Cycling along Western Ghats

1st Oct 2014
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 1/23 by Shashank K Pal
Final checkup before the trip
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 2/23 by Shashank K Pal
All set for #TheBigRide
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 3/23 by Shashank K Pal
"The Shiva Idol"
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 4/23 by Shashank K Pal
View from the beach at night
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 5/23 by Shashank K Pal
Me with my Scott Aspect
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 6/23 by Shashank K Pal
Suchith with his Firefox RoadRunner
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 7/23 by Shashank K Pal
Sandeep riding his Scott Speedster
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 8/23 by Shashank K Pal
Varun on his Merida Matts
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 9/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 10/23 by Shashank K Pal
Sharavati View Point
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 11/23 by Shashank K Pal
Barani, The PRO Rider
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 12/23 by Shashank K Pal
Leader is waiting for the peloton :P
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 13/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 14/23 by Shashank K Pal
Barani and Ashok climbing
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 15/23 by Shashank K Pal
Varun and Suchith climbing
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 16/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 17/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 18/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 19/23 by Shashank K Pal
Agumbe, barely visible due to fog
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 20/23 by Shashank K Pal
Refuelling at the nearby hotel
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 21/23 by Shashank K Pal
Kundadri peak hiding behind the clouds
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 22/23 by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Cycling along Western Ghats 23/23 by Shashank K Pal

Day 1: Udupi - Murudeshwar (

Day 2: Murudeshwar - Jog - Sagara (

Day 3: Sagara - Thirthahalli - Agumbe (

Day 4: Agumbe - Kundadri (

Kundadri - Udupi (

My first Multi-Day Trip

6 riders, 4 days, 450kms, 6000m elevation gain.

Ashok KS, The Mastermind of the trip on his Hercules NeoRider

Barani R, PRO Rider, also with Hercules NeoRider

Sandeep CR, The Triathlete on his Scott Speedster 50

Suchith S, on his Firefox RoadRunner

Varun Prabhu, on his Merida Matts 20V

Shashank Pal, myself on my Scott Aspect 670

October 2

I woke up early, totally excited about my first Multi-Day trip, only to read a message from Sandeep telling he'll be reaching late. Sandeep was coming from B'lore by bus and unfortunately it was late by almost 2 hours. However, Suchith and me were ready by 6:15. Ashok, Barani and Varun came to my home by 6:45. We all had breakfast when finally Sandeep arrived with a flat rear tire. We repaired it and left by 9:30. We were still 1km away from Kundapur when the same rear tire went flat. One more pit stop. We decided to change the tube. Sandeep realised that the rim tape had slipped, he replaced it. After inflating, we started pedaling again. Now, we were way behind schedule and decided that we'll have to stop at Murudeshwar unlike our actual plan which said Honnavar. Since we were riding in the hot sun from very beginning, everyone were exhausted soon. We stopped frequently for re-energizing ourselves by eating and drinking. Finally we took a proper break at Maravanthe Beach. WoW!! What a place it is... But we couldn't stay there for long and had to move on. We decided on the way that we'll push ourselves till Byndoor for lunch. We rode till around 2:30 and stopped by a hotel at Byndoor to refill our hungry stomach. After lunch, we went in search of a tree to lie down for a few minutes, which later became several minutes after looking at the tree and the grass beneath it (perfect place for a nap). By 4 we were back on the saddle. Thanks to PWD for repairing the road along the coastal stretch just 3 days prior to our trip, which was in the worst possible condition before that. We finally made it to Murudeshwar before sunset. We then went in search of a lodge who would allow us to keep our cycles in the room with us. Finding such a room proved to be a difficult task. However, we found one and the first thing i did was lay my ass on the floor, which was paining badly after riding so much on that narrow saddle of mine. We freshened up, went for dinner, filled our stomach which was empty again and then went for a small walk on the beach. I then washed my clothes, put it for drying. Since it was a 4 day trip, we had decided to carry very less luggage so that we don't tire ourselves by its weight. So we had to wash our clothes and reuse. Then came the best part.. "SLEEP"

October 3

We all woke up by 5:30 and were pedaling by 7. From hereon the roads weren't flat. There would be small repeated climbs till Honnavar and later we must pedal the huge badass climbs to Jog. We stopped for breakfast at Gunavanthe, couple of kilometres before Honnavar. I ate as much as I could and filled my bottles, because we would be having our lunch at Jog, that is, after riding 80km filled with climbs and also we wouldn't get anything in the middle. We resumed our journey without wasting much time. We took the diversion at Honnavar. From here we would encounter numerous climbs gradually increasing, both in number and gradient. We rode continuously, taking short breaks every 10 or 15km, eating banans and drinking electrolyte. At noon we stopped at a temple before doing the last and biggest climb, filled water, ate snickers and then set off to do the 20km climb. 9km from here was Sharavati view point. I started riding at a pace at which am comfortable. I was the first one to reach Sharavati view point. I kept my cycle aside, clicked a few pics and took a nap. Almost 45mins later Ashok, Barani and Sandeep arrived. 30 minutes after that came Suchith and Varun. We all were now both hungry and thirsty. I had emptied all my resources, except for a couple of packs of Gatorade powder, which i later ate since i didn't have any water left. Struggling on the climbs, we then reached the top at around 3:30. I was so very happy to see a hotel. I started ordering even before everyone arrived. After refueling ourselves, started riding again. We reached Jog falls by 5, but couldn't stop there for long as it would then be impossible for us to make it to Sagara. We had to ride hard the next 30km, in order to reach Sagara before it got too dark. We couldn't even stop anywhere else as there were no lodges anywhere between Jog and Sagara. Finally we could reach Sagara by 7 as it was mostly downhill. Now it was time to find a place to stay. All lodges were full. Varun made a few calls to his relatives who suggested us to stay at Tapaswini Lodge. At this lodge, the only empty place was the terrace with a roof above and beds below. Well, at this stage, this was all I needed to keep my ass calm, which had now worsened. Happy that we found some place to stay, I freshened up, washed clothes, had dinner and slept.

October 4

I had kept an alarm at 5 in the morning. But when i woke up, it was 6. Ashok and Suchith were already awake. The climate here was so good that i never felt like getting out of bed. At around 7, we left the lodge and found a nice hotel for breakfast. After having breakfast, we hit the roads again by 8. In this trip, the most difficult job was protecting cycles. We couldn't even eat peacefully as every passerby would fiddle with our gears and some people even started riding without our permission.

We were now headed to Thirthahalli where we would be having our lunch. Sagara to Thirthahalli was an amazing route. The fields around and the favourable weather, made me forget everything. This is when Ashok and Sandeep came up with an idea of preparing an FAQ for our upcoming trips. This is because, by now we were tired of answering to people's questions about our trip.

We then reached Thirthahalli on time and had lunch. Now we were in a dilemma, whether to stay at Thirthahalli or continue to Agumbe, because we weren't sure if we could get a place to stay at Agumbe. Sandeep spoke to the hotel owner, who gave us a phone number of a hotel at Agumbe. Varun spoke to the guy and made him arrange a room for us. We then continued riding to Agumbe. Again I fell in love with the greenery around, but this time it wasn't strong enough to make me forget my ass pain. I was repeatedly standing and riding. We reached Agumbe by 6. It was a wonderful experience there. The visibility conditions were varying every 5 to 10 minutes. For a moment you could see everything around, but only a few minutes later you could see nothing. We then found the "Mallya Lodge" where a room was already booked for us. Same routine again, bath, wash clothes and then dinner. After having a delicious dinner at "Doddamane", Ashok, Barani and Sandeep danced in the procession that passed by us. We then came back to our room. We decided that instead of heading back to our home directly, we would make an attempt to climb Kundadri hill the next day. Barani and Ashok settled the accounts, and then we all slept.

October 5

It was very cold in Agumbe which made it impossible for me to move the blanket aside. But when I looked at the view outside through the open door, I sprang out of the bed. I had never before woken up to witness such a beautiful view. Since the visibility was less we decided to start riding late. We ate at the nearby hotel, came back to room and were back on saddle by 8. Varun headed towards Udupi as he had to meet his relatives at Hebri, and the rest of us headed to Kundadri. Barani kept his cycle at a house at Kundadri base. He had ridden here before and so this time he planned to trek rather than ride. I was thinking about my previous Kundadri ride. Last time I had to push my cycle for last 1km. So this time I had decided that I'll climb slowly with lower gears throughout the climb. It worked. I climbed Kundadri hill this time. This time again I was the first to reach the top. I was happy and was celebrating with my cycle. Soon Sandeep arrived, followed by Suchith, Ashok and Barani. We clicked several pics, took a little rest and then continued the journey. It was fun riding downill. I had to stop in middle as my discs were very hot. Suchith accompanied me. After a minute break we continued with our breaks pressed tightly. After reaching we had one more huge downhill. Riding 8kms without pedalling was fun again. A little ahead after Someshwara, Ashok and Barani took a diversion towards Karkala. We congratulated eachother on successfully completing our trip and continued on our way. We were reduced to 3 now, Sandeep, Suchith and me. We continued riding towards Udupi. The ride was more challenging now. Scorching heat, tired legs, dehydrated body... Sandeep and Suchith started puhing their cycles on a few climbs. I rode on the climbs and waited for them which gave me good periodic rests. Only thing that kept me alive was the MOM-MADE food waiting for me at home. We stopped at a shop at Parkala for ice-cream. There was one final climb at Manipal.. I somehow managed to pedal, Sandeep and Suchith pushed a little and rode at the end. We took a minute break and continued. We reached my home at 3:30, drank enough water and juice, had bath and ate nicely.

The trip had come to an end. What seemed to be my wish, was history now. Now, am back at home, searching the calendar for more holidays planning my next trip...

Photo of Murudeshwar, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Murudeshwar, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Jog Falls, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Jog Falls, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Sharavati River, Sagar Taluk, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Agumbe, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Kundadri Hill, Shimoga, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Kundadri Hill, Shimoga, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal
Photo of Kundadri Hill, Shimoga, Karnataka, India by Shashank K Pal