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Old 1st April 2008, 20:45   #1
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Default 3 bulls, 5 guys and a fort ... ride to Pratapgarh from Pune

Samar is a kiddo. His moustache seems almost fake . Perhaps its his way to saying to the outside big bad world, "I am a grown-up"!

He had been after my life for a while now. Ever since he bought his Bullet 350 Std, he was itching for a decently long ride. I promised him to organize a ride sooner than later.

So, last Saturday was the day, when I (Bullet 500 Citibike), Samar (Bullet 350 Std) and Deepak (Bullet Electra 5S) decided to ride to Pratapgarh. We had two pillions along with us. Chandrakant who rode with me and Satish who rode with Deepak. Samar, being the kiddo got the benefit of riding solo. The same fort where the giant "Afzal Khan" was torn apart by the pint-sized dynamo "Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj". For more on Pratapgarh, please see the wiki page: Pratapgad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The plan was to ride out early to avoid the Pune city traffic and reach the fort top by 10:30-11:00. We decided to meet at the point where the old ghat road and the new Katraj bypass road converge. I was there bang on 7 only to learn that the other two bikes were late by a good 30 odd minutes. I took to opportunity to light a 'sutta' and have a 'tea-break'. At around 7:30, I saw the two 'Bulls' from some distance, approaching me in all their glory.

After a quick round of b'fast, we headed towards our destination 'Pratapgarh'. I am not exactly a person who would die to visit a historical place, but Deepak loves being on forts. For the rest of the pack, a ride was important more than anything else.

All kick-started to life and soon we were cruising at 80-90 kph on the NH-4. The roads are amazing and the morning climate was very pleasant. We were knocking on the Khambatki ghat climb and decided to take a small bio break. Now, started the real fun. The uphill climb was not new to me (have been to Mahabi on my bike and car many a times). For Deepak and especially Samar, it was a challenge. They struggled to keep pace with me. I had good fun having complete knowledge of the ghat stretch. My foot-pegs met the tarmac more often than not and my pillion enjoyed it as well! After crossing the ghat, we reached the junction from where we had to take right towards Wai and thereon, leading to Mahableshwar-Pratapgarh. Deepak and Samar reached a good 10 mins after me.

Soon, we were nearing the beautiful Pasarni ghat. This is a much easier ghat to negotiate but treacherous at the same time, because you have oncoming traffic as well (Khambatki is a one-way affair). Pasarni is punctuated by s-curves all the way from the base to the top leading into the small and beautiful town of Panchgani. The climate was blissful and I could feel the cool breeze in my head. Again, we took advantage of the 10-15 min lead and had a small break. Deepak and Samar soon reached Panchgani and joined us for a tea and Sutta. It was decided that from thereon, we ride non-stop to Pratapgarh as it was only 41 kms ahead.

It took us another 1 hour and 15 mins to reach Pratapgarh. From Mahableshwar one needs to take the Ambenali ghat (leading to Poladpur where it meets MH-17). This ghat is a treat to ride. Hair-pins all the way and I was amazed at negotiating them at 50 kph speeds with a pillion on board. The foot-pegs were in love with the tarmac again .

We reached the base of Pratapgarh at around 11:30 as against the planned 10:30. Not too bad, I'd say.

A good two hours were spent atop the fort and then we decided to head back to Pune. On our way back, we dropped in at a small dhaba to have our lunch. Gavraan chicken and rotis were the order of the day. We also picked up fresh strawberries from a farm. Really worth the money spent!
Before we parted off, I performed a burn-out on the 500 and it was good fun for all! Will post the video of the same.

The return trip was nothing much to write about except for the fact that I was running low on engine oil and my headlights went for a toss as I approached the city. We all reached back home safe and sound at around 7:30 pm. Mission Pratapgarh was over and Samar was smiling . The kid had done his first full ride on the Bullet outside the city limits. 300 kms and he is longing for more. Makes my life difficult

PS: Please pardon any spelling or grammatical errors in the post. I was in a bit of hurry while writing this.

Last edited by wanderlustindia : 1st April 2008 at 20:49. Reason: Added some more content
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:01   #2
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Yeh Bullet meri jaan manzilon ka nishaan ...iskee raftaar keee baat hai aur hee.. yeh bullet , yeh bullet meri jaan !!

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nice writeup.
Fave line in it:
The foot-pegs were in love with the tarmac again .

pics? if any.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:33   #3
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Some pics at: Picasa Web Albums - Trek - Pratapgad. Let me know if the link doesn't work.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:59   #4
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Nice funfilled rides, nice pics as well but captions are missing

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