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Ride with Inddiethumpers to Mahabaleshwar

Not always the miles, friends you made en route can too grade the ride.
Ride to Mahabaleshwar came at the time, when many of the Inddiethumpers have started itching to ride. Shyamal and Karna didn’t even hide their itch and shouted it publicly on FB. To cool the sensations most of the riders were having, Moderators of the club unleashed the Ride Calendar for the years few weeks back, with the first ride to Mahabaleshwar on 22nd-23rd of April. Ride to Rider Mania, Kolkata; Ratnawadi and Gaddha Mania, Lonar were the other rides did by the Club this year. A gang of off-ride lovers also had a small one-day off-ride to Shahpur, Jangal me Dangal; and those who had attended that, were still searching for water to quench their burnt throat!

Well, this ride to Mahabaleshwar was not only special for being the customarily first of the year, but also cause the ride was actually planned for the founder-member of the Club, Mr Daman Sidhu. Over 40 riders with some 10 pillions registered for the ride, and over 30 could make it on the day. Many of the riders haven’t met Mr Sidhu, and this ride was a sort of opportunity to meet the mind who first thought of the club. Unfortunately he couldn’t make it to the ride, thanks to Consulate; but, show went on! (Read the Story of Inddiethumpers by Daman Sidhu here)

At Sai Snacks, Panvel
A view of the valley from Wilson Point
Mahabaleshwar is one the famous hill stations near Mumbai. At an average elevation of some 1300 meters, this place is about 285 km south of Mumbai in district of Satara. This was my second trip to the town, but the first ride. While the first trip was more of excursion, this one was more of liberation. In fact what else you want as freedom riding your bullet with the guys with whom you share a brotherhood of an especial kind!

As planned, riders from across the Mumbai – Navi Mumbai started gathering at Om Sai Snacks, Panvel. I reached the rendezvous with Pawan, Vikram and two new riders Arun and Ranveer. Though I too am a new rider with the Club, my Rider Mania feat with Guri pa ji and Ranjit has earned me the honored membership. It was Arun’s first overnight ride with the Club and at that moment no one had any idea that the day is going to be marked in our memories within a few hours.
Here starts the thumpp....
Caveman's Machine
About 2 hours over the scheduled time to start, we were on NH 17 at about 8:30. NH 17, better known as Mumbai-Goa Highway, is a single lane highway through the immensely beautiful Konkan region encrusted with enchanting inviting ghats! Riding pass the Nagothane, I recalled my visit to Vardayani falls. We have already done some 120 kilometers on NH 17 with a few fag-breaks, when the incident of the day happened. We were somewhere near Mahad, and there was a sight of Gandharpale or Pale Budhist Caves on our left side. Beating a curve, I saw Justify and few other riders helping someone caught in bushes. It was Arun, who probably lost in the sight of caves and couldn’t react on time to take the turn. Luckily he was bruised only and literally survived what could be an ugly accident. His new 1800km run bullet too has survived that accident with a broken headlight, bent axle and some scratches. Justify, me and others left the place to join mates who have already reached our Lunch-stop at Om Sai, leaving behind Ganesh, Chinki to get the bike done for the ride. By the time they could the reach the restaurant, Inddiethumpers have already talked, discussed and decided to baptize Arun with the title “Caveman”. Being baptized by Inddiethumpers is an honour in itself. Vineet as Justify, Rahul being Headlight, Shyamal probably self earned Chinky, Hardik as Hard Dick, Hellboy Pawan, Bull Dog Karna and many more. Sigh, I haven’t yet been! :(

Riding the meandering road
Last 10 kilometers ride on the ghats to reach Mahab entry was nothing less than a ride to heaven! Meanders with valley on a side, rising and falling slopes, riding like playing NFS could never be a ride to hell, even if it’s grammatically correct! Maintaining distance with fellow riders and other commuters we reached the entrance. Another session of Caveman’s experience and homemade strawberry-gulkand icecream were the feast of the day!

After getting our bags and boots dumped at Tree Top Bungalows, Vineet and I took Caveman to nearest Municipality Hospital. Though the Doctor wasn’t available, nurses were good and cordial enough for the purpose. A meager charge of Rs 5/- only for dressing left us wondering over what we pay for so-called hospitality-Hospitals back in the city. Treating ourselves with healthy carrot juice, price of which brought us back to the tourist-city, buying bottles of unhealthy rotten malt-sugar syrup for friends and strawberries for family we came back to the Resort, getting ready for the party-all-the-night session!

Vikram and time...
When you too are lost in the wild with the friends on the floor, it’s difficult to tell what happened! So, let the pictures tell the tale, not me… but, what I experienced or what I generally experience on dance floor and on the tables flooded with wines, is that it’s wonderful to lose oneself and know others in calm dim-light, it’s astonishing to break the barriers and get closer.
Dance dance...
Dance dance...Caveman at center
Don't tell my mom, you saw me dancing ;) ~ Karna aka Bulldog
Caveman and Pa ji
Though what I still remember is the ‘Know the New’ session! Or simply ragging session! First on the roll was Caveman, than Chandan and his wife. Deepal of 60kph, who is an ex-Inddiethumper and have done some 2,50,000km in last 6years, also joined the crew and reminded us of Munna of Munnabhai MBBS. I conspired to escape it, posing as a slient and ‘old’ member, but Pa ji and probably Pawan caught and summoned me. What I learnt from the rides and especially such sessions is that it’s actually foolish to fake as you know your bull completely. Those who have been riding it since eons, never claim to know her! Justify put it in a much better way “for all the new comers, a simple advice would be to learn to learn and listen more and talk less. There are more riders with more kilometers clocked to even reach the moon and come back; and we are although not less than them in any manner we always have to listen and learn… the important thing is to learn from that and take it positively too. A few were harsh, a few were passed off as jokes; and I truly thank them for all those because I think it only made me a better rider; because I am not a instinctive rider.
No one helped me standing up :-/
Next morning, half woke up, more than half slept, Arun reminded us about our planned visit to Sunrise spot. Arun, me and Headlight led by Mohanty visited Wilson point some 2hours later to mighty Sun’s rise. It was already a bright day there, though the breeze was cool enough to get us some welcome shivering! We spent some time there posing with our bulls for the cameras and returned back to the resort. 
3 the bhai at Wilson Point
Learning Jungle tips from Caveman
Ride back to Mumbai started at the scheduled 11:00 AM, via Panchagani-NH 4. We started in smaller groups and regrouped in different groups en route. I started the ride with Pradipta riding Caveman’s bull with caveman as pillion, his friend, Justify, Chandan and met all other guys at Table top, Panchagani. Some group snaps, and another treat of homemade ice-cream was our last feat together. From there, I started with Vikram, Ranveer and Pawan. Thumpers took the lunch break at Big Wheels Motoring Café; but we preferred to ride ahead and stopped for lunch at Khandala. There we’re joined by Akhtar and Ridhi and later by Shyamal, Justify etc. And, then again from Panvel again we were three, me, Pawan and Ranveer to ride ahead in to the navi Mumbai, our home!
Inddiethumpers at Table Top, Panchagani
Room No. 15 ke Inddiethumpers
As a ride, 200 and a few kilometers mayn’t be much, but the score of friends we got is some achievement! Mayn’t I be able to be in touch with each and everybody all the time, but a few with whom I met again on this ride and would be riding again with, would for sure get into my very personal diary of friends, like Pa ji, Cheryl mam, Headlight, Justify, Hellboy, Ranjeet, Rohan, Dheeraj, Mohanty, Shyamal, Arun, Akhtar bhai, Appu, Bulldog, Hard Dick, Vikram….do I need to tell what I accomplished! :)
Dear, lemme thump...I'll be back....

(Thanks to Vineet, Mahi, Rahul and Mohanty for pics and all the Inddiethumpers for a great ride)
For more pix click here..
IMC: Mahabaleshwar Ride - April 23-24 2011

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