Biking to Ooty

It all started on Monday last week when Lakshman
tweeted if anybody
was game for a weekend trip.  Ashwin
tweeted back
saying yes.

Later they asked me over email. My reply was “Why Ooty!?”. They
replied saying “It doesn’t matter. We’re going for the drive.” Two
days later, we three were driving to Ooty on bikes at night.

My descriptions below are in twitter style as an ode to how the trip
happened. ( But of course, my usual writing style will resume after
this post :) )

We started off at 8 at night. First stop was some lip-smacking food at
Kamat Lokaruchi:

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9.10 pm : We’re on the way! 3 twitterers on bikes.

9.25 pm : Getting out of Bangalore is the toughest thing.

9.30 pm : @scorpion032 says 2020 will also be the year of the linux

10.32 pm : @cruisemaniac and @scorpion032 are tweeting away…

1.40 am : Taking a break.

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2.33 am : Admiring the mysore palace…

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3.16 am : Sleep getting to me… But we’re taking breaks and having
fun. In Nanjangud.

3.20 am : Another break.

3.34 am : Listening to My Sacrifice at 330 am at 70 kmph on bike with
the wind in your hair is something to be experienced.

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4.10 am : We find a freakin’ coffee day in the middle of nowhere.
Waiting for capuccino.

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6.15 am : Mudumulai forest.

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6.20 am : Animals! Elephant, deer, peacock, mongoose, eagle,
woodpecker, … All right there next to us… Thank heavens the
elephant didn’t think we were pesky…

6.45 am : Exiting Mudumulai forest.

My favorite photo from this trip (notice the clouds and the bike):

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The killer part of the trip was the 36 hair pin bends required to
scale Ooty for more than a kilometre of altitude. The bikes started
choking. Even the Pulsar bike had issues with the climb!

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7.31 am : Ooty has nice scenery.

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Rest of the trip was simply crashing for sleep, waking up for food,
and sitting in the patio in the cold night discussing everything from
Steve Jobs to big company goofups to…

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… the guy who was taking a snap with the lens in the opposite
direction and never realized it.

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The ride back to Bangalore was equally tiring but faster (9 hours vs
11 hours):

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It was a picture-perfect trip throughout. Probably because the
wavelength of the three guys matched – we were ready for anything and
enjoying the ride was the main thing for us. We didn’t have any
planning except for the start times of the to and fro journeys leading
to doing things on-the-fly.

And I totally cracked up at the geeky humor we shared. For example,
not many people would laugh at statements
like “Q: What do
clinic allclear shampoo and KDE4 have in common??? A: both are bad
‘gooey’/gui things!!!”

The stay was comfortable mainly thanks to Shammi’s Rooms and Cottages
for being such hospitable people. Maybe its because they opened just
a week before we got there and they’re fresh at these things, but
it was totally worth being there. I highly recommend them if you
ever happen to go to Ooty.

Bottom line: Twitter is “social
networking done right”. Because people get to know each other by their
thoughts and not their profiles. The fact that three people got
together for a road trip and had awesome fun is a testament that
twitter (or if you’re from the Web 1.0 days, IRC) as a network works!

Second bottom line: As Ashwin reminded us, if you want to really
understand why people like biking, you have to understand why dogs
stick their heads out of the car.

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Jamie Larson