Monday, August 30, 2010
Many people have written to me, pasted comments and sent SMS but I did not acknowledge most of them. I express my gratitude here for standing by me & regret that I could not acknowledge individually because of ability limitations.
Looking at rains here today, I feel it was good that I took Tamilnadu route. There was considerable rainfall there too but it did not slow me down. Unexpected rain in the evening did make me miserable with wet clothes / socks and assist unit complications but never too serious problem.
Taking the chargers & cables out of pannier bag for mid day charging takes considerable time & effort. I have to loosen all the straps to make this happen. A made to order bag to keep this would have made this job easier. A small change made in Laptop bag today @ Puttur will make laptop and cameras more easiler available. .
Right now, most of blogposts are written at the end of the day and are too general. The change in scenery, food and peoples attitude do not find way to the posting, making it very bland. It looks like a doctors end of day report – saw 30 patients and some had fever and some had stomach ache. I will try to make more mid day notes and maybe this blog will have kannada paragraphs.
Recent comments widget was present in the blog and today noticed it was not working. There was a additional spacing in the code which prevented its working so far and till I left Kanyakumari there was no comments & after that I did not have time to attend to that. So today was able to correct it and was able to do small changes in blog arrangement too.
I am leaving for Bhadravathi on Wednesday morning and next lap of my trike pedaling will commence on following day. Rains and family commitment have now added another day @ home.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
After a couple of km I had a rest stop and a villager noticed the tire was rubbing the body and he felt it was because the load was unbalanced. There was considerable wear out of the tire sidewall and naturally I was concerned.
I went near a cycle shop in Tarikere and there the cylcleshopwala said it is case of loose axle bolt and he had come with 22 mm spanner plus a hammer. He tightened it after loosening it a bit. He said it is okay & charged me Rupees 20 for that.
I said we will take near his shop and remove my luggage from the carrier and he said there was no need. One of the tirewall is very close to the body and I agreed it must have rubbed there. After few more km I checked the temperature and the tire had become warm once again. So the problem still remained.
In Tarikere lot of people had gathered around the trike and touching everywhere including battery switch which was bit hidden from view. It made me realize that I cannot unload the luggage anywhere on the road for a thorough inspection.
Meanwhile met old friend, filmmaker Abhaya Simha and our families have known each other before we were even born. He spent ten minutes talking to me & introducing his colleagues.
When I realized I cannot pinpoint the problem while on road, I decided to take shelter in a close relatives house. When I reached their house, cousin brother, Dr Shankar Bhat was not in. Immediately I pinpointed the problem after unloading the luggage. The bottom of the luggage carrier was touching the tire sidewall after being loaded. So I changed the position of the suspension bush thus raising the height of the carrier.
After that the computer I carry along started giving problems. Then I felt it is better take it to my computer consultant to prevent repeat of Tarikere mugging. I depend on my net connection for communication and cannot manage without it as my poor hearing prevents sensible dialogue. So left the trike and baggage in Bhadravathi and took a bus home carrying the notebook computer along. I cannot upload any photos or GPS tracks today as all my stuff is in Bhadravathi.
The computer is fixed now & it was just loose contact with battery as we suspected. There is considerable sleep debt which I hope to remedy before being in road once again. Having pedaled almost 1000 km continuously my body needs some rest too. I will resume the journey on Tuesday 31 Aug or Wednesday 1 Sep morning after two days rest @ home.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I could not start very early as Murthy helped me in fixing the safety LEDs in the back of the luggage carrier.
The direct route to Arasikere was extremely bad and Murthy came with me for some distance to show me alternate route. I made good use of opportunity and handed him the drift camera. He took some videos both standing by roadside & also chasing me on his motorcycle. http://is.gd/eGVvT Whenever I upload a video the link in mentioned in twitter but mention may not be in blog pages. I will be uploading videos and GPS tracks whenever possible. Please excuse for poor narration quality.
I was very happy to be back in Kannadanadu and have familiar food. In Tamilnadu most nights I had to be satisfied with Dosai and Chapathi as most hotels do not have meals there during night. Same thing abut scenery, I could not make notes during traveling & the story typed out at the end of the day looks more sort of data entries than travel story.
The route thru Nittur and Harnahally was really enjoyable. The passage was thru villages and riding in narrow road was quite fun. There was many downhill high speed rides today.
I happened to see a cycle shop in Arasikere town & went to buy a horn there. Immediately lot of people gathered and I rushed back to the trike. I casually mentioned I need some charge and one of ther gathered person offered to give it. So my trike was taken inside a cement shop and connected to charger. Meanwhile I had lunch and sent SMS and Twitter update. Udaya TV reporter was present there but I declined to do demo or interview till battery is charged and I had some food. He was not around when both of these was done & I was not disappointed.
After that about 45 km to Birur in a leisurely ride as my hosts of the day were to reach town in late evening. I decided to accept their hospitality as my quota of about 100 km per day will be met and I will be off the trike at usual time, late evening.
Right now I am leaving for Shimoga and on the direction of Hospet. I keep making change in routes cnsidering road conditions inputs I may get. Then will be Bijapur, Sholapur and Ahmednagar within ten days. Shivaram have asked me for posting route beforehand but it is simply difficult to predict as road surface and terrain plays a big role in deciding on route.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Since I had only 33 km ride, took my time to pack up and leave Holenarasipur. The roomboy bought me dinner and morning tea to my room. There was hot water bought in bucket and I could take hot water bath after many days. It was good but since I was going to old friend Murthy’s house in Hassan, this is something I could have had there also. I spent 10 Ah for the trip which is understandable considering Hassan is at higher altitude than Holenarasipura.
There was considerable climbing involved and in one downhill ride near Ramasamudra, I could reach 49 kmph which was thrilling at the same time it must be one of the highest speed recorded so far.
It was nice to see family members who came to Hassan to meet me. So wet and dirty clothes were replaced with clean clothes. They also could make sure I am healthy enough to continue after a week on the roads.
I am happy that I could oil my chains here and fix ribbons to my flagpost. Thanks to Murthy & family who helped with this and for their hospitality. I hope this will increase visibility to other road users.
I am still considering the road options to continue. I will generally go north and less attention paid on the name of towns on the way. While in US for cycle tour, I took even numbered roads taking care of the directions. Over there even numbers have east west direction whereas north south means odd numbered roads. Similarly I will choose the roads depending on various factors, especially inputs on road condition.
I am spending more time on travel and not interacting much with the people. Sometimes I feel it is not worth it looking @ the questions people have on trike or electric mobility. No intelligent discussion possible with people who ask petrol, diesel, battery or remote. When they put their valuation @ 15000 Rupees, I nod in agreement.
The pamphlet has really helped as I hoped. I can give it to people and keep moving. People really interested do not mind paying its cost price. Moreover I give it to people who provide electricity.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It was bit cold in the night and I had got up middle of night and wear sweater. It had rained whole night and outside was very muddy. I had fairly good sleep at police station and woke up @ 5 AM as usual. Then found that there was no power. The constable on duty was not sure if it was blown fuse or there was no power in the particular line and so back to camp bed for some more time.
I could not do much uploads from Kavalande as signal strength was very weak, that hobli headquarters was not included in 6 lac villages in India this network is supposed to cover. This was repeat atop Dimbam town too from where you can see miles together from this hilltop town but the signal strength is poor.
I left the police station with luggage fully covered and me wearing rain coat at around 7 AM. It was still raining and the tea shops nearby not open yet. The road was not too bad and I reached Nanjangud @ 8 and had breakfast there in a restaurant. It was a welcome change having food in a good hotel after having had to depend on lousy hotels on the way.
The ride to Mysore from there was bit more difficult as reduced power took more of my effort. The road was bad, lot of road humps and heavy traffic and light shower adding its contribution to my misery.
I crossed Mysore without asking for directions as I had spent considerable amount of time there. I took Chamaraja Double road and to Hunsur road via Crawford Hall. Everything seemed familiar but less trees was noticeable. Thought of calling friends but that also meant losing precious daylight hours.
I had consumed about 16 Ah when I passed
While passing by, I was alert about charging possibilities and remembered Shreeharsha whom I had met once ten years back and had a bread factory there. So decided to see if he is around as I was keen on battery charge and also work on computer. He was happy to see me and we had nice time.
First thing I did was putting chargers to work. One of them indicted FULL after maybe 45 minutes or so and I had no reasons to suspect anything as I had came from Kavalande to Nanjangud in Single battery and assumed it is same battery. Much later when I checked the voltage I found it low and reason for FULL indication was loose connection. So I had spend much more time charging this battery alone so that I can reach Holenarasipur, about 80 km away.
There was little point in having charge but not enough daylight to reach the goal and started around 1.45 PM though the battery was not yet full. It started to rain too but I was fully prepared for that. I told Shreeharsha that there is discontinuity in today’s GPS tracks as I did not switch on while leaving Nanjangud and just when I about to leave, he reminded me to switch it on. But in next stop @ K R Nagara I Again forgot to switch on which resulted another discontinuity. Last evening when I transferring the tracks to computer there was low battery indication. Hope to buy another charger in Hassan tomorrow as single pair charger proves insufficient.I could not bring camera out today as it was raining in morning, afternoon and evening. Low illumination results in poor quality photographs. So this photo of him reminding to switch on GPS was sent by him. It also shows even the flag which is still there is not much visible. Second flag flew off couple of days back & only flagpole remains which I hope to remedy the situation tomorrow in Hassan.
I reached K R Nagara @ 3.15 as roads were very good. One good place where power is always available is KPTCL offices and so when I saw their office in the edge of the town, naturally I went inside. The staff there was very nice and carried my trike over the steps into their offices. So was there for an hour topping up my batteries.
There road is good all the way upto Holenarasipur from Yelwala. There are couple of road humps but they not too bad. It is fairly level upto K R Nagara but after that there are couple of hills. Anyway by nightfall I had reached Holenarasipura and one of the lodges had a mini theatre too in first floor. So trike was carried to this mini theatre for safekeeping and my room was in second floor .