Dear team, my friends and colleagues; thanks for all the support and well wishes for making it happen!
This is a true story of 3 idiots from Pune…
I will describe this as a ride for Value Identification (not AN EXPEDITION).
The reason is; I wanted to REALIZE and NOT just UNDERSTAND...(these 2 words are different ) the value of each and every piece of comfort in my day to day life as well as the VALUABLE moments of well-earned DEEP SLEEP (well.. it will be without any mosquito repellent and without TV programs)
However, I know this ride involved SKIN BURNS, mind-blowing head winds, Hot sunny days as well as darkest and muddy jungle roads...
All those became the CRITICALLY IMPORTANT and UNAVOIDABLE part of the ride.
Aniket Sutar and Trilok Pandharkar .. I cannot even think if you were not there for inspiring and keep the flame burning throughout this....
A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Yes. 100% true and agree. After Pune Goa cycle trip, I went in hibernation phase.
Workflow increased continuously. There were reviews, events in office, multi-level activities and much more. I was completely drowned in the schedule and could not find time to explore myself. CYCLIST in me was getting in passive mode. I started feeling sluggish, lazy and was strongly willing for a plan like Man Vs Wild..
A plan that will help me to realize the true value of all the comforts that are made available on my single call. In the morning, my dear grandma serves tea before I woke up.(Now I realize the comfort of sipping it with biscuit).
When I reach office, I can access anything by making a single phone call. When I return home, grandma keeps the dinner ready.
There was something missing and causing turbulence in my mind. Do I really know the value? When I consume lot of comforts and follow only routine schedule, then Do I deserve this level of royal treatment? In addition, much more… … … I was disturbed…
BUILDING THE TEAM .. FOR THE DREAM.. I thought rather than doing some well-established and followed rides, let me do something new. Shared the idea of Pune Kanyakumari cycle ride with my rider colleagues.
Mr. Ithape, Vipin Vora, Raj Khedekar, and everyone taken up the plan. Meetings were held thoughts and plans were exchanged…Dice had been rolled!
SUDDEN FALL.. All of sudden news stroked us..Due to some unavoidable circumstances, Ithape Kaka could not join us.
3 IDIOTS …. Aniket Sutar, Trilok Pandharkar, and I (Sanat Joglekar) were firm on our decision.
Let us go ahead and finish the ride.
Finally the D-Day … 6-Nov-2013.. The most awaited day came up. Since this was like Do it Yourself (D I Y) kind of ride, this was like a milestone. We were going to explore about 1600 Km of coastal road. It included Maharashtra -south border of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu.
According to the plan, we gathered at 6.00AM sharp at Sinhagad road. Ithape Kaka greeted us and the journey started. Within an hour, we crossed Katraj Tunnel. However, the road was good it was a steady climb. After 45 Km we halted at Shriram Vada Pav and then marched towards Karad.
Though the weather was pleasant, it could not last after 1.00 PM. We were exhausted and after Khambataki. However due to the continuous practice sessions, we managed to reach Karad at 4.00 pm… Total distance covered 158 Kms.
Day 2 Karad to Tavandi Ghat top. … 115 Kms
We started at 7.00 AM. After having breakfast at 7.30 we were able to speed up and covered 100 Kms at reasonable pace. It was 4.00 PM. We reached at the starting point of Tavandi ghat. Aniket crossed the ghat section very easily. However, Trilok and I started walking and had some photos. We halted at Hotel Satyavati Palace.
Day 3 Tavandi to Hubli (Hotel Akshay Basant Residency):
Once again, we have to cover 157 Kms. Here I have to admit that we were making a serious mistake. We started at 7.15 AM. It was not a good time. All the roads were made up of concrete.
It acts like microwave oven and radiates all the heat into the atmosphere. We could not maintain the same pace as earlier. As a result, we have to cover last 14 to 18 Kms in dark night. Thank god ! There was a local resident, who came to rescue us. He agreed to show the correct road and followed us with his scooter. Finally reached the destination at 7.30 PM
Day 4 Hubli to Ankola (Guru Prasad Lodge near Ankola bus stand 140 Kms)
FAREWELL TO TRILOK… UNFORTUNATE BUT PRACTICAL DECISION..
Today was the worst day of this series. We started early in the morning and covered 130 Kms very easily. The most awaited DANDELI GHAT was waiting for us. It is about 18 Kms. Anyone can feel the heavenly touch of nature, pollution free air, clean and mirror finished roads, no plastic cans on roads lots of birds and flora and fauna… I was in heaven. It appears like mountains shown in the LORD OF THE RINGS.
After crossing the ghat we en had lunch at Yellapur. Everything was going well. We were enjoying the second inning of ride and crossed Idgundi. Aniket and Trilok were ahead of me. (May be 2 to 3 Kms).. Nobody was aware what was coming up ahead ! Trilok lost his control and had a major head-fall. There were injuries on left leg as well as face. His bike turned down between the margins of road. Rear wheel was out of order. No one from us understood the situation at first. Luckily I had BETADINE and dressing kit. We did preliminary cleaning. Wound was superficial and not much serious. However, the cycle was serious. We halted for half an hour. Finally, after 2 hours of slow riding reached at Ankola.
We discussed and finally came up with an UNFAVORABLE BUT PRACTICAL DECISION...
FAREWELL TO TRILOK !
Ankola is located at Karnataka coastal area. It is a tiny city and not developed like Pune. The languages spoken are MALYALI and Hindi.
We booked a room at Guruprasad Lodge near Ankola bus stand. Our next priority was to find a bus for Hubli. All of us rushed at bus stand. Alas! Once again, the misfortune was not ready to leave us. After spending 2 hours, we heard that there was no bus until next morning. Once again, we were disheartened and hungry left bus stand and crossed at least couple of roads.
Now I started REALIZING the value of dinner that I ENJOY AFTER RETURNING HOME. The cup of tea that is kept ready at 6.30 AM at kitchen. There was no hotel open and finally we dragged our bikes at a milk dairy and gulped three Ice creams. What a dreadful day! No problem... Let us think positive...
Day 5 ANKOLA to MARVANTHE BEACH (SUNLIGHT RESORTS) 135 Kms
We left the lodge at 5.30 AM. Already weakened and fatigued … all of us were looking like three shadows. Finally, Trilok got a bus for Hubli. We packed his cycle and luckily, it was fitted into the bus. It was a very difficult but practical decision.
Aniket and I had breakfast and set out for our next destination MARVANTHE. Today we have to meet our plan by crossing 140 KMs.
I could not catch the required pace of 25 Km per hour. Also, took rest of 2 hours in between the two-ghat region. We were continuously pedalling very hard. Weather was hot and therefore causing dehydration. I remember more than five times I consumed ELECTORAL and BOOST Gel for getting extra proteins...
Time crossed 6.15 PM. Now the challenge was started. Sun was about to cross the horizon. Spreading the beautiful red- orange canvas. However, it was a danger signal for us. Since we have to cross at least 25 Kms in the dark. There was no proper road. All the vehicles were splashed silica and soil on my face.
Everyone in the bus or sedan car could imagine the condition of us... As predicted we entered the MARVANTHE village at 7.00 PM. same again… There was no lodge for 15 Kms. We were attacked by hunger and thirst simultaneously. Every second was giving me a pinch and asking for the resources.
The huge oil tankers and military truckers were enough kind to notice our blinker tail lamp. The terrific size and the huge roaring sound added a different kind of horror to night.
Only dark sky few stars and two cyclists…
It was a real taste of life. Now I REALIZED the safe, easy going and lazy life (WHITE COLLAR...SOFTWARE IT LIFE)...We reached our destination at 7.45 PM.
Day 6 MARVANTHE BEACH (SUNLIGHT RESORTS) to SURATHKAL(Hotel SAI-SURAJ INTERNATIONAL) 94 Kms
Today we corrected our mistake. Started at 6.00AM. Target point was Hotel Sai Suraj International. Road was clear and we reached at 2.30 pm.
Day 7 SURATHKAL (Hotel SAI-SURAJ INTERNATIONAL) to VATAKARA (Hotel North Star) 105 Kms
Until now, we had learned a good lesson...Start early and finish well. Reached VATAKARA around 3.00PM. The hotel was excellent and staff was cooperative.
Here we came across with a great traveller Shilby.. He and his friend were planning to conduct motorbike tours all over India. They also shared the ideas and invited us to join them.
The VATAKARA is well-developed city and we decided to re-schedule our trip. We found a net café and pointed out next destination and the ration came up was 100 Kms per day. Next destination was PONANI.
Day 8 VATAKARA (Hotel North Star) to PONNANI 121 Kms
Again, we started at 6.30AM. The city was clean and maintained well. Within five mins, we covered three Kms and had breakfast. A common thing in Kerala is, wherever you visit in Hotel or any resto. you will be welcomed by hot drinking water. After breakfast, we caught speed and maintained throughout the day... However once again we struggled with some bad patches and I had to walk 4 to 5 Kms to avoid punctures.
(People in my office consider me as a lucky to ride a road bike; however, they do not know the big problems on such roads.)
We managed to reach PONANI by 3.30 PM
Day 9 PONNANI TO KOCHI 108 Kms
We started Ponani at 6.30 AM. The initial phase of 1 hour was pathetic. Road has multiple kind of patch up work. A bit of cement, followed by stones and then again sand + cement.
I am sure; there will not any road of this type on our holy earth. Somehow, we managed to cover it and connected to main highway (NH-17). After continuous series of ups and downs, we reached at KOCHI.
Day 10 Kochi to Kayamkulam
Kochi is a busy but clean and well-established town. The buses are clean; however overloaded. We started at 6.00 and after reached KAYAMKULAM around 3.30 pm.
Day 11 Kayamkulam to Tiruvanathpuram
Last 3 days we were able to finish our targets on time. However today once again I was feeling home sick. Memories of family, friends started turbulence and it was difficult to stop them.
Unlike first five days, today was becoming a very sensitive but somewhat lonely. The target was very close and I should not allow such negative thoughts. I repelled those thoughts by playing my favorite war songs.
Once again, I admit that if I was not involved in this VALUE IDENTIFICATION RIDE… I could not get this power to control my emotions.
The lodge owner (HOTEL PRTIBHA HERITAGE) and his family stay in the lodge. They were amazed to see us on cycles. When we told the prices without any hesitation, they allowed the cycles to park in the room.
Day 12 Tiruvanathpuram to Kanyakumari
KANYAKUMARI - KANYAKUMARI - KANYAKUMARI-..
Our target was only 90 Km away from us.
I cannot describe the excitement, satisfaction and at the same time again the memories of home family and friends. It was a milestone for me. The ride of adventure, dangers as well as a different kind of satisfaction was going to end.
The roads of Tiruvantapuram are like excellent portrait. Every bungalow has its own sidewall painted with traditional design. Along the wall, there are flowerpots and unlike Pune, there are trees present in the cages.
We covered seventy kilometers very easily. As NAGARCOIL started, we were engulfed by heavy traffic and road blockages. Kanyakumari was 19-20 Kms away. We were doing our best and finding the small gaps between two trucks. Truckers were jealous on us and we were able to skip all those hodge-podge.
Now, monsoon also came to help us. All of sudden heavy rain started and this helped us to get rid from pedestrians as well as two-wheelers. We pedaled hard and covered 10 Kms very easily.
Once again CANONDALE proved itself the unbeatable queen of the road. Without skidding on the roads, it achieved the coverage of 10 to 15 Kms per hour.
FINALLY IT’S DONE !
Both of us were standing in front of the main entrance of KANYAKUMARI. Speechless … !
I will not describe this this in any language. It was the credit for all. Known and unknown powers were combined and supported us for getting the dream into real.
I will say that; the escalating the idea from one level to another was the first brick of this success.
Everyone poured his soul into this unsharpened thought of Pune Kanyakumari cycle ride and finally it came into the real world.
AFTER GETTING THE GOAL !
People were astonished like someone from MARS was on the EARTH. Three media executive captured some footage and noted our contact details.
Another MARATHI Families gathered around us and taken some photos.
Our friend Mr. Bedekar along with his another friend Mr. Joglekar was there.
He welcomed us and invited for lunch with their families. In addition, as a memory, they gifted a prototype of wooden cycle.
CYCLES are made for CYCLISTS and CYCLISTS are born for CYCLES !
We had to rush for packing and dispatch of cycles. However, we had hardly 45-50 mins in our hand. According to the rule, the luggage needs to be submitted before 12 hours, so we rushed to Kanyakumari station.
After filling the necessary form and packing, we were relieved and returned to cottage.
I will describe the entire program as Value identifier, Value Addition as well as endurance.
There were many obstacles. At every obstacle, I explored a new power and every power was followed by new responsibility.
This was the best example for me to see the power of positive attitude and concentrating all the strengths.
This was only possible by leaving the SAFE, COMFORTABLE COZY ENVELOPE,…
We are IDIOTS. (That is what people said to me after hearing my single sentence plan… PUNE TO KANYAKUMARI ON CYCLE)
Finally, it is true... A ship in the port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for!!
Thanks for the time! ...Yours truly,... Sanath Joglekar..