Category Archives: Biking

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 2, 3: Ooty

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 9, 2012

The 5 am alarm bell reminds me of a devil pushing you down in burning oil pan in hell – scenes from Tom & Jerry. I get up only to realize I’m around 800km away from the comfort of home with 2 other dumb-fucks like me sleeping besides me. Its Ooty today, another 400km before we finally take a break from riding and start enjoying our vacation.

I push others and try to clear bowels. Ya – emphasis is on try. This early morning routine will follow us for next 10 days. JK gets up and needs a सुट्टा and chai before his dump. He goes downstairs while me and Manas try to gather our senses. We check out around 7am and head straight to the टपरी where we have chai and biscuits and continue with our biking talks, bikes, kilometers, roads, slopes and ghats.

Almost past 7.30, we mount back on bikes and head towards Sira, the junction where we’re supposed to get off the comforts and speeds of NH and onto the state highways of Karnataka. Just after Chitradurga, roads start to change with the scenery. The roads have constant diversions after 3 km or so for a new flyover over small junctions or villages, while the nature changes its trees. I start to see more Coconut trees and its farms. A sight that will be common throughout the trip. From concrete farms of Mumbai, to shrubby sugarcanes of the black soiled central and south Maharashtra to the red clayed Karnataka transforming into a greener coconut and palm tree laden earth. This was gonna be better by the end of the day !

The board of “Historical town of Sira welcomes you” was just around the turn, and we stopped near a truck-dhabba for breakfast. One might wonder how different is a truck-dhabba. So there are 3 types of dhabbas that I’ve know of

  1. Truck-dhabba – the most authentic of all dhabbas (it may be called something else if its not in central or north india). Its only purpose to serve food. It may not be most hygienic and but could be tasty. The ambiance is not certainly a point to be discussed. Its pricing and other attributes mean only truck drivers and local laborers could patronize it. Oh and I forgot there is nothing like a clean toilet / washroom in such places. The cleanest place to pee would actually be outside the toilet.
  2. Car-Dhabba – for the elite tourists touring in cars. Food is typical of what you find in cities, cleaner. There is a neat shaded parking for cars unlike the dusty open areas found in truck-dhabbas. The prices reflecting the extra effort gone into maintenance of toilets, tables, flooring, etc.
  3. City-Dhabba – only thing dhabba-ish in this place is the name of the restaurant/hotel. Such establishments are only found in cities. The ambiance is made to look like a punjabi road side restaurant with fake or cut-through vehicles mounted on the walls. The food is a typical with its prices touching the ceiling where the bold colors and vehicle cut-outs are mounted.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 2, 3: Ooty

Kerala Bike Trip: Day 1: Karnataka

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Dec 8, 2012

trrringg trringg … (no response)

Its past 5.30am and we’re waiting at the Panvel junction watching guys in dark extorting  from truck drivers. JK isn’t here and not even responding. He calls back saying he is locked in traffic. He finally makes at the rendezvous point with 2 of his bags stacked over each other on the pillion seat. Manas’s first statement after a gaali for being late is

भेनचोद ये क्या लगाया है ?

JK agrees, he said he thought it was hoisted and was almost like a full-back-rest, but now its kinda dangling and unstable. Its already past 6, JK is more than 30 mins late, and we can’t even start without fixing JK’s bags. Manas with his endless resources of bungee cables, ideas of hoisting bags on a bike gets through with the problem and JK’s bags are now bomb-proof. Still as a dead person. We finally leave by 6.30am, already an hour late, which we’d rue later.

Continue reading Kerala Bike Trip: Day 1: Karnataka

Mumbai Kerala Bike Trip: Planning

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Kerala Bike Trip

Route

24 Nov, 2012

The following is the original draft made by me and JK (in the office 😉 )

  1. Mumbai – Hubli, night halt (day1) 576km (8hrs+) [travelling]
  2. Hubli – Ooty, night halt (587km, day2) (10hrs+) [Mysore is 100km less, about 8hrs] [travelling]
  3. Ooty (day3) [rest]
  4. Ooty – Munnar, night halt (day4, 242km, 5hrs+) [rest + travelling]
  5. Munnar, and around (day 5) [rest]
  6. Kochi, port (day6, 130km, 2.5hrs) [rest + travelling]
  7. Allepely, night halt (day6, 60km, 1hr+) [rest]
  8. Shornour(jk’s home village) (day7, 166km, 3hrs) [rest]
  9. Shornour, and around (day8, ) [rest]
  10. Bhatkal, Karnataka, night halt (day9, via Mangalore, Udipi, 474km, 9hrs) [travelling]
  11. Jog Falls, Gokarna, Karwar, night halt (day10, 84km+150km 4hrs+) [rest + travelling]
  12. South Goa, palolem, agonda, etc, night stay (day11) [roaming + rest]
  13. Panhala, night halt (day12, 300km, 5.5hrs+) [travelling]
  14. Panhala, tour and around (day13, 50kms) [rest]
  15. Mumbai, (day13/14, 397km, 6hrs+) [travelling]

If we see our daily activity as Riding only and Travelling (T), Rest (R), Travelling&Rest (B)

TTRBRBRRRTBRTRT

About 5 heavy travelling days, 7 rest and roaming days and 3 roaming + travelling days. So pretty evened out, more of rest + roaming as we would want.

Budgeting

Petrol – 3600km, ₹ 6000 in petrol (assuming 45 kmpl.)
Lodging – 13 days night halt ( appox ₹ 4000 per person, assuming per night appoxx ₹ 1000/3 )
Food – ₹ 1300 (appox 50 per meal x 2 x 13)
Misc – ₹ 1000 (souvenirs, laundry, etc, IF ANY 😉 )
Bike Maintenance – ₹ 2000 (hopefully none, but – engine oil, punctures, but adding an upper side)
TOTAL – appox. ₹ 15,000 (₹ 14300)

Map


View Larger Map

Well the length of the route in the perspective with India’s size looks LONG !

Update

1 Dec, 2012

It seems, Manas wont’ make it. Damn! That leaves just me and JK. Which means the trip might become little expensive for lodging.

The date is now fixed, 10 Dec, 2012. We’ll be visiting the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls as well. I’ll be getting my engine oil changed today, 9 days ahead of trip start.

Medicines / Toiletries

Its best if none of them are ever used, but if wishes were horses…

  • High BP pills (ya thats for me, Hypertension patient)
  • Crocin (Analgesic)
  • Lomofen (Diarrhoea, stomach infections), Domstal, Dompan, Pudin Hara (Stomach aches, problems)
  • Soframycin, some bandages
  • Combiflam (pain killer, anti-inflammatory)
  • Odomos
  • Bathing soap
  • Washing soap (ya, have to do our own laundry!)
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush
  • Shaving kit

Utilities

  • Bike PUC
  • Bike Insurance
  • Phone Charger
  • Bungee Chords
  • Map, Itinerary printouts
  • Paper, Pen (For all misc blog writups, spending log, etc, notes)

Update

3 Dec, 2012

Manas is finally making it. 🙂 But we’ll have to cut off Gokarna, South Goa, etc. Thats not bad, we could make that as a separate trip with Dudhsagar falls, etc.

Update

6 Dec, 2012

Just a day to go by and we’ll be on our motorbikes, Honda Unicorn (me), R-15 2.0 (Manas) and FZ-S (JK). All adding up to 450cc lesser than my and JK’s recently researched dream machine – Ninja 650 R 😀

Late night, putting my last moment requirements around the saddle bag. My Saddle Bag #1 is almost full with clothes and toiletries. I got that this saddle bag from Manas’ friend.

Murud, Diveagar, Shrivardhan beaches on 2 wheels

27, 28, October 2012.

A bike ride to Murud with JK and Surya visiting some of the most beautiful and picturesque coastlines in India. Starting with Alibag, Kashid, Murud, V Beach (Murud), Diveagar, Aravi and its hilly road overseeing the beach
and finally Shrivardhan.

Route

  1. Mumbai to Alibag (via Pen, Vadkhal)
  2. Alibag to Kashid
  3. Kashid to Murud.
  4. Murud to Dighi (via a ferry: Rajapuri Jetty to Dighi Jetty)
  5. Dighi to Diveagar
  6. Diveagar to Shrivardhan
  7. Shrivardhan to Mangaon (NH 17 junction via the long Mhasala ghat)
  8. Mangaon to Mumbai

Kurze / Talasari Dam bike ride

Sunday, Sep 2, 2012

I used to wonder why kids in their paintings always paint the cliched green mountains, blue sky and a river flowing by through green valleys brimming with yellow-green farms. Today, I knew why ! – ‘Cause its a sight that leaves a mark on your memory. Mine was stamped today.

Saturday evening Manas called and an impromptu bike-ride was on the map. Kurze Dam, which is just close to the Talasari junction on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad, NH 8 highway.

Back to the kids’ paintings – By September, the earth has been painted, replenished and cleansed as well. The sights that we saw on our way were just from the kids’ art books. The flushed-clean highway clinging to the green bosom, climbing and caressing the green paddy fields, which were close to being harvested giving a slight hue of yellow through the broad green spectrum. The air too was crisp-clean. Every single particulate dust had settled. The small, yet picturesque hills around the Manor region added another touch of flavour to the picture. As if that wasn’t good enough to put in a frame, the sky with its receding black clouds, was now azure blue.

A right turn from Talasari took us through a lazy little country side still oozing of the wet spells that were continuing to be intermittent. The gravity dam’s wall was just ahead of us, the road kept moving along the wall teasing us as it would never touch the dam wall. We spotted a small brown opening through the grass and we ploughed through to the base of the water reservoir.

It was still raining, wind creating a wonderful mixture of the droplets. The water body streching ahead of us till we could only see the mist in trees far in the background. At our feet though was the pungent brown mud, blades of grass fizzing through it. The whole sight reminding why people in country side can’t think of places like Mumbai as their home.

Kids passed by us adoring the R-15 and the other lowly models. I asked them

तुम्ही पोहता का इथे ?

to which they eagerly pointed out at the base of the reservoir where they were heading and ran off. JK looked at them run bare foot, and his philosophical counterpart murmured

साला कोई टेंशन नही है

I too pondered … we had lost all, the carefree attitude, the innocence, the honest smile, everything.

We took a few snaps and headed back towards the base from the dam wall. To my surprise the kids were actually swimming, jumping in the water. We rushed and joined them. The water was warmer than the air, which made us feel out of the world! Manas enjoyed clicking our water buffalo (JK) and the kids with his water proof camera.

On our way back we had some parathas that my mother had helped us with and Granola bars with Mars chocolate that Manas always keeps handy on his bike trips.

Even the hot shower by the end of a wet, cold ride wasn’t good enough to wipe clean the warm swim that we enjoyed.

Travelling Directions

  1. Head on the NH-8 highway towards Gujarat
  2. Take a right under the flyover at Talasari
  3. Head right into the heaven in a minute.

Photos

  1. JK’s Facebook Page
  2. Manas’ Facebook Page

Guhagar, Velneshwar Bike Ride

Guhagar and Velneshwar was “pending” since our last Malvan-Goa Bike ride. Many events had passed by which halted our progress towards it. But finally on 27th Apr 2012 was engraved for the start of the tour.

I messaged Manas @4.30 just to check if he is awake, and he called back, “जलदी निकल सकते हैं क्या ?” And we pre-poned our start-time to 0500 hrs instead of 0530. Ride to Guhagar was kind of disappointing with Kashedi Ghat “closed” for construction. 3 days of maintenance work. It had to align with our riding date !!? We took a big de-tour through unknown roads and relatively bad roads if compared to the winding corners of Kashedi ghat


View Larger Map

After being back on NH17, we were quick to reach Velneshwar via Chiplun-naka – Modka Agar – Velneshwar by about 1215. The road from Modka Agar to Velneshwar was horrible to say the least, 18km of ride out of which 15km was under construction with pebbles, gravel, tar – but no road and the rest with pot-hole laden hell.

Velneshwar beach, however was a paradise, similar to Ganpatipule’s decent from the top of the hill, for Velneshwar, we start climbing another of “n” hills after Palshet village, and then come down to Velneshwar. It has just about 2kms of beach, but it was breezy and reminded us straight of Agonda beach in Goa.

The next day we spent our time roaming north of Velneshwar, Gopalgadh, Dabhol power project, Guhagar beach. Due to our lazy-planning we had to cover the 18km worth of hell-road times! we could’ve checked out of Velneshwer the 2nd morning, and then stayed somewhere in Guhagar.

On our return trip, we didn’t want “no-Kashedi” experience, but also wanted turning, climbing, descending roads. Manas suggested we take a huge de-tour to Mumbai via Satara! Which would then cover the awesome Kumbharli ghat.

Our final bike route looking something like this –


View Larger Map

Photos

Welneshwar Guhaghar Bike Ride Apr 2012

Things to see and visit

We both were not of the religious type, but we did visit the Velneshwar temple in the night where there wasn’t a single soul, tranquil hear the crickets, the westerly cool breeze coming from the sea and us

  • Baman ghal (must see), a narrow gorge in the rocks through which the sea has cut a section almost 15feet deep and a 3 feet wide
  • Gopalgad
  • Guhagar beach
  • .. and try taking a de-tour through Koynanagar, and visit the Kumbharli ghat !

Baman Ghal