It’s been so long to ride along with the gang. Work on weekends, parties, commitments, laziness, lack of energy. But this time, it was a long weekend coming up and I could not resist the urge to get my ass on the bullet and ride the long distance. As weekend was closing in, I got a new Full face helmet for better safety and ride comfort also added the Saddle Bags in my Riding Kit.
As week was closing in, an unavoidable circumstance stepped in and the whole plan of ride on the beach was cancelled. Got a little disappointed but I knew it’s not the end of world. May be someday, I will ride to Hedvi.
Some one had said. "someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you...
Boys had already been to Hedvi last month but still I could see the enthusiasm of hitting the road. Though the count was less, still the plan was still on without me. I asked Shinde to take over the arrangements. As usual, I was in the TGIF mood, and it was also the meet day. Went to our regular meet location at opposite Sun and Sand hotel.
Hedvi discussion was going on and finally only five people were ready to roll. Other’s had their reasons. I had already cancelled the trip so wasn’t saying anything. I was just listening to the talks and was upset that after so much planning I can't make it. As discussion progressed everyone was cursing each other for not coming. Later Nipun said if Chinmmay is coming he will come. It was a kind of challenge and doubt about me. Without thinking anymore. I was IN. He asked twice "are you sure you are coming?". All I could say that time was "see you at Chandani Chowk at 5 AM". Nipun got himself in then came turn of Monal, a little more convincing and he was in. Followed by Pankaj and finally we had a plan.
10 people riding to Hedvi. Tinu gave a brief about how he would like coordination amongst all the riders and how easy one can take a lap on turns. Everything sound beautiful but only time will tell how the ride was going to end up. The night just spent turning in the bed, excitement, nervousness and imagining the road. So many thoughts running in my mind cause of the last hedvi trip by boys, when few accidents and breakdowns happened.
I think, I might have slept for a minute or two when it was already 4'o Clock. Shakira woke me saying "Waka Waka". Got up and got ready. Many calls, missed calls flew in the wee hours. Whatsapp played important role in getting people together. Last one to reach Chandani Chowk was our lazy ass Kaivan aka haivan. The ride had already begun, when we all met at CCD. Jokes, Teasing, laughs were about to start.
Lets Ride!! We rode 40-50 km to have first break and of course breakfast. Few got busy with morning rituals and after consuming loads of Poha and Misal we started again.
Everything was in sync. One has to ensure that the person riding ahead of him should be in sight at the same time in the Mirror the next person to seen. Like every rider had two partners to keep up with. We don't call this a threesome. For easier identification the lights were kept On. As we rode along the ghats of Tamhini a little hesitation was there to take the turns at high speeds through ghats. As each kilometer was going back was just thinking about next turn, the line and the gear shifts. It took almost 100 K to overcome the fear of fast riding. As reached Mangaon, we took a small break, Everyone gathered up.
NH 17, runs through western coast of Maharashtra, and popularly known as Bombay - Goa Highway. We started the highway patch. It was well decided that we will ride together in a row where the overtakes were challenging. It took another 2-3 km and everyone got in rhythm. I could see 6 people in front of me. Taking the same line taken by lead. Everything was robotic, first rider takes the bend, second follows the same line trusting the one ahead that he will make it. Now it's the responsibility of the individual to follow the lead or else rider behind might screw up. The new fellow "Neeraj" was riding like a pro with high speeds and maneuvering in his first long ride. Riding with a group allows you to meet new people and grow the brother hood. Chopstick (Chowksy) was at usual pace ahead of him. Mr Shinde was riding fantastic. It was nice to follow him for some part of the road.
My Commanche was riding like on air with a nice flow and in sync with other gang. We were already crushing at high speeds when I turned the throttle hard, may be just to see how fast she can get and I had once touched top speed but the vibrations and wind pressure was overwhelming.
I started at position 7. Kept on overtaking with safe distance. The riding positions can be changed with safe overtakes. Usually a flash and a 2 quick honks signals the rider ahead that I want to go ahead. Few kilometers down the road, I was riding at position 4. "Dolle sholle" (Rituraj) was riding in front. We had almost same speed, gear shift and maneuvering that it took time to fill in the gap and overtake him. I got to 3rd. Mona darling (Monal) was in the front. He had kick ass performance kit fitted with K & N, and he was riding the bullet like a bullet. But a constant top speed over allowed me to overtake him. And I was behind Tinu. He was Riding a little slower than usual to make sure everybody else was following correctly. Got closer to him and indicated that I need to Top up the Gas. 10 bullets thumping their way in the petrol pump was a nice scene to watch. Curious eyes checking in about what's happening. Such a group of riders all geared up is something to talk about. After fulfilling thirst of the fuel we rolled towards the last leg of the Road. Nipun and Pankaj were tailing, it is necessary that fastest rider to sweep, as under critical circumstance, he should be able to ride fast and inform the leader about the situation. He had brought his Aristhrottle after a long time. Pankaj was accompanying him at the back. it was Pankaj's last ride, as he was planning to move back to GJ. We are gonna miss him in few rides, but we believe he will be back soon.
What's good about riding?? You are alone on your bike. Cruising at speeds above limits, an wind blowing through the helmet, jacket and Armour.It Cleanses your mind, gives energy to soul, offers courage to face the next lap of the road and the life ahead. No one else to talk to. You get a chance to talk to yourself. It's the conversation with the self, no one to disturb, Your eyes on the road, mind with the goal, heart with the thumps and just thinking the road but not the destination.
The next break was near Chiplun, spent 30 minutes for Chai paani. We were on right schedule, another 40 km to go. Everyone was in relaxed mood and looking forward to reach the place. Tons of Food was ordered, liters of refreshing Solkadhi (Soulcurry) was ready.
We took another break for refreshing Nimbu paani and Kokam Sharbat. That was the last stop, everyone was full of energy, I was looking forward to hit the beach as soon as possible. As I had heard about Hedvi so many times, but could never go there. The road was under construction so pace was slow. But finally reached the place.
Hedvi/Suruchi Resort was a big campus with coconut trees rightly placed with bamboo/coco huts in the middle. There are multiple options to stay, you can get a dormatory or coco hut at cheap rates. A separate dining section is placed in aside. Fresh food is served starting from breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner. Perfect Konkani preparation. Its heaven for Non-veg and speacially fish lovers. First thing ordered was litres of Solkadhi (soulcurry). It is made out of coconut milk with local spices. Good for digestion and appetizer. After few rounds of solkadhi we proceeded for Lunch.
The one and only Vasantaaa was there to take our orders, many families were also there for the weekend so Vasantaa had to run from family to family to make sure there hungry tummies were satisfied. The food was about to be served and everyone was relaxed, it was nice and long ride through hot sun. Everyone was happy there, first timers like me were trying to take in the nature around us, where as regulars were making themselves comfortable and recalling old memories. Everyone gathered for the food, when bakwas talk started, After a lot of BXXXC MXXXC GXXXD etc. it was decided the first person to say bad word will pay for Lunch. This has to be followed for two hours, where one can talk to each other in general, but can't use any slang or bad word. The first one as expected was Haivan who broke the rule. A lot a teasing and laughing followed by. Everyone was now on their own, few went to Shiva Temple on the beach, few went to the beach. Few dozed off.
A chinese looking guy rode on a bullet and asked about the accomodation, after getting to know him, found he was from Nashik and he was talking in Marathi/Hindi. Sorry buddy, first impression. He was a solo rider and had known the place while he used to ride with other club from Pune. He joined us for the rest of the day. Evening everyone gathered on the beach. Our photu experts Nipun and Yogesh were trying to capture the beautiful world in their cameras, few just sitting in the sand.
I took my bike and had a good ride on the beach.There are few things in life, which you do first time in your life.
I remembered the joke where Amey saying that his bike's wheel is out and it is wobbling.
The night was good, Sea breeze was helping, we ordered some kheecha papad and everyone was ready for the good high spirits. A very interesting dicussion on perception followed the night, everyone expressed their views about each other and what they thought of the other person when they met for the first time. Last we had a nice sea food dinner and went off to sleep. People wake up with chirping of birds or natural sounds or with artificial alarm, but I was woken up by in detail discussion of Nipun and pankaj about photography. Rest woke up at their own comfort and got ready to ride back to Pune as most of them had to goto office.
Kaivan, Yogesh and me planned to stay back as we needed the break from the routine. Our new friend Pranav planned to stay with us for another night. Boys got ready and took of around 12.
Everything was peaceful, the sea breeze blowing through the coconut trees. No one speaking, may be trying to absorb the silence around.
We had almost whole day ahead of us. Went to Shiva temple and checked out the surroundings. New topics and new talks filled the afternoon. Nearest ATM was 25 km away. The road was narrow, surrounded by barren land and small old houses. Did photo shoot with our Apple devices and rode off.
Ride back was in the dark and remembered our last trip to goa, where me and Kaivan rode in the night to Arambol and Mandrem. Evening we relaxed outside the dorm and sun set was scenic.
Around 2'o Clock in the morning we planned to take our bikes back to the beach. Somethings people do which are not recommended at such times. Kaivan and I rode along the beach, we moved closed to the water. Kaivan overtook me and within few meters he stopped. I stopped by his side and for the love of god his bike stopped responding to Electric Start, he pushed it away from the water and started kicking. The nature had played its game, the salty water must have entered somehow in the machine. In such a circumstance, everybody tries their hands. Unfortunately even after 200 Kicks, it never responded. Guys were trying different things but nothing worked. Pranav's bike was parked on the beach near waves. A nice a big wave rolled in and off it took the bullet. Fortunately it started quickly. We had to push (Thanks to Yogesh and Pranav) Kaivan's beast from beach to the resort. Tired with the hardwork, we called the night. The plan was set, we try to run the engine in the morning or hire a tempo to get it to Chiplun.
Another good thing about hedvi is that, the cell phone range varies as per wind, you gotta reach a certain point where it be enough to make a call. I called my mechanic and he gave me instructions. I wasn't sure about those but we followed religiously and engine came to life. We quickly packed and started the journey back. We were already two days away from home, but still we wanted to spend another night, somewhere nearby. After a lot of discussion we finalized on Mahabi.
Ride was back was little slow as we were only three riders. Our friend Pranav wanted to stay one more day. We visited the Dashabhuja temple in the morning and started our journey back to NH 17, Poladpur and Mahabi. Poladpur ghat stop was all about photos, 100's of photos being clicked and I got my first portrait photo.Thanks to Yogya.
Reached Mahabi around 7 in the evening and quickly found out a accommodation at "Rambha". Night well spent chatting. A ride through Mahabi around 12'o Clock was fascinating.
Next morning, had a breakfast at Mapro's followed by Fresh Strawberries with cream. Last 100 kilometers were easily covered and ride concluded after three nights and four days.
At the end
Solkadhi 5000 bucks
Khicha Papad 3000 bucks
And Ride to Hedvi Priceless
Photos by: Nipun, Yogesh and me too.