Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Motor-Sports > Indian Motorsport


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th May 2018, 10:33   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

My wife participated in the Times Women's Drive 2018 (Pune - Goa); and this, is her take on it.

--

#IAMTHEDRIVE: EXPERIENCE AT TIMES WOMEN’S DRIVE 2018

Cars, Driving and Me

I was never fascinated by cars. The status remains the same. But, I am fascinated by adventures and roads- journeys and the way you take these journeys. That is what drove me to even get a driving license.

Driving to any place is an adventure, even if it is the monotonous route to work. Why? Just because you experience different things every time you drive, even if it is the same route.

This is the second thing that drove me to say YES to my childhood friend (who had done this drive last year) and her sister-in-law. For what?

THE TIMES WOMEN"S DRIVE 2018- From Pune to Goa.

The Times Women's Drive (TWD) and what drives it? My third 'Drive'

As the name suggests, TWD is a drive (not a race) for women and for the cause of women related health issues- mainly breast and cervical cancer. Started by Devika Bhojwani, a cancer survivor herself, the main aim of this drive is to raise funds for Breast Cancer patients who cannot afford the treatment (it is backed by Tata Memorial Hospital). I was aware of her work, as I have done a couple of Pinkathon runs and she is associated with it as well. It is also a cause for women which I deeply care for because of the impact it has had on women in my family as well.

All this, along with the fact that I would be driving all the way to Goa (via Ganpatipule) definitely drove me to say a BIG YES for this event!

Pre-event Prep

Pretty enthusiastic about the drive, we started planning for our social cause- Promoting Solar Energy to enhance the use of renewable resources in the world. Two weeks to go, we planned our car decorations- vinyl stickers- solar panels to be precise and slogans; as well as our dresses to go with the theme.

Understanding Time, Distance, Speed and Tulip charts was another challenge. Attending the briefing in Pune, a week prior to the drive, helped us with this. I remember solving TSD sums in the management entrance exams (CAT). The formula was still hidden somewhere in my Long Term Memory. We had to use this formula for the rally!

Tulip chart is nothing but a map, with a difference. Here is an example:

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 7721
Size:  64.5 KB

http://www.justsportz.in/images/image008.jpg

Can you follow anything?

It is not so easy? The tulips are each row. The official distance would be on our Trip-meter and the intermediate distance would be the distance to cover in between two tulips. The drawings are very specific- bumps, right turns, left turns and of course Y- forks, villages etc. Our tulip for the rally did not have speed on the side.

Living in the era depending on 'Google Maps', the tulip chart was definitely an exercise to the brain. We realized in the rally though, once you get used to it, you feel like a boss. Enough exercise to the brain, now when is the rally?
libranof1987 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 10:40   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

The Rally- Day 1: Pune to Ganpatipule: 314kms

Our ride!

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-img_3501.jpeg

At 6.45am, as we entered Royal Entrada Hotel, Wakad, we saw a pool of dressed up cars waiting to get inside- just like a fashion show for cars. The first flag off was at 7am. Since our car number was 405 (105th car from Pune), our estimated flag off time was 8:45am. We reached way before our that so that we could see other cars and admire their efforts to put their social message in the right way using their creativity and play of words.

The atmosphere at the start point was very vibrant and full of colours and enthusiasm. The women drivers, navigators and the coordinators were all charged and raring to go. With the decorations and the social messages, it felt like the cars were there to tell us something.

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-2.jpg

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-img_3505.jpeg

The organisation was idyllic. We were given breakfast boxes as well as goodies for on the way, which included cashews, almonds, biscuits and chips. Apart from which we carried our road trip stash: With the preparation and the wonderful vibe, we were ready to flag off at 8.45am. 4 minutes before our flag off, we were give the Tulip chart and our Distance and Speed chart. Before we took off, we randomly checked our tulip chart and it pointed out that our route was via Tamhini ghat. As we approached the flag off moment, my friend's daughter got the opportunity to flag off our car. Not a moment more, not a moment/ second less- 8:45:00 am and we were off.

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-3.jpg

While I started calculating, the navigator started pointing out the Tulips and the driver got down to business. For a TSD rally, everyone has a key role to play at every moment. We literally had playlists of music ready, but no time to play the songs. Pretty intense!

Our main aim was to remain well within the average speed mentioned on the time chart. My job was to calculate the time to be taken in between two points A & B; B& C and so on. The most important factors were the Time Check Points and our Odometer (Tripmeter).

1. Time Check points (TC) were randomly placed on the route and we had to stop as soon as we see a Red Clock- that looked like the one under this paragraph. We crossed several surprise Time Check points where the marshals recorded our ATA and ATD on their timesheet and our timesheet. My job was to sign their timesheet and make sure we get our car's timesheet filled. All the marshals on the job were smiling and encouraging us throughout. This also made us feel good about our drive and our confidence to calculate and go through the journey perfectly.

2. Why was the tripmeter/ car odo an important factor? Because we did not know the difference/ error between the car tripmeter and the odometer from which the distances were calculated. We had to take into account all of this and keep counting our distances to go. Our tripmeter and their odometer calculations went from a difference of 0kms to 5kms at the end of the day. As I said, the non-drivers too had a lot of work to do!

Within 20-25 minutes of the drive, we got the hang of calculations as well as reading the tulips and following the Speed limit. As the car paved the way through Tamhini Ghat, we got pretty comfortable with the settings- Measure the time- set the ETA, write the ATA, simultaneously pay attention to the tulips and enjoy the drive!

TSD rallys usually have a free zone where in you can take the speed in your own control, have your bio breaks, eat and fuel the car too. We noticed we had a free zone for 135 minutes and the kilometers to be covered in 135 minutes were just 82.84. Thats 2hours 15 minutes and just 83 kilometers. Also, we knew we were going to hit the NH66 and it would be a smooth ride and we need not worry about the time. We halted at Vitthal Kamat at Mahad. Many others halted too. Not more than 25 minutes for our Pav Bhaji and buttermilk to gulp down our throats and we were on our way. I got behind the wheels, at least until the free-zone was done, before I resumed my calculations. After about 30-40 off kilometers of straight free- highway, we read a board- ghat starts. I took it upto a point after which I was finding it difficult to manage the gears and the speed. We changed drivers and we were ok with our speed. It got me thinking about what ghat this could be, because there were no signs of the name of the ghat. After getting on to a substantial height, here comes a signboard- Kashedi Ghat. 'Woah!' went my mind. According to my knowledge, this is one of the longest ghats in Maharashtra, with a lot of SOCA (Series of Curves Ahead, your welcome!). And hence, the time given to us was that long, that we totally took for granted. At the end of the free zone, we were almost 30 minutes behind our scheduled ETA. We should have never stopped for that long!! Lesson learned well.

We got back on track. Out ETA to Ganpatipule was around 18:05. Khed- Chiplun to Ganpatipule was a smooth drive because we got our energy back after that foolish glitch in the free-zone. Reanalysing our time in our results, we were pretty accurate with our time minus the few seconds here and there. We reached Ganpatipule at 18:04, few seconds before of ETA. We were welcomed by the marshal at the end point and were guided to our Hotel Landmark through a small information sheet. The view that you are welcomed by into Ganpatipule is mesmerising. Going down a winding road from a cliff to the sea level, while the large ocean greets you with a still calmness. I cannot get over that moment we turned a winding road just to see the blue sea of Ganpatipule.

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-4.jpg

Status of the car at the end of the day: Looked just the same, except some of the decoration had come off! Also, we just had a minor technical glitch in the car- water dripping off from the air conditioner, in front of the co-passenger seat but only when the car was on sharp turns. We were yet to figure if it would affect our drive the next day.

Last edited by navin : 9th May 2018 at 10:53. Reason: changing heading
libranof1987 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 10:45   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

Day 2- Ganpatipule to Goa: 315km

Our stay at Ganpatipule was pleasant. We were tired yet satisfied with our effort on day 1. For the next day, the rules were the same. We had to line up at the start point at around 8am (1/2 hour before our flag off i.e 8:45am). As we woke up at around 5.30am, we had an email and one said, "Girls, we are 18th for Day 1" while the other two went, "What?" out of joy!

Now the key was to maintain the position or go ahead!

Before we flagged off, we were warned that some portion of our route were changed due to work on the main road. Basically, we were off roading for about 7 kms, which showed us 35 minutes on the Time chart we got on day 2, 4 minutes before the flag off!

The free zone for today was only for 10 km- 80 minutes. We decided to go all the way to 9kms and the take a break, for which we packed bread butter sandwich from our hotel in Ganpatipule.

We left exactly at 8:45 am and we started our jobs. We switched our roles for the day. Even though we had an idea, we confirmed after a few kilometers that we would be taking the coastal route, all the way up to GOA!

We also realised, the water is still dripping off the airconditioner. We made a few calls and decided to show it to the any mechanic on the way. Luckily just before Rantagiri, we saw an mechanic and fixed our problem within 5 minutes. The A/C pipe was clogged and the mechanic took 2-3mins to remove the blockage. Once this was out of the way, we were stress free and back on track. In fact we realized we were travelling a bit faster the average, which got us the a TC point earlier! After which we were back on track.

The highlight of this route was the scenic beauty as well as a few surprises- bumpy roads! All the roads were village roads, which made it simple at times (as there was no traffic), but tougher where the roads were in a poor condition. The stretch up to Kunkeshwar was very picturesque and serene. The windmills that can be seen from Kunkeshwar beach are a rare and wonderful sight.

Once that was done, then we went through a 30 minute terror. Just 6 kms, but completely off-roading! Sindhudurg has decided to come up with an airport in its vicinity. Though the airport is done, the road is just not around. There are stones, rocks and nothing else on that patch.

Name:  5.jpg
Views: 7404
Size:  60.4 KB

Within 1 hour of driving from that patch of 'road', we entered Goa. By this time, my brain had slowed down. Calculations were on, so were the tulips but, we heaved a sigh of relief since we were approaching our end point soon.

Our original ETA until the flag down point was 7.30pm. We reached at 8.10pm thanks to all the massive flyover work that is happening in Panaji. We misread a tulip and ended up going towards Ponda. Most of the vehicles ended in that direction. At that moment we received a message from our team coordinator stating the last TC point has been cancelled. The moment we entered our flag down spot, we saw many rally cars parked and all the ladies were dancing and having a ball! We got our medals too!

At the end of the day, we were extremely exhausted. The route was tougher compared to day 1, but the end result was Goa We entered our Hotel Radisson Blu at 9:45pm, had our dinner and just went off to sleep, because the next day we had a day to spend in Goa and an evening to remember with the TWD awards night at Holiday Inn, Goa.
libranof1987 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 10:46   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

In closing....

Overall, we had a blast for the three days! The icing on this cake was our guest for the awards night- Ranbir Kapoor! All the winners deserved the awards and all the participants deserved to celebrate. We came 31st in Pune and we were very happy about it.

Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant-8b348ce5029e4309924697f01c5a1d33.jpeg

At the end of the three days, I took back a lot of memories and teachings from this drive. Team spirit, trust, allowing women to drive and take the lead, driving on tough terrains without underestimating women, courage to stay steady and move consistently and of course, maths :P

A big shoutout
• To the organisers for managing the 3 days so smoothly, no major glitches and taking care of the cars and women who went through issues in the drive- flawlessly.
• To the recovery vehicle which was always around every 30 cars, to see if everyone and the car is doing well.
• To the winners and all the participants who gave it all they had in the two days
• To all the people involved in organising the awards night! Especially Cyrus Sahukar, the host and of course, RK to keep the night alive!
• To all the women who are fighting breast cancer, stay steady
• To my two co-travellers! The best I could ask for!
• My other half and our parents and also to all the family members and friends who encouraged us!

It was not about going to Goa and having fun, it was about the excitement on the road, the fun of not knowing what is going to come in the next tulip (that Google maps just gives on a platter) and the adventure that each turn or hair-pin bend gives the driver as well as the co-passengers and of course, coming together in big numbers- 1500 women to be precise, from 4 different cities, to raise awareness and funds for a bigger cause- that is all what this drive was about.

Here is to all the women who drive! You are the drive of your life #IAmTheDrive

Last edited by libranof1987 : 7th May 2018 at 10:49.
libranof1987 is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 11:10   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

Now, here's my take on it, having observed and heard about this event:

1) The cause is noble and the event is terrific: what's a better way to raise money for a cause than have an event where you can not only create awareness, but also make it fun for the participants.

The drive this year had teams from Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Participation, per team, was ~25k, which included accommodation for three nights, the gala on the third night, and breakfast.

2) The registration process seems a little fishy: the way it works is, your team signs up for the event and then your team has to get votes. A certain no. of teams are to be selected from each city. You can view the no. of votes for your team on their portal. Now, the reason why I call it fishy is: my wife's team got ~ 30k votes. There is no chance this can be true. Also, them being on the other side of 100 from Pune, that too with 30k votes, imagine the no. of votes the earlier 100 teams got! Daya needs to look this up.

3) The management was simply mind-blowing: I was there to flag them off and I was beyond impressed with how well the flag-off event was managed. Cars were arranged extremely well in their order of flag-off, participants were given everything they needed (a crate of water bottles, breakfast, instructions) systematically. Cars were flagged-off exactly at the moment they were supposed to.

This is 120ish cars we're talking about and more than 500 people.

This continued throughout the drive on both days and also, on the last day of the event.

Whoever organized/managed this event did a fantastic job; getting 500 cars, safely and in a way everyone enjoyed, from four cities to one is no mean task.

4) It was extremely heartening to see the amount of support the women had from their families. Every car had a very proud bunch of family members around them. The cars ranged from a Nano to a X5, the ages varied from teens to senior citizens. And the amount of involvement and dedication in the event was clearly visible: the cars were decked up with messages and so were the participants.

5) The event in general, with the design: three women per team and absolutely no distractions: be it kids or men, made it quite a fun experience for the participants. I'm sure this encourages and takes forward the spirit of adventure, independence and empowerment.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 7th May 2018 at 11:11.
libranof1987 is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 12:19   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Delhi-NCR
Posts: 1,378
Thanked: 9,015 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

Driving for a cause seems like fun and contribution rolled in one. Congratulations to your (much) better half for her successful participation. If something like this ever happens up north for 'ladies & baldies' or 'ladies and oldies' count me in.
V.Narayan is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 13:14   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: India
Posts: 10,495
Thanked: 22,600 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
As the name suggests, TWD is a drive (not a race)
Rest of the points speak otherwise. Looks to have followed TSD rally guidelines and scoring system - except that it was conducted on public roads.

The podium winners had good money to earn in terms of rewards as well! Makes it a race, doesn't it - atleast for the few who were running within the first five?

Really appreciate the noble cause for which it was conducted though.
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th May 2018, 13:35   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,444
Thanked: 4,812 Times
Default re: Times Women's Drive, 2018: My wife's take as a participant

Some points to add:

1) Each participant has to be able to drive and hence, have a valid DL (removing the possibility of having a team member who'll be assigned for non-driving responsibilities)
2) Each driver registers themselves with FMSCI prior to the drive; the cars are inspected by FMSCI representatives at flag-off
3) Each team takes rally insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Driving for a cause seems like fun and contribution rolled in one. Congratulations to your (much) better half for her successful participation. If something like this ever happens up north for 'ladies & baldies' or 'ladies and oldies' count me in.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Rest of the points speak otherwise. Looks to have followed TSD rally guidelines and scoring system - except that it was conducted on public roads.
Yea; what it truly can be called is a grey area. Definitely not a race as everyone has a set time of arrival (which depends on their time of departure, which depends on their team #, based on ranking). The podium finishes were based on how accurately they maintained time.
libranof1987 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drive to Goa for the Times Women Drive livetodrive Indian Motorsport 10 9th May 2018 10:39
2 women re-enact 1st Female cross-country drive across America msbehave Travelogues 2 6th July 2009 15:47
Palio and Panda replacements coming in 2009 - Times of India, Times Drive 4strings The Indian Car Scene 14 5th June 2008 07:41
"60 new cars coming in 2008" - Hindustan Times. Now take your pick. Hyundai.Lover The Indian Car Scene 21 5th January 2008 12:49
Clarksons wife can drive....and write!! GTO The International Automotive Scene 6 30th October 2005 14:05


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 08:12.

Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks