Weekend Group Ride to Ratnagiri

Posted: by Pulsurge in Labels: , , , , ,

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."….Gustave Flaubert

Interest for a group outing evinced by the regulars on a Saturday meet turned out to be one of the most wonderful rides with my dear biker buddies. I didn’t expect everybody to turn up- was a bolter when the count turned out to be more than the interested candidates. Since the last year everyone has turned nocturnal- all want a night ride and that too on NH17!!! Great going!

500 kms even at night for our chaps is a cake walk and with company as big as this- it would have been a rocking party ride. Deciding on a destination 500 kms away from the bustle would land up somewhere in the south corner of the State. So Malvan it was and Tambarde was the beach we would be riding to- all Vinod’s plan. A small issue cropped up- Vaibhav had a hectic day on Friday and no ways could he ride under stress. He was as eager as everyone else, and didn’t at all feel like leaving him out. With change of plans it was now decided to move early on Saturday morning. Not even once did it strike that leaving on Saturday morning for a 500 kms ride would mean an overnight sleep outing. Where do we have the time to site see?

Got onto the keyboard again hunting on the terms that the place has to be on NH17 and secondly we should be there by noon. Came across Bhatye beach in Ratnagiri which satisfied both of the criteria. My colleague Vikas a native of Ratnagiri, helped in providing the other details and places of interests around Bhatye. Thought of giving the other guys a treat ride through Amba Ghat – a longer route for return but worth it. Plan’s up- though like every time, have to run around on mails for confirmation.

The day arrives, meet up with Arjun, Glen and Vinod at Kanjur and rehearse a short group ride till our meet up point at Vashi. Except for Vaibhav and Sanket who were to join late, everyone was pretty much on time. Sanket didn’t make it and decided to catch us up on the way. Suddenly someone on a Silver Pulsar 180 comes near and starts revving like crazy- maybe one of those envious maniacs I thought. Once we spot the BN sticker at the rear of the bike, it didn’t take time to realize it was our very own Praveen aka PPS, who disappeared the same way he burst on the scene. We regroup in a riding formation and with Vinod in the lead we roll towards our destination.

Through those lovely roads of Palm Beach and JNPT enjoying the cool morning breeze in a terrible summer season that we were experiencing in Mumbai. We stop over at Palaspe Naka for refuel and with Sanket arriving a few minutes later- the group was complete. Here we are on NH17 riding in an eye-candy staggered formation, but not before laughing our lungs out at Sanket’s wicked jokes. Sweeping the lovely curves at Karnala and onto the straights from Wadkhal, we take our first scheduled stop for Breakfast at Kolad.

Wada-misal with fried chillies and tea to top up, the halt goes into extension with talks on all available topics and with Sanket around there was no shortage of jokes either.

Everyone leaves Kolad with me and Glen dragging and catch up with the guys waiting at Poladpur enjoying tea, lemon juice, golas and what not.

It’s decided to ditch a formation ride on Kashedi and let everyone enjoy the ghats on their own but well within their control. Vaibhav is off, followed by Vinod and me on the chase. Wasn’t at my best taking those curves- maybe my last crash had added to the psyche and my bike wasn’t at its handling best either. Thought its more to do with the frame of mind than the bike. Tried to go round the curves as I would normally and a fishtail is what I got. My bike wasn’t inspiring any confidence and I carried at normal pace to catch up with Vaibhav who wasn’t to be seen till I touched the peak of Parshuram Ghat- but never found him. Everybody arrives including Vaibhav who had stopped in between for the trailing pack.

Everyone takes a quick shade gulping down glass after glass of kokam sharbat. Like the earlier, this halt too was turning out to be a laughter session. With a few clicks here and there, everyone’s off in small packs. 

A few in between halts under tree shades to escape the summer sun, crossing the bridge over the creek we reach Ratnagiri. Sanket, Dhananjay and myself go hotel hunting. We locate one suggested by a local, but to find it all locked and put up for sale. Drop into one nearby lodge and fix up the deal for a double room for 1500/- which worked out to Rs.150/- per head…not bad. Get the rest of the pack to the rooms. Luggage is dumped, everyone’ getting fresh in the meantime Vinod and Dhananjay bargain for dinner arrangements.

Though tired after a hot afternoon’s ride, everybody is hungry as starved wolves and on the lookout to crash into the first restaurant we would find for lunch. Some more delay as Arjun gets a rear tyre puncture. 

Till the time the puncture is fixed, Vinod and myself creep into a rickshaw taking a short sleep. 

Some moments later we’re having lunch in an ok type of restaurant with ok type of food and ridiculous furniture and seating arrangements. We expected comfort after a half-day ride, but then the chair felt like sitting on some rock.

We’re out of the restaurant, though not satisfied with food but at least with filled stomachs and the energy to carry forward. Next POI (point of interest) was Ratnagiri Fort. Wriggling through the narrow lanes we come to face with the vast ocean at the foothills of the fort. Like myself, am sure the mammoth view of the ocean took away all the tiredness and the day’s heat out of everyone.

We proceed to Ratnagiri fort and stare down the now extended jetty thinking to ride till the end. The site of a car parked on the jetty excites us all…YIPEEE! Since the past 3 years, I’ve been waiting for this day. After a few clicks on the fort, we rush down to the jetty.

Like excited and happy pups, everyone is completely freaked out. Everyone clicking and clicking in their own angles and from occupied corners. Solo, group, with bikes, without bikes- we click click click till the sun goes down.

We’re back to the hotel after doing rounds of the city, shopping for fish and…. ahem….other required stuff for the night ;) 

In the meanwhile the table was set up, we went out strolling to have glimpse of the rotating beam of the Ratnagiri light house. By the time we are back, everything was set with snacks and baatlis are out. There was an outbreak of laughter since we took our seats. Didn’t know what time we got cracking and how many hours had passed, until Parimal called up at 11.00 pm, who had left Pune at 5 in the evening and had covered more than 450 kms in 6 hours including the 100 kms stretch of between Karad and Chiplun via Kumbharli ghats- takes some guts to ride through that stretch at night. I myself would give it a skip and look for an alternative if I were in his place. Nonetheless his induction into the already running laughter-blaster raised the graph.

Being the only group at the place, we were least bothered about distraction to anybody. Through with dinner and already past midnight, we decided to head to Bhatye beach. Looking up at the stars and the light house awake and on its duty and flaunting our HIDs up in the sky.

While everyone headed back to the hotel, Dhananjay, Alkesh and me rode towards Pawas for some distance to check out the HID in the P220 projector. We’re back to find everybody in the room capturing places for the night’s sleep. Luckily I did get a place, where at one point I thought I might have to sleep out. The lights went off one by one and everyone was deep in sleep, a few trying to emulate the Ducati’s and Harleys through their noses :D Good night Ratnagiri!

Sanket, Vaibhav, Sarang and Dhananjay planned to leave early via NH17 and were gone before our eyes opened. Even Glen and Revel went missing though their bikes were out- came to know they had gone to the beach. Brushed up, had tea and tried to get to the beach from the rocky path. It was suicide point…dead vertical drop landing nowhere but on the waves below violently hitting the rocks. A local pointed us the way to the beach called Kurli. Within a few minutes, everyone were rolling on their bikes on the beach like Spanish fighter bulls going berserk on the field.

Despite being a hydrophobian, it was the best experience I ever had in water and same goes with everybody. Except our bikes and us, there was nobody on the beach. 

A long time was spent in water, jumping over the waves, hurling sand balls at each other, swimming in hardly waist deep water with Vinod getting over worried about us. Was over an hour and we are still lost in our playfulness. Gradually everyone was out with Arjun and me not prepared to leave the waves behind. Poor guy lost his specs in the waves and couldn't trace till the end. Unfortunately in the end with a very heavy heart had to come out. But from one activity to the other- we are back on our bikes marking our territories on sand. Arjun was in full WRC mode drifting his ZMA all over. Glen was speeding from one end to the other suggesting us the method of drying oneself in quick time.

We were back at the lodge and gave the bikes a good wash. Vinod had given a good splash to my bike and it was my turn to return the favour :D

Had bath, packed up, had poha for breakfast cooked very generously in oil. A short halt for refuel and we (Vinod, Arjun, Alkesh and myself) split from the rest of the pack (Glen, Revel and Parimal) from Haathkhamba. A few kms of riding through NH17 and villages took us to the foothills of the gorgeous Amba Ghat. The 3 sped ahead and I rode at my own place clicking those inviting twisties. The love story was over in an hours time and we took a halt under a shady tree.

Carrying on with the ride we stopped over to have juice instead of lunch that would make us drowsy on the arrow straight NH4. Till the time juice was being made, Arjun kept us entertained with his hanging skills :P Mind you he was also riding without his specs and with a dark visor which would come into play as soon as it got dark.

Touched NH4 and we planned to ride as much as possible without breaks. Though we couldn’t resist a sunflower field on the way.

Carried on riding with throats getting dried up, but Vinodbhaiya was happy overtaking cars displaying his multi-talented skills to the car drivers. Fortunately we did halt over at Kaapurhol for tea and water and later for refueling Arjun’s ZMA.

An hour later we were at Lonavla on the last pre-decided stop for tea after which it was a non stop cruise till EEH near Airoli.

Was the end of a wonderful trip that we all had. One of the best trips we had as a group, though I wished everyone was there at Kurli beach. Would have been a complete blast like the boat ride we had to Suvarnagad. Hearty thanks to everyone who made this trip a success and brought about experiences to be cherished as memories for the rest of the life. Thanksgiving apart, my thumbs up to Sarang for being so controlled on his 180, Revel on his Hunk was a surgeon’s knife on an autopsy and Arjun for riding for 500+ kms without his specs not to mention his leaning skills on Kashedi- this guy’s a champ rider :) All in all an unforgettable event.

Moments from the memorable ride

Also pics clicked by VAIBHAV (some of the snaps above are flicked from his album) and SARANG.


  1. salil says:

    awesome deepak, nicely written i totally missed it, u guys rocked it, nice pictures.

  1. Sanket says:

    DeeF***k nice log man. lets do many more rides like this yaar. Let's Ride :)

  1. thank you all for rescheduling the ride to the next day.. would have missed all the fun that we had...
    as usual a very nice log deepak...
    like sanket said.. lets make more of such rides..

  1. Jayaram says:

    Nice ride man... keep riding and ride hard!

  1. Great Ride...The ride down palm beach road was cool. Well looks like i keep bumping into you guys every now and then. I was out testing my new carb setting.

    Lets see planning Bangalore Next weekend. Hope 2 bump into u guys again !!!

  1. Pulsurge says:

    @All: Thanks for the kind words. You guys do read my blog...I think otherwise...well in general :P

    @PPS: Yeah you do keep bumping every now and then :D All the best for Blore...is time I doubt if we this bumping happens...but I would love to ;)