Monday, July 23, 2012

Cycling Madikeri -Mandalpati - Chilehole dam

            After trek to Mandalpatti couple of months back , again got a chance to visit this place. Same organizers - CAM.It was long . Tried booking for cycling during June slot , but got listed only in Waiting list. So moved the reservation to July for three people - Myself , Angamuthu and Musthafa. Going to ride cycle after atleast 9-10 years ...Unfortunately the week before the trip, i had fever and cold.Was evaluating if i should take this trip in the middle of monsoon with this fever and cold. But risked a bit and proceeded with the trip. CAM provides support vehicles following you all the time and if at all fever escalates, i could hop on to the support vehicle. 

Started off Friday night and reached the homestay in Madikeri @ 5 PM . Tried to get a quick nap after that , but that didn't work out. Took bath and got ready by 6 AM. After having breakfast picked the cycles. I was allotted a RockRider basic model. This proved good enough till the end.

From Mandalpati CAM Cycling

      Initial part of the ride was a breeze for 11 km. It was downhill and we rested mostly for taking photos. It was slightly drizzling and the climate was quite enjoyable. Rivers and bridges came across our path. "All was well" till mandalpati base.

From Mandalpati CAM Cycling

From Mandalpati CAM Cycling
        Next was climb to the peak . A 11 KM strech , mostly uphill. Rain too climbed up , from drizzling to showers. I didnt want to risk my camera ( have spoilt a Nikon DSLR in a monsoon trek couple of years ago ) and hence left it with the support vehicle. There were 2 support vehicles guiding us and ready to pick in case of any breakdown. Removed the wind sheeters and moved to tshirt & tracksuite - pretty good combination to enjoy the monsoon. During this stretch almost 60% of path we had to push the vehicle due to steep slope. Reached the peak at around 12PM. Strong winds and hence heavy rains awaited us there along with heavy mist. Visibility was not more than 10 meters. It was quite nice to feel the clouds moving around you at high speeds. Start back from peak in 15 mins. Down hill ride was easy , but requires concentration as the terrain was mostly rugged roads. Rain water gets collected in the pits to give false sense of flat surface. Driving down one could easly accelerate to 30-35 kms speed at slopes , which is higly dangerous as brakes are undependable during rainy conditions.Easily one could be thrown out of cycle had he missed judging a pothole. Luckily my brakes didnt fail but eventualy worn out ,which i had to replace the next day. My cycle didnt have shock absorbers and controlling them in rugged terrain at high speeds gave lot of point to palm and fingers. Lesson learnt - wear a cycling glove. By the time we reached the mandalpati base ,we ( half of the batch) were asked to take a short route to homestay as we were running out of time. Most of 19 kms in this stretch was proper roads but steep in slope and so we had to walk pushing the byke. Showers also increased in strength adding to our problems. Finally reached the campsite at around 6 PM. 

   Haah what a day !!! 50 Kms ride in non stop showers for 12 hours. 

Whatever may be the case, whoever may be the organizer ,these events never fails to introduce interesting people.Nice people.Nice place.Nice climate. 
Was something missing ?? Yea ordered Red wine and made the dinner eventful.

Next day woke up at 5:30 AM. Got freshed up , packed our bags. Checked the cycles,changed the brakepads and started off after having the breakfast.Today rain was bit less as we moved from hills towards flat lands. Road was not that steep and mostly was down hill. Started from our homestay in Madikeri a, traveled though Makandur , Madapur, Suntigope towards chiklehole resorvoir.

View Larger Map

      I was in among the last batch of riders to reach the destination .By this time final rounds of lunch was being served.Rather than lunch i wanted a dip.I checked if anyone was taking bath in the dam but could
n't find anyone anywhere near the water. Only 30 mins to pack off. I had to choose lunch or bath. Decided to take a dip and checked with driver from the support vehicle on where i could take a bath.He showed me a narrow path. First thought of having a dip alone as no one was accompanying me. On entering the water changed my mind and stayed long. Slowly people started trickling down towards water. Only now one fellow commented that the locals  mentioned about the presence crocodiles in this dam. But by this time there 10-15 people taking bath. After 30 mins of refreshing bath , had lunch , packed and started off to bangalore...

From Mandalpati CAM Cycling

More photos in the album

Mandalpati CAM Cycling