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Biking to Yelagiri, a woman’s perspective!

I had been biking for a while now, and after biking solo, started riding in groups, with an all women’s biking group called “The Bikerni”. When BTC announced several biking trips as a part of the anniversary celebrations, I registered for the Yelagiri ride, for the twisties and hairpin bends. When the shortlist mail arrived, I realized that I was going to be the only woman in the group. I was a bit apprehensive, but then as a part of my new year resolutions, I decided to come out of my comfort zone and experience the ride.
So when I arrived at the meeting point in the morning, I was still a bit jittery. But soon all the other riders greeted me with a smile and I felt comfortable instantly. The basic rules were explained to us by Subrata, who was to lead us. Mujeeb volunteered to sweep. And soon we set off, 9 of us on 8 bikes. There were two Avengers, including mine, a Gixer, a Yamaha Fazer, a Thunderbird 350, two RE 350, and of course “The Harley”!
In about an hour we reached our first pit stop for breakfast. It was a very cold ride, in spite of the jackets and gloves. And it was a relief to stand in the morning sunlight for our intro, after the breakfast. Irrespective of the jobs we did, we all had a passion for biking, and it’s thanks to BTC that we got opportunities like these to ride to different places.
How the miles flew by from there, we didn’t know. The pleasant weather and the good roads made our ride wonderful. Soon we turned off the highway, towards the foot of the hills. When we stopped for a quick tea break, I was worried the local kids would play with my bike like my experiences during some of my earlier solo rides. But my worries were put to rest as no one was interested in anything other than “The Harley”!!
We started the ascend to the hill top. There were 14 hairpin bends and the discipline of our group was commendable. As we climbed, the view got better and better. The trees grew tiny and it was mesmerizing to see the earth and sky seamlessly become one without a distinct horizon line. Reaching the town on top, we rode a short stretch to a temple. This was almost an offroad, with no tarred road, and only mud roads with elevations and loose gravel. This was another challenge I took on and found it to be fun after all, contrary to my fears when I began.
After contemplating whether to visit other places and lots of confusing suggestions from the locals, we decided to head back and spend some time near one of the hairpin bends. We aligned our bikes on the curve and clicked selfies, groupfies, and a lot of pictures with the view behind us. My smile turned into a laugh, when a group of kids sitting on a bus screamed “Dai Harley da!!!”. They dint see us posing with the monkeys, they dint see us on the edge of the wall. They din’t see the view, they din’t see 8 bikes lined up. The only saw the Harley and that was really cute!
It was now time to ride back. We rode non-stop till Krishnagiri, where we had lunch. By now, it was quite hot and the lunch break was a welcome stop. After that we rode with great skill and discipline, navigating through the traffic that suddenly increased as compared to our onward ride. The formation, watching out for each other, it was just amazing. All too soon, we reached the arch that indicated we were entering Karnataka. We stopped for chai, and had our feed back session. And then our final stop was at the starting point in the city, where we said our byes and headed back to our homes. I am so glad I decided to register for this ride, I got to meet true bikers, who accepted me as one among them. I did not want to be either “taken care of” or “ignored”, being a woman. I just wanted to be treated as a biker, and that was exactly what the group did, and it was nothing less than perfect.  As I rode back home, I was all smiles for the day well spent, with a group of friends. Yes, we started off as strangers, but went home friends. May this year be filled with lot more trips with BTC!

Written By        : Syamanthaka Balakrishnan
Organized By    : Subrata Das
Date of event   : 3rd Jan, 2016
Members Count: 8
Place                : Krishnagiri
Pictures           : BTC FB Page

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