Ride to Dadra & Nagar Haveli

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: ,

The Riders & their machines Kiron- Blue Classic 180, Eric - Red ZMA, Sherzad - Red Classic 180 with a DTSi sticker :)), John - Black 180 DTSi, Kapil - Black 150 DTSi UG, Prannoy - No bike, a pillion or rider, provided whoever took him ;) Deepak - Black 150 DTSi.

Total Distance Covered 380 kms (both ways)

Thanks and acknowledgements To all riders, but a special token of thanks to Sheru for all those lovely pics and videos that he took as a pillion. Thanks to Kapil too for getting his cam and adding more to the collection :)

Finally after discussing numerous destinations like Lonavla for some pro-curve taking practice, Dahanu for the hot kababs, Murud Janjira for a longer sprint, or just a small local ride to Manor or Kalyan, we decided that its going to be Dahanu. But it still didn't turn out that way. Vinod called me up the previous night and told me to hunt for some info on Dadra and Nagar Haveli on the net. I had a fraction of hope that he was going to turn up coz he was so curious about the place. So anticipating he too joining us, I surfed around and took prints of tourist map, places of interest etc. Dadra seemed a good proposition, as it had a number of places worth seeing. The ride to the destination was accomplished, visiting all the places there, forget it.. why??? Read on. And yes, Vinod didn't join us, he went ahead with his pre-planned programme to Alibaug.

Confirmed with most of the participating riders if they had any problems. Nothing major, everyone were excited to ride. Just John had a minor problem with his wheel alignment. His M45 and the swingarm were in a love affair and were getting too physical kissing each other whenever they got an opportunity i.e. bike running :)) Hehehe kidding. Actually his rear tyre was brushing against the swingarm which if not attended too would have resulted in heating of the tyre with serious uncalled results. So he intimated that he would be catch us later on the ride after fixing it up by his mechanic. I was to meet Kapil at Cadbury's flyover at Thane and ride together till Ghodbunder Naka. Kapil was on time and so was me and we both had a nice bumpy ride till Ghodbunder. Just before touching the spot, we thought everyone would be up and giving us lectures for being late by some 15 minutes. To both our surprise, no one had turned up, just we two - these Bandra kids are getting spoiled :)) John who was supposed to join us later too arrived before them after getting all the work done on his bike. Boy does his bike look raw!!! Just for info, he has replaced his DTSi fairing with a Classic assembly. Add to that his black mags with chrome on the side walls, he's got his heat shield, rear footpeg assembly all painted black. Just now the engine is left, which he will get it done soon. His bike looks more of a Black Honda Hornet than a Pulsar.

So we had tea at a local stall, to kick out any of the left over sleep that was there in our eyes. Its about time to roll on. Our thumbs gently get on the starter button and our engines fire up to life. I know a small group of Pulsars doesn't in anyway come close near to the thumping of the bullets, but still its pretty pleasant to hear them roaring at one given place and time. Eric was given the responsibility to lead as he was running-in his ZMA and couldn't exceed 80 kph, so it turned out to be a good ploy of riding in discipline. We were riding in a straight line for some couple of distances and within the speed limits due to traffic. Eric and myself took a halt for refueling, sadly the difference in price wasn't very substantial :(

Still the formation isn't spoiled, but that was till we got out of the suburban traffic and all the Rossis, Haydens and Biaggis in us come to life. 80 kph, that's the speed what kids ride on such a stretch. For riders who haven't come to us on rides, please note that we were very much aware of our limits and we are quite comfortable riding at 100+ kph. It wasn't just a rush of blood or exuberance, it has all come by experience of riding fast but no way rash. Anyway, the first meeting halt decided was Manor- so run your horse as fast as you can till the spot. Rising petrol prices, fuel consumption- do the hell with it. We don't get an opportunity or a stretch like this to ride everyday.

In no time the speedo needle crosses the 100 mark. All I could hear was engine growling and the small turbulence created by the fairing onto my visor when in crouching mode. Poor Eric, bike in running-in, couldn't exceed 80 and he was the one left far behind. The real fun was seeing Kiron zip past us. LOL, he never rides fast, but this time he was in a mood to enjoy to the max. We reach Manor in no time and this time for a change decide to take some snacks at a different restaurant. Hey wait wait wait, did I say restaurant??? Then sorry for that, it was a bakery more than a restaurant. That bugger didn't have anything except biscuits, and the special item there on the menu card was tea. Had to eat something, so ordered a couple of Good-Day and 50:50 packs with tea and took a short nap. You can have a see at Sheru's newly found four-legged and tailed friend of whose he was so eager to click photos ;D

We moved out and the
catch-me-if-you-can plot was again on, everyone except Eric with their throttle completely opened up. We stopped on a bridge over a nice flowing river. The bridge was shaking as if a dinosaur was trundling to and fro, actually it was due to the vehicles passing over the plated gap-sections on the bridge that were creating tremors. The surrounding was quite picturesque and Kapil was out with his Powershot clicking each and every spot. As usual Eric was the last one to arrive at the spot and all our halts were scheduled for him to catch us up. I know it will be a totally different story next time when his bike would have completed its running-in and we will find Mr. Eric with that typical wide grin on his face when he finds us arriving later :D We ride on, passing Charoti Naka and in between I take a halt for enquiring directions to the place. I am sure most of the people were not aware that we had crossed the State Border and entered Gujarat. We're into Valsad and ride till the Bhilwad intersection from where we had to take right for Silvassa. Eric arrives later, gets onto Sheru's bike and in a world of his own forgets that we have to take right and rips straight on that annoys everyone.

Prannoy takes
Kapil's bike to chase and get him back. It was hot and sunny and with our jackets on, we were sweating badly. I find a small shed and ride right into it, will see later if someone interrupts- and everyone follows. In the meantime Prannoy is back with his catch and is praising Kapil's bike all the way. Before riding off, Eric goes out to explore the path and comes back with a bad experience of a spoilt and bumpy road. Hey this isn't an Autobahn and what's a ride without some bumps to shake us up. We had to ride and face upto it. Wasn't a big one, just a km of bad roads till the entrance pillar of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. After that the roads are a dream. Though not very wide, but void of any pits and with trees on both sides providing the very much needed shade, it was a treat riding. It was hard believing that we were doing 80 on that stretch. We reach Silvassa and take left towards Dadra riding through the dusty and bustling Vapi Industrial Area. In no time we are at our Destination- the Banganga Lake Garden, cool place with cool breeze flowing (have a look at the snaps and you'll know). Lekin kya hawa khaake pet bhare???

We park our bikes outside the Garden and in a super-hungry mode, we hunt around for a restaurant which thankfully we find a good one in the form of Dadra Resort. First visit is to the washroom for downloading and freshen-up stuff. Walk into the restaurant and get the tables fused. Everyone's scrolling through the menu card only to find the same old items you'll find everywhere. Wanted something special..so Gujarati Thaali was it. Order 7 of it and while it arrives we board and attack on the onions and pickles. Its said that when you're badly hungry even an onion tastes sweet and it stood true that time. Some 10 minutes later the Thalis arrive and aakraman.. everyone's dug deep into it without bothering to look around who's eating what and how :D Stomach full in no time and to digest the gulped food, buttermilk arrives. So everyone's satisfied- was a good place and good food served. I should say Paisa Vasool ho gaya, now time to lay down, I mean for some rest ;) So the Lake Garden was the best place for it.

John, Prannoy and Eric stay out to guard the bikes. err sorry, I mean they weren't interested to come in. Kiron, Sheru, Kapil and me get in. Entrance isnt free, 5 bucks per head. No problem, seeing the park you can say that the money is being put to the right purpose - you wont find a single piece of garbage around. A beautiful park with greenery all round, beautiful lake with boat rides, nice shade under the trees to relax and gooses quacking around. Pretty impressive stuff. We four roam around while Sheru and Kapil exercise their cams. Finally we find a nice shady spot and go flat on our backs for about an hour chatting with each other gazing at the blue sky above. I was wondering what these guys were discussing outside in the parking lot instead of coming in. So time for the freebirds to fly back to their nests. We get on with our riding gear and one by one out of the gate with our machines. So recollecting the first para of the log of the number of places to visit, it was better to skip the idea coz each place was far apart from each other. Would have been dark if we had gone for a site see. Anyway next stop was for fuel, we were impressed by the setup of the petrol pumps there, nice big ones with good equipment. We stop at an HP Station- most of the people tank up except me, I had the required amount of fuel to take me home. Kapil refuels using his card and he gets stuck, the reader wasn't responding :D

Same nice roads again amidst the shade of the trees, and this time we reach
Bhilad in comparatively lesser time. Sheru, Kapil and myself zoom miles ahead of the rest, breaking all kind of top-end records of our bikes. And this time there wasn't any downslope to help our bikes push, was just a flat stretch without any wind resistance. The throttle is opened up right till the end, my needle touching exactly 130 kph and I start closing on Sheru's bike. Though I had a 150, I thought I will be able to pass him coz he's got a 180 CLASSIC with much heavier tyres. But no, he just seem to get ahead. And now comes the biggest shock, I hear an engine besides me, maybe it would be John. Eh, its Kapil, I stare at my speedo again- damn its still at 130, how is it possible, how how how??? No way I thought can a 150 UG do 130 kph on the speedo. The last time I got a shock was when Siddharth was neck to neck with me at 120 on the Ghoti stretch and I thought that was the max a 150 UG can do in the best of conditions. And this wasn't just a flash in a pan kind of run.

We were running at the same speed for around 5-6 minutes before the check-post slowed us down. The first thing I did after getting down from my bike was asking Sheru what speed was he doing, I doing 130 still couldn't catch him up. Sherubhai, so happy as if he has won a MotoGP race, dancing with joy says 133 kph. Asked Kapil too how come he managed to pull his bike to this limit. Boy wasn't he too happy. And guys no major errors on our speedos here. Obviously if you would have checked the speed with a Sigma it would have been some 8-9 kph less. But whatever, we three were more than happy. Our poor bikes, they would have been panting after that run. Later John arrives followed by everyone.

Eric was the first to leave but we're there at the same place for some 10 minutes. Leaving later too, at our speeds we would have easily caught him. So off we are again, and this time no one came close to Sheru and me. That was the biggest thrill of my life. Taking an S-Curve, quite steep at exactly 120 kph and that too a right one at first. Well I am leaning as much as I could and a Scorpio in front of me, leaning I had to change directions, using the clutch or the brakes at that speed and angle would have spelt disaster, I get easy on the throttle and as I am about to overtake it, Sheru gives me a heart attack. Zoooooooommmm he passes me. The rights over and now comes the left, change of direction and transfer of bodyweight on the left, again leaning as much as we can. I could see Sheru almost scrapping his feeler bolts under his pegs, he was jussssst some ½ of an inch away from it. Guys I should tell you, never fall for his innocent face, this bloke rides like a devil ;D Kapil gave an excellent example in his mail, like a missile chasing a fighter jet in some movie. But in the movie the missile succeeds and here the missile gives up :D We jolt ahead of everybody till Manor and stopover for a tea sip. Refreshed, but this time Sheru decides to give Prannoy some ride while as a pillion he takes videos and if you would have gone through them, awesome would have been the first word that would have come out. Taking videos as a pillion at 120 kph and rotating the cam in all directions is certainly not an easy task. Hats off to him for the great work.

This time we encounter some traffic and some
really bad roads. Its almost dark and from nowhere do you stumble upon a crater right in the middle of the road. I almost rammed into Prannoy at 100 when first he hit a row of ditches, followed by me- I am right exactly behind him, a mistake again and till the time I am acting on the balance, he brakes. I don't take notice of it as I am busy looking down in the balancing act. And as I lift my head, a pulse goes down my spine and I brake hard. Back to normal, ride ahead, but on the safer side this time. Now my bike gets onto reserve, I ask Kapil to ride with me at a reduced speed. We ride slowly with the rest far ahead of us. Kapil takes some snaps in the dark i.e refer to the hazard lights glowing in the dark and the half moon. He's a good photographer this guy, also if you see the flowers he has clicked at the Banganga Lake Garden, they quite resemble to the ones clicked by the pros. Sure a good camera does the work, but you need a good clicker too. My planning for refuel goes in vain, I didn't find a good decent petrol pump. Finally we reach Ghodbunder Naka, morning we met to meet and now in the evening to disburse.

Nobody seemed tired or fatigued, the excitement and anticipation for another ride was clearly evident J John stays nearby, the Bandra guys head straight via the W.E. Highway while Kapil and me take left to the horrible Thane-Ghodbunder Road. Yuck, it was so dusty as if we were in a cement factory with the power fans blowing. I refuel at Thane and I was so eager about the snaps and videos I decide to ride with Kapil to Chembur to get the CD right away. He thankfully doesn't refuse, but he needs to freshen up, I too need the same. I drop in at my aunt's place and take a warm shower. After some time Kapil calls up saying the CD is ready. I meet him, take custody of the CD containing some exciting moments of the ride. Thanks a lot to him. I head back to my aunt's place and run the CD at least 10 times, the videos were just great.

Thanks again to Sheru for the shoot and Kapil for the camera. I leave my aunt's
place and ride home. Though I could feel a bit sore in the butt, there wasn't any fatigue or tiredness. Rode at a steady pace all the way to Thane recollecting the moments of the day. I found two Pulsars going along slowly one behind the other and I join them. Another group ride here ;D Reach home, have a good heavy dinner, before getting to bed, I thank god on a successful ride and getting everyone back safe home. So that is it, my sincere thanks to everyone who came to the ride and made it a success, specially John, its always heartwarming to see him. Though I miss most of the groupies, some of them whom I've never seen or spoken too, but particularly Satya and Vinod as they're regulars on trips and also it would be a crime if I don't mention our beloved thumper Ishtiaque. I know they had some other obligations to fulfill, can understand. Although I thoroughly enjoy every trip, there is a small disappointment in a corner of my heart with expectations of new people turning up.

Washing, cleaning and polishing your bike is a part of a biker's spirit, but its still a part, the major one is to ride, which is found lacking. Anoop, Apoorva, Lokesh, Shreyas, Parimal, Nayan- the list is pretty big. Try to make it next time coz a bike on the road is worth more than 2 in the house.

The pics HERE

Short trip to Harihareshwar with Vinod

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After all the wondering about where would the ride be - whether Mumbai- Harihareshwar, Mumbai- Ganpatipule or Mumbai- Harihareshwar- Ganpatipule... Finally it was decided for a one day trip to Harihareshwar in the district of Ratnagiri, as Vinod was working on Saturday and Mumbai-Ganpatipule would have been too stressful to ride if not impossible. So the ride was on come sun, come rain.

Meeting place decided was the E.E. Highway-Kanjur intersection at 7.30 a.m. I just didn't want to ride on the yucky Thane-Belapur stretch standing on the pegs half of the time. This time I didn't let Vinod wait for long, he appreciates punctual people coz he is one of them. Vinodbhai in his usual riding gear jackets, knee-pads, his knuckle protection gloves - many times I've tried to steal them, but he's always caught me red handed ;) But this time a new addition, a brand new AGV, I tried it - woah!!! cool helmet with good padding making you feel as if it was custom made for you and the snob appeal of the AGV label is just great, as people generally associate the brand with the god of MotoGP Valentino Rossi. Anyways we aren't as good as him nor are our bikes. So time to make a move deciding the route to Vashi via Ghatkopar-Mankhurd link road. Toe-tap the shifter, into first gear and vroom off we are.

First stop is at Vashi at the IOC bunk for a refuel. I purposely avoided filling up my tank the previous night as petrol is cheaper in New Bombay by around 90 ps - 1 Re, so why miss on some extra kms. Fill in 400 worth of Xtra-Premium and Vinod for the first time tries premium fuel on his bike. So we ride on taking the usual Palm Beach stretch passing the scene of cops catching hold of bikers without helmets. I always say that riding in early morning is a treat and it was no different this time. Scarce traffic, clean road void of any bumps, cool breeze and Vinod's company, what else does one need - but frankly I was missing Satya this time as we all three have rode together many times and are well aware of each other's riding style. Cruise along at 80 kph till Sea-Woods before I stop Vinod for our first snap of the ride. The auto-timer clicking helps us to get us both in one snap without anyone's help. Thanks Sherzad for the cam buddy. So off we are again.

The first experience of some serious bumping experience comes alive after the Kharghar flyover - just cannot ride in a straight line, riding as if we were warming our tyres like F1 drivers. Couldn't understand ki sadak mein gadda hai ya gadde mein sadak. Pass through Panvel and hit our usual refreshment break at Palspe Naka for some hot vada and tea and in the meantime get our tyre pressures checked at an HP bunk nearby. Take right for the Mumbai-Goa highway - the best thing was that this time that the almighty did hear my prayers and no rains to spoil the sport enabling us to easily get rolling along at 80-90 kph. Ride further passing Vadkhal Naka- but no halting this time, stop for a small snap session on the highway, just couldn't resist the greenery on both sides. Got a helping hand this time from a gentleman who was from an Ashram carrying out a survey of the nearby villages, the snap surprisingly was never to be found :((

Time to move on and this time ride through some great stretches with occasional curves to add that dash of adrenalin in your veins. Happily took the curves and this time avoided following Vinod. I remember last time I was right behind him and hell he brakes while taking a curve instead of braking before it. Easily leaning off at 90 kph taking the S-curves like pros .. wow great feeling that. The ride continues for a distance before we hit a bumpy track again, up and down, down and up, something similar to an elephant or a camel-back ride. But major of the jerks were swallowed by nitroxs on our bikes, they're a good option on if someone goes in for a change of rear shocks. Roll on for some distance and we hit Mangaon Naka. Vinod our official enquiry specialist gets down asking from directions to Harihareshwar which we firmly get in no time. Ride through the crowded market and again take left for Mhasla Market passing over the normal rain tortured passes, but not that bad either. Since the cam had run out of batteries, I spot an electronics shop to buy some. Normal batteries don't work in digital cameras, and asking about energizer and duracells at such remote places would sound more of a joke. Ask the fellow if he's got rechargeable cells- he has them but too costly. Ask him for the charger, he has one, but where the hell do I charge the cells? Turn his shop upside down to find the right batteries, unfortunately nothing comes out. At last he asks me "Saab Duracell kyu nahi lete?" What???? Did I hear Duracell? De do de do I say happily. In the meantime Vinod is going mad outside waiting. Whats a trip without pics and anyhow I wanted them. I still had a doubt if they would work, bought two of those at 45 bucks, in they go and voila the cam works. Thank the shopkeeper as if he has given me those batteries for free and scamper towards Vinod who's fuming like hot idli's out steaming from a cooker :P

We leave the place and reach a local village with some school kids asking us for a lift - three of them and all trying helter-skelter to get onto Vinod Mama's bike. Cant take more than two and the last one bechara left with a sad expression on his face, I guess he didn't take note of me. I call him and he is more than happy to jump on my bike. We take them along, Vinod Mama's pillions get off earlier and mine wants to go further. "Dada mala tya zaadajawal soda" (get me down near that tree) he says. He gets down and runs happily towards his mom waiting for him outside on a small hillock nearby. Destination still to be reached, we move on. Travel some distance and Vinod wants to stop, a very rare scene, as generally he always wants to ride and I get the itches to stop to click snaps. Get the new cells to work taking a couple of pics. On our bikes again and we trot along slowly passing villagers, half of them staring with blank faces and the remaining half making us aware that our lights are on; everytime I had to signal that its ok and we are aware of it. Couple of minutes later me and Vinod both stop exactly at the same time. Our eyes are wide wide open (refer to the pic over the hills with a lake down far below). We're in paradise, pin drop silence, with the heavenly feel of the mild breeze blowing across our faces. I ask Vinod to close his eyes for a couple of minutes and I do the same. If anyone needs to meditate then this was the place, and why meditate with closed eyes to concentrate, you could have done with open eyes, such was the serenity of the spot. We're truly refreshed and all the grudges of the bumpy roads were forgotten, bits of stiffness in our backs and butts all disappeared. Boy, I should get a chance to stay at that place for a month, but. with good hoarded stock of food for the time I stay there :P Just kidding, but seriously if I get a chance I'll grab it. Still had some distance to travel and we're off that place as fresh as we had just started off. Finally we reach Harihareshwar and I aint too excited to see the place specially the parking lot, with bits of garbage lying around. Peek at the trip-meter reading 221 kms.. hmmmm..good distance of riding. The parking guys is over us to pay for the parking charges, but Vinod is smart enough to shoo him away saying that we have our bikes here we'll pay when we come back which we never do :P Not our fault he wasn't there when we came back ;D

We enter the premises, pay Re 1 as entrance charges, purchase flowers and garlands for the temple offering off-loading all our gear and bags at the shop. Wash up and get into the temple. Offer our prayers, one of them being each of our members getting their own SBKs one day. hehehe kidding guys. Come out of the temple and relish the wonderful surroundings especially the beach down below without a soul lurking around, the place felt so isolated as if it was reserved for the almighty to relax when he descends down to the earth. Click a couple of pics there and walk off for the next spot. Climb the stairs uphill with calfs totally stretched out and suddenly another wonderful scene. A path carved out of a mountain with stairs to descend down the sea. Getting down from the steps was a scary experience at some places coz of slippery moss around. Got down holding onto the rocks, reach the surface and wow, the only thing you can see is the sea from all sides and the only noise you can hear is the music of the waves hitting the rocks. What a place to visit!!! We take a small nap before getting on the move again.

The last portion of food we had was some 4 hours back and we were indeed very hungry. Paid the garland shopkeeper the money, gathered our stuff and we were on our hunt for hunger-quest mission. We were in a mood to have some home-made food instead of the same old restaurant ones. Guys on the Dapoli trip should remember what I am talking about. To our bad luck we come to know that the restaurants have to be informed well in advance to keep the food ready and it has to be a group rather than just two lean guys like us :( Fortunately we do find a restaurant where food was available, our hungry stomachs cry out a bit more after knowing that. Finally the food arrives- chapatti, rice, a vegetable dish, dal, peas, a small bowl of buttermilk, pickles, papad and chilly sprinkled salad. Ate all over it like hungry demons and took some time chatting in the process digesting whatever went in.

Time up to head back home. Start our bikes, let them warm up nicely for a trip exactly from where they came from. This time we plan to have less number of halts so as to reach before it gets dark. Left the place hoping to be there again some time. This time most of the halts were to attend calls of nature rather than for naps. Ride, ride and ride until we come to a small stream just by the road, cool clear water and we decide to wash up a bit. Green grass besides, I spread Vinod's jacket and lay down staring at the sky till the time Vinod gets fresh. My turn for the procedure and Vinod is down on the grass. I have a nice cool facewash and click some snaps of our machines. After a break of 10 minutes we're off the place. Not going very far and comes another beauty of a place, the waterfall. We aint going to miss this one for a snap too.

Move from the place passing through villages again and some nice curves where accidentally I realise that I am scrapping my shoes. Great feeling that. Vinod passes me and a scary moment arrives - instead of taking a curve he heads straight on off the track and I am almost close to banging him right behind. On enquiring he says I wasn't visible in his mirrors and he was looking for me failing to realise a curve was approaching. A little bit here and there and he would have been down some feet. Thank God, nothing terrible happened.

We keep riding non-stop crossing Mangaon, Wadkhal before I stop for a refuel as my bike came down to reserve. My bike had already stalled earlier and poor Vinod had to come back to check if things were alright. So now comes the part we didn't do on that trip.. Ripping time. Vrooooom, riding real fasssst, I just dig my mind deep into it and was tough coming out of it. The max I did on was 110 kph on the speedo, but most of the time was doing 100 but constantly maintaining it, my wrists were refusing to get back to the idle position. Swaying, taking curves all at that speed. awesome experience. Suddenly I realise that Vinod was left far behind and just before getting to a bad stretch of track, I come out of that wild state of mind and wait for Vinod who arrives some 5 minutes later. Ride together from thereon with Vinod stopping over to buy some vegetable from the local villagers who had set up their shop on the highway. From thereon no stops, passing Panvel, the ridiculous Kalamboli stretch till Belapur before taking left for Palm beach. Trot along slowly together till Vashi, Vinod was against my suggestion to drag as it was raining. Reach the highway, a farewell hug and thanks for each others company on the trip. Vinod is off to his place and myself to my friends place at Vashi. Look at the odometer to find its about to hit the 38,000 kms mark... 37,999.9 and slowly the 3 zeros come up. Well every 1000 kms is like a landmark to a biker as a century to a batsman, they celebrate like hell and why cant I take a pic at least? The duracells are totally exhausted and not going any further. Had to do something, didn't want to miss the exact 38000 kms reading. Got the batteries out of the cam and placed them on the engine to warm up. Picked it up after a couple of minutes and bingo it did work :D

Went to my friends place, relaxed for some time and rode back home. Riding along a thought came to my mind, why do people talk about going to heaven after they die when you can experience it right here, I mean the places we saw were indeed no less than paradise. Take out some time of your hectic life to experience things that you aren't even aware of what you're missing.

The pics HERE

Independence day ride to Lonavla

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , ,

Most of the guys were not aware, but we (Kiron, Satyajit and myself) went out on a Mumbai-Lonavla Ride on Independence day. The ride was at short notice and was decided on Saturday evening with Kiron on Yahoo IM with a suggestion for a ride. It was time to leave from office and hence didn't put across a mail. People on the list were Kiron, Satyajit, Anand, Vinod, Prannoy and myself. Called up other members, but most of them were pre-occupied with other commitments. Kapil was willing to come, but I suggested he stays home- it was his birthday. Please send in your belated wishes :) I thought six bikers were good enough for the ride, but the blocks started coming out. Anand's dad was not keeping well - he was out. Prannoy - pulled out, Vinod - well he's a proud uncle now. Congrats to him, was such a great occasion, he had to stay home. No problems. But the ride was onfor definite, no change of plans whatsoever. I had already informed Kiron that if nobody turns up, we both would be riding to Lonavla.

For the second time in the history of my trips with the group, I was up on time. Got my bike out of the house clean and shining- had spent more than 4 hours cleaning it on Sunday and prayed hard overnight that it doesn't rain the next day. But maybe someone somewhere would have prayed much harder for the rains. So the almighty answered his prayer rather than mine. Bike was in a mess within a km of riding. All my previous day's efforts gone down the drain. Reached our default meeting place i.e. under the Airoli intersection flyover, at 7.35 a.m. Was surprised to see the most punctual rider Vinod not at the place and neither was Satya present. Decided to wait till these guys come down, gave numerous calls to Satya and Vinod, but neither of them picking up, thought would be riding. The only thing to do apart from waiting for them was to wipe off the accumulated dirt of my machine. Got onto the job straightaway, but never got it clean as it was some minutes back. Its 8.30 and still no sign of anybody.

Thankfully after a few minutes Satya arrives. The first news he gives me is that Vinod is not coming, coz his relatives were expected that day. Later came to know that his sister has given birth to a baby boy. God forbid he doesn't grow and become like his mama, says 60 and rides at 80 :)) Was time to leave as Kiron would be waiting at Palm Beach. So we get our bikes on the move with the sun
just out from behind the hills, our visors pulled up to feel the mild warmth of the sun and the pleasing cool breeze across our faces, thankfully the rains had stopped then. We cross the Airoli bridge and Kiron calls up to inform he reached Palm beach and waiting for us, we say we'll be there in 10 minutes. Ride on through the terrible Thane-Belapur crater-stretch, take right to the flyover for Palm beach, stop at an IOC bunk, me for petrol and Satya for air. Two minutes later we catch up with Kiron waiting for us.

Just as we touch Belapur, taking a curve I suddenly feel my rear wheel wobbling, it wasn't late to realise that I had a puncture. Stopped immediately to make sure I don't end damaging my tube, though I was carrying a spare one. Got the bike on the centre stand to find a nail right in the centre-groove. Still had sufficient amount of pressure to ride it till the puncture-repair shop. Pulled out the big bad nail out of my darling's shoe and threw the culprit in the gutter so that others don't fall a victim to it. Hit the highway keeping the speedo needle under the pre-decided 80 kph mark. Not much traffic owing to Independence day. Ride on very smoothly till Panvel and stop at the same usual place where we generally have the hot vadas. But this time gave it a skip coz of the spreading news to avoid outside food. But at least sipping some hot tea was on the cards, had some, in the meantime we called up Kapil to wish him on his birthday. Next decided was to make a final stopover at Khopoli before starting for the ghat section.

Satya was leading as usual from the starting point and
this time was no exception. Slowly by slowly we started getting to the top, the roads were good except for some gravel scattered around at the start, rest was normal. The picturesque scenery was forcing us to stop time and again for an eye-treat. Seriously, the thing we were missing most was a camera, at least a phone-cam would have done the job, but we had neither :( So our stop on the expressway was the last. Kept riding till Lonavla and took a right turn for Bushi Dam and Tiger Point.

Being a holiday in continuation to Sunday had made the place more crowded. Came across a bit of traffic till Bushi Dam, gave up the idea seeing the crowd at that place and got rolling for Tiger Point and that's where the real treat was. The place after Bushi Dam was in a total cloud cover, visibility was a mere 10 metres, though there was nothing to get scared about, was a new experience - headlights in full beam with indicators in hazard mode blinking all the way. Visibility was so less that we couldn't spot vehicles approaching just some distance away even with their lights on. Satya as usual a dare-devil rider was just riding away without any concern, I suggested that Kiron, a much more sedate rider leads the way to be on the safer side. Had to stop on a number of occasions to ask people if the place was Tiger Point, coz wherever there was a crowd, we thought that was it, was tough making out due to the foggy condition.

The visibility improved a bit and finally we reached our place. It was a weather
and climate never felt before, had removed my jacket to feel the cool breeze, but immediately had to put it back, the breeze wasn't cool but shiveringly chilly. The climate was absolutely romantic, I could have written a long poetry sitting there. Anyways, what's better than having hot vadas and pakodas in this weather, we get them right away. Four vada pavs, a plate of onion pakoda, enjoyed eating it. But we were shocked when paying for it, he says 70 bucks.. What???? 70 bucks for 4 vada pavs and a pakoda plate. Satya got annoyed and asked for an explanation to which he replied with all silly reasons. Very well could make out his policy of "make hay while the sun shines". Had a mood for tea as well, but was wise to ask him the price before gulp it down and pay a dear price again. 7 rupees was the reply, went ahead for three of it.

The climate again was in a bunch of clouds. Well Kiron hadn't been to Amby Valley anytime with us, so decided to give him a site-see of that place :) Though the main reason was to ride on the thrilling curves on the way through, but this time it wasn't as easy as before coz of the rains. But thankfully came across some dry stretches and gave my bike a rip for some exciting thrill, reached Amby Valley in no time. Satya and Kiron followed. As usual spend some time relaxing outside. Met a biker with the new all-black 180 DTSi. Satya being a die-hard pulsar fan was excited on seeing it. He couldn't stop giving valuable running-in tips to him and frankly the rider was obliged coz he had no idea of what running in was. His bike had just completed 700 kms on the odo and had come to Lonavla from Pune with a pillion at 100 kph. Was killing his bike absolutely. So while he left I could make out that Satya's words had hit his mind, he got off the place riding at normal pace.

Was about time for us to leave too. Satya's parents were expected from Nagpur, had to reach home before dark. This time while coming back, had to wriggle out of some heavy traffic. Fortunately got to spot a silver Hayabusa while coming back, stuck in traffic. The number plate seemed very familiar, I immediately recollected its pic being posted on xbhp.com. The rear tyre was just hyper-thick, as thick as a truck's front tyre. If this sight wasn't enough, we had something more in store, guess what an ATV vroooming away through traffic - boy did it look hot and the exhaust noise was just awesome. Missed the camera this time too. Kiron and Satya wanted to chikki-shop and later have lunch. I wasn't hungry enough and hence decided not to eat. So finally was about time to say good-bye to this lovely beloved place. Took to the usual route for two wheelers passing through the expressway tunnel taking the Khopoli route, riding non-stop before taking a final halt at Panvel for some tea. Riding ahead via the Mumbai-Panvel stretch till Belapur before taking left for Palm beach. Satya goes straight for Kalyan via Thane. Kiron and myself took left for Bandra. Kiron head to head home and I had to meet Prannoy and Parimal. I apologise to them for not making it. Got wet in the rain and plus was a little tired, hence made my way home.

So that is it.. my triplog. Enjoyed riding at Lonavla in never-seen-before
conditions and tried to enjoy every bit of it.

Unfortunately no pics on this trip- didnt carry a camera :'(


Ride to Dahanu touching Valsad

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , ,

Riders: Rajesh, Kironbhai alongwith his friend Rohit as pillion, Vinod, Prannoy with his kid-bro Rohan as pillion, Sherzad, Kapil, Satyajit and myself.

At the first I wish to acknowledge and appreciate the participation of members turning up for the ride, which I had presumed that only Satya and me would be going on. Thanks to all who successfully transformed the ride which Satya and I conceived, into reality. Though Rajesh, Prannoy and Sherzad accompanied us till Manor, but I am thankful to them for turning up. Everyone met up at Ghodbunder naka before the cut off time. Times to get the wheels rolling and everyone is one their bikes growling away their engines with passer-by's staring at us with surprise, not having a clue as to what was going on with a bunch of bikes and bikers gathered at a place. As usual Vinod was appointed to lead and me being the drag, he was in complete gear i.e. he had put on knee pads too. Pre-decided speed was 80 kph. So finally was about time to roll off, blipping the accelerator with the rpm needle flickering, into first gear and vroom, we move on to our destination.

Riding on the highway with the cool wind, mild sunshine, a stretch devoid of even the minutest of bumps and most important no traffic. My thanks to those who prayed overnight for such a treat. Its always a pleasure being a drag, the group looks big and it feels
great to be a part of it. Everyone was riding in discipline, like a caterpillar formation, the exception being Satya, who was back at his old ways, riding most of the time in the right lane :( I was running on reserve and was looking out for a good petrol pump to refuel. Got scared even to get into some of the bunks seeing their condition, forget about filling petrol. Luckily I manage to find a good big BP bunk with Speed available, the price per litre being Rs. 45.07, quite less compared to what we get here in the city. Fill in 400 bucks and roll off again to catch up with the rest. Satya and Sherzad are kind enough to wait for me ahead, meet them and ride off together to join others who were waiting for us after the checkpost at Nalasopara, the place where we took halt for John on our last ride. Get off the place and ride off non-stop to Manor.

I wish we had such kind of roads and
traffic in Mumbai, we hardly used the brakes or the clutch, the accelerator held steady to trot at 80 kph, riding away without any worry or thought, gazing and appreciating the wonderful art of god that we call nature. Greenery on both sides, with the sun rising steadily, but still keeping the climate mildly warm. Was a perfect blend for a recipe that I should call riding bliss. Finally we reach Manor. Click some snaps by the highway and head to a restaurant for something to munch upon. A small get-together at the place, chatting, cracking jokes and sharing experiences of the days that went by. Snacks arrive and we declare an attack on them, leaving no evidences of them being ever served ;) Get out of the restaurant and my cybershot is at its work again. Rajesh, Sherzad, Prannoy and Rohan had to head back home and we to our destination. We wish each other and ride off again.

Go for some distance and the heavens open
up, starts drizzling, but not heavy. I stop and put on my rain trousers, good I was carrying those. But the drizzle is just a matter of minutes, it goes away. Occasionally I stop in between to click snaps while rest of the time, I was taking pictures while riding with one hand. We reach Charoti Naka and we discuss whether we head straight or take left for Dahanu. Everyone's in for Valsad, so no stopping any further. The stretch is the best you can find, it leaves you absolutely speechless, not an inch of a pit anywhere. You can just ride confidently without worrying about anything except rain. We keep riding without realizing that we've entered the State of Gujarat. Satya is the first to realise, courtesy the welcome board. Everyone's smiling that we've finally reached, though it wasn't a long distance, but psychologically it feels good that we've entered into another state. We take snaps as if we've scaled the peak of everest :) Since there wasn't any site seeing place at Valsad, we decided to take a first U-turn and head to Dahanu and we do exactly that.

Vinod, Kironbhai with Rohit,
decide to visit the local Mahalaxmi temple, while Kapil and myself ride ahead to catch up with Satya who had buzzed off from the pack and forgot to see his mirrors. Kapil and I ride ahead to find him nicely relaxed by the highway under a tree. These guys wanna video of themselves, fine I say. I shoot two of these riders flying away on their machines plus some good scenic snaps. The rest of the gang arrives and we ride back to Charoti Naka, take right to Dahanu, ride slowly around 60 kph through the village and finally touch the beach. Before we could do anything, we decided to have lunch. Hunted around for some good restaurant only to find none. The Beach resort that we took a halt last time, was completely occupied. Rode back some distance and found a cool restaurant. Was a good place to relax. Kapil and myself ate upon some veggie items while the other non-vegetarian species had chicken ;) Took our own time to eat and relax. I got my engine oil changed. Everyone's on their bikes again and head for the beach.

Kironbhai and Satyajit prefer to pass their time under the
trees whereas Rohit, Kapil, Vinod and myself get down on the sands. I am the only one to get into the sea to feel the water and sand slipping under my feet. Click some snaps with Rohit, who makes us seem like pygmies. Time up, mission accomplished, we free birds flying around the whole day had to fly back to their nests before dark. Get ready, packup everything and off we are. Same ride but now in an opposite direction. Just a few kilometers of riding and I find Kapil acting funny on his bike. Didn't make out what the problem was. Stopped and was shocked to find his gear shifter come off the bike. Try to fix it using the limited tools that had come with the bike, trying trying and trying, still it wasn't working coz the screw wasn't tightening enough. Just tore a piece from my wiper cloth and fixed on the shifter. Just a temporary solution for the time being. Anyway things worked and we move on.

Find a bit of traffic this time. Take a small halt for tea before
riding all the way non-stop to Ghodbunder. Everyone's there. Vinod had to head straight via the W.E. Highway, Kiron and Rohit decide to drop into a restaurant for some refreshment while Satya, Kapil and me had to take the Thane Ghodbunder Road. We appreciate and thank each other for the company on the ride. So everyone head towards different directions. Satya, Kapil and I ride till Thane. Satya takes left for Kalyan, Kapil takes the flyover for Chembur and me on my way home just closeby. So looking back at the trip, what I enjoyed the most as always was first the company of friends, next was the climate absolutely cool and third, stretches that seemed so straight as they would never end, a stretch where even the MotoGP riders would plead for. Was an absolute treat riding on them. I don't remember a single bump where I felt a jerk on my bike and curves good enough to pump up that rush of blood without any kind of risks been taken as they were visible enough for some distance.

My sincere thanks again to all those who turned up and made this trip a grand
success. The pics HERE

Ride to Dapoli

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , ,

That's exactly what this trip turned out to be. Planned a Pune/Lonavla trip and ended up at Dapoli :)) But was a terrific ride and I thank Vinod for the plan. So here goes my log.

This time I pledged that I have to be on time. I received multiple threat calls before, that if I don't turn up on time, I'll be subject to the treatment meted out to a football on a penalty kick :) So I decided not to sleep. Had dinner, watched some super-boring programmes on the idiot-box till 2.00 in the night, then decided to give my bike some scrub and polishing - which is one of my major hobbies, which I carried out happily till 3.30. Finally time to rest... rest???? This word scared the hell out of me. There was no way I was going to sleep.

Already I had told rest of the gang to give me a call in the morning to avoid those hard hitting kicks I was to be presented with in case I would have been late. But anyway, my eyes gave up at 4.15. For backup, I set my alarm clock, which has always traited me when I've needed it and timed my cell phone alarm. This time I was lucky, got up half an hour later. Got a call from Rajesh, I told him I was already up. Freshened up, had quite a buffer amount of time, so did things aaram se. And surprise surprise, this time I was on time, I could see the surprising expressions on the faces of Vinod, Satya and Sherzad when I reached Airoli, the only thing I couldn't see was the sun rising from the west, that would be the only day when I could make it to anything on time. But thankfully nature didn't have to change its course for me to be on time, I was there and punctual too. Couple of minutes later, Rajesh and Harry arrived. Still the plan was to ride to Pune, but Vinod was emphasizing and pursuing us for Dapoli. I feel he can be a good salesman coz he managed to convince us coz no way we were going to change our plans. One of the reasons was that Sunny and some xbhpians were too riding to Lonavla for the XBHP meet, so could have rode together. We waited for him some time, these guys didn't turn up so finally agreed to Vinod's proposal and rode off towards the rising sun.

We're crossing the Airoli bridge, and suddenly a bright red roaring Pulsar zips past me. A rush of blood, group riding rules restricted me, or else I would have got behind me ;) But later I realized that I couldn't have caught him. Why? Coz he was none other than Sunny himself. No doubt he's a better rider with a much better bike (still envying his machine). We meet him and the xbhpians at the end of the bridge and convey our change of plans. He wishes us all the best and off we are again. Take the usual Thane-Belapur Road>>Palm Beach stretch. Riding happily in the mild warmth of the woke-up sun. Everything's fine till Kalamboli. We take right for Panvel when I realise that the scarf I've tied under my helmet is loosening up and slipping down blinding me. Try to push it up riding totally blindfold and suddenly I realise my bike wobbling. By god's grace, I manage to counter balance and come to a halt. Remove my helmet quick to see what the hell made me slip. And I see what.. Vinod and his bike flat on the road. Everyone just rushes to get him up and ensure he isnt hurt. Well he wasn't, not a single scratch on his body. Slipped at a very slow speed and hence no casualties apart from scratches on his headlamp lens and a broken right indicator. Case would have been worse if the speed was higher and right behind him was an ST bus. The culprit there was a wet patch of road with oil spills. However, we get out of the place, had a long way to go. Keep riding till Wadkhal naka when we decide to take a small break for a munch. In the meantime snacks were ordered, I and Vinod decide to fix up his baby's right indicator. Get the 5 Re. feviquick and some black tape, get if fixed. I click some snaps of our bikes and get into the restaurant. Tank-up ourselves and off are we again to our destination.

Vinod was leading and everyone was within the guidelines of group riding. Well done!!! No hurries or urgencies. We decide to take a second halt, exactly at the place where Vinod and I took a halt on our Mahableshwar ride. Just besides the river, for its picturesque view. Take a good long halt of about half an hour. You'll find the max pics clicked at this place. Vinod suggests a different route from here, through some local village called Ambet. But we already left that route some 5 kms back, so take a u-turn and head back. Seeing the condition of the route, it was sure that Vinodbhaiya had decided to give us some training for next year's Dakar rally or maybe operating the pathfinder on Mars. The roads were utterly bad, so bad that some of us had to ride standing on the pegs and worse thing was that they didn't seem to end. I was muttering and cursing Vinod for the idea, but for the sake of experience and adventure just took it lightly. Finally we were out of hell. Was just praying we don't encounter such a stretch again ahead and really we don't. The roads ahead were just fabulous. Imagine a race track with all curves and hardly a straight stretch. Just swinging and swaying on our bikes from one side to the other. This stretch was godsend for Satya, he just sways unnecessarily at times, here he had a purpose :))

As we were on our trip riding, so was the sun rising higher and higher making us sweat hard. But the scenery and the curves were constantly charging us up. We hit a spot which seemed quite unusual to me. It was like a mountain of just rocks. Was a construction going on for a dam. Just an adventurous bug bit us, lets take our bikes up there. But you cannot run easily ascending on them, taking your bikes is far off. Into first gear, rev to higher rpm and just go climbing, don't stop, finally everyone's up there. Take some pics happily as we've scaled the Everest peak. Looking downwards, we wonder how we got up. Anyway now that we're up, it was the time to go down and it's a true fact that ascending is much easier than descending. And it was tough coming down for us except for Harry, who just went down in a flash. Sherzad got stuck in the middle :D but anyway he made it. Now we were totally squeezed out of fluids in our body, we needed a drink badly i.e. water ;) We just had a lone water bottle and that was with me, but now lying totally empty. Got onto the ghats for some distance until we hit a small restaurant. Small restaurant, but at a beautiful place. Just see the greenery pic Vinod has clicked. We order some fresh kokam juice, good deal at Rs. 5/- per glass, we make that two for each. Cool off ourselves with splashing water all over our body, just like elephants spray themselves with while they're in a pool ;) Time to go. Keep zigzagging through the curves, occasionally stopping to take pics which I could not afford to miss, such was the beauty of the place. One more stop, but that's because of me, I needed to make a call to my friend to confirm things I had committed. Work done, no stopping till we reach Dapoli.

Passing through villages with people staring at us wondering what the hell is going on, maybe modern bandits on bikes. Me just escaped a mishap, taking a curve at 80, with Satya ahead of me, everyone fully leaning and I with my eyes fixed on the outside of Satya's line of curve to avoid ramming into him in case he brakes, just in a flash I realise something big is in my way. hell, its an ST bus. God bless that driver. I came out of it mostly because of him, he just cut to the left and stopped. And thank heavens again, I didn't panic, just flicked my handlebar to avoid hitting him. I just thought to stop and thank him and most of all apologise, I was at the end and everyone was off. So changed my plans.

Finally we reach Dapoli. We like hungry monkeys were looking around to find a place to eat. Vinod's good at asking people for places. We find a small restaurant. Small restaurant, small road, small parking space. Had to squeeze in our bikes for parking. Harry broke off his left rear indicator, courtesy it hitting my silencer parking on the side stand. After a long ride under the sun, we finally cool off under the fan with some cool drink of water. All non-vegetarians except me. Chicken and fish for them and a veg rice-plate for me. But the food was simply fantastic. Tasted very much like home-made food. Bill amounted to Rs.375/-, very acceptable considering the amount that we ate. Next time if I happen to be at Dapoli, I am definitely going to drop into that restaurant again. So food is over, now some rest.

We enquire about some place to rest, and luckily we do come to know a place which is free of cost - a local park. Ride to the spot, everyone's dead on the grass. Take rest, click some snaps. Up again on our bikes for our way home. Vinod had plans to visit the beach, some 15 kms away, but plans changed due to paucity of time. So the same route again with just a change in direction. Keep riding without stops. What is a ride in a village without a cow crossing our way and that happens very soon. We all doing around 80-90 kph on a straight stretch, a cow crossing, Satya ahead of me, sees it, gives a loud long horn, the cow stops, Satya passes, I get a big wide gap on the right, decide to take it and that cow gives me a heart attack. As I am about to pass from the right, it suddenly u-turns. My heart is in my mouth, I brake hard, but still I am about to hit him, but the cow shows its reflexes. just sways its head out of my way. Thanks to the almighty, safe again.

We ride non-stop again hitting those hellish bumpy roads on our way back. Anyway we finally touch the highway, refresh ourselves with some lemon-juice and suddenly realise a change. Gaze skywards to see it totally dark. The breeze hustling through giving signals of a storm about to come. Dead ducks we people, what if it rains, we're in a mess. No option but to runaway from the place. Resembling a scene from 'The Mummy Returns, when these people are in the balloon escaping the roaring river behind them, it was like we were having a race with the weather. Finally we managed to come out dry out of the place. We keep riding non-stop passing through some occasional messy traffic until we hit Panvel. Totally fatigued..

Decide to sip some hot tea to charge up. Considering the city traffic ahead, we decide to go slow, also it was enough of fast riding. I lead, touch Belapur, take left for Palm beach and still ride slowly through the Palm beach stretch. So finally we reach our disburse-point at Vashi. The hi's, bye's and hugs of appreciation for each other. I had to meet a friend at Vashi, so I zoom off first with the rest following. So that was the end of it. A good ride, more of a surprise package. Coz at least I visualized we riding the Khandala ghats and ripping away on the Amby Valley stretch. But frankly this was much better. A combination of everything you can get on a ride. But most of all riding through the swirling ghats was an experience, never got an opportunity to ride through so much of curves. Learnt a lot of maneuvering the bike. Luckily got out of two mishaps which could have been landed me in trouble, but anyway was part of the learning curve. Will take care of things next time.

My sincerest of thanks to all who made the trip a success. The pics HERE

First ride to Mahabaleshwar

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , ,

This wasn't exactly a planned trip. It was basically an official tour. I had to collect some reports of my boss's accident from the Poladpur Police Station. Just casually someone in office asked me if I could go to Poladpur to collect the documents, I jumped up to say yes. Actually I had planned to go to the place, just for the sake of curiosity of how the unfortunate accident happened. Was short of cash, hence couldn't make it. This occasion was like godsend to me and there was no way I could refuse it. So it was fixed that I would be going on Sunday. I had discussed my plans about going to that place some time back, and as always he was ever-ready to come with me. Thanks Vinodbhai. So we met at reclamation on Saturday to plan out things and the ride was on.

Place decided as usual was palm beach road and the meeting time was 5.00 a.m. in the morning. Seriously feel bad to say it, but I was late this time too and broke all records at that, I wasn't late by 15 minutes or half an hour, but a whole 2 hours late. Courtesy, power cut at night, tv timer went off, neither did my alarm ring in the morning. I got up and saw my watch, damn it was 6.30. Saw my mobile wondering why Vinod did not call me. When things go bad, they all do. No network on my cell. I turn it off and put it on again. And Vinod's smss start pouring in 'I am waiting at palm beach since 5.00 a.m, where are you'. I felt utterly bad, immediately called up Vinod and prepared myself to hear whatever he had to say. But he said nothing. Finished off everything in 20 minutes, checked my bike and buzzed off.

Ripped all the way to Palm beach and was there within 20 minutes to find Vinod missing. Called him up and he says come 5 kms ahead, he's waiting. Finally reached there, feeling bad and sorry for him and still he didn't say anything apart from 'lets move'. Decided to ride at least 80 kms before a stop. Speed decided was between 80-100 kph to cover the lost time. I decided to stay behind him, main reason is because he is a very good rider with loads of experience and second I like to stare at his Pirellis while moving, they really look sexy and gives his bike a bigger look. I would prefer staring at his bike than at a centre spread of Laetitia Casta ;) He hasn't got a single sticker on his bike and from the rear his bike looks so clean with a small Victor reflector on his extended mud flap. Anyways we were flying on the highway keeping between the decided speed.

First stop was at Wadkhal naka. (Trip read 62 kms), to cool off our bikes a bit and to fill up our vacant tummies. Dropped in at a small restaurant, nothing special was available on the menu. Vinodbhaiya ordered Wada Misal, gobbled it and rode off. From there we were riding real fassssssst and sharp. Great stretches along the way with occasional bumps and the usual villages and cattle. Lucky didn't hit or rather touch any of them. Ride till Poladpur was great, fantastic roads with some dream curves to pump up our heartbeat at high speeds. Stopped in between at scenic places to click some memories along the way. The river being one of them. The only irritating thing we found on our way was an errant 800 driver. god knows what he was upto. But the way we were riding made us lose him in our mirrors quite quick :) Reached Poladpur (Trip read: 176 kms).

I had to meet the Police incharge there and collect the FIR report. Didn't take time, took the report, purchased some mangoes, got a good deal. Good mangoes for 20 bucks a dozen. Stuffed them in my bag. We had a cool sugarcane juice drink and jumped again onto our bikes to head for the ghat section. An occasional bumpy stretch but then the roads got better, not very good, but rideable, though the stretch was narrow and major of the places have no railings or boulders. All the way I was gazing at the deep valley below recollecting the experience my boss and his family would have went through the horrific incident. I could feel the valley was pulling me towards it and I was getting quite close to the edge at times. I took a halt and told Vinod about me feeling uncomfortable. He told me not to look down and just keep riding. Felt better after that.

Went riding non-stop till we reached the Mahableshwar toll naka. Vinod paid the toll and we headed off to Old Mahableshwar for a pilgrimage trip. (Trip read: 224 kms) Visited all of the temples around there i.e the Old Mahableshwar temple, the main temple, the Panchganga temple. It gave a good feeling that they still stood even after the British reign. All that we ate and drank down below just evaporated in the air ;D Had to have something, dropped in at a local restaurant to have lunch. wasn't special and I just ate for the sake of it. Told Vinod about me not enjoying it, he told me just keep quite and eat, cannot do anything, we've ordered it, we have to pay for it, so eat it. Ate it quietly :(

Vinod had to do some shopping, so we headed to the market area, Vinod purchased some jelly sweets and that was it. Had to head back home. Got onto our bikes and rode on our way back. I just wanted to halt for some time at the place where my boss's car fell. We took a halt under a tree at that place which was the only one there. I walked on for some distance eagerly looking down the ravine to see if I can see the ill-fated crashed car if possible. Couldn't as the valley was too steep, almost 90 degrees. Vinod was shouting from behind that we have to go, and I was screaming back, 'just 2 minutes I am coming' finally I realized I had walked a long distance. Came dot at the spot where the incident took place. Stood there for some time, couldn't think anything, my mind was absolutely zero. I realized that Vinod was again yelling from behind. Walked back, got onto our bikes and rode off. I had a problem then, I just couldn't ride, was finding hard to concentrate, yeah that accident thing was lingering on my mind. I again stopped at the same spot. Vinod got ahead and was honking madly at me. I wasn't feeling to leave the place, but had to. Caught up with Vinod to find him furious at me. Actually he was right, I was spoiling his mood to ride. But my purpose of the ride wasn't to site-see Mahableshwar, if I would have been alone, I wouldn 't have at all gone to Mahableshwar. Would have sat at that spot and then returned back.

I just let Vinod ride at his own speed and I was just trotting along at around 20-30 kph descending, finding it hard to concentrate on the road. But thank god nothing bad happened finally got down the ghats and then blipped the throttle and caught up with Vinod. Rode at normal speed till Poladpur, took a small halt and some water to refresh. Luckily I saw a nail pierced in my tyre, was about to take it out when Vinod said don't. Let it be, don't fiddle, it will be okay and guess what, even today that nail is still there. I haven't removed it. Need to change my tube, its already got a half a dozen of punctures already. MRF tubes are hard to find... Anyway then from Poladpur the ripping session was on. Very rarely did we come down below 100 kph. We were confidently riding as we had already seen the stretch while going, so we knew the curves as well. Took a halt again at a restaurant after riding for some 100+ kms. Stretched our legs and shoulders a bit, freshened up and that was our last halt. Ripping session on again till we hit Panvel.

The Karnala stretch was amazing, personally that's a record for me- was really exciting. We reach Panvel and the traffic headache starts, anyway we wriggle out through the bustling traffic and reach Belapur and take left for Palm beach. Stopping at a signal, Vinod says lets drag. My poor 150 isnt a match for his 180, but anyway my bikes wont back out and so wont I. I say ok, green goes the signal, just 0-40 I am ahead and then Vinod's bikes shows up who's the boss. He gets ahead, I check the speedo its 90 kph. Downshift in 4th and vroom go past him. God knows why he backed out. I lost him in my mirrors, still I was going in the 4th gear and decided not to get on the 5th and stretch as much as I can in the 4th cog itself. Touched 120 kph at 10,500 rpm, yeah redlining of course, bad for any bike. Looking back, no sign of Vinod yet, I slow down, put on my hazard lights, take the bridge and get onto one side and Vinod comes along. I offer him my thanks and appreciation for his company on the ride. And we part off with each other.

Was a good ride, though it brought in some painful thoughts. But frankly I've always enjoyed riding with Vinod, he's indeed a good rider, damn serious at riding and most of all a good companion to be with on trips. He always has something to say at halts to cheer you up. So guys that's it. That was the trip and my thanks to Vinod for the company and the time. Look forward to riding with him on more trips soon.
The pics HERE