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January 31, 2017

Solo Trip: Mumbai to Mangalore

"Sometimes the road you travel doesn't lead to the Destination you had hoped for. But if you can look back on the trip and Smile... Then it was Worth it."

I have owned my bike for three years and I will be honest that I have not used it till its full capacity. The only time I took it out for a ride outside mumbai was Lonavala (2yrs back) and then probably Sanpada. In case you are wondering why Sanpada, then it will require another blog post, so will save it for another day. 

Recently in the month of Dec, I gathered my courage and decided on my first solo trip from Mumbai to Nasik which was a 350 kms ride back and forth. I enjoyed my experience of the first solo trip which was started not knowing what to expect and turned one of the best moment of my life on my bike.

When another opportunity came up, I knew what my ride will be. However this was not going to be easy. You see this road trip was of a longer distance and apart from that family was reluctant to let me go knowing that biking is still consider dangerous by a majority of people.

However since I remained adamant given that I did not put much thought into it except the fact that I was excited on going on the road trip that required me to be on the road for days.

I was suppose to carry a tank bag but found it short for the luggage that I was carrying. Hence had to carry my shoulder bag.

Day 1: I was supposed to wake up at 5 and beat the morning traffic to get out of Mumbai. However thanks to my work responsibilities I ended up coming late to home and the next day woke up at 6 instead of 4:30. By the time I left home it was already 7. Filled up the tank and was ready to go my road. 

I was going to ride 2000 approx. kms and for that I decided to have a stop over at Belgaum on my way to Mangalore. This was going to be a 485 kms ride. I had to take the old mumbai pune highway and from there on to the pune bangalore highway on my way to belgaum.

I was completely dependent on the google maps for my destination. I have to say that they are not completely reliant as I found out that it showed the route through the expressway where bikes are not allowed. I will come back on this later.

The ride was enjoyable one. Sunrise never disappoints and no matter how many pics you take of it. It always feels different when you are clicking a snap from a different location. I think the best way to enjoy the nature is to take a road trip and see what nature has to offer. 

I ended up reaching my destination at 8 and checked in to my hotel. The dinner was courtesy of my friend whose native place is Belgaum and arranged it through his relative. Went back to sleep after making sure my phones, powerbank, etc., are fully charged.

Day 2: The only disappointment waking up in the morning was not getting a hot shower. Apparently the hot shower starts after 6 and I had to leave before that. So I packed my bags on my way to Mangalore which was around 450 kms away. 

Back on the Pune Bangalore highway with the night still out, it felt I was alone on the road with a truck or a bus passing by after a few distance. Thank god for the LED lights otherwise it would have been one hell of a slow ride. 

Thanks to the cold every time I would speed up I would get the chills and would have to slow down. The weird part, my riding jacket comes with a thermal wear and on getting it lined up with the jacket, I started to feel more cold than otherwise. Also wore my hand gloves for some part of the distance as cold was getting to my fingers.

I am thoughly not comfortable with my hand gloves for some reason when I ride with it, I face issues accelerating and applying the front brakes. So this time I was better without it.

I through enjoyed the state highway and then the ghats enroute. However there was a section of the road that kept me wondering what I was doing. The good thing however was that I found a group of riders who sped away on their high cc engines leaving me behind in a zap. This helped on my way to get my adrenaline rushing. I found them on both the days.

They even gave me a thumbs up which is considered as a sign of respect.

Finally I reached my hotel at around 5pm in the evening.

Day 3 : I had a day off as needed to get my work done. I again left at 5 am in the morning and revved up bike all the way. I have to say when you prepare for a trip you always leave out something that comes to haunt you back. 

In my case I took all the riding gear except for the bag and then I forgot the most important thing. Taking care of my butt which always becomes the first victim in long rides. I never thought about it even though I had experienced it in my lonavala, nasik trip. Somehow it still skipped my mind and gave me more pains than probably a waxing could.

My stops become frequent and then there were all kinds of thoughts eluding my mind even though my eyes were focused on the roads. It was like have a talk with yourself and asking yourself the purpose behind the trip. I found the gang of riders again which again helped.

I manage to check in my hotel by 6 at Belgaum and happened to take a quick nap before my friends call woke me up. He was in town and we met and again had dinner from his end. His relative owns a biryani shop and the mutton biryani is simply finger licking delicious.

Took some talcum powder to soothe my butt cheeks and hoped it helped. 

Day 4: I decided to leave at 6 so that I could get some rest. However that was not meant to be. Whenever I am in a new place, I end up getting up in the middle of the night every now and then. I think I was not able to get proper sleep due to it. That probably got me tired and exhausted more than I could.

Left the place and this day proved to be more grueling than my other days. This time I had thoughts of abandoning my trip. Don't ask me why but it did. My stops became more frequent and I was at a loss for continuing the journey to Mumbai. 

If you have read Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage you know what I mean. I had to battle the demons within and somehow managed to reach Lonavala and buy fudge and chikki for my sister. I think it was 3 in the afternoon. 

Post that I got lost in the ghat thanks to my GPS and yes bad directions from people. Luckily some people guided me to the right route  Even though I was nearby to reaching Mumbai, it certainly became a task to reach.

Finally have some pep talk with self, I ended up reaching home at around 8 pm. My family got elated to see me that we had a family group hug.

Even as I struggled with my journey, I wish to do it again as it certainly is an experience that I will never forget. Its never about arriving at the destination but the journey that matters...

This is just the begining.

Ride Safe. Be Safe.


Deepika said...

hahaha... Solo trips are the best, loved these mixed emotions... May be next time you'll have a pleasant one.
Try mountains or some trek with an unknown group next time, I am sure you'll love every bit of it.

roj said...

thats so nice to just start the journey alone !

Tall Guy said...

@Deepika I will surely try

@Roj Welcome to my blog. Thanks.