The year 2017 has been hectic one with minimal leaves availed in office and rides limited in and around Pune. November was the month that I had the opportunity to take a long leave and then head out for a multi-day bike trip. I have never ridden my bike towards North above Maharashtra as all my trips so far have been down to South.
After much brainstorming and discussions with my buddy in this trip Sumeet, we finalized the route Pune – Vadodra – Udaipur – Indore and back to Pune via Dhule. We decided to keep this trip flexible to accommodate sightseeing to the places where we take a halt and also have an extra buffer day if required.
I was riding my #TouringMaching aka Hero Karizma R while Sumeet was riding his Royal Enfield Himalayan which he calls #Pegasus.
Day -0: Plan was to ride from Pune, cross Mumbai and take a halt just at the beginning of Mumbai – Ahmedabad highway. This was going to be an after office, a late night ride. Unfortunately, both of us were not prepared with our bikes and luggage on time and hence we decided to start next day morning. But if I had to do this ride again, I will make sure to execute this plan.
Day-1: We started at 7 am from Pune and took the first halt at Lonavala for quick breakfast. Crossing the Mumbai city was the big task for the day. Since Sumeet has done Pune – Ahmedabad a couple of times, he tackled the morning traffic like a Pro and I just followed him. It took us a couple of hours under the unbearable Mumbai’s humid weather. The only positive was the traffic sense of people of Mumbai who gave us way voluntarily for most of the time. My bum and patience were giving up but Sumeet kept encouraging me to carry on.
2nd quick halt came at a hotel opposite to the fountain hotel landmark after crossing majority of the Mumbai city. Post that the ride was blissful till Surat via the Mumbai – Ahmedabad with very short bum stops. However, Sumeet had warned me that it is one of the worst highways in terms road sense and that I should keep checking for fast-approaching vehicles in the rearview mirrors now and then. Plus drivers on this highway are lazy enough to use indicators before shifting lanes.
Surat being an industrial area, we encountered a huge traffic which was pretty undisciplined.The 3rd evening stop happened at the Coffee Culture The Ristorante Lounge near McDonald’s on the highway itself. The pricing of items at this place was more or less similar to that of CCDs. But they have 3 goods things that we need as travelers.
1. Good and clean washroom, 2. Good sofas to sit and 3. Yummy food.
From here we rode directly to Vadodara and stayed at a hotel named Airport which is exactly on the opposite side of Vadodara Airport. This hotel entertains visitors even at wee hours. The glorious days of this hotel are a thing of past and now it just an affordable place to spent the night that also has good parking space. It costs under 2000/- for an A/C room that includes a limited breakfast. Folks who have a phobia of lizards should skip this hotel. Though we didn’t find any in our room, there were quite a few in the common areas! We dined at Sugar N spice that was within few km distance and called it a day after deciding to head to Mount Abu the next morning.
Here a small video of Day 1: