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Tejas@perioimpl 31st March 2015 12:28

Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
13 Attachment(s)
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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Tejas@perioimpl 31st March 2015 13:58

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
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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:

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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:

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

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Time to leave. We start lining up the vehicles:

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Soon we head out towards the mountains:

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

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Tejas@perioimpl 31st March 2015 14:48

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
12 Attachment(s)
Once we reach the venue, participants are told to park their vehicles and enter for finishing the registration formalities:

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

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

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

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Tejas@perioimpl 31st March 2015 14:49

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
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The 3 offroad junkies of the team.

Amol, Allan and Me (Tejas)

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Tejas@perioimpl 31st March 2015 15:17

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
10 Attachment(s)
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:

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A bit discussion of the show happening here:

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:

Few random pics from the trip:

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

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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.

Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:04

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
9 Attachment(s)
Gul arrives with her husband and 2 pet beagles:

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Here you can see here husband:

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That's me with her:

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Lots of people posed and got snaps clicked:

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Some checked out the Super Milo:

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While some clicked their own snaps:

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Group Snap:

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Was quite happy that she wore the Offroad Junkie Tshirt:

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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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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:24

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
20 Attachment(s)
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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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:33

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
20 Attachment(s)
More snaps from everyones DSLRs, Mobile phones, point and shoot cameras:

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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:46

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
20 Attachment(s)
The only issue was that the heat was too much this time of the year:

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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:51

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
15 Attachment(s)
More pictures of the drive:

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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:55

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
11 Attachment(s)
A proper buffet lunch was served at the 19 North Restaurant:

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Tejas@perioimpl 7th April 2015 16:58

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. :D

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.

GTO 8th April 2015 09:27

re: Mild Offroading with SUVs in Lonavala
Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 4x4 Section. Thanks for sharing!

adtalwar 8th April 2015 11:34

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! :D


SmartCat 8th April 2015 11:45

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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