Starting Point : Ahmedabad
Destination : Pune
Itinerary : Ahmedabad – Vadodara – Surat – Vapi – Mumbai – Pune
Distance : 660 km
Travel Mode : By road
Travel Vehicle : Pulsar DTSI 150 CC
Additional apparatus : One helmet, one fully loaded & charged Ipod Nano, one fully charged Sony DSC H7
Modus Operandi : Leave Ahmadabad early morning on 19th, and leave the rest to the road.
The other day I was travelling from Fort to Chembur through the harbour route on my bike when I saw a line of bullock carts pulling tankers of petrol (500 litres). In a age when we are moving to dedicated frieght railway lines and cargo flyers, it was quite amusing to see this mode of transportation being used by the petrol companies. In this case, the tankers were of HPCL.
On inquiry, the guy mentioned that he does this two times in a day, from Sewri to Ghatkopar. And there are around 50-100 such bullock carts doing the daily activity. But why does HPCL use these guys? They obviously can’t be a cheap option, it would make more sense to use a few tankers to do the job; a more faster, more reliable option. According to this article, transportation by bullock carts was supposed to be phased out by March of this year. Seems like no one informed these guys.
Could it be a CSR activity? Providing livilihood to these 50 odd guys could be a plausible reason to still stick on to this mode of transporting fuel. But I do wonder if the management cadre in HP are still aware of this mode of transport being used by their organisation.
This post is more of a repository for personal reasons.
Trips I have done on a bike or a car
- [Car] Pune to Bangalore – We leave Friday evening from Pune in a Santro, three of us. Stopover is at Kolhapur. We leave next day early morning and finally reach Bangalore in the night.
- [Bike] Pune to Lohegad – We head off on the old highway in the rain to climb the twin forts. Almost died on the return trip as we were dead tired and could hardly drive back!
- [Bike] Pune to Harihareshwar – 3 bikes, 6 bikers. We leave early morning, crossing over NH17 (Bombay-Goa Highway) at Mangaon. Return trip in the night at a constant speed of 60+ over the ghats
- [Car+Bike] Pune to Goa – One M800, one Unicorn – Route taken was through Pune-Bangalore Highway, taking the diversion through Belgaum. Probably the most awesomest trip I ever did so far.
- [Car] Pune to Goa (a year later) – One M800 – Route taken this time through Mumbai – Goa NH17 Highway. Beautiful route through the Western Ghats.
- [Car] Pune to Mumbai – Nothing much, just one of the umpteen trips but this time in our own car. Beats any volvo bus anytime.
- [Bike] Pune to Alibaug – 3 Bikes, 6 bikers – We head off to the AIPGM (All India PG Meet). Got completely drenched on the return trip in heavy rains, a complete contrast to the onward journey when it was hot like hell!
- I head off to XLRI, my bike follows me a week later!
- [Bike] Dimna Lake Trip – Short trip to the dam on the outskirts of the city
- [Bike] Ghatshila Trip – Short trip to the adjacent district of Jamshedpur
- [Bike] Chandil Dam Trip – An awesome 15 bike trip to the dam towards Ranchi city in the rains.
- [Bike] Dalma Top Trip – A trip that technically was a failed trip, thanks to the heavy slush on the road! But we did it again later!
- [Bike] Mukutmanipur Dam Trip – This dam is a top picnic spot in West Bengal, close to the border of Jharkhand. Nothing spectacular about the dam, but the ride on the top of 5km long strech of dam was definitely worth it
- [Car] Manali to Leh – Three Qualis – Two days of travelling in the Himalayas – nothing could describe the beauty around us. My only remorse – I didn’t drive. But took up a bike on rent in Leh for a day, travelled around 250kms in and around Leh. Definitely will be back to do the Leh trip on a two wheeler.
- [Bike] Chennai to Bangalore – 6 hours straight drive. Most of the road was a 4/6 lane highway. Quite boring doing it all alone.
As of now these are only the trips in which I travelled/drove. 🙂
Some day I’ll make an exhaustive list of all trips made on car/bike/bus/train/flight.
How does a hard-core biker live in a city that forces people to use public transport in all possible ways? Hard-core biker, yea, that’s me. I kinda define a hard-core biker as a fella that takes out his bike to even get eggs from the next block local store. Come to think about it, you can call him a lazy bum too. But hard-core biker sounds cool! 😉
Mumbai, that’s the city we are talking about. The city that fights me in every possible manner whenever I take out my bike. If it ain’t the rain, then the heat would kill you. Not to forget the humidity. And the traffic! I could have got myself a TVS luna, I would be still attaining the current top speeds.
I live kinda close to the Eastern express highway. Express highway, my foot. Day after day, one consistent scene I see out of my window is traffic jams. What’s the point of having an express highway if you have numerous traffic signals all over it?
And no wonder when I say to people that I use my bike for travelling, they give me the Is-he-nuts-look. Rakhi Sawant getting an oscar for her acting in the swayamvar wouldn’t have raised such a response from these junta.
But on the other hand, biking in the night feels like heaven. Seriously if you want to see Bombay, roam through the empty roads in the night. Marine drive, bandra coastline, the express highways – try any of them, you’ll love it. Of course, barring the few policemen on the roads who would check you for drunkeness and a host of other reasons(and probably lessen your purse by a few bucks).
One such ride after a tiring week, and I’m back in business. And so is the biker in me.
I loved staying out in the rains as a kid, getting completely drenched and then catching cold for the next two weeks. I still continue to do the same. Just that instead of playing, I go out on bike rides speeding over the empty roads. The feeling is amazing, at speeds of 60+, the drops sting your face like mosquitoes, but in a nice kind of way that makes you want more of it. Be it any city, a metro like Bangalore or a Tier2 city like Jampot, the traffic generally disappears off the road once the rain starts pouring. You feel as if the road’s been emptied just for you, and for you alone. And the concrete jungle just seems to melt away in the rain, and the city looks fresh and all clean.
But not the city of Mumbai. Here rains means only one thing – chaos. You feel as if this is the first time the city’s experiencing heavy rains; all over the place you’ll find half dug up roads and unfinished flyovers, clogged up drains, and traffic. Huge traffic. You get the feeling as if everyone kept on waiting for the rain to start, and then they took out their car for a drive. Signals get clogged up with all kinds of vehicles. The inner lanes & bylanes become swimming pools, with garbage floating around here and there. Now and then, one of the three local (EMU) lines closes down due to some waterlogging problem, generally the harbour lines being the most frequent of the three. It just becomes one big mess.
Grow up Mumbai. Learn from your past.
My goal in life is to travel around the world. But before that I still have to visit so many places in my country itself. People say I have travelled a lot within India, but on a percentage basis, I believe I have been to less than 10% of the places to be seen in India. Surprised? Well, a lot of people whom I know have hardly lived in more than two cities. Forget comparing their lives to mine, the number of cities my bike has seen could put most of my colleagues to shame.
My bike’s travel details –
- 2005 – 2007
- Rest of Maharashtra (Konkan coastline, etc)
- 2007 – 2009
- South Jharkhand,
- South West Bengal
- May 2009
- June 2009
- July 2009
- Back to Mumbai
Check up on your past. Have you travelled more than my bike?
And that’s how I consider my trip from Chennai to Bangalore. Seriously, my blax trips in XL have been longer. 7 hours straight. The only perceptible difference I could make that my glorious bums had crashed out, they were dead.
So many people advised me to make a trip to the temple before the trip. Considering that I was passing through Kanchipuram, the city of a thousand temples, it wouldn’t have been much of a deal. But if I do need to pay homage, it ain’t the one above, it would be to two buggers minting money in Mountain View, California, United States. Man, Google Maps rocks. I didn’t need anything else (leaving aside the HP & BP outlets, plus the lone Sarvana Bhavan hotel on the way)
So having mapped out the route the previous night, I started out from my gmom’s place at around 5.45 a.m. Shit, the whole family was up, to send me off. It couldn’t have been any more different had I been going out for a war or something. Innumerable advice, a list of helpline contact numbers and instructions of dos & donts (including the traditional “dont talk or accept anything from strangers”)
Roads in TN rock. Seriously. Leaving apart a few undergoing construction inside the city, I did not encounter a single porthole on the way. Mind you, I speak only for TN roads. About the 30 odd km of Karnataka I travelled, that’s a completely different story.
Getting back to the story I touched the NH4 in less than 20 odd minutes. Surprisingly there was very less traffic on the roads, with only a few intercity buses and trucks. Maintaining an average speed of 80 odd km, I was crusing away to glory listening to Metallica & GNR at full volume. To others on the road, I would have surely looked like an idiot. My dress code – a bright red Reebok Tee, blue burmudas, shoes with white socks, ipod earphones clinging on and a Sony cam hanging from my neck. I didn’t give a damn. I was free.
First stop – Kanchipuram. Had to upload as well as download. Entered the city, looking for a decent restaurant. Voila, Sarvana Bhavan to the rescue. 20 mins later, and lighter by some 50 odd bucks, I was back on the road. Decided to check out a few temples, but left the city as the sun was coming up fast.
On the highway, the traffic had slowly picked up, with a good number of cars traversing by. Till now I was the king, I was the one overtaking all the buses and lorries. No longer. I wonder why the government spends money putting up boards citing speed limits. On NH4, the speed limit was 40kmph. Man, even cycles were going faster than that. Most of the cars just whizzed by at speeds exceeding 120+
Second stop – outside Vellore city. This was more of a break for my bike than me. Clicked a few pics. But didn’t spend much time, the sun was up, it was heating up slowly. I always thought travelling alone on 6 lane highways would be fun. Wrong. I was quite bored by now. You hardly found any dhabas or any of that kind on these highways. The roads were straight, without much happening on the road. Man, if I had cruise control on my bike, I could have just gone of to sleep. Thankfully I had NH46 to look forward to. Atleast by the blogs and articles I read about, this place had a decent number of climbs and turns.
Wrong again. But then the surroundings were better, with more tree cover and a few hills. I made my third stop about 50 odd km away from Krishnagiri. The bike was running low on fuel so put in a few liters of petrol. Attendant gave me a weird look reminding me about my awesome attire. I decided to put my camera away, as it is I wasn’t clicking much pics on the road.
A hour later, I touched Hosur and crossed the border into Karnataka. Till now, I didn’t have to use my horn even once, there wasn’t a single traffic signal I had to wait for. No longer. Huge traffic. Big potholes on the road. Overbridge construction going on in the middle of the roads. Wide rainwater (or gutter water, who knows!) puddles all over the place. IT hub, my foot. I wonder what IT companies see in Bangalore that they invest so much in this city. It took me over an hour to cross the last 30 odd kms.
I reached my guest house finally at 12.40ish. Decided against stopping over for a bite. Headed directly for the bed, crashed out.
Chennai – Bangalore Trip
Distance – 375 kms
Time : 7 hours (6 hours driving + 1 hour in breaks)
Avg speed : 60+
Moolah – 400Rs Petrol + 60Rs Food
Feelings – Top of the world, Happiness, Elation, Tired, Bored, Dead
Finally I get to go on a long drive on my bike 😀 Chennai to Bangalore – Around 370 odd kms!
30th evening – Attend alumni meet
30th night – Leave for Chennai (Bangalore – Chennai Mail)
31st day/night – Stay at Chennai (Attend Abdul’s marriage!)
1st Morn 4.00 a.m. – Leave for Bangalore
Route: Chennai – Vellore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Hosur – Bangalore
1st Morn 10 a.m. – Reach the guest House! Already taken a leave for the day, so chill out! 😀
Boy, I can hardly wait for the weekend now! 😀
This is regarding HP Petrol Pump in Bistupur (just before Novelty, in front of the Bistupur Post Office). This post basically deals about how the attendents at this petrol pump easily fool bikers filling petrol. Although a bit too late find for myself, it might be useful for juniors and others!
Mind you, the first part of the post is in retrospect
Scene 1 – A few weeks back, Shah and yours truly drive in my bike to fill petrol at the pump. The tank’s almost dry, we ask for 100Rs worth of petrol. The guy earlier fills in for 40 bucks. Suddenly another attendent points out the rust on the bike’s keyhole giving arbit unasked suggestions while the other guy starts filling petrol. Unaware of whether he set the counter to zero before filling the tank, we pay up and leave. (As an old habit, I set the km-reading to zero)
2 days later, with the reading at 72 km, the tank’s empty. (normally my bike easily gives more than a km per rupee)
Scene 2 – Today, in a sense of deja vu, with my tank almost empty on reserve, I enter the same pump to fill petrol. I notice the guy before me fills petrol for 20 bucks, while I ask him to fill for Rs 100. (Again) suddenly another attendant standing besides me, starts giving me some gyan about my tank. This time I keep my eyes at the pump counter. With a sheepish look, after about 10 odd seconds, the first attendant resets the counter to zero and starts filling the petrol. Then I look around for the 2nd attendant, he’s already left the scene without finishing his “gyan” 😀 😀 😀