You need a passion to ride the bullet and what more do u need if you are with
the inddiethumpers, the Mumbai bullet club. There was a time I used to dream of
riding places. And then came the time for dream come true when I joined
InddieThumpers. The latest trip being Mumbai – Goa. Had never been such a long
trip. It was me, Daman, Shweta, Rasik, Rachna, Bruce and Vijay. All packed and
excited, left office at 5:45 PM. We were supposed to meet at Vashi toll naka at
6:30 PM. Reached there at 6:34 PM just to find myself alone. Called up Daman and
he nicely replied that we are still at Andheri waiting for Bruce to turn up. As
usual … IST stands for InddieThumpers Standard Time (atways late by atleast 2
hrs). These guys turned up at 8:00 and without wasteing any more time we set off
for Goa. The plan was to take a halt at Chiplun around 250KMs from here. We were
expecting rains. Till Panvel it was not much of fun due to traffic. Once we hit
the NH17, Mumbai-Goa highway, it was time for throttles to open. Our first stop
was at Vadkhal naka. Everyone was hungry and couldn’t resist hot vadas. Started
off from there at around 9:30 PM. With not much traffic on the roads, we started
for Chiplun enjoying the night ride. Ripping the roads at 90 – 100 KMPH. Reached
Mangaon at around 11:30 PM. Decided to take a halt for dinner. It had rained a
bit making the roads wet. We decided to stay at Mangaon.
Next day we started from Mangaon at 5:30 in the morning. The roads were amazing.
Reached Chiplun at 8:30 in the morning. The bikes were hungry and so were we.
Refilled the tanks and few meters ahead was a nice restaurant. They were just
opening up for the day and we were the first ones to get in. Had a nice
breakfast and then we set off. Then came the sad part. After crossing Ratnagiri,
my piston jammed. There was smoke comming from the engine …. and oops … we
have a seized engine. My first thoughts were .. shit … the worst thing to
happen. Bruce and Rasik were next to me. We stopped. As Bruce examined the
engine, his first words were … your engine is gone. Will require to open it.
Waited for few minutes to let the engine cool. Then started the bike trying to
analyze the loss. There was a mild sound comming. Bruce told me not to exceed
70. They waited for a smoke and I started riding. We still had a long way to go.
Riding at 70 – 80 we reached Panjim at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Rasik and
Bruce were way behind and they didn’t knew that we are breaking for a lunch. So
these guys moved ahed. Rachna guided us to a restaurant. Had our food. In the
mean time got a call from Rasik saying that they are waiting for us at Monginis
cake shop about 10KMs before Madgaon. We started off from Panjim. Reached
Monginis cake shop in an hours time. Couldn’t speed thru due to rains, speed
limits and traffic. Found these guys waiting for us. Honked in our usual
inddithumpers style. These guys came out and then we started towards Leela.
Asking everyone where is this place. Believe me .. we got nuts finding the
Leela. Its like at one end of Madgaon. It was as if a never ending road. We had
booking of 5 and total were 7. Rasik had arranged for 3 at his UTI guest house.
So Rasik, Rachna and Vijay started back for Panjim. Everyone was quite tired.
Had drinks and dinner and off to bed.
Next 4 days were going around Goa. Enjoyed a lot. Daily doing Panjim – Madgaon
route. Very difficult to write down that experience We were supposed to leave
on Tuesday morning and suddenly while having lunch Daman said lets stay for one
more day. Very difficult for me to do that. Called up my office and had a talk
with my Manager. Said that my bike engine has seized, would like to increase my
leave by one day. Manager did say yes but with a tone of “Do I have an option”.
That night Rasik said I am riding with you in the morning and we fixed the
program. I was supposed to meet him at Panjim at 6:00 AM. We set off for Leela
that night. On reaching Leela, I got a SMS saying that he has a problem with his
knee so he won’t be able to ride. He is taking a flight back. Vijay will ride
with me and Bruce will get back his bike. Vijay had already left Panjim to come
to Leela. After abt an hour Vijay reached Leela. Celeberated Bruce’s birthday
with some wine and a cake specially arranged by Prem. Next day morning got up a
bit late .. and my reaction was .. shit … late ho gaya … woke Vijay and
Bruce. All ready and packed we left the room. Daman’s bike had ran out of fuel
so I left the room asking Vijay to join in quickly. Woke Daman up. Took some
fuel from my bike and transfered it to Daman’s bike. I was all ready to go, with
the bag packed and tied on my bike. Vijay and Bruce came together. Bruce had
already brain washed Vijay. He came and said … lets not go today. I was like
.. what the heck are u saying. We are all ready, bike started and at end moment
u say lets stay. And now even Daman and Bruce started to convince me to stay.
Couldn’t resist staying for one more day but at the same time a bit worried abt
the work load. But then I thought … “Every thing is valid.. I am on holiday”
a quite famous statement ;-). Unpacked and back to the room. But it was a good
thing we stayed back. One more exciting day at Goa.
Next day morning we started off for Mumbai at 6:00 from Leela. Daman’s bike was
making some noice. We stopped at Madgaon to check it out. It was comming from
Engine. Nothing could be done. So we again started off. Reached Panjim at around
8:00AM. Daman was feeling very sleepy … and we had already left Panjim. So we
took a turn for Mapsua. Had a nice breakfast. Mapsua is big market. Thought we
do some shopping. While we were shopping, Daman took a nice nap. Started off
from Mapsua at 9:30 AM. And the first halt after 150 KM at some village (sorry
forgot the name) that too cause we needed to make a call. That 150 KM we covered
in 105 minutes. It was an amazing ride. The calls were made and messages given
to concerned people that we would be late by a day. The bikes needed re-fill. So
went in the first Petrol Pump we saw. Everyone topped up their tank. After
filling the tank, my bikes pickup came down. I started wondering whats the
problem. Just few km before Chiplun we took a lunch break. There I asked that
why has my bike’s pickup reduced. Bruce said its because of the petrol. Even his
bike was not pulling. Had a very good lunch and then started off again. By the
time we could reach Chiplun, Daman’s bike started making a lot of noice. We all
stopped to examine that. It looked as if the floating bush was gone. Bruce
opened up a bolt to clean up. Topped up the oil and again back to road. No
sooner did we cross Chiplun, it started raining heavily. What a fun that was
driving in rains on empty road :). Keeping the speed 60 – 70 we reached Poladpur
at around 6:30 PM. Took a break for tea / snacks. Mumbai was another 200 KM.
Filled up our tanks again, and started off for Mumbai at 7:00 PM. The sun had
already set and roads wet and no sign of rains stopping. Everyone was wet
inspite of wearing a wind cheater. We hitting the roads and rains hitting us.
Riding thru we reached Panvel at 10:15 PM and were home by 11:00 PM. One of the
best rides I had ….