“Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living!…Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash-up. Well, now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it…and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!”
There’s a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you’re self-propelled and decide exactly where to go. If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn’t so easy in a car, and you can’t cover as much ground walking. This is the first long distance cycling that i have ever done, maybe for most of my friends that went with me. Totally we were a group of four people:
“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”
The plan of the tour was immediate. I have to discuss some problem related to work with Sachin. In between i came to know that they were going for some cycling tour of two days. So I also joined them in the tour. The tour was organized by “Cymour – Miles On Wheels”. We were going on a cycling for two day. Idea was exciting for everyone. I really wanted to do that. As per my information there will be more than 20 to thirty people at least.
So idea was simple reach the Rajaram bridge at 1:30 on 28 July.
July 28, 2012: 8:00 am: I was ready for the trek. The weather was good. The conditions were overcast and some small drizzle’s were coming now and then.But over all the weather was good for traveling.
I walked some distance and took a shared auto till Chandni Chowk and i went to Sachin’s house , where we all were gathering at first. Vishal was already there and Rohit took some time to come. When we were ready to go the specified location we were already late.
As we walked out of room the rain started to fall we booked two auto in a hurry and asked to go to raja ram bridge. Rohit was with me and we reached the bridge early, we crossed it and were waiting for vishal and sachin to come. But they don’t come for 10 minutes. Then we checked and they were on the other side of the bridge. Now we again crossed the bridge. We all were waiting for the group to come. But they were already late. They reach the bridge at around 2:30 PM. As per our notice the group must be of at least 20 person. But when the group reached us they were only six person in total and rarely manged to reach the double digit score after adding us.
Here we selected the Bicycle we were going to use and took the time to adjust them accordingly.
The Adrenaline Rush :
The first time we were going for cycling tour and we all were excited. So initial phase was good, we all feel good. We were able to keep the pace of the group. Sometime we even beet the group. So every thing went well initially but then again we were stuck in the traffic for sometime. But overall we were going at good pace. At one point after we crossed the Sinhagad Bridge at one point i used the wrong break the cycle and it skit . But Somehow I managed to balance myself and didn’t got hurt. After that point I traveled through a medium pace and at one point I was last i think.
Then after some distance we were on the way passing through the Mulshi dam. So immediately we catch up some speed because Rohit was going too fast and we also try to keep up the speed. At last after some hard fought One hour and more we finally reached the Mulshi dam. The first major break after the long and hard ride.
The Fast and Furious
The Next phase was easy. The route was simple and the traffic was negligible. As per character Rohit (Raju) he started to go as fast as he can. We were following him.
“Gliding down the bike path on a Saturday morning, you whip by somebody peddling in the opposite direction and give each other a nod. For a moment it’s like “Hey, we’re both doing the same thing. Let’s be friends for a second.”
The moments were numerous as we were going away from the business of the city, Crossing the boundaries. It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
This half was good we try to drive as fast as we can, and we succeeded it was the only time when we were ahead.
Sachin started getting tired, was somewhat behind along with vishal.
Me and Rohit were at front and were fighting to be first for sometime but atlast Rohit won !!
We took a little break as the route ahead was slightly tough.
The Exhaustion Phase I :-
The route was tough ahead and to make it tougher there was rain. It was the first time for us to ride the cycle along a climb. It was a patch of more than one or two meter climb maybe more than that but at that time it looks tough really tough.
The exhaustion started as the trek having steep climb. At first I tried it using the speed gear (forget the no.) then at first it was quite fast I was able to climb almost but during a turn the climb was to steep in the route. I tried but was not able to complete the turn. So I climbed down of the bicycle and and started walking. I was slightly exhausted, I sat on a stone and saw other went pass me. I waited for Sachin and Vishal to reach. Till the time they reached the point where I was sitting. The heavy rain started, So we sat there for some more time.
When we started it again, we pushed the cycle for climb of some 100 feet. When the route climb was not as steep we started cycling again. It was hard, it was tough, it was raining , it was in the forest and we were last, but we manage to overcome that.
But now it was time for gravity to take effect, the more you go up , the more harder you descent. The route become easier and we does not need to put to much effort , but the route was difficult due to heavy rain. It never gets easier, you just go faster. But like everything it has to end. At last we finally manage to reach the group. But we were unable to find Rohit with us. Till now the group has been divided in two one half already went ahead including Rohit and other in which we all are were coming behind.
The route was normal for some time and we were feeling good. But as the route was changing like a pendulum. The route have a climb again, but this time this climb was not that tough. We manged to go through this patch. But the distance was still ahead. The rain has stopped and the clear sky were waiting for us. We were able to reach the point where the first group was taking rest. We also stopped there , but when they started again we were in need of some more rest. So we took some extra rest at that point and tried some permutation in the photograph’s some worked and some were awkward.
Like i try to run over vishal by the bicycle .
In above picture i tried to hit Sachin but the cameraman was bad he shoot’s something else !! Rohit bad photography man.
Try to get some good pic before starting again.
When we started again the route was not that tough but still have some up and downs. Also the quality of route was not as much good. Till the time we reached the stop where we were having snack’s our body were hurting.
But the food was good we enjoyed the onions bhajji and tea in that rainy day. But at that time there was no comparison of that food.
After having snack’s we were ready but the body was hurting. WE did not wasted a single time and shot some picture at that point before starting again.
We started again and were able to drive for some 10 to 15 minutes. The path started to descent and the ride was easier than our thoughts.
But we have to wait for only a small amount of time as the climb started again.
Exhaustion Phase II :-
The climb this time was much more than what we have faced last time. We tried to go with moving our gear to lowest possible , so that that will not affect our energy.
The one turn , the other and then the other turn with the climb. At one point we reached this place at the picture Rohit and I sat there and waited for Vishal and Sachin to come. When they reached we took rest for some minutes.
After the rest we tried to ride for some more time but within 5 minutes we give up. SO we waited for the traveler to reach us and we put the cycles on it, and sat on it. All together the ride must be good. But we have no place to sit in that vehicle we just stand there and hold some ropes for support. Ahead some other person also give up and the traveler stopped to pick them up.
Took some time to capture some pictures there and after that we get back on the vehicle. As the vehicle started the gravity apply on that vehicle and it did not go forward. So We started to go back. We reached a place where the road was not as much steep. The traveler pick some speed and we were back on trek.
Reaching Velhe :-
The rest of the route was a steep descent and also the cool breeze was also flowing. But we were to muc tired and just waited in the vehicle, One by one the companion on the vehicle were increasing. At last only one or two person traveled the remaining part by cycle. Rest of us just sat and waited for the vehicle to reach the Velhe . It took some time, one or two direction’s update given by some villager’s but at last we reached safely in the Velhe.
One of our friend lost the way, He forget to take a right turn at some point and till the time we reached the resort where we were staying in the night. We waited for him to return. When he came, he told us that he went some 5 km ahead and then come back after asking one and two villager.
In the night we enjoyed the facility in the Resort.We played snooker for sometime and then we have some dinner. After some time we all went to sleep.
The morning was good, no rain was there. WE enjoyed the moment and some of us took some pictures.
We have some breakfast in the resort and then we all were back no trek. We were again cycling. At first we were not in any condition to start cycling again, but one by one we were able to start cycling again. In that process a person from support staff show’s us some stunt on the bicycle. After some more minutes started the return.
THE RETURN :-
The return was good at starting the route does not have that much up and down. It was a plain route having turns and some pothole’s also the sky was cloudy but there was no rain hopefully. So we travelled the route easily. At starting point we get lost behind the group. But after some rest we get our energy focused and cycled all the way through.
It was typically a long stretch of more than one and half hour. we rode through the villages passing each one. The route was not much difficult and we all were racing to be the first in that race. Some how we managed to be in the front of the group.
After some more run we were near an urban population and first thing we done was to visit an old temple nearby. After enjoying some half hour in there we continued our journey.
After crossing that semi urban village we traveled some more and we were on the Katraj-Pune highway.
We traveled traveled and traveled. Some of us try to keep up the pace, while some of us lost the patience to try. From our group while me and Rohit tried to keep cycling. Vishal and Sachin stooped in mid way and they took some time to rest on the support vehicle. We stopped at a point to have some food to feel good after so much effort, all of us were hungry.
THE TUNNEL :-
Now we were quite close to the way . The tunnels were clearly visible on our sight. They look actually much more closer than what they actually are, And midway it started raining. We were riding the bike and it looks like a lifetime to us. The tunnels were never coming closer.
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
But atlast we reached the tunnel. The first one then the second one .
It felt good when we were passing through the tunnel. We have to maintain to cycle only on left side and the tunnel were dark. The tunnel have some slope and a strong wind was flowing in the tunnel. We kept the balance and continued to travel the way.
After passing the tunnel we can clearly see that we were very near to Pune. Some one more hour it took for us to reach the place where we need to be.
Over all it was a two day ride we were at the sachin’s place around 2:00 PM on Sunday 29 th July 2012.