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|3rd August 2010, 07:20||#1|
5th Delivery, RD350 (unforgettable)TLog (Mumbai-Mahabaleshwar-Mumbai)
Here I am back again with another TLog of mine. Editing and publishing it was delayed coz of pretty good reasons as this trip could have proved last one for me and my riding partner. But as they say better late than never, so here it goes....
The day was 4th Oct 2008, time 05:00 PM IST, destination Mahabaleshwar/Panchgani
This time the crowd was a mix of my office colleagues and their family as well as my regular riding partners. Family persons and colleagues joined us with a hired Tavera and regular riding partners on bikes as usual. We welcome Hemal A.K.A. Gattu in our elite group with his new Silver Unicorn.
It was a pretty good evening to start with, all clear sky with cool breeze blowing at our face when we started off from Belapur. Soon as we approached Panvel, the weather took a toll on us and we saw thick dark clouds heading our way ahead. As we were heading forward, the clouds became more thick and strong like a thunder. It did not take much time for these thick black clouds to turn the clear day into a dark night filled with heavy rain.
By the time we reached to “Datta's vada Pav Center” at Panvel, it started pouring very heavily that we had no other options other than to wait. We didn't carry any rainwears as the rain was gone since long but we regretted for this. Finally after waiting for almost 1 hour, we decided to move ahead towards our destination.
DAY 01 (Panvel to Mahad for bikers, Panvel to Mahabaleshwar MTDC for Tavera)
The bikers were going to halt at Mahad during night so that they can enjoy the twists & turn (ghat section) during day time and Tavera was to move ahead to Mahabaleshwar MTDC. We decided to take the Panvel-Pen-Kolad-Mahad-Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar route.
After a long wait and no signs of mercy from heavenly elements, we decided to leave Panvel at around 07:30 PM. The evening came dark on us added with the heavy rain and cold breeze, a perfect combination like Bond's dry martini.
The Pen road has become worse compared to our last visit and one can hardly distinguish between the pot-holes and breakers. With rains it became more difficult to maintain a significant speed to cover up for the time we lost while waiting at Panvel. Two of the bikers were pushed off the road by our dear truckers after which we became more cautious. The good thing with this kind of weather was that all bikers were able to drive non-stop towards destination. Thanks to our experience of riding in rains from the last trip of Panvel-Mulshi-Tamhini-Harihareshwar. Unfortunately, the 'red unicorn' got punctured somewhere near Mangaon ahead of a village at around 09:30 PM.
After instructing others to proceed towards Mahad, me on 'RD', Hemal on 'silver unicorn' and Mush on 'red unicorn' went back to the village which was already suffering from load-shedding and got the puncture repaired.
By this time the road was quite smooth and rains stopped. So, we three roared ahead in dark leaving thin cloud of burnt smoke towards our destination. Reached Mahad at around 10:30 PM where we joined others for dinner.
All the bikers as planned stayed back at Mahad 'Kuber Hotel' and others left to the final destination i.e. Mahabaleshwar MTDC. After having dinner and booking rooms at Mahad (which costed some 200 bucks with AC PP), we went out on dark wet road walking and chit-chatting for an hour before we marked it as end of day.
DAY 02 (Mahad; Pratapgarh; Mahabaleshwar MTDC)
Yet another morning but all foggy and cold, we rose with a smile on face welcoming the first rays of the Sun. We had our breakfast, and left for Mahabaleshwar after taking few snaps around 'hotel Kuber'. We left pretty late from Mahad, somewhere around 11:30 AM.
As soon as we took a left turn from the highway towards Mahabaleshwar, the mountains infront of us seemed inviting. However, again the roads went bad and bad to worst with tar broken abruptly. Still we enjoyed riding through the valley and made multiple short stops for photo shoots.
And again we met with our sweet sinister friend from Panvel...Miss varsha (rains). Yes, it did start raining again and we were really disappointed this time as we had to concentrate on road instead of enjoying the view but we still continued riding. Later, some 10KMs before Pratapgarh, the view was filled with dense fog allowing visibility only upto 5 meters approx. Cutting through such a dense fog we finally reached to 'Pratapgarh'.
'Pratapgarh' to my surprise was too much crowded, thanks to Sunday and all surrounding village crowd. The way to go up at Pratapgarh is amazing and the 'rangoli' stating 'fort pratapgarh welcomes you' was eyecatching. However, there is nothing special at the top to watch except for a temple and statue of Shivaji Maharaj. While returning back from Pratapgarh leaving towards Mahabaleshwar, we halted at 'Hastakala Kendra' for a local shopping and then moved ahead.
Finally, reached the MTDC at Mahabaleshwar and it was raining heavily (winter rains). The rains added the delay in our plans and we finally decided to hire 2 Maruti vans for site-seeing (600 bucks each) after having lunch with the tavera crew.
Site Seeing @ Mahabaleshwar:
'Arthur Point' was the first one we visited. I guess we were lucky to have the clear sky and we can see clouds below us as well as the valley. There were 3-4 points as well adjacent to the 'Arthur Point'. Next was 'Mahabaleshwar Temple' entering which one can feel relaxed? The 'kund' in temple with that steady flow of stream coming from the 'go-mukh (cow's mouth)' was music to ears and the darkness in the temple was soothing to the eyes. On a way back to 'Mahabaleshwar Market Place' I had my hands on riding horse (amazing feeling of 1-HorsePower for which we all are hungry to get more in our rides). At the local market, we shopped and shopped and dine. At around 08:00 PM it was dark, cold and too foggy to see anything ahead of 2 meters. So, we walked down the MTDC Resort. That night we chatted and shared our minds and called it end of the day 2.
DAY 03 (Mahabaleshwar; Panchgani):
One thing was damn sure to happen in the morning... we lost saddam (petrol from 3 of the bikes was stolen). I guess this is something that happens on all the MTDC resorts as it happened while we were at Harihareshwar MTDC as well.
Anyways, 3 of us proceeded to fill the gas. ..
PLEASE NOTE: Ahead of this what I will write will remind you of “Final Destination – 2”; and will make you think about the existence of cosmic powers and intuitions in human life. ( To be Continued...)
|3rd August 2010, 09:38||#4|
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|3rd August 2010, 11:49||#6|
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Some of those photos are brilliant Nomad. Especially the yellow flowers and the valley with clouds. Mind-boggling stuff you got there.
And the pose in which you are sitting on the road for the photo is just like Ramkya. But because you've done this trip 2 years before him, I guess the credit goes to you. Or may be all great travellers sit in the road like this.
SafeDrive's wife missed out on greatness sadly.
|3rd August 2010, 11:57||#7|
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Last pic of first post, the pic of view from Arthur seat point is really nice.
Waiting for more.
|3rd August 2010, 14:11||#8|
Hey AP and MX, those are pics again from Nokia N82. MX thank you for the credit. I hope you wont charge interest on it like those stupid CC.
Don't know about being great traveler but one can sure sit on roads like these [ as expressways are no option , but you may try doing that.]
And to understand "SafeDrive's wife" thing you said had to search all the way to find out what you mean.
AP, what say? Baba MX on Expressway sharing some great snooker tricks with us.
AP, have the same shot of Arthur Peak in Summer and this is how it looks:
|4th August 2010, 09:02||#9|
DAY 03 (Mahabaleshwar; Panchgani):
One thing was damn sure to happen in the morning... we lost saddam (petrol from 3 of the bikes was stolen). I guess this is something that happens on all the MTDC resorts as it happened while we were at Harihareshwar MTDC as well. Anyways, 3 of us proceeded to fill the gas...
PLEASE NOTE: Ahead of this what I will write will remind you of “Final Destination – 2” and will make you think about the existence of cosmic powers and intuitions in human life. Ashish please don’t get mad on me...
The time we 3 left MTDC to fill gas, a black cat crossed the road. I never believed in anything like this but for some reason I slowed down and Ashish (the CD 100 guy) moved ahead before I can tell him anything and I followed him slowly. We filled gas and came back to MTDC. Plan was to move ahead to Panchgani and from there bikers would come back taking the Mahabaleshwar-Mumbai route and Tavera will move ahead and reach mumbai via Pune.
After a brief photoshoot at MTDC, we all left for Panchgani. Within the first 10 minutes I blew up my tyre. Rest moved ahead and now it was the turn of Mush (Red Unicorn Guy) to help me out. He went and came back with a puncture repair guy to fix it. All fixed and done we moved ahead. I roared my engine and it was fun covering the Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani route but suddenly I realized that the bike is running heavy, infact very heavy as if some WWF guy has holded it from behind restricting its movement.
Stopped, checked and found that the rear rim was jammed and was damn heavy to rotate. Found out that the rear-break once applied is not releasing the rear liner. Finally as there was nothing around, decided a temporary fix and loosen the rear break to such an extent that hitting the break paddle would not pull the liner even a bit.
At Panchgani petrol pump, checked with another puncture repair guy and he somehow was able to set the liner to work temporarily.
Back in business, we pushed ahead to Panchgani table lands. The plan was to be there till noon 12:00.
All I remember is the horse riding on the table lands. I might have rode horse almost for 1 hour before emptying my pockets. Went down to the 'cave restaurent' to have some onion pakoda's and to get friendly with red-faced monkeys.
All done, we decided to move back to Amchi Pyari Mumbai. Half of the guys in Tavera moved ahead on Pune highway via Wai and remaining bikers moved back on the Mumbai highway via Mahabaleshwar.
Till the time we crossed Pratapgarh on our way back everything was pleasant and fine. I on my RD with a pillion and Ashish single on his CD100 were ahead of all enjoying twists and turns of pot-hole filled valley road.
At one turn I started updating Ashish that whenever rear of RD feels even a slight bump, it feels as if the rear brakes are getting applied causing a wait-n-go kind of motion. We decided to free up the rear breaks once again after few turns if the problem increases as it was risky to go down on slopes on front breaks alone. I slowed down to 30KMPH from 50KMPH here on.
With the second turn, (barely a minute after we decided), my life turned around with the turn and next thing I saw of me and my pillion lying on road, RD flipping away on steep road until it came to stand still upside down resting on handle grips and taillight at the center of road.
Petrol and 2T Oil free flowing on road as if my dear NOMAD was bleeding (both tanks were filled to the top). Somehow, I and my pillion were saved with few scratches and not bleeding at all and we both laughed.
Ashish was following us and he was shocked to see us down with people running to help us. ( Oh! forget to tell you that while coming down the mountain we were singing, Ek Hasina Thi, Ek Deewana Tha, Kya Umar, Kya Samaa, Kya Zamana Tha)
Me and my Pillion (Srikant A.K.A Haddi) were sitting down and laughing. He always used to say that with me on RD, he is sure that nothing will happen or else nothing will remain and here we were with not even a bit of bleeding.
By this time all other bikers have catched with us. We took RD on the roadside, cleaned out the oil-spills from bike as well as road. I found it hard to keep my left leg on road... Knee was paining (but no fracture). My pillion Shrikant got a big rashes on his left butt (just for the namesake coz he doesn't have a butt). We rested for some 20 minutes, did first aid and moved ahead.
The clutch lever of RD was broke so I managed it to get started with a push on 1st gear driving single. With the pain in my left knee, I kept it straight on the leg-gaurd. Voilla!!! Now I was riding RD with rear-brake, clutch and my left knee gone. So how was I changing the gears....? Remember the old days of Indina Chief/BSA/Norton with hand gear. Yeah, Thanks to my height that I managed to have my hands reached to the gear shaft for changing gears.
The next stop for all bikers was at Mahad, Hotel Kuber; where we were supposed to have evening snacks to keep us all fueled up till we reach Mumbai. After the break at Mahad, Mush with srikant as pillion (red unicorn guy) accompanied me on a slow ride to Mumbai while others moved ahead fast to their destination.
I was still riding my RD with that amazing situation I was in. The pain in left knee was increasing and Srikant's rashes on his left butt swelled to a point as if he had 4-5 doses of botox injected.
Finally, after covering more than 100kms at Pen I was exhausted and declared it a day. It was hard for me to manage the RD in traffic with no clutch, brake and one leg. I called up my biker partner Sushil (Blue RXZ 5-Speed in other rides) along with a clutch lever and additional guy to carry RD home.
Reached home by past mid-night and immediatly pushed to MGM hospital by my roommate (Swapnil).
Everyone had a question on their face and I had only one answer, this time I screwed up pretty bad.
This trip was going to be a turning point for me and my rides which you will find in my coming log.
Happy Riding and trust you intuitions...
By the way, I still dont ride fast, but fly low
|4th August 2010, 22:00||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: City of seven islands.
Thanked: 222 Times
Mahab is quite common. But your adventure is uncommon. And you blame a poor cat for it!
Good to see you guys alive and kicking after so much of twists in your script!
And the buffalo peeping from water is a stunner of a photo. I died laughing at the sudden appearance of the bovine creature!
|5th August 2010, 09:21||#12|
MX, Thanks again for noticing uncommon in common space. But as I say keep watching as the next one may be the most uncommon TLog of all (just thinking of including it in 5th delivery or to start on with 6th one).
We were shooting @ Buff for next HappyDent Adv. kidding
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