Saturday, January 14, 2017

Boring Office Commute, Isn't boring

The biCycle bug bit me very hard past 2 years back. Though i was regular biCycle commuter during college days, the greed for motorbike,car made me take a long break off the saddle. The freedom feeling is back when my bums started resting back on the saddle.

Have been commuting to office for about 2 years now. Its so much fun to ride in those busy streets, drizzling rains, chilled nights of Bangalore streets. Getting back on saddle pulled me back into my college days.

 anabhyAse viShaM vidyAwhen not practiced, knowledge is poison.

Having connected to "PeterVanGeit" through his great work for CTC, never wanted to miss the Navigation Bootcamp he was conducting. The big reason to attend this bootcamp was also to meet Peter in the Final assignment. None of the excuses really matter for meeting Peter. This assignment opened up the new door for my thirst for the trials. It gave me better understanding of the Google Maps/Earth and helped me create my own trails.  After few trail rides couldn't play more with maps and the OruxMaps cursed me.

By this time riding though the monotonous streets, just 4km one way started giving an hint about doing some thing different to make the office commute interesting.

There are ten different ways of doing the same thing, before this thought would cross my mind the "Navigation Bootcamp" and "Office Commute" got married together.

To make the office commute little interesting, started using the learning of the Navigation Bootcamp to create maps. But what map to create for the same source and destination????

The kids question gave me an hint on what i need to draw on the map and the journey began.

My Regular Office Commute Path:

Its around 4+ KM ride, where I will be on saddle for around 15 mins.

                                        Plan                           Ride                         Stat

Path 1:

Though the planning was perfect, not being familiar with Strava made me miss the initial few meters data recorded. This path was ridden using the "Old is Gold" doodhwala cycle, borrowed from an office colleague. Thanks Manas.

                                         Plan                           Ride                         Stat

Path 2:

This path was the toughest to create as it involved multiple return trips on the same path. I wanted to make sure all the ride is "continuos" like a cursive with no breaks.

                                             Plan                           Ride                         Stat

Path 3:

My love of google products, specially google maps just doubled as it never let me ride on the "one ways". An amazing product from google, which can be used blindfolded.

                                           Plan                           Ride                         Stat

Path 4:

Repeat of Path 3, but different flagoff point.

                                          Plan                           Ride                         Stat

Path 5:

The most funny path of all, where i was about to ride inside an house [no it wasn't google mistake].

                                             Plan                           Ride                         Stat

And this is how it looked at the end of the 5 rides. And I have the answer for the kid.

Green Ride

These 5 rides gave me an amazing experience and lessons. 
        - Nothing is boring is life, you have everything around to make it interesting 
        - Any perfect plan can go wrong for a short moment, you need to realign your self to reach your destination
        -  Never give up when things go wrong, move on by making corrections to your plan to reach the goal. 
        - Traffic jams are the representation of people attitude. 

Good to see so many bikers on the road. Wishing every one a Happy New Year. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bangalore to Beaches - ByCycle - Day 4 - Wotz Ur Aim

Date: 28th Dec, 2015
Start: Agumbe (0800 Hrs)
End: Agumbe (1800 Hrs)
Distance: 23 Kms ( ByCycle - 8 Kms , Walk 15 Kms)
Terrain: Flat , Thick Forest enroute to OnakeHebbe 

Padsale was the place chosen by us to sleep last night. Padsale used to be there in all the Big houses earlier where they will host the guest. So we were here as perfect guest in “Doddamane”. This was a most homely stay after the 2 days of temple stay.

 Padsale @ DoddaMane

 Rooms @ Doddamane

  Dormitory @ Doddamane

Sanjay, who heads the Agumbe Vikasana Manch was in Doddamane and we had got into some healthy discussion with him last night. We had decided we will be doing some cleaning activity around Agumbe village this morning. Agumbe is well connected to every one who has seen Malgudi Days, and any activity in this village felt homely. This serial was one of the best serial some one would have seen in their child hood and would never miss to see if its screened again on Television.

Doddamane and streets of Agumbe are couple of main attraction in the serial. No one would forget Swami of Malgudi Days. We wanted to make some little contribution for this place and we picked up some broom and plastic pickers [Custom designed by Sanjay to pick up the small plastics].

We got up by 0600 Hrs and joined hands with Sanjay to clean up the main road of Agumbe. We felt very sad to see people throwing away all the plastics around this beautiful place. We collected almost 5 big bags of trash and gave it for Sanjay to process it further. One thing we realised was the amount of plastic is more from the “one rupee toffee” and “guktha”. Hope the governmanet will take some serious action on these two things.Sanjay does lot of social activities around Agumbe. The main aim of  “Agumbe Vikas manch” is to keep Agumbe clean and attractive. We just added 2 cents to his vision.

The Breakfast was ready by 0730 AM, and we had a super heavy breakfast composing of Upma and Rice bath. Sanjay suggested us to visit Onakke Hebbe falls. We preferred exploring this beauty by walk and that was the right decision. It was almost 6Kms walk for Onake Hebbe falls, 2 in the main road and the rest inside the thick forest to the right. This thick forest was the reason for highest rainfall in Agumbe. On the main road after walking for around 2km towards Sunset point you will find a forest gate to the right of you and you need to enter the gate and walk straight for almost 3-4km to reach the water fall. Dont take any deviation when you see any steps in between. You have to walk straight until you hear the sound of the water fall and steps going down. There may be couple of trees fallen down which looks like a blockage, but continue in the road. After reaching here Sid was very happy as he found the water much cleaner than Bisleri. The water was pristine flowing through the thick jungles of Western ghats. The water fall and valley view is just amazing. Make sure you have a valid ticket to enter this gate, else the forest department may make noise later.

 Huge Tree with branching at bottom

 The wrong route enroute Onake Hebbe

Natural mushrooms on the Decay

We had one more friend Sanjay whom we met in Doddamane accompanied us thoroughout the journey till the Falls. It was quite good discussion with him about the nature and current problems of Bangalore.  One of his suggestion on afforestation was quite impressive and it goes like this. He suggested to make seed balls using clay to cover the seed, throw in places where you find ideal for growing trees. Durning rain the seed would come out of the clay and become a sapling and a tree in future if its not disturbed. There are too many musquitos inside the forest and its preferabble to take a repellent if musquito's are fond of you.

Nature Walk inside the Forest

 Steps going down to Onake Hebbe

2 Layered Onake Hebbe Falls

 @Mouth of the waterfall

ValleyView of WaterFall


 Way back with the Kids

We were back in Doddamane for the lunch. Once again an awesome lunch which made us to mandate for a nap. While discussing with the Uncle inside Doddamane we realized Uncles Son and Lokesh were close friends. Its really small world.

Sid was almost sleeping and we didnt wake him up. We started towards ARRS, Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, an organisation which has done lot of research on KingCobra and other reptiles in the western ghats. Sapna, the co-ordinator who was volutering in the organization helped us about the different programme they do have for us. After a quick trail inside the ARRS, in hope of finding some King Cobra we were back to the base station in 45 mins of time with no sightings. Hope the King Cobras were really afraid of us. Sapna had hinted us that we would also sight Dracos in this areas and we had our eyes hooked to the Big trunks, but no luck.

On the way back we reached Agumbe Vikas Manch office and Sanjay showed us couple of videos of Malgudi Days. It reminded of our childhood watching those episodes. Panipuri was tempting and we couldn't control having it in the Agumbe circle. The Dinner was ready by now and 2 plates of pani puri inside the tummy didn't restrict us from having this awesome dinner. Since it was getting Cold Sanjay suggested us to put the tent and it was worth listening to him.

Though we had a nice tent, Padsale of Doddamane to sleep, we couldn't sleep well for the night as the question from one of the small kid kept bothering us. "What's your aim of Cycling, Uncle?" bothered us more than those uphills of Malnad.

The best answer we could thought of was "Our aim was to inspire more kids like you to Cycle to save our mother earth".

 ThinkWindow @Doddamane

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Bangalore to Beaches - ByCycle - Day 3 - Redefining UpHill

Date: 27th Dec, 2015
Start: Thirthahalli (0800 Hrs)
End: Agumbe (1700 Hrs)
Distance: 50 Kms ( ByCycle - 50 Kms)
Terrain: Moderate except Kundadri Hills 

Today was the journey which Sid would remember for his lifetime, the journey which changed the definition of uphill for him, the journey which reminded me Kalhatti Ghat. An amazing ride in the western Ghats from Thirthalli to Agumbe

The early morning visit to "Thunga River" for getting fresh was the right decision in the morning. We could hear musical flow of the river in the early morning with very few people around. It was time for us to make our hands little dirty to get back the bikes in shape. After a quickie for the cycles, we were all set to start our journey towards Agumbe.

Quickie for the Bikes
Temple Stay

Today journey would be a very relaxing one as the distance we were to cover was 50 Kms. And every one had hopes of reaching Doddamane @Agumbe for lunch. Had a quick and heavy break fast @ a restaurant. The fresh "Mangalore Buns" at the restaurant was as fresh as morning breeze of Malnad. The pic below speaks the quality of the breakfast.

Unimited BreakFast

The fresh morning breeze gave us an extra energy to reach the Guddekere where we need to take deviation towards Kundadri hills. The route was amazing with small villages and nice landscapes. Many warning for Sid to drive slow in junctions never helped. He was in full zoom with his pretty baby. Since we had a must plan to visit Kundadri, we used traditional method of "communication" with help of villagers to get him back, the mobile phones without network was of no use. He had to ride an extra 10 km. After around 40mins of waiting for Sid, we were all set for the journey towards Kundadri. 

Village Route

Landscapes Enroute

 The distance from Guddekere to Kundadri was 5km and we assumed it would be a pretty easy ride to the top of the hill. Sid was the only Bisleri baby in our team and he has filled up enough water for the uphill climb. After pretty descent uphills we reached Kundari which was actualy 5KM from Guddekere. We only then realized the top is almost 4km from Kundadri Village. Not to waste too much of time we continued towards the uphill. 800+Mts - 4km journey didn't found to be too tiring during the start of it. Sid started getting the real feel of the uphill by now. The hill started slowly showing its dominance, making Sid redefine uphill. The ride started becoming tougher with incline of almost 60-70 Deg in some places. It just started reminding me of the "Kalhatti Ride" as part of the Training ride for the Himalayas. I didn't wanted to break my rythm, until a 4 wheeler coming downhill took a steep turn and there was no option for me to get down of the bike to be safe. Now the real stuggle started with climb. At some point we looked at each other to check if any of our mind would say lets start going back. But the determined mind never gave up and encouraged us to continue the journey to the Top. The motor cycles and cars were stuggling uphill, except some machos like Pajero. We ran out of the water and energy in our body. It was the dry fruits and Glucose which gave us some energy to push the cycles further. By now it was all decided that it wouldn't be possible for us to ride until top, but just push it. The requirement for Bisleri was out of scene for Sid, he just wanted some drinkable water.

Dead snake during the Uphill

At the start of the Climb

Mind v/s Determined Mind

Never Giveup

What ever it takes

We will make it

After all the hard stuggles reaching the top was a great feeling of passing a critical job interview. After a big cheerup to each other and locking up the cycles we started walking to wards the temple which is futher 300 mts from the parking lot.

We made it
 Spider Web

I really thank Rahul for giving me an hint about this place. You can get a very good view of Malnad from this place. The best part is you can see both Sunrise and Sunset from this place. If you are around Agumbe, never miss a visit to this place. The struggle of the tough ride was a really worth this view. The photos speak the rest.

View of the Malnad from Kundadri Hills

Jain Temple at the Top

The Green Malnad view from Kundadri Top

Selfie with the Jain Priest

Group Selfie

 Pond which never dried in Ages

We had a quick chat with the jain preist of this temple and understood some of the important facts. This place has a 17th century Jain temple which is very beautiful. He also explained about the Jain Thirthankara who has given up his life meditating at this place. There were very few visitor until recently road was constructed. The preist was very sad that the people come here and are making this place very untidy. There is nothing [food,water] avaibale at the top of the hill. The only source of water is the pond for which the source of water is rain, and surprisinggly the water hasn't been dried since ages. It may not be fit to drink for the current Bisleri generation, but the priest is very healthy and uses this water every day for all the purpose.  No one stays in the night and it will be deserted. Also its dangerous to stay is the night as there will also be wild animals around.

Chat with the Priest

GoGreen @ Green backdrop

Buddha Staute inside the Temple

After relaxing for quite a long time in this secluded hill we started descneding back. It was a quick rush and we were down in the next 10 mins and started looking for an hotel to fill in our belly. The hungry stomach was making the smaller uphill look huge. We found a shady hotel in Kendal Bailu. Never expected the food to be so good in this small place. It was very homely and very satifactory after UpHill ride of Kundadri. The food was so good we started looking for shade to relax before we head towards Agumbe. But in interest of the famous Sunset of Agumbe we started riding towards agumbe.

Home or Hotel

Fresh'n'Pure malnad Neer

Selfie Sid

After the tougher ride of the day, the uphills of Malnad never felt us to be an uphilll. We were able to quickly reach Agumbe. A small tiny little place, so calm and quiet. It wasn't tough for us to reach "Doddamane". Since it was getting late for Sunset we quickly off loaded our luggages and started towards the Sunset point. The sunset point is in the Ghat roads of the road heading towards Udupi. There was huge Rush at the sunset point, but the sunset was really beautiful sending every one back with big smile on their face.

Riding back we stopped for some time at a residential school and played Ball Badminton, Volleyball with the Kids. We did discuss with them about the nature and the things they do to keep it secure. After almost spending and hour with the kids we were back @ Doddamane.

We were very happy to meet a cyclist couple travelling from Mysore to Agumbe. After a quite long discussion we realised they were from NIE college and the discussion went on for longer time. We all had a heavy dinner, so clean, the banana leaf looked new for the next batch. Sid comment "this is the first time i had so much rice in my life" gave us the true picture of the taste of "Doddamane" food. As the name says, Doddamane is really big, with big heart staying in. An amazing uphill ride, a beatiful sunset and a tasty dinner gave us the perfect setup to slip quickly to sleep. 


@ Sunset Point

Sunset @ Agumbe