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Ride 7 - Madurai

With 2017 coming to an end with not many rides as I intended to do, I was waiting for a chance to get back on the saddle. Thankfully, that opportunity came in form of a fellow rider’s wedding held in Madurai. Another biker friend and I thought of doing it as a ride and that’s how the first ride of 2018 happened. Ironically, being one of the most important cities in Tamilnadu, and considering the fact that I’ve been to almost every district in the state, Madurai is one city that I’ve never been to and thanks to this ride, that’s another box ticked in the checklist.

Itinerary

Well, technically, our destination wasn’t the Madurai city but a nearby town called Aruppukottai which is past Madurai. But the groom planned it in such a way that we’ll stay in Madurai on 16th Feb 2018, a day before the reception, so that I can go around the city as well. So he had booked a room for the two of us in Madurai for one night and another room in Aruppukottai the next day so we can see the reception and leave to Chennai the next morning. Considering the rider pal of mine along with whom I rode is an experienced one, we didn’t resort to frequent breaks and maintained a good speed of close to three digits.

What’s new

Once again money spent was on the bike and not on any accessories for me! In the bikers meeting a few days before this ride, a couple of my friends showed their newly installed wider handlebars. These U shaped handlebars are so wide that your hands stay further apart and this takes the pressure off your shoulders, making it more comfortable on long rides. The bar in between also adds rigidity and thanks to the extended length, the vibration one would feel is also considerably lessened.

While my friends had the black coloured version, I opted for the chrome one. I got it at the same place I got the headlight casing that I had mentioned in my previous post, from Noor Automobiles in Puthupet, Chennai. I also got a pair of side mirrors which goes at the far ends of the handlebar. The disadvantage might be the fact that it doesn’t offer the same visibility as the original one does, but on the other hand, since it’s so far from the vehicle, the vibrations don’t affect the mirror and we can easily judge what’s behind us. Not to mention the fact that it also adds a bit of style quotient to the bike.

The below images would give an idea of what these small modifications look like.

And before you ask how it looks on the highway, here you go!

And I also got a BT-S2 Bluetooth Intercom Headset – one of the basic models that enable the user to listen to music on the go as well as using it as a handsfree with fellow riders who’ve got the same device. The speakers go inside the helmet and the actual gadget can be stuck to the outside of the helmet. The controls are easy and could even be used while wearing gloves and on the go. What more can you ask for?

What actually happened

For once, this section is going to super short. In a nutshell, we did whatever we do in every ride. We rode crazily with very minimal stops. We stopped once for breakfast at Haritam’s which is exactly 99kms away from Chennai. It has become a usual spot for me thanks to some decent food. The above photo of me on the bike was taken there.

Then it was destination Madurai where we gorged on some amazing food for all meals of the day. After spending a night at Madurai and another evening at Aruppukottai to attend the wedding, it was a nice ride back to Chennai as well. Though it wasn’t a conventional ride that involves a lot of pitstops, photographs and of course, lot of fellow riders, this one was a welcome change and a much-needed break!

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