|Nuveen at the background with smiles.|
Known as ‘Poor man’s Ootty ‘, Nelliampathi is a popular and a small hill station 60 km away from Palakkad. Encircled by coffee and tea gardens, it is a jewel in the crown of Kerala. Cutting through government’s reserve forests, the journey to Nelliampathi is an experience in cycling. Nuveen and his novice team were very focused to make this a success. Seeing their enthusiasm, we couldn’t help but join them.
|Fatty frame with slim wheels .... |
that is what Bad Boy is all about !
The only route to this hill station is through Nemmara, a small town at the foot of this beautiful hill station. On 6th Saturday evening, at 8 PM, three of us (Nazeer, Zaeer and myself) packed our cycling gears and hurried from Calicut. Nuveen and his team had planned to commence the spin from Veddekenchery, a town 23 Km away from Nemmara. Biju was to join us at Veddekenchery from Trichur.
Typical of a hill station, Nelliampathi is least developed. The entire area is in the hands of a few medium-scale plantation companies and the rest is held by Kerala Government as reserve forest.
From our base camp at Veddekenchery, all of us set out at 7 AM to Pothundi Dam, the first stop over of our spin. This spin is a warm-up section for something more tough ahead: 23 Km. of pure steep climb to Nelliampathi.
|Two friends from Pollachi: |
Baba and Srihari Ratnam are two friends from Pollachi.
Here, they seem to be enjoying the tender Coconuts.
The climb commences from Pothundi Dam. Cutting through reserve forest and coffee gardens, the road is cool. Cocooned in the canopy of huge teak trees, most of the sections of the road is dark. The air is crisp, clean and cool. The daylight is unable to filter through the leaves due to the thick foliage. As we cycled, we could hear the chattering of birds breaking the silence of the woods... and there is nothing else to disturb the sound of silence.
The only major breakdown we had was that of Srihari Rathnam's bike. With a broken derailleur hanger, Srihari had very little option but to seek the back-up car of Biju. Waiting for the back-up to arrive, we shared lot of thoughts. After all, leisure cycling is never a fun if close sharing of thoughts never happen. It was Nazar who shared that there are universal derailleur hangers which fits on any bike (something like free-size vests) irrespective of the make and size. I think carrying a universal derailleur hanger by a pack of riders will help during these type of breakdowns.
|Getting off the saddle, walking around, |
it was time for a few shots.
It is impossible to keep on cycling when I wish to take a picture. In a serious cycling event (like in brevetting), I find it stressful to carry a heavy DSLR camera and do photography. But in a leisure spin things are different. It is good to keep a heavy camera and do quality photography.
|This is my Bad Boy : |
like me, she is a fugitive in this forest road ....
After lunch, it was time to relax, talk and unwind. The Trichur boys decided to proceed a little further to explore the fringes of Nelliampathy hills. I am sure they were rewarded with excellent panorama of hills. Most of us decided to pace back downhill and make it back to Veddekenchery in record time.
|The Trichur boys decided to proceed a little further to explore the fringes of Nelliampathy hills. I am sure they were rewarded with excellent panorama of hills.|
Getting back home, downhill rides are always thrilling. In downhill rides, as the wheels roll, we do not sit on the saddle waiting for the cycle to carry us down. Instead, we peddle aggressively taking the cycle speed above 40 KMP. That is a real fun! All of us reached Veddekenchery in flick of a breeze.
The Riders at Nelliampathy : Nuveen , Gokul, Ramzan , Dibin Sudeep, Baba, Srihari, Biju, Nazer, Zaheer and Abby
Acknowledgements : Couple of photographs in this blog have been used from the FB walls of Nuveen and friends.