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Bike Nomads (BN) Annual Meet at Hampi – Nov ’07

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The trip meter read 749! After having covered the last and final stretch wrestling for an hour in Bangalore traffic and running out of gas too in the process, the rider got down and glanced at Madonna.

She looked worn out. The stallions had a thick layer of dust over them. The finger wraps bought just a week back had been rendered useless with threads hanging at the ends. The past three days had served him a heady concoction of … loads of history and … rips …. and cruises … but luckily no bruises. Not to forget, the 40 odd nomads he met during the event. There were a lot of names he had heard and it felt gratifying not just giving faces to those names but also knowing them a lot more.

The annual BN meet at Hampi will be etched in his memory for long. It was only a few months back that he came across this bikers club and had been following the mails since then. Atypical of the conventional club culture, BikeNomads are a tribe who graduated beyond bikes long back. A few heated discussions every now and then is a given but more emphasis is on the camaraderie. He looks forward to meeting all the nomads again as soon as possible!

Travelogue (to the best of his memory)

Friday 23rd Nov ’07

0415: Reached Forum Mall which was the meeting point for folks riding out of South Bangalore

0500: Left Forum after having waited a bit longer than planned. The entire gang was to sync up at Neelamangala crossing (NH-4, ~35 kilometers outside Bangalore) and then ride together.

0625: 12 engines began to make noise and got back on NH-4 one by one, in the pre-decided formation.

[ Of all the rules to be followed, he had memorized the best worded one – Nobody overtakes spot and sweep never overtakes any one. ]

1000: The 175 km stretch of flawless tarmac ensured that the nomads were cooling their heels at Reliance A1 at Chitradurga.

[ In between, a staple breakfast of idlis, tasty chutney and not so tasty sambhar was done somewhere near Sira.Before that, yours truly had goofed up and taken a diversion into Tumkur. After some ‘Opposite To’ and ‘Next To’ from the folks there, he was able to spot the shiny tarmac and was delighted but only till he realized that the fellow nomads were nowhere to be seen.

Saddened by this revelation, he thought the ride would be lonely and that he had let down the entire clan of BNers from Bangalore 😐

‘Just Ride’ was the mantra he stuck to and after going full throttle for nearly 50kms, he finally spotted the clan. Moments later, the halt for breakfast happened. ]

1020: NH-4 gave way to NH-13. It was like an Angel to Demon transformation. The ~150kms to Hospet was killing but it made him realize the importance of hand-signals. They acted as life savers and he made sure he too gave them to warn the nomad behind him.

1430: A few long pit stops on the way and maneuvering through Hospet caused some delay. Checked in at Mayura Bhuvaneshwari, Kamalapura ( a small town just on the outskirts of Hampi). Met Dr. Pritvhi for the first time and was bowled over by his spirit.

[ The hotel offered pretty decent ambiance. Both in terms of food and lodging. It was airy and green and also clean. Not heavy on the pocket either. A South Indian thali and chilled beer did the trick. He was in no mood to rest. The gang from Bombay/Pune/Hyd was still on the road. Met GR (BN veteran from Hyd) at the hotel for the first time. ]

1630: Leaving the couples behind, the remaining nomads set forth to explore Hampi (which btw is a UNESCO Heritage site).

[ The landscape mesmerized him. It was as he had imagined. Hues of brown with a generous dose of green. Giant monoliths in the backdrop and winding dusty roads. Having rested their steeds at Hampi Bazar, the nomads began to admire the beauty of the once prosperous capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. Vasanth, the unofficial guide was never at a loss of words for any site that came into view. The moon began to rise and after munching on some snacks, they geared up for what yours truly was awaiting – ‘The Spooky Ride’. As true xplorers, they walked through the ruins and also did a short stretch with the headlights off. The darkness was engulfing. It was pure fun! ]

2000: Back at the Hotel.

[ A few nomads (Dr. Arunob and Prasad) from Mumbai were in. The topics of discussion varied from bike modifications to the next days plan to ….. It continued over snacks/beer/dinner. A lot of nomads then went on a ride to a nearby lake. He missed it but is sure it must have been fun. ]

Saturday 24th Nov ’07

[ The plan was to take a guided tour of Hampi but considering the fact that the Mumbai/Pune gang had arrived only around mid-night and that there was a whole bunch which had slept in the wee hours, the plan did not materialize. Met Capt. Nandu over breakfast. Another occasion to be bowled over! Met Vibhu and Navendu and tried to recollect the last mail I had read from them 🙂 btw, BN is Vibhu’s brainchild ]

1000: The unofficial guide from Day 1, Vasanth became the torch bearer again and did a marvelous job of it. The nomads visited umpteen sites – Queens Bath, Underground Shiva Temple, Lotus Mahal, Elephant Cave, Sister Rock … just to name a few. The large group split into smaller ones and continued the exploration.

1500: It was time to be back at the hotel after lunch at Hampi Street and purchasing some souvenirs.

1530: The steeds lined in formation. Click … Click. Riders on the steeds … Click Click

1610: The nomads, all of them, rode to Vitthala Temple where the bikes were lined in formation against the backdrop of pillars. Click … Click … Click n a few more Clicks! Took some time before the shots were okay-ed 🙂

1700: Inside the Vitthala temple. The famous Hampi chariot rested here. Legend has that the pillars of this temple emit musical notes but sadly were been closed for public.

1730: On the banks of the Tungbhadra River. Mayank rides up and down the tattered terrain on his beast.

1900: Chin-wagging at the Hotel lobby over tea.

1915: The introductions start, in this format – “Hi, My name is X and I am from Y”. The remaining imputs were from fellow nomads. It was a great way to learn about the veterans and also everyone else.

2130: BN sticker distribution

2200: Dinner and bonfire which i heard someone say was actually ‘gone’-fire. 😛 It did not last long despite desperate effort from folks.

2315: Goodbyes were exchanged and ‘most’ of the nomads retired to bed.

Sunday 25th Nov ’07

[ Time to bid adieu to Hampi had come. The last two days had passed in a jiffy. Most of the Mum-bhai/Pune gang had left early morning. ]

0830: A quick poll at the breakfast table showed that most of the Bangalore nomads wanted to see the Tungabhadra Dam. This meant a detour of a few kilometers but then it was a unanimous decision. Although the ‘Love’ for the damn … errr … dam wasn’t present in everyone’s eyes 😛

1000: What lay in store on way to the Dam was heavy traffic. Trucks lined on both sides of the road with hardly any space for the steeds to squeeze through. He being at the edge of the bridge was asked to take to the 1 foot high sidewalk. The 100m sidewalk ride enthralled him no end considering that while everyone else on the road stood still, this caravan of 13 bikes or so just rode past 🙂

1130: Sachin, the local nomad was now the guide and gave some geography/history lessons. After tanking up at Hospet, the nomads set out for the journey ahead.

1500: Disciplined riding and a few short-lived pit stops ensured that the gang was ordering lunch at Reliance A1 at Chitradurga.

1600: On NH-4 again. Vrooom … Vrooooom … Vrooooooooooooom! Re-established the fact that Madonna is meant to cruise not rip. The needle never went past 115.

1900: At Neelamangala Junction. Three nomads re-group. Where are the rest? If only the direction would have been ‘right’ than straight.

2030: Back to square one. The satisfaction in his smile was conspicuous!

You need some proof of the good time he had?

Linking Harshad Sharma’s PhotoSet, the ace nomad clickr at flickr 🙂

May the rides never end. Thanks to all those who made it happen!!

Written by Sangfroid

November 29, 2007 at 12:06 am

26 Responses

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  1. Nice log… missed it this time 😦

    Prashanth M

    November 29, 2007 at 9:16 am

  2. Nice! Third person way of writing is guuud!


    November 29, 2007 at 9:30 am

  3. Nice read ! 3rd person perspective superbly written.


    November 29, 2007 at 9:46 am

  4. This sounds so much of fun, I just love bikes but the only one I got to have was my sister’s Kinetic Honda!! 😉
    Btw, you got it all in a single trip: adventure, meeting new people, exploring a new place and icing on the cake seeing monumental sites!! (I have this thing for history.) Lucky you!! so jealous, this is the ONLY time am wishing I were a guy… 😦


    November 29, 2007 at 9:48 am

  5. […] Bikenomad (BN) Annual meet at Hampi – Geeky dood […]

  6. Btw, cant seem to access the pictures.. 😦


    November 29, 2007 at 10:14 am

  7. Prasanth, thanks! I remember you from the meet at Airlines Hotel.

    Mani, thanks buddy! There is another travelogue coming up 😉

    Vibhu, thanks for the appreciation! The writings n photos are just side-effects of ‘The Meet’ 🙂

    Sam, it was pure unadulterated fun! Yup, i feel lucky to have spotted this group. Its a bond of a lifetime now.
    And, you need not wish to be a guy just to ride. There may be other reasons though 😛
    A female(Nehal) from Pune rode a Karizma to Hampi 🙂
    still not able to see the pics ?


    November 29, 2007 at 10:32 am

  8. neat writeup! am happy to read something so accurate and so interesting! 🙂


    November 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

  9. i see a lot fun was had. well chronicled too!


    November 29, 2007 at 11:23 am

  10. LJ, thanks! btw, did u notice the intentional pun on ‘Love’ 😛

    Sree, (ur new nickname 😉 ) it was indeed! long time, lets catchup!


    November 29, 2007 at 11:32 am

  11. Hey great wwrite up…checking the rest of ur blog..


    Nandu n Medini

    Nandu Chitnis

    November 29, 2007 at 11:38 am

  12. Female frm Pune is Nehal Shah

    Nandu Chitnis

    November 29, 2007 at 11:40 am

  13. Capt., its an honor to have u here 🙂 thanks!


    November 29, 2007 at 11:49 am

  14. this sounds so great!
    awesome man, great travelogue, and lovely shots (although you do not get credit for those 😛 )


    November 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm

  15. I know what you are talking about, ties like these are meant forever… 😀
    “There may be other reasons though “: Explain!!
    I can’t ride, thanks to my feet don’t touch the ground you see!! 😦
    Yep, saw the pics, they are awesome!! 🙂 I envy you more now!!


    November 29, 2007 at 2:39 pm

  16. And how about your Leh trip?? Found a pillion yet?? 😉


    November 29, 2007 at 2:42 pm

  17. Kunal, thanks! There were quite a few pro-kinda photographers in the gang which refrained me from playing with my PowerShot 🙂

    Sam, i’d rather leave the male chauvinist act. Let there be peace 🙂
    Hehe … an envious female is dangerous 😛
    still shortlisting candidates for Leh. Wish me luck!


    November 29, 2007 at 6:53 pm

  18. Just one word: ~Jealous!


    November 29, 2007 at 11:31 pm

  19. Ani, 🙂


    December 3, 2007 at 8:43 am

  20. now you even have a choice!! 😉 okie, good luck then, may you get the ebst of teh lot.. 😀


    December 6, 2007 at 10:05 am

  21. awesome .. i wish i cud join 😉 .. u r the boss now for the ladakh tour .. :))


    December 6, 2007 at 11:02 pm

  22. 🙂


    ~its so addictive! cant really stay away!!! 😀


    December 9, 2007 at 1:50 pm

  23. Sam, thanks 🙂

    Chandu, As i keep saying … come over 🙂

    Ani, u mean the smile … right? 🙂


    December 10, 2007 at 9:21 am

  24. […] Trip to Chennai/Mahabalipuram Jump to Comments Not a long while ago, the 15th century ruins at Hampi left me awestruck. Mesmerized by the splendor of the place and imagining the illustrious past […]

  25. Namaste!

    Came across your blog off a search from google for other infromation.. What a small world!

    It’s about biking trips too (same as my biking nomad diaries) and the picture in the top banner from your site is from Singapore (where I’m from)!

    I don’t recognise the place but the cab’s definitely one of ours. Look forward to reading more of the Bike Nomad’s trips. Would love to be in India some day soon to ride around Punjab and the Himalayas!

    Ride to lean,
    Biking Nomad

    Biking Nomad

    February 16, 2008 at 2:51 pm

  26. Biking Nomad, welcome and wot a coincidence!
    You are right about the picture … that is Singapore (Mar ’07)
    Himalayas is like a bikers dream destination. I too have not done it yet 😐

    More BN trips in due time and lots of travelogues too, I promise 🙂 (Will visit your blog soon)


    February 17, 2008 at 8:02 am

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