Bangalore to Mysore via New York!

Prologue

I was born and brought up in Mysore. Even though I’m now a complete Bangalorean, you can’t take out that Mysorean in me.

Mysoreans will relate to this very well…when it comes to time, speed & distance, there is always one reference - the difference between Mysore and Bangalore.
If someone says that a Ferrari can travel at 300kph, we say “At that speed we can travel between Mysore and Bangalore in less than half an hour”
Naturally when we purchased the Ather, some of my cousins jokingly told “What? with this range, you can’t even come from Bangalore to Mysore”

This travelogue of mine is dedicated to them. This is the travelogue of my ride from Bangalore to Mysore…Via New York!

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Planning

Ever since I got the 450, I wanted to ride to Mysore. Our long ride man Abhishek’s ride to Mysore had proved that it is not at all impossible. However I’m not the kind of guy who can go on a ride like him…only when I have all bases covered, I set out.

The Independence Day long weekend seemed like the best opportunity for doing this. I knew my scooter and its capabilities well, weather would be pleasant and 3-4 days was enough to do it nice and slow. It would also become 2019’s freedom ride!

The plan was simple-Ride to Mysore on 15th, roam around in Mysore the next day and ride back to Bangalore on Saturday before all the usual crowd comes back on Sunday.

A friend of mine Avinash who is always ready to accompany me to all my crazy trips was unsurprisingly the first guy to agree to join when I spoke about this idea with friends. A couple of others couldn’t apply leave and a few others had other plans. So it was only the two of us.

I started looking for a place to stay in Mysore which could also provide us with a charging point. Just at the right moment, another friend of us Guru whose parents’ home is in Mysore told he’d join us. His only condition was that we should leave on 16th August.

Being a long weekend, we had to face the mad traffic one day at least (onward or return), so rescheduling our plan by a day was easy. Advantage with him joining was that we have a safe place in his house to charge the scooter in Mysore.

It was a given that we can’t cover the entire distance in one single charge. The plan was hence to go along in another car. we decided to take Avinash’s Tata Safari. This way, we could go around in the Safari when the 450 is getting charged somewhere midway. The next thing was to find where that somewhere would be.

I had friends in Channapatna and Mandya but it was either too close or too far. Maddur was bang in the middle when I looked at the distance between Guru’s Mysore home and Royal Airavatha (the last Ather grid point in that direction).

A colleague who lives in Mandya told he’ll look for some place and within a day he came back and told me that one of his friends’ has a shop in Maddur and he’ll let me charge my scooter…that was perfect! Well, almost.
I wanted to be really sure that I don’t face any issues midway. So I gave my portable charger to my colleague and asked him to check it and let me know if the charger light glows green or red.

A week before our planned ride, my colleague checked the charger. It was red in his home in Mandya but at Maddur where we were planning the charging pit stop, it was Green! Now this was perfect.

Via New York!

During one of the tea breaks, my colleague also suggested that I could ride to New York on the way! Now that sounded interesting.
Trivia: New York is a village in Maddur Taluk of Mandya district. The village was renamed after the 9/11 attacks in memory of innocent people who lost their lives that day in 2001.
Visiting that place on a vehicle which started deliveries on 9/11 would make it that much more interesting I felt.

So that’s how the Bangalore to Mysore via New York was conceptualized.

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Day 1: Friday, the 16th of August 2019

I woke up early and got ready and we left home by 07:15 and headed to Royal Airavatha which is around 9 kms from my home.


let the ride begin

My plan for the entire trip was to ride in Ride mode and always keep the speeds in the range of 40kmph. It took me 20 minutes and 6 Kms of drop in Range to reach there.


Topping up


Fast

We had plans of having breakfast there itself. But the restaurant wasn’t open yet. So we put it for charging and went to another restaurant in the car.


Tricolour everywhere!

It was a little over an hour when we returned back and we finally left Royal Airavatha at 08:45.

The charging pit-stop was 65 kms from here. New York was another 11 kms further. I decided that If I’ve enough charge left when I reach the charging point, I’d continue further without stopping and come back to charge afterwards. This meant that I had to cover a total of 87kms before charging again. From my previous Kanakapura ride, I was confident of achieving this distance. But still I left the decision to how much range I would be left with when I reach Maddur.

Throughout, I maintained 40kmph speed while the Safari used to go faster and wait till I caught up. At this speed, I was able to cover a little over 1Km per 1% reduction in battery percentage. It was a little over 1.5kms of ride for every 1Km reduction in the displayed range.

Scooters in general are tiring for long rides and Ather is no exception. Every 20kms or so, I got down just to take pictures and walk 10-20 steps.

After having covered 46kms, I observed a strange thing. The ride screen wasn’t changing. It was frozen! I stopped the scooter but the ride screen didn’t change to the idle screen. I turned off the key and even then the display was on (but without backlight). When I turned back on, only the backlight was switched on.


Scooter off-Screen on

The Cntrl+Alt+Del of Ather (both brakes+power switch) restarted the scooter and sorted the problem. When it returned back to normal I saw that I had ridden for 4 kms in the same state

Anyway, back on the road, I continued in the Rajesh mode…oops Ride mode :grin:. It was the emptiest Mysore road I’d ever seen but I still exercised a lot of self-restraint and continued at that speed.

The different looking, green number plate, absence of an exhaust pipe in the Ather made many heads turn back. Because I was slow, at least 4 two wheelers came to my side, spoke all about the scooter while riding parallel with me. One two wheeler asked me to stop and they also took some photos.

By 11:15 I reached Maddur with still 33% battery remaining and 25kms of displayed range remaining. I decided to go to New York and come back.

20 minutes later we reached New York! Apart from a name board etched in stone, there is nothing else to see here so some snaps with both the vehicles, we headed back to Maddur.


Ather at New York!


Ather goes to New York

When I reached the shop, my colleague’s friend immediately identified that I must be that crazy guy who is riding to Mysore in a scooter :slight_smile: I still had 9km of displayed range left when I put the vehicle for charging at 12:03. It displayed a duration of a little less than 2 hours for 80%.


Charging start


Pit stop duration

My friends Avinash and Guru had decided what to do in this time. They told me that we could go to Heritage Vineyards and Winery near Channapatna. It was around 20kms back towards Bangalore. It was a nice idea and we went there. On reaching, we found out that it was now renamed as Kadu Winery which is a brand of Sula Wines.


Kadu Vineyards and Winery

We registered for a Vineyard and Winery tour and a wine tasting session. It was a small setup and still under development after the takeover by Sula. We were shown the Vineyards. There were no fruits as the harvest season was over and also grape stomping event was also not there.


The Vineyards

We were then taken into the chilled room where the wines were stored. The tour guide explained everything about wine making in detail and answered all questions well.


The holding tanks

Then all of us were taken into the tasting room where we were explained everything from holding the wine glass to the right way of drinking and how to identify different taste notes were explained.


Tasting

After this we had lunch in the restaurant inside. At this time It started to rain heavily. I called up to check if it was raining in Maddur. Luckily it wasn’t and he told he will cover the charging point as a precaution.


Heavy rain during lunch

By the time we reached back it was 16:00 and the scooter was fully charged. However it started to pour again. It was so heavy that we couldn’t ride. We waited for an hour for the rain to subside. It didn’t stop completely but got lighter. With a rain coat, we started towards Mysore. By the time we reached Mandya, rain reduced down to a trickle and the ride went smooth.


Ride in the rain

In around 2 hours, we reached the Ring road on the outskirts of Mysore.


Mysore is here

We saw that there was around 22kms of range remaining and the destination was 17kms on the ring road. If we had gone through the city we could save around 9kms but since we had more charge we took the ring road and reached the destination by 19:15. The range remaining was 9kms. At 12hrs, this was by far the slowest Mysore travel for me :slight_smile:


EOD

Now the plug point was in the ground floor garage and the home was in first floor. When Guru opened the garage door, we were in for a shock. The electric wires were burnt and there was no power in the garage! We checked a point at home and the portable charger was glowing green. However, the extension cord I had wasn’t enough to draw power from the first floor!
Then Guru took us to his in-laws’ home couple of kms away. There was a plug outside their home but when I plugged in the charger it was glowing red. Thankfully another point inside the home which was for their washing machine, was glowing green. We wired up and the scooter started charging. What relief!

We left the scooter and went back to my friend’s home. Had dinner and slept off

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Day 2: Saturday, the 17th of August 2019

We were ready by 09:00, had breakfast and went to take the scooter by 10:00. The plan for the day was to cover all important landmarks of Mysore. The Safari was parked at home and all we took my friend’s Ninja 650 and a Honda Dio. A superbike, a moto scooter and a futuristic scooter was a nice trio.

First stop: Chamundi Betta. Chamundi is the royal deity of the Mysore Kingdom and the temple is located on top of the hill overlooking the city by 11:00, we were at the foothills. The base of the hills is at around 600m above MSL and the 7 Kms distance road to the top takes us to at height of around 1200m above MSL.

With a small stop of 5 minutes mid-way for some pictures, we reached the top of the hill in 20 minutes. The scooter had consumed 15% of battery for the climb and the range dropped by 10kms. This was the only place in the entire trip when the red glow on the dashboard was continuously on.


Climb up the hills

Even at 11:20, the weather was foggy at the top. Being two wheelers, we could take the vehicles close to the temple which a cars are not allowed. After a leisurely stop for pictures, we headed back.


Chamundeshwari temple


450 on top


The trio

Enroute we stopped at the statue of Mahishasura who is the devil that Goddess Chamundi slayed to protect the people.


Mahishasura

After an ice cream and tea, we headed down. From here the throttle was almost not used at all. We took a different path down as there is a statue of Nandi-the sacred bull. Even here, being a two wheeler helped as we could take it close to the statue. We continued on the way down.


Nandi

Midway however, I was stopped by a voice calling out my name. It was a colleague of mine who was also in Mysore. He was going up the hill on the 1000 steps and at the perfect time, we crossed paths. We chatted for a while and continued on our paths…from here the road gets really steep and the scooter was on regen throughout. By the time I got down, The scooter had gained 2% charge and 1km of range during the downward ride of 6kms. So all in all the ride 13kms drive up and down took 13% of battery which is the average I had the previous day.

From there on, we started the Mysore yatra and clicking pictures of the 450 in front of famous landmarks of the city. Mysore Palace was the next stop. The Mysore palace is barricaded and vehicles are not allowed. I spoke to a guard there and told him that I’ll just park it beside the barricade, take pictures and get out. He agreed after a minute of requesting and he gave me 2 minutes!


The Royal Palace


Ather at Mysore


The Classic Mysore Tanga and the future

The KR circle and the clock tower were the next spots…


KR circle


Clock tower

We then headed to Lalitha mahal palace hotel which is basically a Heritage palace converted into a luxury hotel. We had our lunch in the restaurant which is basically a courtyard. After lunch, we took some nice pictures of the vehicles in front of the palace.


Two beauties together


White and white


The three musketers

Police Bhavan, DC office and the Mysore university administrative office were the next picture stops before we headed back home. It was around 15:00 and we were done with our city circuit.


High voltage


Police Bhavan


DC Office


University office

I paid a visit to couple of relatives’ and friends’ homes to show the scooter. One of them had purchased an Okinawa Ridge Plus scooter. So we spent close to an hour talking and comparing he scooters. Then we test rode each other’s scooter. While they were sad that Ather is not available in Mysore, it was a reinforcement for me that buying the 450 was worth every paisa. At 80K, the ridge is ridiculously priced. The cheap plastics and build, 55kmph top speed, it scarily jumps from standstill on throttle input, it is more like a toy scooter. It is eerily silent because of the hub mounted motor but the entire experience is below par.

By 18:00, my friends called me to check what time I will come back. They had booked movie tickets for the evening show. So I went back and parked the Ather and we went in the car to the movie hall.

By 23:00 we returned back home, took the scooter to my friend’s in-laws’ home and put it for charging and then came back and slept.

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Day 3: Sunday, the 18th of August 2019

I got up early, got ready and took the scooter at 07:00. I decided to ride early before my friends catch up. I put my luggage in the car and started immediately.


Return ride starts

I went to the City Railway Station where there is a new I :hearts: MYS board installed and I didn’t want to miss that. When I reached there, there were barricades before that so that vehicles can’t drive till that. An armed railway police personnel was also stationed. I went to him and asked if I can just take a picture. He told he can’t allow. It took me minutes to convince him to let me just take a picture. I had to request him, explain and show him all about the vehicle, tell him that I had come from Bangalore just for that picture etc. etc. Finally he let me in for 1 minute.


I :hearts: MYS


We all :hearts: MYS

I thanked him, took pictures and left. Auto drivers in the station stopped me for 5 minutes and learnt about the vehicle. Later I went to St. Philomena’s church which I had missed the previous day. Here again convincing the guard at the gate took some time but I finally succeeded.


St. Philomena’s church

From here, I started towards Bangalore. The return was much easier I felt. Cruising at 40kmph was less boring and I was more confident about the range. Just before Mandya, I experienced the hung screen again and again a soft reset solved the issue. However performance was not affected one bit.


Hung screen


Frozen

One other thing that I observed was the drop in percentage. It never comes to 99%, 89%, 79%, 69% etc. After every 10%, the percentage drops by 2% to 98%, 88%, 78%, 68% etc. This was oserved by other members already but I just got it confirmed

I reached Mandya at 09:00 and it started to drizzle. I called up my friend who had helped me in getting the charging point and also suggested New York. He came down and we had tea at a stall.


Tea break

We also called the shop guy in Maddur and he told that he’ll open his shop around 10:00-10:30. After chatting for some 30 minutes, I resumed my ride to Maddur. I reached Maddur at 10:00 and started waiting. The ride was 72 kms and I still had 21Kms range and 33% battery still left. The shop was finally opened at 11:00. My friends who had started at 9:30 from Mysore, had reached at 10:30. We immediately started charging. Then started to wonder what to do during the wait time.

We went to Madduramma Lake which is named after the local deity. It is a nice and Big lake.


Safari resting by the lake


Wash time

After spending some 15 minutes, we decided to go to Kokkare Belluru Bird Sanctuary which is around 20kms from Maddur. When we reached Kokkare Belluru, we realized that it is not the right season for the Migratory birds to arrive. Forget Pelicans, even crows were not visible.

From there we went to a small village called Arethippuru where we find ancient Jain Vestiges on top of a rock hill. Atop the hill, there are statues, carvings and scriptures from 6h century. After spending an hour or so, we headed towards the scooter.


The hillock


The vestiges


Mahaveer statue


The thirthankaras

We had lunch on the way and finally reached the scooter at 14:20. With 100% charge, the ride to Bangalore started. I thanked the shop owner. without him this trip wouldn’t have been possible

The Safari went ahead and I stuck to my usual 40kmph speed. The traffic was low as it was still early but it was slowly piling up at each town crossing. It was around 16:15 when I reached the NICE road junction. The rain slowly started picking up, there was 25kms range left and my home was 11 kms away. So I decided to take the NICE road.

After taking the toll ticket, I switched to Sports mode, turned the throttle fully and went Wheee! -something that I did for the first time in the last 3 days. In 10 minutes I reached my home. Avinash dropped Guru to his home and reached my home by that time. This last part was like the cherry on the cake. As soon as I reached home, it started pouring! The last leg was 78kms and when I parked the scooter, the range remaining was 12kms in sports mode.


Final ODO reading

Epilogue

Overall the almost 400kms trip was successfully completed without any major issues (hung screen is negligible). My belief that I could extract more than 100kms on a single charge if I needed to was proven right. Learnt more about the scooter like the battery percentage reducing by 2% after every 10%. I spoke a lot with many people on the way. Some were happy, some called me crazy, some were surprised. It was very nostalgic too to roam around in the city that you grew up in

Range Anxiety…What is that?

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Some screenshots of Ride statistics from the trip
16 August 2019




17th August 2019




18th August 2019

The Ride statistics of the last leg of the trip is missed because of some issue :frowning:
The predicted range in Ride mode had gone upto 103kms when I returned home after the trip. unfortunately I didn’t capture it and in the last three days in city, it has come down to 79kms today.

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heheheeee

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Superb Travel vlog @hemanth.anand next we need to launch Ather in Mysore…

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Awesome pics bro

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Hey @hemanth.anand , you did charge for all this ride in the entire city ?

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Amazing travelogue. And beautiful shots.

Did you have American visa? How did you make it through immigration? :wink:

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The way you masked people’s faces at the Winery is very creepy :joy: #slenderman

Awesome trip btw!

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Excellent pictures! and the story telling is captivating, you guys are the brand ambassadors of Ather!

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Correct me if I’m wrong…Do you mean if I charged anywhere in between on the second day?
No…I did the city ride on the second day on one single charge. The scooter covered around 64kms on the second day

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Yes, exactly what I was asking !! WOW, thats really amazing.
I studied in Mysuru for my B.E and it would be amazing if I had this bike then. Still remember filling up fuel everytime I went above chamundi hill, Ather would be just perfect.
I feel Mysuru is the perfect city to own an Ather, residents here are naturally obsessed by nature and would surely consider EV if it helps Mysuru. @Ather.Team should seriously consider this
@hemanth.anand really amazing snaps and trip. Thanks for your reply

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@hemanth.anand,

Amazing pics, i am sure you would have had an Awesome trip. Kudos to the Torch Bearers like you. Happy to Follow your path!!! May be someday I will have time and Tide my way to do some trips like these!!!

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Kullu Manali one day. On my Ather. That’s my goal.

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I have tried so hard requesting Ather to come to Mysore… Mysore is a fit case for EVs. Large college going population, tech savvy (espcially after opening of Infy campus). For past 4 years I have been seeing so many people buying low cost, low tech EVs in Mysore for daily commute. I am sure, Ather will find a good customer base here.

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True. This time I saw so many Okinawas in Mysuru. I rode one too and I was surprised how such a crappy vehicle sells for around 80K. If people are buying that, then I’m more than sure that they’ll certainly buy Ather. Ather’s range also will be of very less concern to people of Mysuru. The size of the city is just perfect for Ather’s Range

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Infact, I even messaged Ather team to have a different approach for Teir 2 & 3 towns. In Metros and large cities, having grid ready makes sense in order to provide seamless last mile connectivity overcoming range constraints. But in Tier 2 & 3 towns, first create awareness and sell the product. Then based on travel pattern of customers, develop an Ather Grid.

@Ather.Team: I am ready to join your team any day in Mysore in any of your events, if ever you guys plan for one.

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