Today I took the bike on its first breaking-in ride. Here's quick impressions, route & notes.
- Trip length: ~100km (to n fro)
- Route: Map
- Roads: Good, but not too wide.
- Traffic: low.
- Hazards: Few unmarked bumps that might surprise you, and of course the private bus drivers that want to wipe you off the road.
- Fun Quotient: Good fun!
Andhakaran-azhi Beach is the first pit-stop. To get here, you turn left from Thoppumpady until you reach the road colloquially known as the Fort Kochi Beach road. If you turn right on the dead-end you'll reach Fort Kochi & Mattancherry. Turn left instead and keep going until you come to the beach. It's around a 20 km ride hugging the coast with greenery all around. The road itself isn't too wide but traffic is low and it's quite a comfortable ride. The destination is unmistakeable because the road will open up to the beach on the right and a well-adorned bridge will lead you to the beach.
The beach is pretty well developed for its location and in addition to the usual baji vendors, frolicking children and cricket & football playing folk, you also get to see a rather ostentatious walkway constructed so you can view the sunset in style. I reached there quite early (5.30pm) so decided to move on to Thaickal instead.
Thaickal Beach is perhaps around 10km down the same road (note: don't go back over the bridge but instead take a right so that you continue on the same road). The road to the beach is a small road to the right that is pretty easy to miss, but as far as I remember it's the first cross-intersection that I came to. Take a right: the road extends perhaps 50 meters, park your bike and you have a much less cluttered beach to enjoy the sunset in peace.
Because there was still light available I decided to head back to Fort Kochi (straight line road ahead) and have some food from there before heading back home.
While having dinner, this guy was with me throughout, meowing for scraps.
Final trip meter:
Impressions about the bike & the ride:
- The bike is rock stable on the road, even on low speeds at low gear.
- Like all Royal Enfields, there is significant vibration at lower speeds. It steadies up as I pick up speed though.
- I never can seem to get the right rearview mirror correctly placed. Even with tons of jiggling I can't quite comfortably see the road back.
- The feel of riding the bike is really nice. I'm not a vroom-vroom rev-happy speed kind of person. The gentle curves and acceleration on this bike is really good.
- I have zero direction sense so even on this small trip I got lost at Fort Kochi. Google does help out but the fact that you have to stop the bike, take your phone out and poke at it is distracting. Perhaps I'll get a phone mount.
- Just like the phone, another accessory I tout around is my X100S (that's what took these photos). Having it around the neck quickly leads to some neck pain. Not sure how to solve this. The easiest solution might just be to carry a bag.
If you are looking for a quick ride out of Kochi, do follow this route and let me know! Cheers.