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