Posts Tagged ‘Rains’

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: 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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