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Old 31st March 2015, 12:28   #1
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Default Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

A lot of people used to tell us that we should not only organise hard core 4x4 drives and give chances to newbies and SUV owners to have fun with their vehicles and understand offroading. Also, this would let families experience offroading in relative comfort.

Thus, we decided to organise a small SUV based mild offroad trail.

We even let in newbies with jeep get an experience.

Date: 28 March 2015

Venue: At the 19 North Venue, opposite Sahara Aamby Valley in Lonavala.

Pics of the venue (The restaurant, activities, etc)

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Some pics during the recce:

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Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 31st March 2015 at 13:42.
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Old 31st March 2015, 13:58   #2
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Most mumbai drives have a meeting point at McDonald's at Panvel which is the start of the expressway.

After morning introductions and breakfast, we head out towards lonavala:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-img_1347.jpg

We meet at the parking lot of Hotel Sancheti in Lonavala to rendezvous with the vehicles coming in from Pune.

People start introductions and acquaint themselves to each other:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-parking-1.jpg

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Some people spend time by posing while waiting for the others to join

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-more-pose.jpg

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Time to leave. We start lining up the vehicles:

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Soon we head out towards the mountains:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-drive-aamby.jpg

After a 30 minute drive we come to the main gates and enter:

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Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th April 2015 at 15:46.
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Old 31st March 2015, 14:48   #3
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Once we reach the venue, participants are told to park their vehicles and enter for finishing the registration formalities:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-cars-parked1.jpg

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People assemble in the restaurant for registration, signing the indemnity forms, etc:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-assemble.jpg

Registration in progress. Every participant is given stickers, water bottles and snacks to munch on.

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-reg-1.jpeg

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Finally word is out that our celebrity guest has arrived and people look out to see:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-look-.jpg

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th April 2015 at 15:49.
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Old 31st March 2015, 14:49   #4
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

The 3 offroad junkies of the team.

Amol, Allan and Me (Tejas)

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-img_9104.jpg
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Old 31st March 2015, 15:17   #5
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Who's the celebrity?

If we flash back a bit, a in September 2014, a friend asked if i would be an offroad consultant for a Ladakh Drive for the Discovery channel.

Offcourse i jumped at it.

It was for the recent show on Discovery, Offroad with Gul Panag:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-off-gp.jpg

A bit discussion of the show happening here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ve...l-panag-4.html (Interesting Modified Scorpio Getaway for Gul Panag)

My role in the show was to be the offroad consultant as well as the team medic.

Over the course of the show, we became very good friends as well.

Here's the show schedule:

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Here's Gul talking about me in the press conference:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v...type=2&theater

Few random pics from the trip:

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It's always nice to see your name in the end credits. And twice!

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Coming back to the topic, i invited Gul to be a part of the drive. She readily agreed and participants were also happy to meet her and check out here modified getaway "Super Milo" in person.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 9th April 2015 at 11:18.
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Old 7th April 2015, 16:04   #6
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Gul arrives with her husband and 2 pet beagles:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-arrive.jpg

Here you can see here husband:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-husband.jpg

That's me with her:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-me.jpg

Lots of people posed and got snaps clicked:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-pose.jpg

Some checked out the Super Milo:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-check-out-milo.jpg

While some clicked their own snaps:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-other-way.jpg

Group Snap:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-group-pic.jpg

Was quite happy that she wore the Offroad Junkie Tshirt:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-tshirt.jpg

She had some urgent work that had come up and couldn't hit the trail with us. But was very happy that she kept to her commitment and came all the way to Aamby to meet everyone. On her way back she tweeted this photo:

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:24   #7
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

We finally hit the trail.

Newbies are briefed on driving techniques, gear selection and safety practices. Additionally before each obstacle, they are again told how to tackle it. If they are scared they have an option that one of us sits with them to give confidence or they can take a chicken route out.

Although it's an SUV drive, we did let in some newbies with their jeeps.

Random trail snaps:

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:33   #8
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

More snaps from everyones DSLRs, Mobile phones, point and shoot cameras:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-img_1408.jpg

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:46   #9
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

The only issue was that the heat was too much this time of the year:

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:51   #10
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

More pictures of the drive:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-img_4780.jpg

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:55   #11
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

A proper buffet lunch was served at the 19 North Restaurant:

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala-img_9017.jpg

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Old 7th April 2015, 16:58   #12
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

To sum it up, the overall feedback was great. People loved the trail and the food and the experience.

The newbies loved how the trail started easy and as their confidence grew, so did the level of difficulty.

No vehicles were damaged or scratched during the drive and we got no complaints whatsoever.

It was great to see that families including children had a super time in the comforts of the SUVs and the wives could understand the passion of their spouses.

Overall a great day.

A photographer from Autocar India also accompanied us and a feature of this drive will come in the next issue of the magazine.

Last but not the least, thanks to all the participants and specially Mr. Shyam Patel of 19 North for all his co-operation.


PIC COURTESY: DSLRs: Carmen and Milind. And all the mobile pics from everyone's camera assimilated via Whatsapp.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 7th April 2015 at 17:06.
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Old 8th April 2015, 09:27   #13
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Default re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the 4x4 Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 8th April 2015, 11:34   #14
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Default Re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Dr Tejas

This is a good initiative as most people dont really do hard core off roading but just need enough expertise to negotiate mildly tricky terrain. And you dont need a celebrity next time. You are famous enough!

Regards
Anand
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Old 8th April 2015, 11:45   #15
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Default Re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala

Among the men and the machines, Gul Panag & the Volvo XC60 are the Kelvinators (the coolest ones!).

Whose Volvo is that? (I see a Team-BHP sticker). Is it running on AT tyres? What kind of 4WD sytem does it have? Part time or full time? Does it have a 4WD LOCK like the Duster?
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