Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bangalore to Jaipur Summary : Overall Experience

Overall a beautiful tour – full of great experiences.

The tour was from Bangalore to Jaipur via Kolhapur, Pune, Bombay and Ahemadabad. Around 2400 KM’s, done over 22 days with two days of break. Used to ride around 10 hours a day, around 120 KM on an average everyday with lots of breaks for tea an mini meals. Started on Saturday 15th of May and ended the tour on Saturday 5th of June.Copy of 05062010

Earlier plan was to go to Jaisalmer. Dropped that plan since Jaisalmer was not connected by the Golden Quadrilateral highways and in any case I would have run of time. The earlier route was straight up via Solapur –Aurangabad – Indore-Ratlam. Changed the route after the first few days since this route was on regular NH and not the Golden Quadrilateral ones and also this route turned out to be an arterial route. Check out the daily blog notings for comparisons between the different type of highways.

Nice and comfortable ride – around 1.5 X times tougher than the Kanyakumari ride (which was a luxurious one). Overall level of effort at around 65%. Average cruising speeds ranged from 12kmph to 20+ kmph depending on terrain. Kept around 20 to 25% of the total time for regular breaks. Wind direction throughout was from west to east and pretty strong at places. That resulted in cross wind most of the way till Bombay and post that it was mostly diagonal tail till Jaipur.

Temperature levels far lower than what I was expecting. Most of the days the first half (till 12 pm) temperatures were around 38 and the second half temperatures around 41. Highest at Gadag (North Karnataka) with standing peak heat at around 48 and riding temperature of around 45 with consistently high temperatures throughout the day accompanied with warm winds. I mostly ride in the day/ afternoon times and enjoy riding in heat. Gujarat an Rajasthan turned out to be a bit of flop show in that respect.

Used to try and finish the ride by around 4 pm and keep a buffer of an hour to find accommodation. Night stays used to be in lodges / hotels.

Overall the terrain seemed to be uphill till Belgaum and then downhill till Mumbai followed by straight terrain till Jaipur. The only piece of hilly terrain was right at the beginning of Rajasthan from the border towns of Ratanpur/ Shamalji to Udaipur. The approach to Satara , approach to Pune (Katraj Ghat) and the Khopoli Ghats (Mumbai) were nice long downhills. Lot of rolling terrains till Mumbai, but nothing too steep barring a handful of small and steep rolls.

Distinct change in cultural aspects as I proceeded through four states. Breakfasts of Idli/ Dosa in Karnataka turned to Vada Pav/ Poha in Maharashtra and Alu Paratha in Rajasthan. Had great mutton in Kolhapur, my favourite King Burgers in Pune and Kathiyawadi in Gujarat.

The prosperity of Gujarat is very perceptible.People are more gentle and the roadside dhabas / restaurants very clean. Next in terms of prosperity seemed Karnataka. Rajasthan seemed the poorest states amongst the ones I rode and a little higher tendency amongst shop owners to overcharge and try to con you out of your money.25052010(014)

Knowing the local lingo gives you a clear advantage as I found in Maharashtra (I can speak Marathi ) and Rajasthan (my hindi is fairly good and with more of a central India kind of accent)

Had felt funny riding into Pune, since that’s we are settled.

Had to change tyre and tubes around two times. Got it done from the local shops.

Took two breaks of a day each after riding for around seven days. The first one at Kolhapur and the second one at Baroda.

Saw two cycle yatris on the way. The first one I saw some where near Kolhapur I think. Regular cycle with a huge amount of stuff. The other one I saw while on way to Udaipur. Had been on cycle for the past six month. Across the India tour. Carrying a huge amount of stuff in the trunk in his back and a front career.

At most of the dhabas, the folks used to think that I am a religious yatri. The way they asked me, seemed that they almost wanted me to say a yes. Were very surprised when I said it was out of interest/ hobby and not a religious yatra and I could see a perceptible loss of respect !

Some remarkable sights were the Khopoli Ghats before Mumbai , fort of Chittaurgarh and the Mewar hills in Rajasthan. First time I was riding through the ghats in a cycle. A very long and fast downhill with a beautiful view of the plains below. For the Chittaur fort, it was the first time I had seen it. Its a longish approach from the highway into Chittaur town. And the first sight of the fort was astounding. The fort seemed to form the hilltop boundry for the whole of the huge hill in front of me. Really long fort and seemed well preserved too. Mewar hills were a new experience. The whole Ratanpur to Udaipur route was through the Mewar range, which comprised of a whole range of small hilltops. The hilltops were not too high and it almost seemed that there was a house on top of every hilltop and a shop at the bottom of it.Copy of 30052010(008)

Had a very funny feeling from end of ride till almost two weeks after that. Felt funny taking a taxi to Delhi airport from Jaipur and then taking the flight. Felt funny going to office, reading morning paper, browsing on internet, watching TV. Felt as if I was doing all these tasks for the first time. Was planning to start to write down a ride summary (s) for a past few weeks, but never came around to doing it till today.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

BJ22 - Day 22 - Sat June 5 - Kishangadh (Ajmer) to Jaipur

BJ22 - Day 22 - Sat June 5 - Kishangadh (Ajmer) to Jaipur

7 am/12.30 pm/12.30 pm/105/23/30%/2420 /5L /30-37-39-40

A nice and easy end to a great tour04062010(002)

tail wind, light decline and cloud cover made for an easy ride into
Jaipur - pretty much just sat and pointed the handlebar in the right
direction - fast paced cruising - resisted temptation to just sprint
the whole way - need get a good fix on low co2 issue

excellent roads - 6 lanes and good shoulder - food and branded water
easily available04062010(001)

good sleep - was refreshed - kept up good food and water discipline -
had restocked the munchy bad the night before

had an evening flight booked from delhi, amongst a few other
combinations - decided to dismantale cycle and take all the parts on
the flight, except the frame, which was anyways bent - cycled to the
bus stop - booked a taxi - dismantled the cycle with the help of a
nearby cyclewallah - wrapped that up in a double bedsheeet picked up
from a shop in the city while riding in

the jaipur delhi road is a bad one - 4 lane and lot of traffic
congestion - work going on to make it 3 lane with a service road - the
road journey took a little over 5 hours with a bit of speeding up by
the driver towards the end

just landed in bangalore - temp 25 - feels like a hill station - all
paramaters fine - no aches pains bruises - feeling nice and refreshed


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Friday, June 4, 2010

BJ21 - Day 21 - Fri June 4 - Bhilwara to Kishangadh (Ajmer)

BJ21 - Day 21 - Fri June 4 - Bhilwara to Kishangadh

6 am/9 pm/9.16pm/140/12/60%/2315 /10L /30-41-41-43

a tough day and a great evening ride

slept well - refreshed - saw low air in rear tyre - pumped - went for
7km before a flat - one puncture - repaired - glass shards had
penetrated the tyre bruise - as soon as i put back the tyre, heard a
hiss - 2nd puncture - repaired - as soon as i out that back, againd
heard a hiss - changed tube with backup - as soon as i assembeled the
rear assembly, heard the deadly hiss again - 1.5 hours lost - walked
to raila 5 km away - got the rear tyre changed and and small puncture
repaired - saw a small thorn in front tyre while checking - as soon as
i took that out, the hiss started - got that also repaired - new tyres
are nylon and wide treads, so small pebbles and glass dont stick in -
finally started the ride at 11 am

absorbed heat wile sitting and doing nothing - my heat loss works the
best when cycling - could sense heat loss issue - for the next 2 hours
took bell6, electral water, low speed and frequent tea and rest breaks
- heat loss got activated just in time for the peak heat cycle - in
rajasthan its short and hard from 1.30 to 3.30 before starting to go
down - heat loss was in peak shape then and all ok

the first 90 odd km till nasirabad was strong cross wind - had to
sailboat - at times it was so strong that got the feeling that it
might sweep off - at one point had to get down and walk due to strong
cross - the wind had turned warm by 3pm, just like the gadak ride but
gadak was far hotter03062010(005)

the best patch was the last 35 odd km of the ajmer bypass - starting
6.30 pm - beautiful patch - temp had gone down to 37 approx - nice
sunset - arid landscape with intermittant sand - a few hilltops on
either side and front but far away - a charming feeling

thot will find acco on the bypass but didnt find anthing good - rigged
up for night ride at 7.30 - nightfall began by 7.45 and dark only by 8
- nice road - nice shoulder - medium traffic and slow moving - very
comfortable - entered city outskirts at 8 - 7km ride to city centere -
enquired about hotels - very comfortable night ride into city too -
had a very safe feeling about kishangadh - people also friendly and
and more cultured - very less staring compared to other small cities

overall have found truckers to be pretty disciplined - maintain a
steady line and speed and honk a lot - especially the very long trucks
and those carrying protruding stuff almost always honk even if safe
margin - had changed the direction of my cycle pump some ten days
back - so that the rear end is visible from behind - looks like the
back of a sten gun - found a perceptible difference in the margin
being kept by truckers - seen them change lanes also, not happening
earlier - not sure if real or imagined but have been getting a far
greater margin frm truckers - riskiest are cars - cut close,
abberrant speeds , come on to shoulder while overtaking and dont even

overall flat roads - some rolling a little before nasirabad - terrain
getting more barren - more sand - difficult to find roadside shady
trees - intermittant farms - farmers seem to have bought in soil from
outside - boundries made with sand dunes, cactus trees , broken down
thorny branches

numerous dhabas - look dingy from outside but neat and clean - good
food - branded bottled water available only intermittantly -used to
stock 3-4 liters at a time

the last 70 odd kms were full of vehicle cleaning shops - small shacks
- with watert compressor - dirty shabby kids hanging arounds
soliciting truckers to stopa and get veh cleaned up - never saw so
many cleaning shops as today - all kids looked full of major enthu

saw 3 nanos with an escort vehicle - with sign painted over of the
great Indian ride - door had the map painted - seem to be doing a
circular route in central India

keep seeing lot of enfield motorcyclisy throughout the tour, with lots
of gear - like on a long road trip

had kept up a strong food and water discipline - having food every
hour - either at dhaba or from munchy bag - starting to keep one set
of packed lunch from dhaba - chana masala from afternoon didnt smell
right - threw away - had chapati and water and then chapatio and tea -
well refreshed even at ride end - ordered food immedietly at
receptionand went out to restock munchy bag for tomm

hotel aarjav palace - ac 600 - nothing fancy but neat and clean -
nice hotel folks - decent and cultured - lies on main road connecting
to highway 6km away

tomm wud be jaipur - shud be a comfortable 100 km to jaipur railway
station - expecting tail winds as road direction is west to east -
winds throughout have been fairly consisent west to east too - hope
the tyre/ tubes hold up - but enough buffer even if replacement to be
done - can also feel a bad stomach bug starting to build up - hope it
holds for a day


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Thursday, June 3, 2010

BJ20 - Day 20 - Thurs June 3 - Chittaur(garh) to Bhilwara

BJ20 - Day 20 - Thurs June 3 - Chittaur(garh) to Bhilwara

10.15 am/5.45pm/6.00pm/75/14/60%/2175 /6L /35-40-41-42

a day of light rides and rest02062010(005)

not good sleep - got sleep early morning - didt feel rested - took a
nap break at bhilwara - started again at 4.45 - felt refreshed - tyre
air low - possible light puncture - filled air to check out- target
was bijainagar, 55 km away - was banking on light tail - wind was diag
head - low speed - wud hv become nighfall - halted at a highway hotel
20 km from bhilwara

lots of temples and mosques in and around chittaur / bhilwara

road good - cross wind / diag head

have been flat roads from udaipur onwards02062010(004)

tyre air gone - cycle shop nearby - got tube changed - used a new tube
from the shop - not using the backup original atas i had - the
mechanic gave a logic about valve type and showed the diff also -
moulded valve vs hand assembled - moulded better and used by farmers
to carry heavy load - not convinced but dont mind experimenting - the
bruise in the tyre seems to be having an impact - hope it holds for
another 2 days02062010(003)

cycling towards ajmer tomm - will take a break near arounds ajmer



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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

BJ19 - Day 19 - Wed June 2 - Udaipur to Chittaur(garh)

BJ19 - Day 19 - Wed June 2 - Udaipur to Chittaur(garh)

9.30 am/6.00pm/6.45 pm/115/18/50%/2095 /8L /35-39-41-43

nice and easy ride

slept till 8am - 9 hrs- like a log - at ac 30 - felt cud sleep
another 9 - decided to catch up on sleep - also the route going
forward wud be easy - flat/ decline with cross/tail - good desicion -
took an hour to get out of sleep mode after riding - but very
refreshed - made for an easy ride - might do the same tomm also

flat/ decline road - good road - 4 lanes with good shldr - rode in the
other side shldr for a little while - makes more sense and safer too -
in any case the sholdr acts as a two way lane for two wheelers

dry landscape - farms on both sides - food bottled water there -
except for karnataka and tamilnadu, branded water available
selectively or in larger towns - regular trucker type dhabas only in
rajasthan - no family dhabas - a little less cleaner than the gujrat
ones - the trucker dhabas are pretty neat and clean,as they always
are, but the small eatries in city and towns are real bad

overall the difference in prosperity levels of states is stark

wind was cross in the beg. and turned tail in2nd half - made for easy
and fast ride - wind direction seems to have changed - seems to be
south to north now - need to see if that continues tomm also

stopped at a dhaba for lunch - roto and subji - prepared from zero -
break became almost an hour - got some packed for next meal - turned
out to be a good idea - had that in a shaded structure - chatted with
the villagers - usual que

was the only one at that dhaba - delibrately chosen as such - clean
one - had a semi nap in the khatia - decent guy - seems to live with
a 5 yr kid - cute kid - was helping dad by serving - poor folks -
cloth torn - charged 50 for 2 plates of veg and 6 chapatis - shud hv
given more - had fridge - must be full of beer - all dhabas have them
- the wine shops and also the slightly bigger kirna stores on highway
have iron grillings

had restocked munchy bag with orange juice and buttermilk for
rerhydration and potass - glucose bikis - yesterday had bot half kg of
tomatoes and finished them on the way - carrying 3-4 kg extra wt due
to munchy bag, electral, petroleum jelly - but dont feel it

ralco nylons really good - didnt know there was so much specialization
in tyres for the reguar cycles - very minor wear and tear till now -
using with hard inflation - saw only a single minor bruise - hope it
holds thru for the next few days - keep cleaning regularly esp for
glass / nails - glass and pebbles make no diff - not able to cut thru
- good one from gulabchand - genetic cycle mechanics

butt abrsaion totally ok by morning - used vaseline mixed with calend
midway also - all the rest of aches and pains also ok - a strange
pain in rt index finger joint for past few days - feels like a
ligament sprain - light one - wonder how that came about

chittaur has a 7km entry - but the same route later goes and
reconnects to the highway - the fort is visible from the entry point
- really long fort - seems to have been well preserved too

hotel padmini - right near the exit point - on highway - ac 1800 -
negotd for 20% discount - on phone, before going in - for direct
approach and offseason - wonder why didnt do that for others esp the
listed ones - good place - lavish feel - good cook - made real nice
alu matar and shahi and shahi paneer - low ghee as i had requested -
the place must have 50 plus rooms - prob only one or two other folks
- thats the case for most of the places that are not right in the city02062010 01062010(032) 01062010(031) 01062010(030) 01062010(029) 01062010(028) 01062010(023) 01062010(019) 01062010(018) 01062010(017) 01062010(011) 01062010(010) 01062010(009) 01062010(008) 01062010(005) 01062010(004) 01062010(003) 01062010(002) 01062010(001)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BJ18 - Day 18 - Tue June 1 - Ratanpur to Udaipur

                  BJ18 - Day 18 - Tue June 1 - Ratanpur
to Udaipur

6.30 am/5.30pm/5.45 pm/120/12/70%/1980 /10L /30-39-41-43

a tough and beautiful ride - straddling the mewar hiils all through

terrain was hilly starting right from ratanpur to udaipur - all the
120km of it- the road goes right through the mewar hills - lots of
ups and downs - mini ghats all the way - fairly tough - small
hilltops though ensure that there are not very many steeps

different type of hill range - all small hilltops - almost every
hilltop has a hut at top - arid - thorny trees - nice and very dif31052010(028)31052010(027)

good road - 4 lane but with decent and well marked shldr - water 31052010(023)and31052010(022)
food easy - low traffic31052010(021)

cross / head wind throughout

met a cyclo yatri - hindu muslim peace - on road for 6 mths -
travelled through kerala, bangalore - going to ajmer - carrying whole
household - gave some money for yatra - seemed to be enjoying 31052010(020)the beer
being available in rajasthan - depends on alms - must be doing 30 31052010(019)km31052010(016)
per day

strange phenomenon on this patch - especially prominent in some
patches - decline and tail wind but cycle doesnt move - feels like
incline - almost as if somebody trying to hold it back - checked
cycle a few times - then realized trucks also slow - while the the
fully laden trucks from other side going up the incline and with 31052010(015)head31052010(013)
wind going faster - very strange - took a video for later viewing

average food througout - relaxed on the khatia at dhabas during break31052010(012)
-felt like a tea shoop/ food shop almost every corner

sleep not good - tweaking around with ac - think hv got it right
hopefully - keeping temp at 30

right knee slightly strained - shud be ok by tomm - severe butt
abrasion due to intense ride - shud have used vaselind midway also -
doing strong vaseline plus calendula trtmt - should be partly ok by
tomm - the ride onwards is full plains so shud be manageable31052010(011)

hotel gajraj - ac 1100 - good place -marble flooring

went out in eve to buy supplies/ munchies

tomorrow towards chittoragarh - went the wrong way while choosing
hotel - will need to backtrack a few kms tomm - nh8 is not golden for
the ajmer stretch - nh76 and nh79 - udaipur to chittaoragarh to ajmer31052010(010)
are golden - nh8 becomes golden again from ajmer to jaipur to delhi -
increases the journey by a day - but supposed to be good roads31052010(009)31052010(005)

-- 31052010(001)31052010(003)
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Monday, May 31, 2010

BJ17 - Day 17 - Mon May 31 - Ahemdabad to Ratanpur

BJ17 - Day 17 - Mon May 31 - Ahemdabad to Ratanpur

6.30 am/7.15pm/7.30 pm/125/15/60%/1860 /7L /30-39-42-43

nice and pleasent rides - entered rajasthan

did two rides - with a nap break at himatnagar30052010(009)       

nice road - 4 lane with a nice shoulder - low traffic - during the
first ride there were fields on both sides - tree lined too - but not
the shadey variety but the thorny kind - pleasent rides both ones -
road had a overall laid back feeling - one of the best patches30052010(008)

not good sleep last night - room hot due to not using ac - feeling
sleepy in the first ride - all other params ok - electrlyte/ potass
bal almost restored - decided to take a nap break at himatnagar -
slept from 12.30 to 3.00 - like a log - felt very refreshed30052010(007)

started at 3.30 - aimed for shamalji, a religious town right near the
border - temp was 46 stationary but riding temp at 42/43 - roads empty
- heat loss at peak shape - did it at a nice pace - farms becoming
less and less and landscape becoming arid -hill range towards the end
- maybe the mewar hills - stopped at shamalji - rooms available at
hotel mangalmurthy - saw the rooms - nice ones - got info that lots
of hotels there at ratanpur also and falls in rajasthan - 10 km away
so decided to go thr - feeling pretty refreshed at ride end also -
room temp without ac around 38 but feeling much more comfortable today30052010(006)
- if discomfort then will put on ac but keep temp at 30

overall capacity significantly up - not bothered by inclines / head
winds - incline/ head wind tech has got fairly finetuned - much
higher cruising speeds - the ralco nylons are also making a
perceptible diff - stopped at one of the amul factories and half litre
of buttermulk - only unsalted

hotel kingfisher - ac 950 - neat and clean rooms - marble flooring -
beer avlble - lots of folks from gujrat seem to come here for that
since gujrat supposed to be dry state30052010(004)

pretty much flat road / slight decline for first half - 2nd half was
slightly rolling - foothills kind - but overall

wind remained cross / diag tail - will prefer that to a tail - good
for heat loss - tail aids speeds but seems to impair heat loss30052010(002)

continued with bell/ arru a few times a day - first few botls plain
and then with pinch of salt - had a botl of electral at himatnagar and
then 2 botls at ratanpur at ride end - had food immedietly30052010(001)

food was nothing grt today - maintained food and water discipline -
mini meal every 2 to 2.5 hrs - tea break every hour or less - water
intake at just a wee bit above exact - well stocked munchy bag with
juices, buttermilk, buscuits, energy bar,tofee - will restock again on
the way - speed not compromised as cruising speeds are higher - long30052010
range tours will need a diff op rhythm

tomm going towards udaipur 110 km away

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