or indeed any Bullets.  The fortuitous meeting was celebrated with breakfast at Chunchi falls before the descent down the Galibore ghat.  “Slow down”, “Change gear” and finally “You have been warned” greeted riders on each hairpin bend. 

The rain started at twilight just as the Abhi and Anand, the brothers with matching muscles, as Pam noted, were wowing everybody with long jumps of well over four metres and happily swimming in the crocodile infested river despite the protestations of the camp staff.  After a game of Scrabble that commenced with throb and ended with on, supper and several hours of incessant rain, Gautam in true filmi style declared that he was going to collect the final rider, Chandan, who was joining the group late after giving a talk at IIMB.  The 10 kilometres of dirt track that leads up to the fishing camp through the reserve forest was by now thick mud and slush and with no signs, no light and no mobile signal Chandan would need to be guided into the camp.  Two hours later the two riders emerged, one caked boot to helmet in mud.  Only the Dhoom soundtrack was missing.

Sunshine, cricket and research into Sanskrit plant names were followed by lunch and a comparatively peaceful ride back to the city across the lotus-strewn lakes of Kanakapura Road.

Photos by Ankit Singh and Phil Clevenger