It's 4pm on a Friday and I tirelessly go through my office emails checking for any assignments that need urgent attention. Nothing there. I think about the coming weekend and how I would like to spend it. I call up my friends asking them if they would like to go for a ride. Most of them are busy, some are working and some have plans of their own. I keep scrolling through my contact list trying to figure out who I can convince for a trip. I make about 10 calls and give up. Looks like no one is free. But I have this strong desire to ride and I decide to go solo. I have never ventured out alone; I ride either with my friends or with my biking group, Bangalore Motorcycle Club.
I get a little scared and wonder how I would manage if something happens. I don't speak the local language, I know nothing about fixing issues with the KTM and wonder if I was out of my mind going somewhere alone. My fears almost convince me to give up the trip but I somehow muster enough courage to go ahead with it. I start googling and look for places. The list is the same one I have scrolled through hundreds of times; Coorg, Chikmagalur, Ooty etc. No, am not going to a place full of a billion people. I keep scrolling and reach the 18th page in google and discover a property in Kolli Hills. It's somewhere after Salem and the wikipedia page talks about 70 hairpin bends. Hmm, that sounds interesting; something I haven't done before. I start looking for properties and find something called Kolli Hills Camp. Soon, I have spoken to the owners and booked a hut there. It feels good; even before the ride begins I feel I accomplished something. Kolli hills is a small mountain range located near Namakkal. They belong to the southern part of Eastern ghats and have 70 hair pin bends to reach the top. There are a few resorts there but I chose the camp since its pretty secluded and away from the touristy crowd.
That night I don't sleep. It's a mixture of excitement and fear; anticipation of what's gonna happen and how the ride is going to be. I stay in bed, tossing and turning and it's already 5am. I am already packed up and load the bike. The roads are deserted with only the newspaper agencies to be seen. Traffic is almost negligible except for the lorries speeding across the empty Bangalore streets. Soon, I am on NH 44, gunning towards my first pit stop at Shoolgiri.