This ride happened last Sunday (5th October 2014) but I only got some time today to document this ride.
A good Parsi
friend of mine Parzeed Baldawala who works at the local Harley dealer (Two Rivers Harley Davidson) called me up on the evening of the 4th of October to find out if I was going. I was in two minds since my little fellow was not keeping two well but come morning of the 5th of October at 5:00 AM when I woke up to get ready for the ride, he seemed to have bounced back from the fever symptoms he was showing the previous night. I checked with my wife and she gave me the green signal for the ride. Said she'd manage. Parzeed and I decided to meet outside the Pune RTO at 5:45 AM and then ride together till the starting point which the HOG members decided would be the Sai Petrol pump which was the last petrol pump before the Pune-Mumbai expressway. Parzeed was on a Street Bob (perks of working with Harley Davidson) and I was on my Street 750 (Therapist). All the participating HOG members were to meet at Sai petrol pump at 6:30 AM and ride out in a group at 7:00 AM. Everyone turned up by 7:00 AM. Usually one of the office bearers of the HOG chapter is always there. However on this ride, it was just some of the HOG members. Dayan Moses who was on a Softail Heritage Classic decided to take up the leadership position. The sweeper was Vinayak who had a Scala rider unit attached to his helmet. In all there were 8 of us:
1 Street Bob
1 Iron 883
1 Softail Heritage Classic
4 Street 750s
Here's the route that we decided to do:
Pune - Katraj - Khandala - Pune
Some photos at the start:
We numbered ourselves (I was 3), the newest member was 2 and the rest followed. Dayan our leader decided that we would make a few stops on our way (unlike the previous rides where we only stopped at the destination, had breakfast and returned). So our first stop was for tea/chai in Lonavala.
Parked on the road side:
Our second stop was at a picturesque stop from where the Mumbai-Pune expressway could be seen. BTW two-wheelers are not allowed on this expressway, so we had to take the old Pune-Mumbai expressway.
When we stopped for tea/chai we decided that we would ride till Karjat and head back to Hotel Kamat in Khandala for breakfast. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures at Karjat which was the furthermost stop that we made. Here's all our Harley's stopped at Hotel Kamat in Khandala:
Here's a group picture of us after breakfast and just before we decided to ride back to Pune. Another HOG member Srinivas Srikant (3rd from left) who was in the area decided to join us at Hotel Kamat. So there are 9 of us in this photo:
Parzeed is the 1st from the right and I'm standing next to him. The leader Dayan Moses is 4th from right and the sweeper Vinayak is the 1st from the left.
This ride experiences (two things):
1. A near miss
I had a very close shave on the way back from Karjat to Khandala. A truck had broken down on the road and was parked on the road. I was behind another 4 wheeler when it suddenly moved to the right to avoid this stationary truck. I saw it too late and was doing around 65 kmph (40mph). I thought - this is it! Applying the brakes meant a certain slide. I yanked my Therapist to the right 3-4 times and missed ramming into the truck by a couple of inches. It was all happening in slow motion. At that time, I could even picture myself in the hospital with casts on both my legs and hands. Thank God for my stars. Someone was watching over me I guess. I slowed down to regain my composure. The rider behind me caught up and he too was convinced that I was going to crash, he checked to see if I was okay and then we proceeded.
2. Another group riding rule
that I learnt on this ride:
You are responsible for the rider behind you. You always point out bad patches of the road, a dead dog and other obstacles that you might see thereby warning the person behind you.
For those who was to see all the pictures from this ride, here's the link: Ride#7 - HOG - Karjat-Khandala