Archive for the ‘Short Tours’ Category

xBhp for some of us bike loving pals is the only way to show our passion towards this not so popular hobby. A way to connect to like minded ppl, a platform for us to isolate ourselves & unite to do participate in the one sport we all love, Riding. I remember 4 years back wen I got hold of my first bike admist strong opposition from my Mom, the purpose was to ride odd 35 kms from home to work & back. A week later I was headed to Lonavala, 35 kms converted to 135 km. As this was my first time on a 2 wheeler on a long ride, googled for some tips & was directed to perfect match xBhp. Things changed……..

Our Life...

Our Life...


Spot the Hyosung GT650R @ Mc Donalds Kalamboli

Since my change from the Unicorn to 220 it has been less of group rides are more of solo ventures. But you never miss the Anniversary G2G (Thumb rule). Waiting at a signal @ Goregaon bumped into ShadowBoy after an year (thtz why we have signal, to meet old friends) and was reminded of the G2G. Place was not yet confirmed, but we all trust MG. Nagaon, a never heard heard of place around Alibaug. Who care where we ride to, until the cake is awesome & foods good nywhere is jst fine. This ride was gonna be a solo mission, Sweta was out for good (don’t tell her tht I was happy). As always we had 2 version of the party, overnight (wet) and single day (dry). N no of reasons for not letting me joining the overnight rowdy croud, but the biggest was MBA. The course was starting the same day as everyone had planned to leave for the nightout. So the plan got pushed to one day ride, boooooo (some sacrifices are to be made for the greater good, whose good is yet in question)

@Wadkhal Naka

@Wadkhal Naka

Everyone I knew had reached Nagaon the night before. The Sunday morning group was all new for me except for George & Mayur. Got up early morning, a txt msg to George stating this time as usual I’m gonna be late, overdose of MBA induction was the probable cause. All geared up started started from my place at 6.30 (Thtz the time to reach Panvel) to explore another new place. Since past 4 years all our anniversary G2G’s are drowned in rain. To recollect 2008 Malshej wet wet wet, 2009 Mumbai everything was floating on roads, 2010 Bhandardhara – it seemed the dam walls will burst, couldn’t remove the camera. This one for a change was an exception for the Sunday morning group, the night riders had reached the destination swimming, paradoxically. Had heavy rains till Panvel, but after that it was just drizzling. Potholes potholes & more potholes, but yet I bravely reached Panvel. Huddled up wid the group, took eyeful glances of the Red Housung 650cc GTR. A crude beast like machine, looks good, sounds good to but now its a decision between GTR & Ninja, waiting for the CBR to join in. Took some group snaps & the needle was now pointing to Nagaon, only prob no one new the road & all No’s from the reached group were unavailable. Around 8 we started from Panvel McD @ 8.00 n headed to Vadkhal Naka, rest out the route would have to be sorted out on the way. Wid many newbies George was leading the group with me at the tail end. It’s a complete different thing to travel on a N lane road wid a divider & a narrow 2 lane road without one. NH17 – Mumbai Goa highway, falls in the without divider category & has one of the highest no of accident counts & statistically 35% are headon collisions while overtaking. Some say itz an art, I don’t think so, jst be alert, use common sense & ull come out the other end unscratched. Luckily most of the people I ride along are sensible and this group too was no exception. Reached Vadkhal within no time without much trouble, litle slow than planned due to Sunday morning traffic. Got in touch wid MG via Winsey & downloaded the Turn by Turn route info from him, detailed.

Ninja 250 & The Honda CBR250

Ninja 250 & The Honda CBR250


Hyosung GT650R

Hyosung GT650R

A little bout the Hyosung GT650R. Itz not as sweet as the Ninja 650 but itz a Maachoo Beast Machine. Manufactured by Hyosung Motors & Machinery Inc. distributed and marketed by Garware Motors. 647 cc carbureted 4 stroke, water-cooled DOHC 8-valve V-twin engine producing 82 BHP @ 9000 rpm.

The Ispat steel complex is the first thing that greets you when you start towards Alibaug. If you are nuts over heavy machinery, then surely you will like the things around here. The 30 km road to Alibaug is a single lane State Highway, not well maintained & in rainy season dotted with potholes. There are many serene spots along the, beautiful backgrounds for your pics. Dint get enough time to click any. It was not raining but luckily the sun too was a lil shy to glow in glory. Many police checkpoints later we reached our destination. Hoooray, Welcome Wagon was at the gate in all party mood to Welcome us :). The anniversary cake was awesome, Helmet.

Everyone was safely back home by 8.00 pm. Happy Birthday xBhp….

(Pics clicked & edited on iPhone 4. Apple rocks.)

Happy Birthday xBhp

Happy Birthday xBhp

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Title: Riding Along Sahyadri’s
Location: Shivneri, Maharashtra
Route: Mumbai – Malshej – Shivneri
Date: 01 Dec, 2008

The rain had subsided. We had a cup of tea and some good day packets. Start a good day with a bite of Good Day. The dhaba was pathetic, all messy. We didnt have much choice as it was raining heavily for quite some time. We started gearin up for the route ahead. Eicher road map was out on the table to find the route to “Ahupe”. So we wore our jackets and started back on NH 222 (I lve tht no). As usual, we sat in the bikes and it again started raining heavily. This time I was on the front seat riddin the unicorn and gettin wet. Anup was sittin behind me as a pillion for some time and clickin snaps with my sony.

Malshej Ghats

Malshej Ghats

The ZMA & The Flying glove (Spot it)

The ZMA & The Flying glove (Spot it)

The bends atop the ghat

The bends atop the ghat

Peace

Peace

As the km’s increased on the trip meter, showers also started to become stronger. We had to park underneath a tree or would be fully drenched for the nxt 100+ km’s. The rain didnt want to stop. A thought came across tht the ride was a bad idea & we shld turn back home but seeing at the school kids headin to school without an umbrella was enough for us to regain faith in the tarmac bellow. We strated again with a underpowered unicorn and ZMA with a bald rear tyre. The ZMA was wobbling on the wet roads so we were slow. This time anup was riddin and I was shooting snaps.We crossed murbad in the nxt few minutes. The eyes were glued at the “Misal Pav” being served at the small tapri’s in Murbad. I was dying of hunger. Few km’s passed zoom… zomm… and the ghat sections of the NH222 started. I had been on this route during the rain’s. In mid august wen we had been here the surroundins were lush green with foggy climate. I can never forget the scenery. This time it was not green but has a yellowish tint of the dry grass around. Even with this pale yellow colour due to which the surroundings glow during the summer the ghats seemed to be awesome. The camera jst loved the Nane Ghats. The characteristic of this ghat is itz low altitude and properly banked roads.

Nane ghat was a cool ride. With anup on the drivers seat and the roads pretty dry we were at avg speeds of 70-80 km. Soon malshej started. Heaven was around the corner. Ive seen many ghats but the rocks on the mountains and the perfect harmony of trees and mountains always puts malshej on the top. Reachin to the top of the ghats we had a cigy break. I dont rem if they had alight. We had parked the bikes on the edge of the road. The view for there was cool. We could see zig zag roads tht we traveled to reach on the top. in 5mis we were out of there. There were sin broads everywhere “Falling rocks, Donot wait”. We slowly climbed dow the slope. I had captured enough photos to keep me busy for a week. Malshej had ended in a matter of 30 mins.

We were now busy hunting locals andaskin them the road to Ahupe, Shivneri………….

Breakfast on Foothills:

After some discussion with the locals we realized that we were way ahead of the turn for Ahupe. The only reason for this was tht I thought that nane ghat is after malshej where as itz opposite. So now to reach Ahupe we had to take the longer route from Junnar.

With nothing in the tummies we kept riddin . Soon on the foothills of Sahyadris where malshej ghats end and smiling at the Kalsubhai range in the opposite direction, we spotted a dhaba. Not actually a dhaba but a small road side joint. During the last G2G at malshej we had been to this place (Hope chetan n all remember it, bobby’s last ride). As it was early morning, around 9.30 am there was noithin ready. Shiva desperately wanted to have shev bhaji which he had tasted first time at the same place in August. Unfortunately there was no shev, so no bhaji. We settled for kanda pooha and tea. Till the cook was busy in kitchen I started to take some snaps around. The lens had some donkeys, cows and thorny bushes for breakfast. The pooha was takin ages and Anup as usual wanted to kill the owner for the delay. Finally the plates arrived and we refulled our tummies. In the cool climate of malshej the hot tea and warm plate of pooha was taskin awesome.

We started riddin agin after takin some directions from the owner. Eicher road map was always around to help us but we didn’t want to take ny risks. So we started movin, headin towards an unkown territory. After some 200 odd mts we saw a lake. A massive one which seemed to be filled recently by some dam thingy. We wanted to reach the banks of the lake, tried some offroadin but in vain. Later the villagers told us the only way to reach there was from the dhaba we had stopped for food. So instead of goin back some mts we decided to move forward.

So the now the plan was to go to Shivneri fort and then Ahupe and while commin back visit the lake. So we headed forward on NH 222. After some kms there was a inner road goin to junnar which we were supposed to rid eon. The road unlike the NH was very narrow and had many potholes, more than wht we have in mumbai during rains. We were a bit excited as we thought there would be a big change of offroadin in this type of terrain. The unicorn was leadin and suddenly on a turn the ZMA cam runnin. “Guys, U knw wht. There was a beautiful Hen, I jst killed it……….”. Shiva had ran over another animal, but unlike Goa it was not a cow this time. So now Shiva was demoted from “The Cow Killer” to”The Hen Killer”.

Shiva: The Hen Killer

Yellow Beauty

Yellow Beauty

Traffic Jam

Traffic Jam

Into the Jungle

Into the Jungle

Jungle Jungle .......

Jungle Jungle .......

Before all the villagers would come huntin for us we ran from the place. The road ahead was a dirty patch of tramat windin down the ghats. It was a bit scary and almost impossible to bend because of all the rubble around. But as u knw Anup sirji is not goin to be stopped by shabby work of some contractor. Zooom we went through the ghats…………..

We reached the foothills of The Great Shivneri Fort, the birth place of the great maratha yoodha Shivaji.

We will meet Shivaji after a short time. Till then enjoy some road pics………….

Title: Riding Along Sahyadri’s
Location: Shivneri, Maharashtra
Route: Mumbai – Malshej – Shineri
Date: 01 Dec, 2008

On a terror struck weekend in mumbai. 3 bikers and 2 bikes from mumbai decided to visit the birth place for shivaji and ride in the along the calm and peaceful Sahyadri mountains in mahrashtra.

I started to write the triplog. Was thinking a lot of how to start it. Then how can you have a triplog without the reason you planned the ride. I could not resist my self from going through the incidents that took place before this trip.

Here is something that my heart has typed involuntarily.

The two beauties

The two beauties

Were scared to go more inside

Were scared to go more inside

A Wednesday :
The was dull. Heading to office seemed I wondered, how boring it is to work form 9.00 – 7.00. Do the same thing day in an out. Get up early in the morning, not actually early but a bit late always. Then clean the mess, flush out all the bugs frm ur body. Get dressed like a joker with a tie in haste. Run run & run for the 9.07 Dadar local and while ur runnin for the train think of contingency plans in case u miss the train. How boring and dull this schedule is I felt. Even is such a planned day where nothing seems to ever change for 5 days for the week, uncertainty always prevails. One never knws whtz next. Who knws whether you are you are goin to return home today nite for dinner or the Almighty has something else in store for you. May be good or bad, but always as one goes away from his safehouse we call home each passing min during this period bring more and more uncertainty in ones life which is nullified when he comes back home in the evening.

So in this uncertain world with many more variables than Einstein and Newton had thought, I started my journey towards office in South Mumbai. The same usual work at office. Nothin special to cheer about or even thing of. So as the day started it comes to an end as the sun starts setting in the sea. Lovely scene along the worli sea face near my office. As the sun sets the level of uncertainty in your life starts to reduce. As one packs bags and heads towards a stable platform and a fortress of love & harmony the role of luck starts diminishing.

I reached home around 10.30. One of my friend was at my place to take some stuff. Had a bath, a cup of tea. In the background I hear my mom spekin to someone on the phone and saying “Yaa everyone’s fine. Anup & Sourabh both have reached home.” For a sec I thought might be usual chat with my grandpa. My bro come to the room & says there are terrorist firing from AK47 at public in VT station and a bomb has exploded somewhere. I told him to shut up and close the rooms door and get out as I was on the phone. Look at how used to I have become to such terrorist attacks, it now feels like India wining a match. Nothing special, nothing to care, itz nothing so important tht would force me to snap a long distance call get out of my bed and tune in to 24*7 crap news channel. Is it to be taken so lightly?

I lost a person I knew in these terrorist attacks on the trident, I jst came to knw it yesterday. Two of my friends had had jst signed off from duty @ Taj Palace. One works as a supervisor on the 6th floor. I didn’t realize tht how a person jst like me motivated by conspirers and a gun in had can change so many peoples life. On Thursday wen I went to Taj with my friend to find his girlfriend who was missing since the past night, I first time heard an AK47. The sound is horrific and nothing tht I want want hear ever in my life again.

This incident has changed many peoples life. The only ppl to blame for this is each one of us. The only reason 150 ppl lost their lifes was because of carelessness at various levels.

I hope that we stand up once again united and take the responsibility of securing India.

Shivneri & Malshej

Shivneri & Malshej

Winter Rains

Winter Rains

The Ghost Rider

The Ghost Rider

The Night :
Mumbai under siege for the past two days, my office had declared holiday even on Friday. With my laptop in office I was pretty my bored at home. Suddenly phone rang “Anup”, so there was a hope that Saturday may be bright. Had a concall with RazorBlades to decide where we are heading. But after a discussion of about one hour we were yet in Mumbai. The main problem was bikes. There ppl and one bike in ridding condition. Anup’s ambitions engine had flu and needed to visit a doctor. There was 0 breakin on razors RTR due to the wrong tyres tht he had purchased last week. We failed to persuade Razor to bring his friends Bullet.

We called up Shiva to see wht he was doin on Saturday and as expected he was free for a ride. Four people on a concall will to ride somewhere but don’t knw where. Razor was hesitating to come for ny ride due the constant headache he was having for past few months. The doctor had said him to rest. So he was out of ny ride. So it was Me, Shiva & Anup “The Lonely Trio” again for a ghostly ride. We don’t knw the destination yet. We had first planned to go to Sinhagad and Shivneri fort through pune. But we cancelled it. Anup told he will find a place to ride to and call us back in an hour.

So by midnight we zeroed in on a tribal village called “Ahupe” on the foot hills of Sahaydri. The route planned was Nane Ghat – Malshej – Shivneri Fort – Bhimashnkar – Ahupe – Nane Ghat. The agenda of the road trip was “Off Roading”. We wanted to explore a small off road route from Ahupe to Nane Ghate. So with the route map ready we ready to go.

Early Morning

Early Morning

The Rider & The Pillion

The Rider & The Pillion

Sunrise

Sunrise

With a Honda Unicorn and Hero Honda Karizma were were all ready to go. The one other problem was cash, we only had 1500 for the full ride and we would have to save every penny and every drop of petrol tooo. We started \from thane around 5.30. It was drizzling throughout. Filled tanks of our Honda’s at a petrol pump near bhivandi bypass, Rs. 500 petrol for the ZMA and Rs. 500 for the Unicorn. We headed towards Kalyan and the drizzle was turning into rain. We had not expected rains at all, but assuming it would stop we kept ridding. Instead of stopping the the rain God was showering his bessing on us. On one side my heart wanted the rain to stop but on the other hand I knw the rain would make the climate in Malshej awesome. We finally stopped at a dhaba and waited for the rains to subside.

XBHP Resurected (Lonavla - Amby)

XBHP Resurected (Lonavla - Amby)

My fisrt XBHP G2G was Malshej friendship day G2G, approx a month back. I had joined XBHP a month after I got the Unicorn but after my first Malshej G2G, some Hacker had bought down the fourm, it stayed like this for almost 3 month. Then thanks to Sunny & other senior memebers XBHP was resurrected  from the grave. We bikers had gout our playground back.  So like a small kid, was excited bout this meet. Chetan had posted the ride Invite.

“After the recent rebirth of xBhp, we meet up to celebrate our sole platform of biker friendship with a new josh.

Mumbai & Pune are two cities which are separated by 100kms. From the past few months, the bonds have become strong. We xBhpians from both these cities have been riding together for quite some time now and learning from each other. This ride is very much a friendship ride and we plan to make this successful by ensuring a zero casualty rate.”

Unlike other ppl who couldnt sleep tht nite for the sheer excitement, i was fast asleep dreamin bout Me my Uni & Leh.

R Pandhra (Yamaha R15)

R Pandhra (Yamaha R15)


Apache RTR FI

Apache RTR FI

4.30 AM: Moms like, you young ppl dont sleep @ 10 n want to get up @ 4 in the mornin. (She is against me ridin a 2 wheeler but has got used to it like all other parents. But for a change on satuday wen i got elbow pads instead of a jacket she was furious. Came to knw how much parents care bout safety). Got ready by 5.30, geared up with the new riddin gear and went to pick up mayur, my pillion for the ride and was waitin sharp @ 6.00 am like a dumb at Kashimira (I trusted shannon & kunal tht they will be on time).

6.15 AM:
Kunal (The Doctor) arrives followed by shannon. We start riddin towards Jogeshwari meet Moto, Winzee & Tazz @ BP petrol pump. Fill up tanks and we move towards Panvel to meet everyone else @ Macd. Moto was leadin, assisted by Kunal & Shannon. Felt good to be in a formation right from start and as everyone knws u cant rip a unicorn it feels good wen everyone’s around.

Dont knw the time: Reached Macd, met everyone. So everyone was jumpin n sayin u missed all SBK’s. SBK tht to 20 . Met everyone after a long time. In macd we saw true marcus, wen bobby comes back he will have a lot of competition . Left panvel in bout 15 mins after all the fires were finished by marcus.

Khopoli:
Took a break at khopoli before the ghats start i.e the real roads start. One thing tht i noticed & tht all seniors have notices is bout the pit stop parkin. We park 3 to 4 bikes parallel to each other. Itz jst a tikin bomb, someone will get hurt badly someday if this continues. Max 2 bikes parked parallel to each other. The ghats finally start, did some sharp leans on the twisties. For the first time I felt the Uni so responsive, the start plugs do help a lot to improve performance. (Ppl who saw the unicorn leanin comments r welcomed. It was my first time leanin ). Later i realized tht wht i was doin @ the speeds was not tht safe, will try to cool down a bit nxt time. Saw the SBKs returnin wen we reached the expressway .

Lonavla: Met chetan, inder and other bikers frm pune @ radhakrishna restraunt. Had tea and bike talk. Bombay guys were like, u knw we saw 20 sbks.

XBHP Horizon

XBHP Horizon


Khopoli Pitstop

Khopoli Pitstop


A Two Part Life

A Two Part Life

Left for Amby. Had a bit of test drives there. I rode the Ymaha R 15, dont knw wht ppl say but the bike is class. Itz got evrythin except power. Ill be ready to spend a lac for tht piece of engg. I knw many readin this will be like wtf .

Anup rode my Uni while returnin, while i sat as a pillion. He was the luckiest i guesss rode bike avaiable except the 220 & the discover. Wanted to knw how others hadle the uni so tht i can improve my riddin + wanted to take some pics.

Reached lonavla for lunch. Nuterino crashed meanwhile. Everyone was worried as chetan too was not reachable. Everythin was cool after chetan returned and told rahul is fine & on his way back home, not on the RTR buy a Tempo .

Had food, waived of pune ppl & started the 100+ km trip back to the metro we call home. This time in a proper formation as we did while returnin from mumbai. Reached mumbai around 6.30. Moto was busy riddin gaurav’s R15 with him as a pillion and Anup was rippin motos 200. Left anup @ his place, hope he got his bike by now. Reached home around 8.00.

Lonavla - The Horizon

Lonavla - The Horizon

So tht the end of beautiful day. I lost my camera cover and my Umbro (I had it for 4 yrs) windcheater today.

Hanoz missed u a lot on this trip. I mean missed ur camera n pics.

It was a pretty short log indeed.

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Title: Rajmachi – Ultimate Offroading
Destination: Rajmach, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
Trip Meter: 100 Km
Date: 28 Jun, 2009
Rajmachi Route Map

Rajmachi Route Map

Route details captured by Nokia Sports Tracker GPS.

Saturday, best thing to do watch movies or series. Thts what I was doin, finished Boston Legal Season , good series for ppl wanting to be intellectual. I mean what a boring weekend. Last week Bhandardara was an awesome ride, memorable one. But this weekend I was rather planning to rest & catch up on Terminator Salvation, big weekend for Hollywood. I resigned from my position at my current office this friday & was pretty much confused in which direction to move forward. Im the evening me & Sweta were supposed to meet & discuss that but then you never know which way the wind will blow. Instead was wathcing the action packed Terminator, I decided to go for a ride wid Sweta. Knew a bit bout the Rajmachi ride organized by Pune, but didnt knw nyone joinin them from Mumbai. Called Bibek late in the evening & got the whole plan from him.
Had to convince Sweta lil bit for the ride, as she didnt knw nyone. Bibek had told me there was a some offroadin on the way to the fort. Rajmachi is around 25 – 30 km from Lonavala. There are two forts on top side by side. The route is famous in the trekking circles, we were soon to find out if our horses would like it. Sunday mornimg 4.30, moms sleepin so yet so definitely the alarm on my N95 was disturbing my sleep. It was not more than 3 hrs tht i fell asleep. Sweta was already ready to leave from her place & here I was jst opening my eyes. I picked her up from the station at 5.30 sharp, it was raining so we both were tucked under plastic sheets called raincoats. Headed to the nearest petrol pump, my Honda wanted itz morning breakfast. It was 6.00 am & we were already late, called up bibek to inform him of the status & hit the road in nxt 5 mins, he was wating for us at Panvel. The road was wet & i was ride a lil carefully rather I would say wid all the caution I can take. We took the Airoli route via Thane to reach Panvel, it took us 60 – 75 min to cover 50 km. As we were late no one was present at the McD, Bibek was waiting somewhere ahead near a petrol pump. I was supposed to be me, Bibek & Rohit riddin to Lonavala & meeting the Pune guys. Saw Bibek waitin for me near a BP pump. As we came close by saw A Red R15 a a lil figure on it, undoubtedly it was DarkKinght & to surprise there were more than 10 ppl waiting for us & swearing at me for the delay. Had a gut feelin tht this one is gonna be a biggggg ride.
The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.
DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocke

DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocket

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.

Nitin knew the road so we were following him. A left from a the main road & we landed on a small bylane leadin somewhere. The tarmac was fully eroded but it looked tempting. A little more downhill n we got rid of the tarmac & landed on gravel & dust. I was excited but was worried but the MRF Zappers & their poor performance. There was gravel everywhere & the road, it doesnot qualify for offfroad at all. But then tooo nythin excites me than tarmac, doesnot allow me to sleep while ridddin. Sweta was a little bit excited but also was a bit nervous, we had gone for many ride earlier but no off-roads yet. Every 100 mts the road was gettin worst & terrain tougher. As everyone else I was more eager to know how the R15’s perform here. The stunting team was all present to do wheelies & stoppies. At some distance we could see 2 ZMA parked , the Castrol ZMA & a Red one. So MG & Inder were waiting for us, finally we reached the destination. Mmmm no Inders bike had some problem so Inder decided not to go ahead & MG waited to accompany him. That was sad, no punewalla’s wid us for the ride. Took some quick snaps & after failed attempts to convince MG to join us we decided to move ahead.

The Aviator guy tooo was a bit reluctant to punish his ride & he didnot want the air filters on his ride to get wet in muck so he too decided to stay back. Now the real Rajmachi came into picture, the gravel suddenly disappeared & was replaced by brown earth & big rocks. The fun had jst started, offroadin. The first test, there was steep slope & the road was bit slippery & wet here. Ride to the top wid the pillion, mmm “Lets try atleast, im not gettin down” Sweta said, struggin for grip & openin the throttle lil by lil we were on top. This was the start. everyone was watin there wen a group of Bullets passed us, zooom they went. Road Shakers, a group of bikers from pune riddin the bullet’s wherever they desire. Sweta started to click some pics, yaaa this time she had the shutter wid her & I was a mere spectator. Nitin had someone in the group whom he knew so he was a lil busy chattin wid a Road Shaker while we were busy lookin a the lush green valley. Nxt 5 min we were back on the dirt, soon it was only Nitin, Ashish, Bibek, Buroiest & Me. No one else was to be seen on the RVM. Ashish had got his Enticer instead of the R15 & he had come along wid his brother Anup. So the Enticer & the Unicorn had pillions.

Rishab & His Raw R15
Rishab & His Raw R15
The Enticer
The Enticer
The Bullets struggling up the slope
The Bullets struggling up the slope

I was becommin a lil bit nervous wid Sweta around but she was as comfortable as she is on the couch, girls are weird. Finally a road pointed to Rajmachi, Nitin said that 4-5 Km now, he was sayin this for the sometime. The terrain was really touch & I had realized that my Adidas Trekkers had a better grip than the MRF Zapper tyres on the bikes & was using the shoes to keep the balance. My dad always says me that learn to control the bike using gears & not breaks, I realise today why. In such a terrain breakin is very risky & useless wid the zappers around & the gear this surely gives a bit control. Bibek a small slip & the pulsar was on ground, some one from the Road Shakers group came runnin to help us, they had parked the bullets & were waitin for someone. The bike looked great but had turned from black to brown. Now it was lokkin like a offroader, the Pulsar 200. Had some discussion bout how we were daring to cover wid this terrain wid our plastic bikes & stock tyres wid Road Shaker members. It feels good to hear that from such experienced ppl. We moved on, the R15 & the Red Pulsar were parked at the top a dangerous incline & Nitin & Burouist were havin tea at one small shop. Opened the throtle & vrooom we went to the top, right behind Ashish’s bike, goood move to impress girls who r wid u as pillions. I really cannot forget the look on Ashish’s face, he was starrin at me Sweta. So the Unicorn had proved itself to me n my confidence level was a bit up from wen we had started riddin on this trail. We had crossed a dry river bed to get to the top, 1 month later there would be water gushing through & it would not be possible to cross it on the bike. I took the cam & took some pics of the trail & the bullets struggling to reach the top. Wen we had confirmed that we were the only 5 ppl to come this far & to continue further we heard the K&N from the R15, 3 R15’s & an RTR were back in action. Rishab on the R15 wid the pillion, R15 had proved itself.

None of us knew what at horrific road was ahead. The 5 of us decided to go ahead while the rest wanted to wait & take a break. The road ahead was pathetic, the bike was jst slippin everywhere, no solid ground to be seen nywhere around. It was all mucky & puddles & everthin on the bike & my shoes was brown. But it was a rleally exciting & wonderfull experience. Sweta was helpin me to find a safe passage & pushing me hard to go though the terrain widout telling her to get down, she was doin a great job. There was a slope downhilll & there was no was I could do it wid a pillion. There was no grip & the bike was jst slidin down hill even wid tyres locked, but we made it. This was really bad & I knew while commin back it was goin to worst on this slope as ther was no grip. Ahead there was a traffic jam, all the bullets & our bikes were stuck on a uphill steep climb, everyone was pushing all the bikes & all the treckers on foot were now overtaking us. I went 75% uphill but then touch down, the Unicorn fell. Anup, Ashish’s brother rushed towards me to help & after some struggle the bike was at the top. Sweta had clicked all this struggle of the Bullets & the Plastic bikes in the Sony. Never been so tired & breathless riddin a bike, this was jst great. Soon we could see a Scorpio SUV attempting the climb, it came half was up & the wid the tyres locked jst slid down as if the tyres had no traction at all.
Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

In the next 15 mins we were @ Rajmachi village & it had started raining. Regrouped wid the Pune team & all the Road Shakers. Rajmachi is a very small village wid a small school & they have a small solar power plant tooo for electricity. It is a very remote village & inaccessible during the rainy season by any vehicle. There are two forts here, Shrivardhan & Manranjan, ppl say the view from the top is excellent. We didnt visit the forts as we were too late. Me & Sweta were trekking around to get try some macro & then wid everyone from the jungle to a small pond nearby. Had a much awaited posing session there but we were back before the rains. I was a bit worried bout the camera as it was now too much clouds. One problem in foood, there is no non veg available here i.e no chicken, but egg’s were available. It took around an hour for the food to get ready, so plz order first n go for the hike to the forts. It had started to rain while we were havin foood & the I was a bit worried bout the decent now. We left from Rajmachi around 3.30pm. Soon it had started raining heavily & it was very difficult to control the bikes. The bikes were falling after every 100mt now. After some km’s the rain stopped but was replaced by dense fog & drizzling. The visibility was very low but in an hour & half we managed to reach Lonavala. MG was waitin for near a chai stall to welcome & congratulate us.

We had finally conquered Rajmachi on our Plastic Bikes……….

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Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Title: Bhandardara – First Rains of 2009
Location: Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India
Date: 21 June, 2009

This seems to be a suitable title for this ride log. I dont want to get into how the summer was killing me & I wanted dark clouds to arrive ASAP, but yaaa this is true. I might have send soo many mails to GOD@gmail.com, GOD@yahoo.com requesting for rain (wen i was fast asleep). Until last year the only picture of rainy season in my mind was, flooded streets of Mumbai, mucky by lanes of the local market, getting drenched on the way to office. I hated rains! But last year the Sahyadri’s (mountain range) opened my eyes to the magic of rainy season, it was so green out there that anyone falls in love with it preciously.

Bhandardara, this was one place on my wish list for the last 6 months, since I had seen my friends Anup & Razor’s pics of off roadin there. My last ride was Mnt Abu that was some odd 60 days back & the Bike & me were desperate to hit the roads. Many people ask me wht is this place wid such a weird name. Bhandardara is a small isolated hill station, isolated from modern world lying amidst the Kalsubai mountain range. Even in summer this place tend to be cool, but don’t expect a cozy cozy weekend here. This is wonderful place for people who want be close to nature & love water. Places to visit, Bhandardara Dam itz an hydro electricity producing dam, u can get wet here even in summer. Wilson dam, a century old dam build by Britishers & Randha waterfall. There is an MTDC resort wid a lake facing view, jst for the perfect weekend, one can find a place to stay for 500 – 2500 a night. Best time to visit this place, Monsooon, the mountains talk to you in rains. Bhandardara is around 150km from Thane & 180km from mumbai. One need to take the Mumbai – Nashik highway from Thane & follow it till Igatpuri. Take a right around 20-30 km from Igatpuri, one can ask the locals the road ahead. The ride was scheduled on Sunday 21st June but due to some reason it was prepone to 20th. This was my first ride will all the new people in the group, due to some or the other reason I was not able to go on any small rides recently, so I was a bit uncomfortable & also excited to be wid new people. Eternity mall was the meeting point, sharp 6.30 am. After the Mnt Abu ride the bike had not been to the garage for a long time, the Friday evening was spent wid the mechanic. The bike was already fueled up & ready to ride.

The Bhandardara gang

The Bhandardara gang

Itz a Dam

Itz a Dam

Strugling the take the bike on road.

Strugling the take the bike on road.

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

I was & eternity mall sharp at 6.20, yaaa before time, quite unusual for me but yaaa all these changes are the part of the restructuring program ive planned for my mind & body. Some old folks & new buddies were waiting wid their bikes. Had a cup of tea, quickly had the introduction session & then waited infinitely for the rest of the lot to join us. Everyone was assembled & all geared up for the ride by 7.15. The bike were on NH3 by 7.30, the weather was overcast and it had started drizzling. For jst in case reason I also had a proper raincoat wid me. Didnt want my Sony SLR to get wet. We crossed Kalyan phata in no-time, the roads ahead were a combination of 2 lane & 4 lane. The 4 lane work on the NH3 is goin on so there are many diversions, not a place one would like to be on a bike or a car. The ride so far was pretty smooth, everyone was ridding in their own comfort zones & at safe speeds. I was tailing, Bibek & Deepak were on ahead of me.

Suddenly, a cling sound as if some metal part had broken form the unicorn. To my surprise the rear break pedal had broken in 2 half’s, disaster. Parked the bike & got the second half which was lying on the road. Bibek was waiting for me some 200mt ahead. On the highway you don’t generally need rear breaks but it acts as an emotional support for jst in case situation & also it was required in Bhandardara. So the mission now was to find a welder, or a mechanic. Both of these species were no where to be seen, was praying they have not become extinct in this part of the world. Me, Mastermind & Bibek were riddding together. I completed the dangerous Kasara ghats with one the front disc. We found a welder & wid the help of Mastermind’s vast experience we were able to fix my bike. Had a nice do it yourself experience, the welder had only electric welding for which we needed to remove the petrol tank. Mastermind did everything for me, thank you Sir this ride would not be possible without you help & all tht experience. Total repair cost Rs20 only. The rest of the group was waitin for us near Ghoti.

Bhandardara Dam

Bhandardara Dam

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

The approach road to Bhandardara from Ghoti is a small single lane road, all patchy. There is small toll booth on the road, dont knw the reason but they charge cars some Rs 30. The roads were not so good but the place was very scenic. The roads jst become worst as you come close to bhandadara, need to be very careful on these roads. In the next 1/2 hour we had reached bhandardara. Luckily there was power generation goin on at the Dam so we could the waterfall. Had some nice photo session on the road leading to the dam & nxt stop MTDC resort for food. As always we took the wrong road & were on top of the dam near the lake. Again photo shoot time, some of my friends had climbed on the dam doors, the doors were 30-35 feet tall until someone came & shooed them off. Asked some locals bout the route to MTDC resort & we were there in 15mins. The resort has a very nice location, facing the mountains & the lake. A guide there suggested that we have our lunch at a local restaurant, so we did soo & yaa we didnt regret our decision. The chicken was so delicious & i was trying to eat more roti’s even wen my stomach was full. When we reached bhandradara the climate was sunny & no sign of rains but in the next 1 hr from somewhere the dark clouds had some , GOD had finally replied to all my mails & finally it was raining. I was really very happy & was tryin to get wet, yaaa jst tryin.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

Bhandardara

Bhandardara

Bahndardara

Bahndardara

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

It was 4.00 pm wen we finished food. The guide took us to the dam. There is a small garden that leads to the dam’s water outlet. The water around us was so clean & the force was jst too much, so if u ever go to bhandardara dont enter in water. We were very close to the water outlet & were getting wen by the small small water droplets. Everyone wid camera’s was busy taking photos and all the rest were busy possin for one. It was a lil bit hard to protect the lens from the water droplets. It was around 5.30 & we decided to leave back for mumbai, enough for the day.

A hut & A mountain

A hut & A mountain

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

On our way back, it sky was gettin ready for rains. It was thundering  & the combination of clouds over the mountains was really looking very goood. It had started raining heavily from Ghoti. Once we hit the highway I wore my backup raincoat & rode non stop around 60-70 until there was enough light. Rishab, Me, Shadowboy & Mastermind were together. At night even wid the best light you cannot see anything, so were preferred to ride a bit slow. We were back in Mumbai by 9.30.

First rain of 2009……………….

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This is a pretty small entry by all means. It was September 2008 I guess a year back. 4 months back I had got my new Honda Unicorn & jst two months had passed for new Sony cam. It was a blunt sunday afternoon a pretty drowsy day, raining outside a perfect day to tug inside a blanked have a cup of coffee & surf the web. Mmmmm tht was the exact thing I didnt want to do. The ridding bug had bit be a few months back & my solo ride to Lonavla & my first XBHP ride to Malshej & the the ghost rider in me wanted some fresh air.

Didn’t knw where to go as it was afternoon already & a long ride was not possible. Back then a 100KM ride was a big thing, mmmm. So jst thought of riding on the NH8 Mumbai – Ahemedabad highway. Called up a friend who was instantly ready to join me on my quest to find mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, dont knw wht but surely something. We left home around 2.30pm. It was drizzling then, I ditched the windcheater for the rain coat. Looks uncool but serves the purpose. The swanky Unicorn was looking messy  due to mucky India roads, but as someone said “A Tourers beauty lies in Dirt” (God knws who said this). We went to a HP petrol pump on NH8, as usual borrowed money from my friend for fuel. The road was fully wet I was a bit scared, even today I’m scared of wet roads u never know when the MRF Zapper (tyre) would ditch you. Then tooo was managing to ride around 60km.

Route Map

Route Map

Superman Truck

Superman Truck

Crater On Road

Crater On Road

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://www.zoomin.com/AlbumViewV1.aspx?AlbumGuid=8cd4188c-858b-4094-9477-d181ba28cbd2&

As we didn’t have a destination there was no point in ridding fast. Both of us wanted to jst ride slowly & observe the beautiful nature around us. I had never done such a thing, It was raining so we were almost drenched. The cam was out & it was becoming a bit difficult to keep it dry. Sony actually had done a pretty good job at building a strong & a lil bit waterproof outer shell. The NH8 ahead of the ghodbunder bridge was in a pretty bad condition, we both were cursing NHAI (National Highway Authority of India). Some 5Kms from Naigaon, there is a small railway overhead bridge, there was a lil bit of traffic there. We parked the bike a lil before the bridge & went ahead a bit to investigate. Some workers were tryin to fill a pot hole on one lane, rather I would call it a crater. Half the trucks Tyre would fit easily in there, the bike would easily drown I guess. We took some pics of the crater, the supervisor was looking at us suspiciously, so we moved back to the bike before he could come & object. A bit ahead of the bridge a road to the left leads to Naigaon station. Instead of going ahead on the straight highway we decided to take the left & explore the new route.

So we moved on the our newly found route, a small single lane road leading us to Naigoan station. The road wad not that coool, all patchy & filled wid potholes. The whole route was dotted by small villages. Yaaa there are some villages on the outskirts of Mumbai.Where ever we possible we used to stop & take some pics. There was a small railway crossing tooo, the village type one. Soon we reached Naigaon station & then it was dead end. We were in Naigaon East & to go to West the only route was from Vasai. So we headed back to the highway. A km from the station we encountered a small signboard stating the road to the left would lead us to Vasai. We jst toook a look at it, the starting 500m on the road were all mucky & big potholes, but the road ahead was a bit better. So we went ahead. Parked the bike in the muck & took some pics.  The road ahead was pretty good, properly tarred and few potholes.  5-6 kms on the route and it was 6.00pm. Time to head back home. THen too took some more pics of the green field & some weird trees.

A soul on Mars

A soul on Mars

The Unicorn

The Unicorn

A weird tree

A weird tree

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://www.zoomin.com/AlbumViewV1.aspx?AlbumGuid=8cd4188c-858b-4094-9477-d181ba28cbd2&

(Jst posting this trip log as im eagerly waitin for rains to bless us)