It all started with Captain Nandu Chitnis's post on BN about an early morning ride to Pawana dam he was planning with the Photogaphers at Pune group (P@P). The ride was to be on Saturday morning, and I jumped at the opportunity. In next to no time we had a good lineup raring to go. Aditya, Praveen, Kedar, Shaunak, Seon just to name a few.
Capt was adamant of meeting at 6am at CC. For him its 'shit-shave-shampoo' and you are ready. For us late nighters, its not so simple. It takes a long time to regain the senses. Got up at 5am so that could reach at that time. And reach I did !
We were around 11 bikes including 3 from the P@P club. Chugged off towards Pawana. The initial part is taking the road which leads to Mulshi. Somewhere after the Manas resort we lost track of the people as both me and kedar were overtaking the trucks on the ghat roads. Now, there is something about the ghats that excites both of us. We like to go fast there. At the base we figured out that 'oh oh. the other guys are not here'. Back we went - nope. They are not there. Down we went, again did not see them. Back up and then down again , and i see them off to the left side of the road on a pleatue kind of place. Image - its pitch dark. All the bikes have gone off the road, and all of them with all systems off. No indicator lights - no wonders we missed them.
Lesson #1 : If you have to go off the road, and are in a convoy, leave some indicator lights on.
It seems that it was a good point to take the civil twilight pics. But by the time me and kedar found them, they were ready to move on again. So off we went, and this time we were joined by Praveen who had come a bit late.
We got lost again. Reaching a village in between, we saw an indicator indicating left side. Took off there, assuming it was one of us. Noone else in pune is into giving indications while turning. We were wrong. Asked for directions to Pawna, and found out we were going the wrong way. Turn back, go again. Found Praveen waiting at the right turn for us to catch up.
Now the road becomes bumpy, with rubble on the patches that has gone wrong. It looks like they were going to mix tar with the rubble, but i guess some corrupt official pocketed the tar money.
Found the group on a bridge on a small river. It was a fantastic site. The steam was rising above the river, making the place appear surreal. Pictures illustrate it better :
Since i knew that Kiran (guy on the TB) was behind us, I parked my bike just off the road, and being the big yellow tweety that she is, he was easily able to spot us. It also meant that when the sun peeped over the mountain, we got great shots of the bike! To check out an even more impressive shot, take a look at Kiran's photo of tweety.
There after, we were mostly in a group all the way till the damn. It's a fine dam, but the only issue was that it was a very hazy morning. Still, this afforded a good lineup shot of the bikes!
After some photoshoot session here, and btw, Aditya got some great shots, we decided instead of going back , to head over to Lonavala for breakfast. Here I gave some gyan to captain, as I was tailing him on the last section. Here also, captain wanted to ride tweety for sometime, and so i was on SF ( Street fighter is the name captain has given to his pulsar 220). Its a nice bike, feels more planted than the karizma, but ... on bad roads ... you better take care of your family jewels.
We rod on to find this amazing road cutout in the hills. There we bumped into Mr Srinivasan, who was in a m800 and he was very happy to see us young riders (he is 63 years old). All of us wanted some shots of riding here, and Mr S also wanted to take the pics. Talking to him we found out he was aslo an avid rider in his youth , having done the K1000 3 times long back ( around when i was in diapers). Sometime you bump into most unexpected people !
Onwards to Lonavala, and after finding directions ended up at RamaKrishna (RK is a favourite hangout - its got good parking space :) ). When we reached, we found an R1 parked there, and off we went, taking snaps of it. It belonged to a scotting guy who was over from mumbai for a ride.
Breakfast over, we ripped back to pune. The plan was for most of the guys to come over to my place to collect the BN Ts and also the 2008 calendars. Initially I too ripped, till traffic cut me off from Shaunak and Aditya (who was riding crazy with his wife as pillion !). Then I slowed down. Rode behing captin for some time - and man, he was riding very well. More than riding fast, I think that a person should ride as fast as he is comfortable doing, and captain was doing just that.
Reached pune around 1pm. Nice short ride. around 140kms in all.