STAGE ONE : BreakAway
16TH DECEMBER 2016
Bangalore – Mysore
173KM | 1227 M+ | 1377M-
It has become Legendary route for TFN. So it began like this that the riders and volunteers could not sustain the onslaught of the motor vehicle traffic on the regular Mysore road and they request us to change it to something more easier and calmer. So we found this route which runs through some of the rural areas and we had NICE Company to allow us to use their road to get out of Bangalore as fast we can. We hope to see the same support from NICE as well as all commuters on the new road for this edition and future.
STAGE TWO : Kabini’s course
17TH DECEMBER 2016
Mysore – Kalpetta
135KM | 1497M+ | 1467M-
Leave behind the palaces of Mysuru, leave behind the concrete jungles. Enter the real jungle!
Running parallel to river Kabini’s course, the 135 km route on day two takes us through some deep jungles of HD kote and Kakana kote which were the “khedda” (elephant traps) sites of the Maharajas of Mysuru.
Loose yourself amidst the teak forests or get lucky to spot a majestic pachyderm or just let the bird song from the jungle wake up your soul. This brand new route on TFN for sure is exciting.
STAGE THREE : The WALL
18TH DECEMBER 2016
Kalpetta – Ooty
137 KM | 3289M+ | 1634M-
There are climbs.
There is Kalhatti!
Starting our day at Kalpetta, we travel through some beautiful country side, experiencing the beauty of Kerala. As we cross over to Tamil nadu the majestic bamboo forests of wayanad give way to endless tea plantations.. Blue skies and green estates.. Welcome to Nilgiris.
Cross the town of Gudalur, to enter the Mudumalai tiger reserve. This might be the time to get your gel packs (the saddle one, not the edible one ) out, coz we gonna have a small replica of Paris-Roubaix on the forest roads. A peacock in the bush, or a Malabar squirrel on the canopy might give you some relief.
If you think you had a lot for the day, hang on .. It is yet to begin.. Lurking from beneath the forest cover.. There it appears – the Wall – the mighty Kalhatti climb.
1200+ m of climb over 11.8 km. With an avg gradient of 10.5%
Nothing can describe this mighty monster climb.. It is a battle of you vs you. Cycle, walk or crawl, you will have a story to tell at the end of the day.
STAGE Zero : Rest Day
19TH DECEMBER 2016
Day 4 The break
Kalhatti would have been conquered.. Personal legends would have been made..
It is time to hang up those cleats for a day.. It is time for that well deserved break.
Watch the sunrise on the Nilgiris from your balcony, hike up to Doddabetta, go chocolate and spice shopping in Ooty, ride the famous Nilgiris train to mettu, or if you are still itching for a ride pedal down to kodanadu view point or just laze on the lawn and count the clouds
There is something for everyone on the rest day.. Enjoy your break on the mountains of Nilgiris
And not to forget the group photos and campfires and antaksharis and.. Phew! How much can one pack in a day!?
STAGE FIVE : Tea Picking
20TH DECEMBER 2016
Ooty – Thaishola- Ooty
117KM | 3281M+ | 3282M-
Day 5 Tea Picking
The 5th day of TFN will take you deep into the Nilgiris region. Leave behind the hustle of Ooty and explore the tiny hamlets scattered on the mountains. From colonial Lovedale, to dozens of small estate worker’s colonies.. they come in all size and shapes.. And colours! Yes colours! Fluorescent green, orange, pink and blue houses give a picturesque pause to the never ending greens.
Ride down into the valley of Kundah dam and climb up the zig zag roads to Manjur for a breathtaking view of the river. Follow the road to Thaishola estates snaking through the windswept mountains. Fill up your lungs with cool mountain air.. The climbs will leave you breathless while the view is breathtaking…
STAGE SIX : Village Safari
21ND DECEMBER 2016
152KM | 1075M+ | 3417M-
Time to leave the Nilgiris and head down to the plains. But not before reaping the rewards for the big bad climbs.. The big Downhillll… Let gravity suck you down the beautiful crisp tarmac on the Kotagiri – Mettupalayam road. Lower your saddle and sit back with that tight aero crouch and let gravity do all the work for you. Remember to take ample breaks to soak in the mountain air and the splendid vistas.
A bit of city traffic down the Mettu – Karmadai road and then we take detour into the outskirts of Coimbatore through Thudiyalur, Kanuvai, Pudur and scores of small villages. Keep an eye for the colorful temples in each village. Spot some Carmorants at the Salim Ali lake near support station 3 and head off towards palakkad through some more village goodness.
Take a break at station 4 with some authentic South Indian KDFC filter coffee. If you time it well, you can have a chat with the school kids waiting at the bus stop near support station.. We have been meeting them for 3 years now.
Foodie tip: check out those small hotels near mettupalayam for delicious idli, doas and omelettes. Not to forget the bucket loads of chutney TFNers have managed to finish in the past years.
STAGE SEVEN : To Macaque Canopy
22ND DECEMBER 2016
Palakkad – Valparai
108KM | 2169M+ | 1170M-
You would have climbed the wall now. We will give you another challange – “par with the wall” – Valparai.
Climb up the mountain face soaking in awe inspiring views of Aliyar reservoir. Look out for the rare Nilgiri Thars moving on a cliff face with the grace of a ballet dancer. Ride through a dramatically changing landscape transitioning from bushes to tall trees to tea plantations. The tree canopies are filled with all kinds of arboreal fauna. The Malabar giant squirrels and Hornbills share the canopies with the endemic Gray langurs and countless other feathered friends. Also keep your eyes peeled for the magnificent Lion-tailed macaques on the higher canopies. These majestic creatures are a delight to watch. Hence the name Macaque Canopy
Foodie checklist: Thattu Nungu (Palmyra Palm) juice from road side vendor for a quick carb boost. Delicious fish curry at the Attakati check post hotel.
STAGE Eight: Touch Down
23rd DECEMBER 2016
Valparai – Pollachi
74KM | 980M+ | 1866M-
We plan to keep the final day a bit easy.. as we always said.. “It’s Mostly Downhill!”
Start your day meandering around Valparai town and the northern stretches of Sholayar dam. Then a little climb back to bid a farewell to the Lion Tailed Macaques and then straight down to the Aliyar dam. You will have ample time to stop and soak in the beauty you might have missed while climbing. Being the last day of the tour, we are sure there would be tons of group pictures to be taken on the viewpoints. Crossing Aliyar it would be a fast paced ride to Pollachi where the tour will wind up.
From Pollachi we would take a bus ride to reach Bangalore the next day morning (24 Dec). Don’t worry about your bikes.. We will get them safely to Bangalore.
(The nearest airport/train junction to Pollachi is Coimbatore. You can book your return tickets from Coimbatore if you don’t want to return to Bangalore)