Route: Hubli to Kulageri cross, Badami Pattadakal, Aihole, Bagalkot, Gaddanakeri cross, and back to Hubli
Sky rate : Full moon day
Weather: Chilly weather in the morning and 40 degree in the afternoon
Woke up at 3.45 in the wee hours and was ready by 4.15am. Came out and checked the weather it was chilly morning. I felt I should wear jerkin and finally wore it. Called up Shubhas my co-rider and we started home at 4.30am towards Chennamma Circle. We were afraid of dogs luckily we did not face them. We cycled through the unlikely empty roads, no horns, no pollution, we felt we were the kings of the road.
We reached Chennamma Circle and saw Shetappa ,Shivanand and Jr.Hangarki waiting for us and the riders slowly started gathering and as usual we signed up the declaration forms and regular checkup of front light, back light and reflector jacket was conducted. Finally it was flagged of sharp at 5am
Slowly the cycles started moving towards Kusugal road. The cycles were moving in a line I started feeling that “light insects” are flying around us. It was misty weather and hardly we could sight the objects. It was very challenging move towards Kusugal. The dogs were barking but we had to move on and we did it very carefully. After about 1 hour of cycling suddenly I went blank, when I tried to apply brakes my fingers slipped due to mist being present on the brake somehow I could manage it. I could not assign any reasons and there was no time to think also because I had to move on.
I kept on riding and I could see a bridge and that was Hebsur bridge. I checked the time and it was 6 am. I took a sigh of relief because I had covered 22km in one hour and was much needed average. We were lucky enough that it was a full moon day and we could sight the things a bit. We slowly moved towards Navalgund and reached it around 6.15am continuing the ride we reached Naragund around 7.15am and we stopped for breakfast. We had covered around 55km at an average of 23kmph which was reasonably good. After breakfast we moved towards Kulageri cross. It was a selfie check point and we had covered around 75km. That is 1/4 of total distance of 300km. Here the National Highway ended and we took a right turn.
Immediately we moved towards heritage city Badami. The place has Chalukya Architecture and was capital of Chalukya Dynasty. This was a state highway and the traffic was less but we were to be cautious as bullock carts, cows, oxes and sheeps were on the way. The sun had started playing his game and we reached Badami and very badly I wanted to have tender coconut and I was relaxed it was around 9.15am . On the right side of Badami we could see Monoliths of Mamath size and the sun was striking back from the stones and we started feeling the heat of it.
All the monoliths looked like mountains being painted in pink colour. The look was very gracious and slowly we cycle upto one more heritage city Pattad Kallu. Important thing to note is that Malaprabha River turned Northwards towards Himalayas .And then we moved to the famous heritage city of Aihole which was ruled by Pulakeshi II . It was manned check post. We reached at 11.20am and we had covered 150kms that is half way mark was completed and at a good speed.
Support team from Bagalkot really offered us grand hospitality with special sweet item by name “Amingad Karadant” and was extremely good. And I also had some rice item. Unfortunately Basavaraj’s vehicle was punchered and was repaired with the help of Bagalkot team. And we started from there around 12’o clock and headed towards Bagalkot.
The sun was really burning at 40 degrees and we had to negotiate the head wind and the uphill. It was very tough time and we had to cover 35km to reach Bagalkot but I felt as if we are covering 100km. when we reached Gaddanakeri Cross it was around 2.45pm. This was also a manned check post and we were really tired. It was my regular sleeping time and literally slept off for my comfort. After the sleep we had curd rice around 4.30pm and slowly started moving towards Hubli. The distance was around 120km and at an average speed of 20kmph we needed 6hrs to reach Hubli and roughly we had 9hours in hand. With all permutations and combinations in mind we started cycling.
After sleep in the afternoon I started feeling comfortable and was confident of finishing the task by 10’o clock it was so hot that enroute after every 20km I decided to have tender coconut. After Kulageri Cross sun started setting down and breeze was also good and I started feeling better. Slowly and confidently started moving towards Naragund. Before naragund the sun had totally set and I had to use the lights. Cycling in the night was very challenging as I did not have practice of night rides and accordingly even I had to compromise with the speed also at Naragund myself Hemanth Jayanth and Jhagirdhar had breakfast and started towards Navalagund. We reached Navalagund at around 8.30pm and it was a selfie point and I advised everyone to move in group but it hardly happened. Somehow we managed till Hebsur and specifically requested Hemanth to ride along with me and he really obliged and accompanied me till the end point. I am indeed gratefull to him and finally finished the journey around 10.15 pm.
Anand baid and Shivanand received us at the end point and we were proud and privileged to be crowned.
Moral Of The Story :
The ride from Hubli to Hebsur in the wee hours tought us how to manage misty and chilled weather.
The ride from Aihole to Bagalkot with 40degree temperature tought us that we should practice riding in summer season also.
The ride from Naragund to Hubli tought us that we should ride in groups to avoid inconvenience.
To summarize we need to try riding in all terrains and get used to such weather conditions because learning is a thought process and it never ends.
Thank you one and all