I had a year plan of 2009 to ride Pune-Mumbai-Pune (did on Feb 28 & March 01), Pune-Bangalore and Pune-Delhi. Jaydeep (my companion on Pune-Goa ride) saw my Pune-Bangalore plan on cyclists.in and wrote me about his interest to join but he can’t as he is leaving for Germany in first week of September, 2009. He also wrote about his plan of Pune-Goa ride, scheduled for last week of April. As the trip date was just 2-3 days away and I was not prepared for it either mentally or physically so I asked him if he can shift his plan for 2 more days. I don’t know why I agreed to do Pune-Goa in such a days when mercury is high as 45*C. But, 2 things pushed me further to do Pune-Goa, 1) I didn’t want him to ride alone, as he was a newbie and 2) I saw an opportunity to add one more ride in the year plan. He called me and we both agreed to start our trip on 1st May. I also changed the day wise plan little bit to “start early to finish early”. I told him to buy a front and back light for him and I borrowed an air pump from Nachiket. We also bought nutritious chocolates (Horlicks and Rite Bite) and Glucon-D to get instant energy.
On 30th April night, I reached home at 12:30 in the night (1st May morning) did packing till 1:30 and slept till 3:30 am.
We started our journey from C-DAC, near main building Pune University Campus at 4:30 am on 1st May. Unfortunately, my back light fallen on Sihangad Road after crossing RajaRam bridge which made me more witting, as it was needed to escape me from trucks. Anyway, we maintained the pace and crossed new Katraj tunnel before sun rise. We had breakfast after Narayanpur village at “Shri Ram Wada” which is around 50 KM from Pune and took one cold-drink break just before Khambataki ghat. While climbing the ghat I observed that I was faster than fully loaded Tata trucks. Reached Bhunj, just 24 KM before Satara at 10:15 am and decided to stay in the temple till evening. I took a 1 hour bath in Krishna river in Bhunj, had lunch, took a 3 hour nap and started again for Satara at 5:45 pm. We reached Satara at Maha Laxmi housing society at 7:20 pm, had a delicious dinner here “Chapati + Bhaji + Daal + Desi Ghee + Rice + Takh + Aam Ras” Total distance covered was 112 KM.
We started at 4:30 am on 2nd May for Kolhapur. It was a plain road so I assumed that was going to be a smooth ride but then my rear tire got punctured. Thanks to Ulhas kaka and Ashok Captain who taught me how to fix a puncture, so I was confident enough to fix it and it took me 20 minutes to fix. Then without any difficulty we reached at the heart of Kolhapur, Bhawani/MahaLakshmi temple at 12:30 pm. After delicious lunch we took a nap for 1 hour. We left for Panhala fort and Rankala lake in the evening, after that we went for MahaLakshmi temple and had dinner outside.
This time we managed to start at 4:20 am on 3rd May for Sawantwadi. In between, we crossed Karnataka border and the roads here are having high friction constant, we were trying hard but not able to gain pace. After crossing Nipani (50 KM from Kolhapur) we climbed Tawandi ghat and took right for Ajara-Amboli route. This road was so awesome that I loved riding here. It was a total up-down road of 39 KM till Ajara. After reaching Ajara, we had lunch in a restaurant and a nap for 1 hour on ground. At 3:30 pm we started again for Sawantwadi. Amboli ghat seemed to be a GOD gift for cyclists as it was a 20 KM downhill with smooth road and I took less than 20 minutes to cross it and reached Sawantwadi around 7:30 pm. We decided to stay here for night as it was recommended by many to not ride in the night and Panji was just 62 KM for here. We had dinner and took a double bed room in “Sai Krapa” lodge.
As the distance was less this time so, we started late at 4:45 in the morning. It was difficult to ride here as the weather was so humid. But, we managed to reached Panji at 8 am and stayed at Porvorim just 2 KM before Panji. I took bath, had breakfast and left for Panji Bus stand to enquire about the bus. I booked Krishna Volvo with Rs. 200/- extra to carry my cycle as a luggage. The Bus was at 7:30 in the evening, so I went Panji market to purchase the packing material for the safety of my cycle and also to buy “Dodol” (Goan sweet made with coconut milk, jiggery and rice flour. After searching the market I got the packing material near church. I came back to Porvorim had lunch and took a nap of 3 hours. I wake up around 4:30 in the evening, packed myself and left for the bus stand. I packed my cycle there and loaded into the Volvo.
I reached Pune at 6 O’clock in the morning on May 05, 2009 and at that time I was feeling great that I rode 517 KMs in 3 days. My happiness has no bounds but this is not the end of story. I want to do Pune-Goa again with the endurance to complete it in 2 days.
Thanks to Jaydeep who has given me the opportunity to come with him, otherwise it has not been happened.
For photographs: http://picasaweb.google.com/gagan.linux/2009_05_01_Pune_Goa_cycling#