Caveat : This is a fairly challenging route, featuring some *serious* rolling terrain. You need to complete 1200km within 90 hours across challenging terrain, lonely roads, forest stretches, manage your sleep cycles and still manage to ride. Please please don’t register if you have not trained well. Our recommendation is that you should have completed a 600km brevet ride from Bangalore Brevets to attempt to do this ride!
The road for the 1200 in October will be going through three states. The route has enough for everyone, climbs, downhills , flats, highway stretches, quiet rural stretches, noisy town/city stretches, manned controls, unmanned controls, selfie controls, and of course , places where you’ll find it difficult to control yourself.
Ooty is the highpoint of the ride, and the ride has been appropriately named. Having said that though there is more to the ride than Ooty. You start with the capital city of Karnataka, go towards Nelamangala, and make your way on the fairly empty highway to Hassan. Once you take off from the highway towards Hassan, you head towards quieter rural stretches to the town of Chikmagalur. From Chikmagalur, you head towards the climb of Mulayangiri. You take a u-turn from a point 2 kms from the top (beyond which the road is a really bad). This would be the first control where you’ll take a selfie against the background of the km mark. You now go back downhill towards the town of Belur (which you crossed enroute to Chikmagalur) and head towards Madikeri via Somwarpet.
From this point onwards you’ll be hitting extremely quiet sections with very little traffic. you’ll need to use the cue sheet carefully because there will be few towns and few humans to ask for directions should you take a wrong turn.
You’ll hit the Hassan – sakleshpur road, take a left and then take a right at Balupet. (This is the time you’ll see some traffic). From here it is fairly rolling terrain till what will feel like forever. Enjoy the sounds and sights of the plantations and the forests that you’ll be passing through. (You’ve already had a healthy appetizer till this point, but here on it will be an endless buffet) And yes, please watch out for the elephants and the Gaurs (Indian Bisons). They have a right of way, please don’t try challenging that.
The stretch from Somwarpet to Madikeri is known for elephant crossings. Please make sure that you follow local directions if there are elephant movements. And phone in to let know the organizers. We can’t predict animal movements.
From Madikeri you go to Virajpet and from there go to Kerala to Iritty. You enter a reserved forest which will keep you company on a winding downhill for about 15 hours. Please be advised that most of the plantation and forest stretches are lonely , and you should be riding in groups at night. The Virajpet – Iritty section is full of traffic, being the only road passing through the forest region that connects non-coastal Karnataka and Kerala that is open at night.
Here is the preliminary route. (The section from Iritty to Thalassery has to be added, and the route might have minor changes, based on feedback/recce)
Map and profile of the route
Right now the registration says 5:00 pm but that might change based on what we work out an optimum time to start. But it is likely to be in the afternoon to evening on the 8th, and end on the 12th morning.
Here is a link to the registration. Please be advised that the price of the registration will be available only till Aug 10th. We’re doing this mostly to get a feel of the numbers and to encourage early registrations.
Register for the Ooty ride
Here are the photos taken on the recce
A draft cue sheet will sneak in here in a couple of days. This post will be updated in the Bangalore brevets site (which seems to be down now)