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Southern Sojourns

Aaron Cardozo

About Trail

Vehicle: Yamaha

Start Point: Panjim, Goa, India

Start Date: 15-February-2015

End Point: Yellapur, Karnataka, India

End Date: 16-February-2015

The Journey: Panjim – Margao  – Karwar – Ankola – Yellapur, Karnataka

Ideal Time to Visit: The best time to ride on this route would be November to March, when the ambient temperature isn’t too high.

Entourage Strength: We rode in a group of 6 riders. 5 to 7 bikes with similar performance levels would be ideal on a ride like this.

Preps: Before every ride, I check oil, coolant and brake fluid levels, tyre pressure, brake pad and chain wear. Also, I make sure all documentation related to my vehicle is up-to-date.

Assistive Gizmos: For this journey, one of our riders had a bike-mounted camera to record video and I have a GoPro camera now which I plan to use for future rides.

Road & Traffic Conditions: Many trucks and buses ply on this route but the traffic is relatively sparse in the afternoon.

Best & Worst Stretches: The highway section from Ankola to Yellapur is the best stretch.

Quite frankly there aren’t any scenic spots along the way. We like this route because the roads are great and traffic is scant.

I remember that we managed to cover a 60 kilometre stretch at an average speed of 120 kmph with many instances of constant 180-200 kmph runs. It was a fantastic experience because everyone rode in a sane manner as part of the group and were not keen on racing with each other.

Weather Encountered: Weather and road conditions were perfect. It was the end of the winter season, the sky was clear and the temperature was sufficiently high for good grip on the tarmac.

Food Joints & Stopovers: We usually stop for a break and a quick snack at a restaurant called Shanbagh just outside Yellapur. The owner is very welcoming. The location is convenient because there is a fuel station next door too. It’s a great spot to have breakfast or a snack.

Bike Care: As a rule, besides a thorough bike check, I make sure that I wear full gear – full riding suit, helmet, back protector, gloves and boots.

Locals: The locals are usually friendly and like seeing high-performance bikes first-hand, but most of them are curious and have the usual questions about fuel economy! We ride this route quite frequently so we don’t really require any guidance along the way. As far as I know, I’m sure if there was ever a problem along the way, the locals would definitely offer assistance.

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