Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ride to Mulshi - Lonavala

Was going home on 5th September 2008 when i received a call from Vindya as to what I was doing the next day 6th (saturday) , I said nothing so he said lets ride on our bikes. I said yes and he asked me to think about some destination and get back soon.

I didnt think about any place to go when Vindya called again and asked whether I thought about some place to which he replied "kya yar..soch na" .. so I told him we meet at Chandani chowk in the morning at 9am and then decide where to go.

Morning woke up at 7am - usually saturdays are the lazy one's and I wake up late but if someone says "bike rides" up i am !!

Started for Chandani chowk from home at 8.15am and reached there at 8.40am and waited for Vindya. Vindya came in at 9.10am and we decided to goto Mulshi and then from there to Lonavala and come back. Wow...nice place and I hadnt ridden to that place. So off we went towards Mulshi via the toll gates at a steady 65kmph.

We rode on and passed Bhugaon and Pirangut in no time. Then we crossed Paud and went on ahead where I saw a board Ghusalkhamb 40km towards the right. I stopped Vindya and told him excitedly that Ghusalkhamb was the place near Lonavala , so there existed a road to Lonavala from Paud too i.e before Mulshi too and then again after Mulshi. Cool! I made up my mind to go from the Mulshi side and turn on this road from Lonavala while coming back so it would be a no-highway ride which gets pretty boring and that too on NH4.

We continued ahead and then the road to Mulshi came up and we went ahead and stopped at hotel Shivsagar for breakfast of Pohe and Tea. Done that we started again. Stopped in between to look at the picturesque Mulshi lake and clicked some photos before starting again.

We reached the Lonavala turn in no-turn and whoa...I looked ahead to find that the road was only stones , I exchanged glances with Vindya who smiled and asked him to lead the way ahead.
So up we went over the stoned road :) and ahead where we found some tarmac...so the road did exist and was being made in a couple of places. The area receives heavy rainfall every year so the condition of the roads deteriorate fast and as the road isnt used much authorities tend to neglect it.

We stopped after the initial bad road to have a look at the nature around which was amazing. We heard an ST bus coming from ahead and heaved a sigh of relief that the road did exist. So off we went ahead , saw a yoga ashram just ahead and went ahead and stopped at a point near a river.
Nice place , took some photos and went ahead.

Vindya talked about a platform which was a tourist point, we went there parked our bikes and went down to the platform. The view was amazing, the whole plus valley was visible and at a distance we could see waterfalls. We talked about how we could get to those amazing spots and went on ahead.

The road now took a turn over a bridge and lo...there was no road ahead, just stones. We rode on through villages and stones and through patches of so-called roads. We finally reached a mini-waterfall and washed ourselves and went ahead. The road started appearing now and it was a cool ride. Saw Ghangad and Telbaila while riding and rode ahead.

Nice places , nice views and we were literally awestruck at every place , the views were just breathtaking. We wished it would rain but it didnt , it was just cloudy. Finally we passed the Telbaila turn and went ahead where we found newly blossomed Karvi flowers.

These Karvi flowers bloom once in 10 years and this year we were lucky to see them. Took some more photos and went ahead. The road was still bad. Some distance ahead we could see amazing roads , we were near the Amby valley and the roads were good now. We went ahead on the road ripping at 70kmph throughout.

Finally we reached Ghusalkhamb from where we decided we goto Paud and not go home via the highway from Lonavala , so off we went , the road here too wasnt great but good for biking and the nature was just awesome. Vindya thought that this road was wrong because we could see Korigad at a distance so we thought we were going back to the same road from where we came, he confirmed this with some villagers and they said we were on the correct road.

We went ahead and then we hit a great spot where we could see the backwaters of the Mulshi dam again. So this was a new road we found out :) - we stopped at a place where we could view the backwaters and enjoyed the views there. Two foreigners came by asking the distance to Lonavala and we told them and they went away towards Lonavala , they had come on bicycles and were riding. I plan to do the same road one day on bicycle !

We started again and then went via great roads which were twisting and turning and finally we saw the walls of the Mulshi dam. So we were on the correct path. Stopped for sometime and took photos and went ahead and joined the Paud road correctly. We were back after going circular to the Mulshi waters :)

We stopped at a hotel as the time read 2.45pm for lunch and had a great lunch of chapatis , bhaji and rice and started again towards Chandani Chowk. We reached Chandani chowk at around 4 and had coffee and parted. I reached home at around 5pm.

Nice ride in all and awesome nature. Just ride !! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

BN ride to lonavala

Finally after a long time on a bike ride , this time with a group known as Bike Nomads. We were to goto Lonavala and come back just like that on Saturday 30th August.

The plan was to meet on the bypass highway near Joshi Wade Wale at Wakad at 7am , in the morning. Now 7am on a Saturday seemed weird but for a ride im ready anytime :)

Got up at 6am , left home at 6.45am and reached Joshi Wade Wale by 6.55am , the place is just 5km from my home and in the morning no traffic !

Found just one guy Somnath waiting there. We introduced ourselves as this being my first ride with the group. Sometime later Sayan came in followed by Anupam and Chinmay. We introduced ourselves and by then Vibhu (one of the owners of the yahoogroup for this riding club) came in at 7.20am.

After some instructions from Sayan about the ride and the formation we started and some guys filled in petrol and we went ahead.

We were 7 people (1 more to be picked up ahead) on 2 Pulsar 150's , 2 Karizma's , 1 Unicorn and 1 Pulsar 220. Mine being the classic Pulsar 150 I was lagging behind in speeds compared to the 200+ cc guys. Even Sayan on a 150 Dtsi bike was ripping ... sadly I couldnt rip because of two reasons one being I ride cooly and the 2nd being mine was the less power bike in the lot.

We reached Talegaon in about 20 mins and picked up Nalin another fellow who was to ride pillion with Chinmay on the P220.

We then zoomed ahead towards lonavala this time me making max speeds of 95kmph on my bike and I was told to be in front coz everyone could overtake me easily and they didnt want to break their formation.

Reached Lonavala at around 8.30am and then a hotel where we stopped for breakfast and had discussion ranging from the Annual Meet to the iphone et all over cups of tea and the breakfast.
Finally leaving from there it was decided to go upto Tiger Point on the road to Sahara City and come back and go home.

We entered Lonavala and went ahead - nowadays there is a toll post for 2 and 4 wheelers taking 20 Rs per vehicle and 5 Rs per person. Now toll for bikes was unheard before and not on that road to Sahara City anytime. We got into an altercation with those guys who tried to convince us why the toll was being charged , we anyway gave the amount and then went ahead.

The road was as usual amazing to say and others ripped ahead with me and Vibhu at the end. We reached the point and took photos chatted for sometime before moving to another point just ahead and sat there and did some timepass before leaving back.

Coming back was a speedy affair with me extracting 105 kmph from my bike , the max , but the p220 and the karizma were long gone ahead of me and I couldnt even catch a glimpse of them ahead until I reached home.

Guess its time to upgrade my bike..but i love my current one, ill keep this and go for a faster one :) , thus the ride with BN........

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Konkan Trip - Diveagar,Srivardhan,Harihareshwar

Had been to Konkan over the weekend of 26-27 April 2008. It was an amazing experience on bike.

We (me and Vik) started from Chandani Chowk at 7.45 am and were cruising at 50kmph. Vik wasnt confident so he told me that we wont speed..I too didnt like the idea of speeding at the start of the journey but was a little apprehensive that we might be reaching late..but anyways we were cruising.

The best part is the roads. I was amazed at the quality of the roads on this route , we were to take the Paud -> Mulshi -> Dongarwadi -> Tamhini -> Vile -> Nizampur -> Mangaon route. I am sure going to try this route during monsoon to see how its like.Except for a few stretches on the ghats the roads are very good.I guess they were laid recently but nevertheless they were good.

After an hour or so we reached Mulshi Khurd where we stopped for breakfast, the time read 9am. Had a good breakfast of misal , vada and chai and started again for the destination. The roads ahead were a mix of good and bad , the good ones were really good and the bad ones were not much. I really hope the roads stay this way after the monsoons :) We made a resolution of riding at 50kmph and it was fun crusing at that speed.

Riding on the ghat was fun and the roads were ok. Reached Mangaon at around 10.55am and had a break for water and cooling off. Surprisingly being in Konkan the heat and humidity didnt affect much because of the cloudy weather we couldnt feel the sun hence the heat didnt affect us, infact i was feeling cool.

We reached Mhasla in no time (18 km from Mangaon) via the SH-98 and it was a dream road all through to Mhasla via the Morbi ghat road. Finally we took the right turn from Mhasla for Diveagar (20 km from Mhasla). The road here is also good. We reached Diveagar at 12.30pm and had darshan at the Golden Ganpati temple and called up the people where we had booked for the day as couldnt find their house. Finally , the person himself came to see us and we went with him to his place.

His home was good and we got a room on the 1st floor , the room was spacious and had the necessary things.Cool breeze was blowing out and we were just sitting out and enjoying. Our stomachs started growling for lunch and we booked our lunches at Patils Khanaval nearby. The food there was tasty and good for 100 bucks per plate. We came back to the room and just sat for sometime before leaving for Srivardhan.

There are two roads for Srivardhan from Diveagar one is via Shekhadi (the worst road i have ever seen in my life) and the other is on the route from Mhasla to Diveagar where we need to tak e a right while going from Diveagar to Mhasla at Borli village. This road is simply awesome and good. We ended taking the bad road via Shekhadi though you get some amazing views on that road of the sea and the sea stays with you throughout the journey.

We reached Srivardhan beach in about 45 minutes (srivardhan is 16km from Diveagar) and went directly to the beach and had a nice time playing in water for sometime and photography.
Finally we just sat there for sunset and had an amazing view , btw srivardhan beach is no longer clean with plastic littered to its length and breadth, it sure is becoming polluted from the number 1 status it had, clearly and influx of tourists plus neglection is leading to its decay.

After sunset we started again for Diveagar via the same bad road (we didnt know about the existence of a better road) and continued. At one place a person stopped me and asked for a lift upto shekhadi which I gave willingly , he was some daily wage worker and was returning home on foot because at that time no vehicle / six seaters pass by. He got down at Shekhadi and thanked us profusely even telling us to come back next day to his place and he would give us a free ride in his boat in the sea. We said our goodbyes to him and came back. The road was hell. It was more of road patches in between craters !

Finally we arrived at Diveagar and went to the room and freshened ourselves and went for dinner. Dinner was good and we went to the room and did some time pass before retiring for the day. Sleep was more or less good partly because we were tired of the day driving and partly because of the bad road :)

Next day morning we woke up and went to the Diveagar beach , I can rate this as a better one than Srivardhan (really) and its bigger than Srivardhan. We spent some time photographing and returned back to the room. Had a nice bath and left the place. The total charges for room and dinner for the day was 500bucks, quite ok. We left for Harihareshwar at 10am and on the way stopped near the Suvarna Ganpati Mandir and had nariyal pani and continued on our way to Harihareshwar. The way to Harihareshwar is via Srivardhan but this time we took the other route not the Shekhadi route. The other road was simply fantastic and we had a great time going ahead. Finally we reached the petrol pump on the outskirts of Srivardhan and took the Srivardhan - Lonere road to Harihareshwar. After Lonere Phata the road looks like an expressway upto Harihareshwar , last time when I had gone the road was a mess but now lo it has transformed to a great road. We reached Harihareshwar at 11 am and immediately had an awla soda....you get these sodas there for 10 bucks, cool stuff.

We went to the temple of harihareshwar and came out and went to the rocks by the sea. The sight there is amazing totally and we enjoyed a lot there. The heat was rising and the sun was too shining brightly making us perspire to our limit as we made our way back to the hotel where we wanted to have lunch. Once at the hotel we had our lunch and finally started from Harihareshwar to Pune at 1.15pm

We turned right at the Lonere Phata and went ahead, the road ahead is two lane only until Mhasla and to add to it the ghats are dangerous there. We reached Mhasla in over 45 minutes , 32 odd km from Harihareshwar and from Mhasla the great SH-98 started , with great surface we reached Mangaon at around 3pm and had sugarcane juice and water.

We turned right after Mangaon bus stand towards Nizampur and Pune (the same route which we had taken earlier while coming from Pune). Riding now we were bored partly because of the stifling heat and partly because of boredom :). We started at 3.20pm from Mangaon and were at the ghats by 4.00pm and reached Chandani chowk by 5.30pm , all in all a great trip. We said our goodbyes and went home.

450 km of pure fun and amazing biking. Would love to do Pune-Ganapatipule sometime, lets hope :) .