Wednesday, 4 March 2015

02 Mar - Palakhad to Mettupalayam

Day's run: 92 km

Total: 539 km

Start:  07:30

Saddle Time:   05:52

Height Gain:    566m

Average: 15.7 kph 

Note: The discrepancy in distance between the screenshot and the day's run is because the screen shot is the intended route which is not always followed exactly. The day's run is taken from the Garmin GPS which is tucked away in my bar bag recording my actual track and height gain.

Why I avoid main roads:the whole road is up for improvement and you can be sure the toll booths will be finished on time

I'm crossing the state line. The road is littered with trucks for at least two kilometres while the drivers go off to join a queue to pay some cross-border freight tax. It all looks horribly inefficient. As the road is blocked on the other side the school buses are allowed to pass against the flow of traffic, which at the moment is me!

No modern creature comforts in these trucks. In another world when I was a H&S manager (Ha!) an employee (ex MT) driver slipped and fell when getting out of the cab.of his Volvo truck. He took several month's off work and finally sued the company because the tread on the metal footplate was allegedly slippery.

Melons are in season and I take a slice..... and then another.

It is difficult to capture the tooting mayhem on camera.

This is the craziest. When the level crossing barriers are down the whole road width is filled up with traffic. It's like a face off. When the barriers go up two waves of traffic race towards each other and it's complete pandemonium  when they all meet in the middle.

These look like lime kilns fueled by coconut husks in a scene that probably hasn't changed since the middle ages. Hot dusty work.

Loading up with sugar cane

One of my rural roads, the surface is variable from this......... this.

I´m in a coffee shop - it's good stuff

Coimbatore is a big city of 2 million people. There's a lot to see but it's too damn hot. I want to press on to reach Mettupalayam, a good launch point for tomorrows' climb into the Ghats. I can see them looming larger, heads shrouded in cloud, through the brown afternoon haze. Intimidating.

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