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Old 16th June 2007, 00:49   #46
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Great Trip and write up and a lot of courage doing the trip all alone!

I have been wanting to do this trip (Pune to Indore) but was vary of using Pune - Nagar - Shirdi - Malegaon - Dhule - Indore route which is taken by the buses that ply on this route because of a bad experience once. We were travelling by the evening bus from Indore to Pune and ended up spending the whole night in the ghats on NH3 (close to Indore) because some dacoits had looted the bus that had gone ahead of our bus. All the trucks and buses stopped in the ghats and waited till day break before starting again. I have only travelled by train after that incident.
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Old 16th June 2007, 01:48   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I don't stop for food, carry it along, have it on board.
I keep up high speeds - cruising at 120 kmph plus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Dude, Dont argue with Kumar Sir!! if He says 12.5 means he has done it & he mean it !!! FYI, He is a gem of a driver and "Guru of indian highways"...Just accept it as a benchmark....
eating while crusing at 120km/h+ speeds isn't exactly the mark of a guru now is it?
no one's challenging his being a safe driver, however, if hvkumar drives a certain distance in whatever time and someone else objects to that claim that doesn't give you any reason to blow steam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
problem is that many people stop for no reason, pee-smoke anywhere without any plan and loose hell lot of time... I have personally done some long stretches pretty fast with steady driving...
everybody drives at their own pace. there's no race to win here.
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Old 16th June 2007, 08:23   #48
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Quite simple, I leave Bombay at 300 am, cross Kolhapur by 730 am (400 kms), Belgaum in the next 1 hour, and Bangalore at 330 pm. I have done this several times. I don't stop for food, carry it along, have it on board. Fuel halts are less than 5-10 minutes each. Nowadays, the greatest time-savers (apart from the GQ itself) are - early morning start, Pune expressway, Katraj Ghat bypass and Kolhapur bypass road widening and the Tumkur-Nelamangala toll road. Despite teh work on the Davangere-Chitradurga section, speeds are consistent. I have not been on the road after teh opening of the Haveri/ranebennur bypasses, I hope to save another 15 minutes there. With the entire work getting completed, hopefully, I will cut travel time by another 15-20 minutes. I keep up high speeds - cruising at 120 kmph plus.

Kumar
@technocrat....sorry for hijacking your thread like this.

What car do you drive ? averaging 85kmph in a distance of 1500km is creepy even in the Golden Quadrilateral. I know we save a lot of time if we start early blah blah, but there is a lot of driving involved during traffic hours as well. It is not a 350km dash as it is between chennai & bangalore. Certainly eating while driving kills the pleasure of driving, why would you want to do that, whats the hurry, someone timing you ? Please drive safe, your claims about speeds & times taken will not win friends anywhere, driving safe will. cheers.
P.S. No offence meant kumar, Just my opinion.

Last edited by esteem_lover : 16th June 2007 at 08:24.
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Old 16th June 2007, 14:22   #49
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
@technocrat....sorry for hijacking your thread like this.

What car do you drive ? averaging 85kmph in a distance of 1500km is creepy even in the Golden Quadrilateral. I know we save a lot of time if we start early blah blah, but there is a lot of driving involved during traffic hours as well. It is not a 350km dash as it is between chennai & bangalore. Certainly eating while driving kills the pleasure of driving, why would you want to do that, whats the hurry, someone timing you ? Please drive safe, your claims about speeds & times taken will not win friends anywhere, driving safe will. cheers.
P.S. No offence meant kumar, Just my opinion.
As Abhi mentioned, the biggest difference between drivers is not the speed but the time spent on halts for food/rest breaks. Each person has his own plan, I prefer to do it non-stop. Have been doing it this way for the last 22 years - on bike, jeep, car and now a Scorpio. Lost count of the number of 24-hour plus non-stop day/night trips that I have done (incidentally, I have log books of all my trips going back to 1986), and am very comfortable with non-stop and night driving. Do most of my trips that way. Highlights have been Bhutan-Bombay in 4 days and 3 nights (sleeping only 1 night), solo, on a AX100 TVS bike, or driving non-stop Bombay-Jalandhar (1,900 kms), Bombay-Trivandrum (several times, 1,750 kms), Bombay-Delhi (1,450 kms, 17 hours, several times), Sagar-Kanyakumari/Trivandrum (2,200 kms, 2 days, 2 nights non-stop), Bombay-Bangalore (1,050 kms, 12.5 hours, routinely, several times a year) - the list can go on. Having driven in a Mahindra Commander (1994) or a daewoo Matiz (1999) or a SCorpio (2005), I don't see any significant difference in vehicle speeds (maybe 30-60 minutes max), but the GQ roads have transformed the driving experience . I have cut driving time from Bombay to Delhi by 7 hours, Bangalore by 2 hours, etc. I have suggested these driving times to several of my friends - initially, they said that I am a madcap driver, you can't do these high speeds, but they found themselves doing more or less the same speeds.

Why these speeds? We may be fast, yes, but we drive safe, that is why I am still around having driven over 6,00,000 kms on Indian roads. We all have jobs and businesses, limited time, and many miles to go. For instance, if I want to go to Ladakh, unless I do Bombay-Delhi non-stop, I would need at least 2/3 days more to do the trip which I can't afford considering that my Bombay-Ladakh trip itself takes me 15 days plus. Thus, I have done North East India (10,000 kms, 18 days), Kashmir2Kanyakumari (3,800 kms, 4 days), Coast2Cape2Coast (12,000 kms, 15 days) and so on. I drive both with friends and family, and my family (including my 69-year old mother who has also come with me on some of my trips) thinks the drives are safe, comfortable, despite what may be perceived to be very high speeds.

Another thing I do is to plan my trip timings carefully, taking into account traffic conditions on different routes. For instance, if I am going to Delhi, I leave at night so that I can race through Rajasthan at daytime. Same thing with any trip in Kerala (start at night to beat the messy Kerala daytime traffic) or Goa (always by day, never at night, save at least 2 hours).

Kumar
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Old 16th June 2007, 16:09   #50
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As Kumar Sir has elaborately mentioned it, but my 2 cents
Although I am an amateur in that case but I often try to learn a lot from the experience guys like Kumar and got amazing results... FYI, I study Kumar's log books before every long drive and prepare a strategy for my drive and so far my estimates has always matched with my implementation (let me tell i travel with full load, ladies, kid etc etc in Alto)...

I can share my little experience, I drive an Alto and generally my speed hovers between 100-120kmph on 4-lanes & 80-100kmph on 2lanes:
In my long drive I have never seen a single car (no matter a Skoda or a Corolla) beating in the timings which I plan...One classic example is a Skoda fellow who overtook me at Yelamanchili (near Vizag) and I kept tailgating him and he increased his speed and was gone...soon after 20min, I see him standing on road side and smoking, I overtook him in a flash, again he overtakes me after Rajahmundry, Ok fine, Somewhere near Eluru I overtake him again, he was peeing in the road side plus lighting his cigerette....When I was leaving Vijayawada A1 plaza after lunch, he was entering there....What did u learn from here? I was never behind him in terms of time and distance, momentarily he overtook me coz he has a sophisticated/powerful car but the final destination I am always there (let me tell this is Yelamanchili - Vijayawada stretch close to 300+km)...I was driving steadily throughout and wife fed me with biscuits, water, snacks etc but the speed was consistent....

I always travel with 4 people (sometimes with a kid too, see my travelogues) and full luggage and my wife often tell me, "Do u apply brakes ever?", and I tell her jokingly, "no my engine applies brakes for me" (actually it is true !!)

You should know what speeds to maintain and in what stretch? and if u dont waste time doing all those nonsense on the highways, then believe me, u can really do longer distance just by shear steady driving...Its all in mindset...I can highlight many such small experiences where a 5-10min stop kills a lot of distance (in this acceleration-deceleration)...

My Motto: Slow but Steady will always win you the race in the longer run

Abhi
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Old 16th June 2007, 16:24   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
eating while crusing at 120km/h+ speeds isn't exactly the mark of a guru now is it?
no one's challenging his being a safe driver, however, if hvkumar drives a certain distance in whatever time and someone else objects to that claim that doesn't give you any reason to blow steam.
everybody drives at their own pace. there's no race to win here.
Hey I am not blowing anything, I just told him about Kumar and making his timing as a benchmark...What I meant is "You can take as many breaks u want but u can also drive down mum-blr in 12.5 hrs if u plan accordingly"
and ya kumar will definitely not cruise at 120kmph while eating, while u r munching probably u are at 60-80kmph but not stopping... I also do the same thing when I am eating or drinking, my speed comes down to 60kmph but dont stop for it...
Friend, I have seen a hell lot of instances that a 5min break can loose a lot in terms of distances coz ur acceleration-deceleration kills lots of time...

Guru is a relative term, has anybody done any nook-corner of india highways and 6lakh kms in all conditions? So far I know it is Kumar!! Hence, he is my guru in this domain...Hence, I claimed it (FYI, I dont even know how Kumar looks like??? ) But yes, I have studied his drives thru the logbooks, tried to follow his route details-instructions and indeed got positive-encouraging results....

humyum, aah78: I apologize if my comments fueled anything...I hope I could convey what I meant....

Abhi
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Old 16th June 2007, 17:19   #52
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Very Hot discussion indeed.

Abhi was mentioning about speed reduces which you are feeding yourself and driving.

Kumar, I have travelled with him in his Matiz to ladakh in 2004. We three of the passengers were dozing off and lazying in, while Kumar was driving at constant 110-120 in his matiz for 36 hrs continuously between bombay and delhi. Infact I was his navigator logging in his readings and am really amazed.

I had never observed he slowing down for food or water, below 80-90 kmph. In fact he had touched 150 kmph in his Matiz while we were returning in Rajastan Desert, ofcourse on road.

Taking this que from him, i have started keeping pace and did bombay bangalore in 16 hrs flat in my Gypsy.

I also did Mysore Bangalore in 2hrs and 15 minutes of 145 kms on my bullet.

My better half says that now a days my driving has changed from racing and stopping to constant cruising. Yes Been able to save time, but drive safe too.

Speed is fine provided you are alert.

Dwarak
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Old 17th June 2007, 22:46   #53
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Friend, I have seen a hell lot of instances that a 5min break can loose a lot in terms of distances coz ur acceleration-deceleration kills lots of time...
, please explain to me as if i were a 5 year old. Why wouldn't you take a 5 minute break in a drive of 12.5 hrs ?
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Old 18th June 2007, 01:35   #54
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Arre yaar... its not a question of a 5 mins break in a 12-13 hours journey. What abhi is trying to convey is probably that when you make these unplanned stops, typically your speed starts going down for the 1st 5 mins... then you find the spot to stop. Then that 5 mins break probably anyhow extends to some 10-15 mins. Same happens once again as you start moving. So basically that "5 mins break" turns out to be a rather long one in terms of time lost. Everyone has his or her own methods.

For me planned breaks are always welcome. In fact I would rather have a few short breaks thrown in into a real long journey. A road journey is not all about just driving. Its also about enjoying the vista, absorbing the surroundings etc. I even like to take a few snaps when I am passing by an interesting area. It not only rejuvenates me as a driver but also lets my car take a small rest. In the hot afternoons I even like to take a 15 mins break after driving 200-300 kms with full load at 120-130kmph speeds and keep the bonnet hood open so that even my car gets a breather.

To everyone his own.
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Old 18th June 2007, 01:42   #55
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Techno... buddy way to go. Amazing trip and a very interesting travelogue. Thats what makes us avid motorheads. I always romanticize the idea of driving by road rather than taking a train or plane.

By the way, that bridge near Bhusaval that you posted pics of is the bridge on the Tapi river. Although I am surprised that you took the road that you did. Actually there is a bridge that now people drive on. The pics are on a service road which people used earlier before the bridge came on. It passes by a village (I forgot the name now all of a sudden...). That road gets submerged in water during rainy season as the Tapi starts flowing. Actually there is a barrage in varangaon which opens its gates in rainy season and that floods Tapi. Nowadays that road is mainly used by the village folks and some local autos who avoid getting on that bridge.
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Old 18th June 2007, 08:03   #56
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Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
Arre yaar... its not a question of a 5 mins break in a 12-13 hours journey. What abhi is trying to convey is probably that when you make these unplanned stops, typically your speed starts going down for the 1st 5 mins... then you find the spot to stop. Then that 5 mins break probably anyhow extends to some 10-15 mins. Same happens once again as you start moving. So basically that "5 mins break" turns out to be a rather long one in terms of time lost. Everyone has his or her own methods.

For me planned breaks are always welcome. In fact I would rather have a few short breaks thrown in into a real long journey. A road journey is not all about just driving. Its also about enjoying the vista, absorbing the surroundings etc. I even like to take a few snaps when I am passing by an interesting area. It not only rejuvenates me as a driver but also lets my car take a small rest. In the hot afternoons I even like to take a 15 mins break after driving 200-300 kms with full load at 120-130kmph speeds and keep the bonnet hood open so that even my car gets a breather.

To everyone his own.
Thanks Zappo for pretty much summarizing what I wanted to intend...

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover
please explain to me as if i were a 5 year old. Why wouldn't you take a 5 minute break in a drive of 12.5 hrs ?
Taking or not taking break is personal choice, it also depends on lot of factors.... when I started driving I felt Blr - yelagiri too long, then I did Blr - yercaud, when I did nonstop blr - dindigul, all the others 250km distance became peanuts...subsequently nonstop Kolkata - Bhubaneshwar (both ways), Bhubaneshwar-Vizag were all nonstop with one fuel break (the pee sessions in reliance pump itself)... Not only my mental setup changed but also my passenger (in this case my wife), who never says that we are driving for 400km nonstop lets stop/break...we enjoy the drive itself...this happened after the blr-kol trip, we did blr-goa with just one breakfast break in between without putting anyone into stress (there was a 2 yr old kid also), had they told me to stop i would have but they didnt, so I went on...

I never said you dont take break... Whenever I go for a long (500+ km in a day) trip, the stops are all planned, and the duration at the stops are also planned...

Like Kumar if u do Mum-blr frequently, slowly it will become a peanut drive in your mindset and ur body and mind will respond to do that nonstop...let me tell u r not pushing your mind/body or racing with self to increase the time....it just happens when u do real longer distances frequently...

Abhi
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Old 18th June 2007, 09:36   #57
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As Zappo and Abhi mention, each person has his own driving style and attitude, not necessarily limited by each person's physical or mental abilities. Whether it is a 5-minute halt or several halts, one has to go by own's physical needs (toilets, food, nap, etc) and enjoyment (taking photos, smoking, enjoying the landscapes, inspecting the car, etc). For instance, I may appear to be crazy about fast driving, but I am more obsessed with reaching my target destination.Each person sets his own physical limits and plans his drive accordingly.

Like Abhi said, you keep on revising your physical targets and raising your ambitions as you go along. My family used to be horrified about the long drives once upon a time, now they actually enjoy them.

For instance, if I have to reach my desination for the night, I prefer to reach that destination and have my dinner than stop by earlier at an interim place and prolong the drive late into the night.

Driving requires tremendous mental concentration on Indian roads. I have never exerted myself in any other job as much as when I go long-distance driving. In my case, any break means upsetting that mental equilibrium. I never stop to drink coffee/ tea even during my night drives, used to once upon a time, found that it does not help me in any way, so stopped doing it last few years.

Passengers have a different mindset - a boredom that comes from doing nothing but enjoying the landscape - and they have stronger compulsions to take breaks (whenever they are not napping in the car itself!).

Whenever I stop at petrol pumps, I use the opportunity to go to the toilet, inspect the car (tyres, undercarriage, under the bonnet, etc); I don't smoke, have food on board (dry fruits, fresh fruits, non-carbonated electrolyte drinks, chocolates, dry food like khakras, etc) since I found that each food break means a loss of 45-60 minutes. I do enjoy dhaba food and such like but that is reserved for those days when the drive is more leisurely - for example, when I drive to Ladakh, my Bombay-Delhi sector would be very tight on time, but after that, once we get into Himachal, we would be very relaxed - I am an avid still photographer and videographer - I have long movies on every exciting trip that I have done - which means we also do take breaks, and long ones at that at places that matter.

Kumar
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Old 18th June 2007, 17:38   #58
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Hi,

My In-law's house being in Mangalore, I travel atleast once in a year in my Gypsy. When the debate came on breaks, I must tell about my used to be breaks. Start from Bangalore at 6 a.m., stop for break fast at Kunigal, Lunch at Hassan, Tea at Mangalore and home by 6 p.m. To say 12 hrs for 375 kms.

When I started taking fewer breaks in between, reduced the time of travel by half. Today I depart from Bangalore at 6 a.m., we stop at Hassan for breakfast and lunch at in-laws place in Mangalore. Still enjoy the drive and not tired too.

Bangalore - Mangalore is a regular travel and hence, comfortable and steady. When it comes to different destinations, a proper plan of route, road condition, speed limits, breaks, fuel filling, etc. will surely reduce stress on Driver and reach the destination safely at planned time and live with that.

What I observed in HV Kumar was, he is miticulous planner, takes all probabilities in to account and provisions for. Carries sufficient food in car to last for atleast 2 days for all in-mates.

Dwarak
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Old 18th June 2007, 17:43   #59
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You are more at liberty to travel non-stop when you are driving alone and more alert.



Dwarak
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Old 18th June 2007, 18:00   #60
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Quite simple, I leave Bombay at 300 am, cross Kolhapur by 730 am (400 kms), Belgaum in the next 1 hour, and Bangalore at 330 pm. I have done this several times. I don't stop for food, carry it along, have it on board. Fuel halts are less than 5-10 minutes each. Nowadays, the greatest time-savers (apart from the GQ itself) are - early morning start, Pune expressway, Katraj Ghat bypass and Kolhapur bypass road widening and the Tumkur-Nelamangala toll road. Despite teh work on the Davangere-Chitradurga section, speeds are consistent. I have not been on the road after teh opening of the Haveri/ranebennur bypasses, I hope to save another 15 minutes there. With the entire work getting completed, hopefully, I will cut travel time by another 15-20 minutes. I keep up high speeds - cruising at 120 kmph plus.
My understanding is that the GQ is basically a 4-lane highway on the Chennai-Mumbai sector; see the following website:

NHAI - Golden Quadrilateral

I have not done the Mumbai-Bangalore route recently, but I am very familiar with the Pune bypass road (Dehu Road to Katraj) and I have also done a bit of the Satara road recently on the way to Mahabaleshwar from Pune. My understanding is that it is almost impossible to *consistently* maintain 120+ speeds on that road, say after about 8-30 AM when you pass Belgaum in your description above; you could hit 120+ in short bursts, but you would have to slow down for a number of reasons:

-- Plenty of heavy vehicle traffic on the entire stretch. These are ususally staggerred on both lanes and you have to zig-zag your way through.
-- As you approach small towns/villages, plenty of two-wheeler traffic and intersections with signals as well.
-- Toll gates, apart from the various breaks for fuelling/food/toilet.

These are all potent speed-breakers; e.g a lorry on the right lane and a two-wheeler on the left lane can slow you down to 50 kmph or less. Plus slow vehicles (lorries/buses/vans, etc.) staggerred on both lanes mean that you have to zig-zag your way through; surely not advisable at 120+ speeds on a four-lane highway, even if physically possible.

The Expressway plus the early start helped you to make the distance from Mumbai to Belgaum, ~500 kms, in 5.5 hours (average speed 90 kmph). Already very tough, but I will grant you that. But after Belgaum it is past 8-30 AM, you have another 550 kms to be done in 7 hours and you no longer have the 6-lane Expressway to help you out. With all the "speed-breakers" above, you would surely have to do 140-150 kmph speeds on open stretches to manage that. Even if possible on a relatively crowded four-lane highway, it cannot be very safe (if my assessment is correct).
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