Wayanad Biker trip with ScoutMyTrip, OnnBikes and Wandertrails! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Wayanad Biker trip with ScoutMyTrip, OnnBikes and Wandertrails!

August last weekend, 3 days were well spent visiting Wayanad on bikes. A group of hand picked bloggers and bikers were invited to be part of this ride, organized by 3 startups- ScoutMyTrip, a road trip planning and execution startup, ONN Bikes, a fast growing bike rental firm and WanderTrails, an aggregator of unique and experiential properties around the country. I’ve already written about the place where we stayed- Dare5000 Nature Campz in Wayanad and the Bike I rode for most part of the trip- Bajaj Avenger Street 220. This post narrates our overall trip experience and details.
Thankfully my KSRTC bus dropped me off in E-City without any major delay, just in time. Met other riders there and excitement levels were high. We geared up- I was given a riding jacket, knee guard and helmet provided by ONN Bikes (I was lazy to carry them from Chennai). Safety gears are extremely important for bike riders, as we are exposed in all directions, unlike in a car where there's protection in the form of seat belt, air bags and the outer body of the car. It is not very convenient to have so many accessories but having right safety gear makes all the difference between dusting off and carrying on riding vs licking our wounds on the way to hospital, should an unfortunate incident like accidents/fall happen.

The convoy:
My Avenger Street 220 was the only non Royal Enfield bike. Organizers would have preferred me too be on a bullet, but I was keen to try the Avenger, which I’d not ridden long distance before. It was probably not a very good choice as I found out later (detailed review here), but anyway, it wasn’t a major disappointment either. Other bikes were on Classic 350, Classic 500, Thunderbird 350 and TB 500 etc. Around 8 bikes plus 2 cars for support constituted our convoy. The starting point was Electronic city in South Bengaluru. 

The route to take was planned by ScoutMyTrip, along with refreshment stops.  ScoutMyTrip aims to simplify road trip planning process. You can plan your trip, include refreshment stops, fuel stations, places of interest and share your itinerary with others. The platform already has thousands of useful itineraries shared by users as well as core team. It is lot easier to pickup an itinerary closest to your needs and then customize it a bit for your needs, than begin from scratch. Of course you can begin from scratch and define your own unique itinerary, which can be referred to by others in future. Scout My Trip has much bigger ambitions- even to reduce dependency on Google Maps and be a one stop shop for all needs related to road trips- including booking hotels and activities. During the trip it was great to interact with Vineet Rajan, co-founder of ScoutMytrip. I had given some feedbacks to ScoutMyTrip earlier on possible improvements- I was told those are being worked upon by the tech team. ScoutMyTrip Mobile app is expected by End of this year. Best wishes to them. You can track them on social media using #aageseright.

ScoutMyTrip will soon provide options to select seasonal attractions (example sunflower gardens or waterfalls) so that your trip can be highly optimized for the season in which you’re traveling. For the Wayanad trip that we had, you can click here to check the trip details planned by ScoutMyTrip.  I am guilty of not spending enough time on this nice promising platform, but you can check my Chennai-Tranquebar trip and Guwahati-Dawki trip itinerary.

After a briefing session, we left at around 6.30 AM. We were to ride in designated sequence, in double file format and to stay in the pack. Started from Electronic city, took NICE Road and connected to Mysuru road. Aakash and Dany from ONN Bikes were leading the convoy while Vineet Rajan did the role of sweep (last rider who ensures that no one is left behind). Ami gave him company as pillion. The NICE road allowed us to open throttle a bit but once we reached Mysuru road long weekend traffic was already out and we had to wade through crowded roads. First stop was at Kamat Upachar (3rd Kamat restaurant between Bengaluru n Mysuru).
Above: Bikers round table at Kamat Upachar
Below: The bikes in our convoy
From Mysuru it is the familiar route via Gundlupet, Bandipur and Sultan Bathery. We didn’t stop much for photos or anything else. The traffic was almost non existent after Mysuru and the scenary was lush green. Mild rains gave company intermittently. As we entered Kerala, at a pit stop had some good fun playing with this goat. Thanks to Saakshi Rajat for the timely click. 

Above: ISI Helmet for safety!
Below: Umang Trivedi photo bombing our helmet selfie!
Above 3 clicks courtesy Saakshi Rajat, my popular travel blogger and my pillion during the onward journey. I focused on the ride while she has taken photos and videos- will be waiting for them to be published.

Lunch was at Udupi hotel in Sultan Batthery, at around 4 PM. Rode further to Vythri. We reached our stay late evening. We were to park at a home in the foot of the hill and were ferried uphill on 4x4 jeeps. While we enjoyed the off road ride, the full beauty of the property where we stayed- Dare5000 Nature campz could be felt only next day in light. The property was specially selected by WanderTrails for the trip because of its uniqueness and experience quotient. I have a detailed post about this lovely place, already live here. Do watch the video below as well.  I had a few hours of sound sleep while others had chit chat around bonfire. We had dinner late night and slept again. Met FB friend Johann Binny Kuruvilla for the first time here.

On Day 01, before going to sleep, everyone were given an option to assemble at 6 AM, if they wish to go for bird watching. While a few showed interest, it was only me, Vineet and Ami who were the only ones actually up and out on day 02 at 6 AM. We walked all the way down to parking lot- around 5-6 kms that took us couple of hours. We clicked lots of photos on the way, which is available in this earlier post. Below photo, of me clicking a snail, and one showing me inside the tree trunk were captured by Ami Bhat

After reaching down, we got into a car (one of the two support cars), headed to Vythri town for breakfast and then proceeded to Tusharagiri waterfalls, around 20 kms from Vythri. Tusharagiri is a set of 4 waterfalls, two of which were closed to public in monsoon. The accessible waterfalls were nice, but not super exciting. A tree with empty trunk could be explored near the Tusharagiri falls. Umbrellas were available for rent, entry fee is about Rs 30 per person.
We spent a few hours in the waterfalls campus, had lunch at a restaurant there, returned to the parking area. As the jeep that were to take us uphill would take time, we got clearance to ride up on our bikes to cover a major portion. This was the exciting bonus as I got to ride offroad, steep uphill ride and back on the Avenger. We parked the bikes near Blue Ginger resort and got onto the 4x4 Bolero camper to reach the Dare5000 Nature campz. As we returned, rest of the group were found to be nursing their leech bite wounds. Apparently they had a hike to a nearby hidden waterfall, which was a lot more amazing than the one we went all the way (Everyone had a hearty laugh as I showed photos of the Tusharagiri waterfalls). They also had a drone footage.

At this moment the weather outside was lovely. The mist was amazing and intermittent rains were lovely too. When the sky cleared a bit we went to edge of the hill for the viewpoint.
Above pic clicked by Ami Bhat
Once back from viewpoint, hot onion pakodas were served, along with milk tea. After the snacks, we were introduced to the Mafia Game by Umang Trivedi of WanderTrails. It was the first time I played this game-it was fun but bit tricky as there’s no clear cut logic or strategy that can be adopted. Needs lots of luck and a bit of smartness to survive through- at least that is what I felt.

I slept for few hours, woke up for dinner and slept for the night.

Last day was for ride back to Bengaluru. Breakfast was the popular Puttu- a rice + coconut cake Kerala dish served with spicy Kadala curry.

We were dropped off at the Blue Ginger resort, near where we had parked our bikes. I tried capturing the downhill ride on GoPro but it was a failure. I tried the chest mount for the first time, but I was unable to position the camera straight. I was inclined downwards facing the fuel tank. Couldn’t resolve this in time, so had to abandon the idea. Not having a handlebar mount or helmet mount put me at a disadvantage (As I don’t do too much biking trips didn’t buy biking specific mounts). We rode down, checked and cross checked for leeches, waited for rest of the group to come down. It was around 10.30/ 11 AM. Return ride was uneventful. We took the same road back (via Bandipur). An elephant and deers were spotted during the forest ride. I swapped with JP’s TB350 for a while. Saakshi rode with Sameera so I was alone. She clicked some photos of me riding the TB, giving me some good memory of the trip.
We reached Mysuru where we stopped for lunch. Also I rode around to gulp some tender coconut, since I didn’t get any opportunity to have the same on day 01 or 02. Post lunch decision was taken to use Kanakapura road instead of Mysuru road, which was the smart thing to do to avoid traffic. A bit of rain gave us company and as darkness kicked in we made it to NICE road junction at around 9 PM. My bus to Chennai was at 10.59 from Shanti Nagar, so we reached just in time. A wonderful trip came to an end. Good job by the OnnBikes folks providing great bikes and guiding us during the ride. Do check with them for your bike rental needs in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Udaipur.

Big thanks to ScoutMyTrip, OnnBikes and WanderTrails for making this trip a success and giving me an opportunity to be part of it. Also great meeting many wonderful bikers and bloggers. This was my 3rd visit to Wayanad- previous trips were in cars - Read about my 2008 trip in rented Scorpio VLS * Phantom Rock * Herbal Nest homestay in Sultan Bathery * Kanthanpara waterfalls *


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