It’s a belief that what ever we do at the start of New Year, we will keep doing that for the rest of year. I wanted to ride out on 31st night but then family and friends had some plans so I decided to party instead.
Couple of days later, it was the first weekend of year and I decided, better late than never. So, I head out to some near by places. Saturday ride was sort of warm up and hence it was just 103km trip, a slow one at that (Ride duration: 2hrs 45min).
Lack of interest in riding on straight roads, I decided to head to near by twisties and sure it was fun even at speeds around 50km/hr (yes, I was running in my bike after a new block piston kit).
The route I took was Chandani Chowk – Mutha – Lavasa – Mutha – Pirangut – Paud – Hinjewadi.
Sunday I decided to head towards Mahabaleshwar, while I was cruising on NH4 at yawning speed I realized I’m not carrying my bike’s original RC book (often documents are checked at Panchgani, only of two wheelers, as if we are criminals while people in cages are all saints). So when I saw a familiar turn off NH4, I jammed my brakes (must have put down a few mm’s of rubber on tarmac) and got off the boring highway. This was the road I have taken for the last time in Jun’03 (when we went for Pulsar Yahoo Group’s Annual meet). This is a lesser known (to travelers) road that takes you to Bhor. Yes, I dumped Mahabaleshwar in favour of Bhor and Varandha Ghat.
The nature of road hasn’t changed much once we cross Bhor. Though its pothole free tarmac almost all the way, there is plenty of gravel on both the edges and in center. I love it, you over cook a curve, run wide and either you will go off the road or can go and kiss mother earth.
Since rains have just gone by, water levels are good in the dam en-route.
After a small break for hot bhajis and tea in Varandha ghat I headed towards Mahad. It was closing on 5pm and I knew I’ll have to climb back in dark, on my way back. Having climbed Tamhini in dark few days back on CBZ, I wasn’t too worried of taking the same route again.
Once I reached Mahad, I saw Poladpur (to go towards Mahabaleshwar) some 15km’s away and there was no distance to Mangaon (to go towards Mulshi) given, I guessed that Mangaon can’t be too far away so I headed towards it, after few km’s I realized my mistake as it was still some 30km’s away and the sun has started to go behind hills. By the time I reached Mangaon it was 6:15pm and after filling some fuel (yeah twice I have started the climb to Tamhini with bike about to hit reserve – no way was I going to repeat that mistake).
The Mangaon – Vilhe road was almost empty of traffic and in lovely condition. Even though it was dark, it was fun riding in that section filled with twisties. After Vilhe, I decided to stay with couple of cars that were climbing Tamhini but with me not wanting to stress my new engine, mid way thru the ghat one car was too fast for me while the other was too slow, as a result I was left all alone. It was a bit scary and I was remembering only all the scary stories I have heard about this area. Hoping to catch some slow moving vehicle ahead, I kept on riding but I wasn’t that lucky. Once I passed the last dhaba on top of ghat, it was me and my bike all alone. Other than my bike’s headlamp, moon and stars were the only light sources visible. I wanted to stop and click some pictures but wasn’t able to gather enough courage to do so. After riding all alone for some 15min’s I caught up with some traffic as the bad stretch of road has started. Then on it was just a matter of keeping up with them.
Following with vehicles I reached Mulshi lake and what a beautiful view it was, I told myself I’m coming back here in night again, of course not alone :-). As I was feeling hungry, I halted for dinner and then it was a slow cruise till home.
Route: Pune – Bhor – Mahad – Mangaon – Vile – Tamhini – Mulshi – Pune
Ride Duration: 8hrs 30min
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