When: 24th June 2007
Route: Pune – Lonawala – Amby Valley – Kundlika Valley – Mulshi – Pune
Riders ‘n’ Rides: Nalin on Silver P180 and Me on Black Fiero
Time Taken: 9hrs (7:45am to 4:15pm)
It was a much awaited ride, one of the many rides I have planned for this rainy season. The ride started a bit late, at 7:45am, on a gloomy day with wet roads. After me and Nalin teamed up at Talegaon, the destination was Lonawala via the boring NH4 but the ride for a change was not so boring.
The wind was on higher side today, as we were nearing to Karla Caves, it started to rain heavily and crosswind increased their intensity. It was difficult to keep the bike moving straight and things went bad while overtaking trucks. Struggling with crosswind, as I would come next to truck, it would shield me from wind but the moment front end would come ahead of truck, wind would hit it with the rest of bike still behind truck, making the bike go into a big wobble, not a good feeling when you are travelling at speed close to 80 on wet roads.
At Lonawala after a small break we headed towards Amby Valley. Initially ride was nice but as we started the climb up Amby Valley, road vanished into thick fog and visiblity was reduced to 10-15feets with headlights on. I dropped the speed to 20-60 as I was not on a corner carving ride, nor was keen on getting my blood flowing faster in my veins (or will it be on road?).
We halted at Tiger point to munch on corn, it was too foggy to click any decent snap of the valley down. After a break we headed towards Amby Valley. As the fog reduced a little, we halted to put out camera’s to good use.
Just as we closed on Amby Valley, we took the road off the main weekend tourist road and got onto this stretch of lesser travelled 40 odd km’s. Initially road was good but as we rode on, it started to get bad. We took our first of many halts at this bridge over a high flowing water stream.
After riding some more distance we could see flooded fields and at many places water stream flowing over road as well. There we saw for first time another living organism, few big yellow colored crabs running across road. After crossing this water stream covered in fog, we decided to take another break.
Once we crossed over a hill we saw first signs of civilisation, a few houses. Rain has stopped but clouds were still hovering.
Few km’s later, climate got better (lesser fog) to click pictures and for first time we saw some water streams coming down hills.
While on one side we had slightly clear hill, on the other side clouds were travelling at high speed covering-exposing hills at regular interval.
After riding on all kind of surface, tar road, broken road, road with slush (requiring to balance bike while crossing it), we reached a point where we were seeing weekend tourists in numbers. Later I realised that we are nearing the end of ride as we were closing on to Kundlika Valley.
After we started from Kundlika Valley, we were soon on Mulshi road and we were plugged back into civilisation (or shall I say uncivilised civilisation?). Weekend tourists were travelling on road as if they own it. Its a free country, so I go no problems with that but what I have problem is that when it start to affect me, by endangering my life.
We stopped at a hotel which on a normal day will be having staff out numbering customers but today there was a queue of customers. So we moved ahead for another hotel. After a nice lunch we rode back to Pune which was, like most of ride’s ending, a boring (no rains and drying roads) and frustrating (senseless riding/driving by morons on/behind wheels) experience.