After completing the tour, I believe that TFN is not just a tour. It is an experience. An incredible experience of living the biker life for 8 days at that. The TFN organisers provide outstanding support in all facets of the tour and riding and really make this a memorable experience. No surprise that riders keep coming to do the TFN repeatedly.
I was clear about enjoying the tour through the Nilgiris at a relaxed pace. and not sprinting through the tour and completing in a rush. That proved to be a great decision as the tour had spectacular roads and areas to ride through.
Day 1 – Mysore to Hassan
TFN 2022 started from Mysore. over 100+ riders from across the country started together on this 8-day tour which will go through some the most scenic roads of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
Surprisingly we had incessant rains at the start itself. The rains followed us all through the 120 kms. However, we rode through amazing countryside, fields and lovely roads. The cloudy skies, rains and misty weather meant that we could ride without really breaking into a sweat all through the day.
TFN has support stations at regular intervals. The support stations are stocked with bananas, oranges, juices, peanuts, Sukeli & much more. The TFN 11 kms competitive segment for the day towards the end of the ride was quite challenging, with some elevation and wearing a jacket, creating wind resistance. Lunch was a simple and tasty south Indian meal. This was to be the norm for all days. 4 support stations and a lunch break on all ride days.
A wonderful start to the tour. Today we had climbed about 950 mtrs of elevation. This was my first experience of the TFN support machinery which worked flawlessly in their respective teams to ensure a smooth riding day for the riders despite the challenge of nonstop rains.
The post ride support from the mechanic team and the team of physios was very helpful to help riders prepare for the next day.
Day’s Stats – 120 kms, 953 mtrs elevation gain
TFN got off to a rocking start.
Day 2 – Hassan to Khushal nagar
Today the tour of Nilgiris was about riding through Coorg – the coffee county. Once again, we started in overcast skies and rains. Thankfully after about 2 hours, the rains subsided, and we were riding in cloudy skies for the rest of the day.
We rode through countless coffee and betelnut plantations. lovely small roads through hills, couple of lakes and amazing photogenic locales. Ofcourse we had some tough climbs as well. Lunch was tasty south Indian meal with payasum.
The small competitive segment was a lung bursting sprint. A most amazing and beautiful ride. Probably one of the best rides i have done.
Day’s Stats – 102 kms, 1291 mtrs elevation gain
Day 3 – Khushal Nagar to Sulthan Bathery
Today was supposedly the longest day of the tour from Khushal nagar to sulthan bathery. 144 kms of riding which included about 6000+ feet of really challenging climbs through the day. So we were sprinting hard most of the time to ensure that we reach destination before sunset and cut-off times. Infact descents were often over 50+ kmph speeds.
At about 90 kms, We had the famous Uni-Appams and black tea at a simple shack. Amazing taste. Some of the climbs towards the end of the day were up to 15 degrees inclines. That was quite a push. I could see many riders walking up. Luckily, I could ride up these monster inclines.
The great part was the amazing beauty of the areas we were riding through. We crossed over into Kerala and had spectacular roads including riding through forest and Wayanad forest reserve which has elephants in plenty. Though we could not spot any that day.
Day’s Stats – 145 kms, 1785 mtrs elevation gain
This TFN day was supposed to be our toughest day as it included one of the tour’s steepest climbs – the Kalahati climbs. Once again, we rode through lovely terrain, beautiful State highways lined with tea plantations and greens.
At 57 kms, we had simple south Indian lunch like every day with akki roti. We were to ride through Mudu Malai tiger reserve and then climb up Kalahati. But due to heavy rains in Kalahati and some landslides, the forest dept did not give permission to ride through. The delay meant that we had to take a detour to ride to Ooty and started riding only at 3 pm.
So, we took a equally tough 26 kms long climb up to Ooty. It was equally tough, exhilaratingly beautiful with few stretches lined with tall eucalyptus trees, tea plantations and non-stop climbs to the top.
Overall, a ride day to be proud of. Tomorrow is a well-deserved break day. A day to wash clothes, rejuvenate the body and prepare for the other half of the tour.
Day’s Stats – 81 kms, 1866 mtrs elevation gain
Day 5 – A good rest day
After a rest day yesterday, the tour of Nilgiris had another challenging ride today. We rode from Ooty to kodanad through tea plantations and rolling terrain which was largely downhill 40 kms. Then began the long ascent back to Ooty. Climbs and simply more climbs including a 5 kms competitive segment at the end.
So a total of 89 kms and about 6000 feet of elevation gain.
Day’s Stats – 89 kms, 1897 mtrs elevation gain
Day 7 – Ooty loop
Riders had a wonderful and scenic ride through the Ooty hills today at TFN day 7. About 77 kms with about 1850 mtrs of climbing. It seems that the climbs just get tougher by the day. The beauty of the Nilgiris was just mesmerizing and enchanting.
Day’s Stats – 77 kms, 1853 mtrs elevation gain
Day 8 – Ooty to Mysore
Today was the last day of our TFN tour. So a lot of excitement. We had a 40 kms descend through lovely eucylytus and pine trees. That was an awesome experience riding down. Then we also passed through madu malai forest. We were fortunate to see elephants and hordes of deer through the 16 kms forest trail.
Day’s Stats – 78 kms, 607 mtrs elevation gain
Overall, the TFN was an incredible experience. Probably the pictures say it all. The entire TFN was extremely well supported by the organisers and the support staff. Leaving for home with fond memories, amazing experiences and a completely rejuvenated body and spirit.
Hope to do this experience again in the future.