Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bullet Ride to Malshej Ghat

Date of Ride: 19th July 2009
Destination: Malshej Ghat
Height: 2750 feet
Total Distance: 150 kms from Mumbai

The Route taken from Mumbai to Malshej Ghat

With the weekend approaching, there is a scramble to make best use of the time; and during
monsoons it is an open invitation to experience the beauty of Sahyadri Ranges. When I received an invitation by InddieThumpers ( the bullet bikers club, having largest membership) for a ride to Malshej Ghat, I started gearing up my bike and myself. Got the clutch wire changed, topped up the engine oil, cleaned the spark plug, and test drove the bike around Navi Mumbai to check the preparedness. The assembly point was Mulund Toll Naka and assembly time was sharp 7:30 a.m on the sunday morning.
Got up early morning 5:30 a.m checked the weather, there was a heavy downpour at that moment, packed the backpack kept the tools in the bag, took my Wireless VHF handy along with the quarter wave magmount antenna. Wanted to test the matheran repeater from Malshej Ghat but the thrill of riding and activities within the group never gave me the time to use the wireless.

Was in two minds, will the bullet ride in monsoon be good during the heavy downpour, should I wait for the next ride ! , but the thrill of riding and thumping in flock of fellow bullet riders evaporated all the doubts. This led me packing off additional pair of shoes and clothes, to counter the effect of raindrops on my clothes.

With a cup of black tea, both of us (myself and my bike) were roaring to go. Kick started the bullet
at 6:35 a.m only to have a short break at Fuel pump around 2 kms from Sec-9 C.B.D Belapur. Topped up the petrol, updated the tyre pressure and the journey started alone from CBD. Took the route of thane belapur road via airoli creek bridge to mulund check naka. The unpredictability of mumbai weather was in favour of us, it was a pleasant clear sky till i joined a group of six more bikes from Navi Mumbai at the exit of airoli creek bridge at eastern express highway. Met the veteran riders Kaka. Chinky and others under the bridge, waited for a short while for a pillion rider then proceeded towards the mulund toll naka, where we were greeted by a group of riders and we all moved little ahead before the Octroi Gate towards thane. All of us parked our bikes in a formation, and before we started we had almost 55 bullet motorcycles lined up and roaring to go for monsoon climb. There were curious onlookers and other mumbaiites admiring our spirit and bikes. A brief session of spontaneous photography captured some of the moments, Kaka briefed the route of ride and signalled us to start the journey in a file of 2x2 ride. It was 5 minutes to 8 in the morning, the bikes had started roaring restlessly and we started off from this point towards Bhiwandi Nasik Highway, and zoomed past, cars and trucks on the way.

I kept following the group in a 2X2 formation, when ever the roads went on a see saw pattern the formation of bullets on the road used to be visible for a length of Half a Kilometer, it was a fascinating site, this is when i remembered my camera, but had no cells. Decided to pick two pairs
of Alkaline cells, but it was early morning, hardly any shops had opened their shuters till then. It had drizzled a bit till now, we were all aiming to reach the Murbad turning near the Murbad Bus Stop. This was our landmark for the breakfast. As we neared the destination saw around 30 to 35 bikers already waiting for others to join them. It was 9:00 am and this was our breakfast time. We parked our bikes in front of the restaurant, straightened our backs and legs. Found a quiet corner to unload my back pack and helmets. An interesting feature of Inddie Thumpers (the bullet club), has been to prepare for the ride with the checklists of spares as well as dos and don'ts during the ride. All the riders followed the rule and discipline by book on the road till we hit our 1st breakpoint for our breakfast.

There was a huge commotion in the restaurant and all the discipline on the road went off with loud roars and laughters of the riders, many of us started greeting, meeting and introducing one another. I was riding with the group almost after 5 years, but the warmth and bonding with the group was same as before. Suddenly there was an annoucement for all the riders to deposit the contribution for the ride, which again created a wave of activities which settled down with the hot pohas served with fresh lemon. A steaming cup of tea was apt for the weather, which had started telling us, this is a monsoon ride. Strong breeze with heavy downpour accompanied our hot tea. Almost all the riders and their pillions were roaring to smash the rainsdrops with our bikes.

Put on my windcheater cum raincoat, helmet, backpack and before we could touch our bikes we had four to five photographers asking us to pose in the group, the moment had its own level of dramatic moments when our photo guys almost blocked the road for few moments to capture the event.

Again in the formation of 2X2 the bikers started off the ride towards the hill ranges. The roads were clean lashed with the rain water. We were almost 55-60 kms from our start point, we went past
beautiful countryside having various shades of greenery, the fresh crop had a lemon green touch, but the trees and grass had a deeper green color. It was amazing to see the variations in the green shades, which kept propping up all the way as we progressed on the ride. Almost after and hour of ride from our breakfast point we had started riding amongst the early rise of hills. Amazing curves of the road along will the climb kept us engaged, but could not deviate us from appreciating the beauty of mountains and the road. Many place you could see the roads dissapearing in the hills visible in the front. Some of our riders including myself did get down at couple of places to capture the nautral beauty embbeded with the man made created serpentine roads.

All along it had been pouring on and off, which added to the thrill of ride, once we were through with our photoshoots, we used to rush to catch up with the group who rode past us towards the mission "Malshej
Ghats". While riding up the hills before the Malshej tunnel, the clouds were romancing with the peaks. Many places you would feel the heat of romance as you could see smoke coming out of the ranges, which turned out to be a wandering clouds suspended very low. It was still an ealry morning for the site but we encountered some other groups enjoying the water fall and the weather. We were greeted at most of these encounters we rode past the tunnel, which was dripping with water as the rains were lashing the ghats. The riders went ahead of the tunnel and started decending the hill towards our resort where our destination was. By the time we parked our bikes and settled for the next moves, it was 12:00p.m. We had travelled till now 151 kms from our destination. Some of us could spot a huge lake behind resort, and it was decided to take a ride to the lake, while our lunch gets ready.

This was an interesting part of the ride, here we rode on the non metal road of the dam which was holding this water in the lake form. Intelligently mankind has used the natural resources to their best
advantage, this was visible even here, as the three sides of the lake were natural mountain ranges and only one side the dam had to be erected. We continued the ride our speed was 15 to 20kms per hour, the ride was bumpy and the wind pressure was high. Thanks to the weight of the Bike we were more stable than other 100 cc bikes but still had to manoeuvre our bikes carefully and firmly.
We parked our bikes on the edge of the dam when some adventurous bikers went down on foot to take the feel of water. At least a dozen of us decided to test the depth of the lake.
In the meantime i was there up on the dam road along with few other bikers, who were first timers with the InddieThumpers on the ride. Some of whom i could interact were Ashish(recently moved to mumbai), Maitri (from capgemini), Anirudh (a budding enterpreneur in logistics and warehousing solutions) and Vivek. There was one thread common in all of us including the first time riders, the thrill of riding the thumping enfield bullet.We exchanged the numbers and promised to keep one another informed of any short rides as well.

We were informed by a fellow rider about a path little ahead from where we could ride our bike down to the lake edge, and we rushed for the spot which was around one KM from our spot and decended down to meet Behzad, Rajiv Shah and a couple of others who had parked their bikes
next to the lake for the photoshoot. Sensing a great opportunity changed into swimming trunks and decided to test the depth of water in the lake. The bed of the lake was rocky which had sharp edges and did have some steep slopes on one end, that served as good pool for me to float for some time on back. Could see clouds smiling from above enjoying our antics. The chill of lake freshened us up and after a round of photos were were up on bikes to ride back to the resort for our hot lunch. It was 14:30 hrs when we landed at the lunch venue. All the first time riders were asked to introduce themselves and glimpses of modeling amongst the newcomers could be seen with the girls being the judge. But the process had to be interrupted for the lunch to get organized on the table. This was everybody's time for fill and refill. The process was over by 15:20hrs, and the ride back to mumbai was announced.

15:30hrs we were up and roaring again, till we crossed the tunnel and 2 kms of the stretch of Ghat,
it was bit jammed due to the picnickers parking their four wheelers haphazardly. Thankfully we were out of this situation in 30 minutes. We zoomed back. We encountered some traffic as we were entering Thane, but was usual weekend return traffic and we could navigate our bikes effortlessly back to our home. The day ended with a hot bowl of soup and biryani. The fingers and legs were reminding me of the thrill we experienced and the rest needed for the night. As night descended, the thought of another ride started taking shape.

Total distance traveled this day: 300kms


  1. Bravo is the right word for it Jayant can imagine the thrill, and that too on bullet. Enjoyed every bit of it, as if I virtually experienced it.

  2. i can imagine the thrills and excitement that you and the Bullet Biker's group had experienced. the snapshots of the places u had been to looks so inviting.
    more pics pls.....

  3. Nice to see you on Blog
    I feel like I am there on the back seat of your bullet !!

    All the best and look forward for new postings with picturs...

  4. Looks like you had a lovely time. Rain always makes things looks better. :-)

  5. The Travelogue is superbly written and well-formatted...the first ride is always a memorable experience and I am sure the Thumpers make sure that all rides are awesome !!!

    btw Aasish Francis is part of our Delhi/NCR club named Bulls on Parade !! he is one amazing rider and I am sure you would enjoy all your rides with him...

    Look forward to reading more travelogues from you...

    Chers to Life...

  6. Want to join a road trip clubs. have just bought Bullet calssi 50. Please sujest me how to go about it.............wating for it desperately.

  7. Hey,

    Liked your travelogue. Check out ours:



    Ride On

    Bullet Riders' Owned