It's been a long time since I rode out, actually never since I got my new bike in October 2008, although have done many dinner rides to dhabas out of Bombay near Karnala or Khopoli but never a ride in the real sense. I was hoping that the new year has something in store for me as far as riding is concerned. Also I had never done a solo ride before, although have done many rides in the past in a group (some of them 500+kms a day) so the apprehension of riding solo was there in my mind but had decided will ride solo no matter what. Almost till the end of January never got the opportunity to ride due to work related commitments or lack of Day off. But then one day the gods smiled upon me and I got a long pending off on 30th so decided to ride. Didn't have any particular plan in mind the idea was to just ride till the hearts content and turn back whenever I felt like it so decided on the NH4 or Bombay - Bangalore highway as it is popularly known. Initially had decided to go to Pune and come back since I had one day only but the best part was I was solo so was flexible on the plans to ride. Slept early the previous day putting an alarm for 4 am the next day. Sleep was difficult in coming due to anticipation of the next day but slept in the end.
The D-day arrived woke up early as soon as the alarm went off, got ready and was down at 5am. Started the bike and was on the road within 5mins. Was cruising happily at 80kmph. Took the JNPT Bypass till Panvel and was near the Sai Dutt Snacks at 6am. Had a cup of tea at the tapri nearby, took a snap of the bike and again hit the road in 10mins.
Was doing good speeds cruising happily with Metallica playing in my ears when just near Khopoli saw a guy on a Pulsar 200 doing the same speeds as mine. We were riding together for quite some distance when he let me pass ahead of him as if telling me to lead from then onwards, so I took the lead and we were in good synchronisation like 2 riders riding together to a destination and pretty soon we came to Bhor Ghat and there is no rider who doesn't like twisties so there we were taking those curves in gay abandon. The ghat was over in a jiffy and I think the guy on P200 stopped after the ghat cause I didn't see him in my rearview mirror after that, I continued as I was in no mood to stop and I didn't want to end the fun so early. I continued for some distance and somewhere along I decided to go past Pune and continue till I felt like continuing and turn back when I felt like coming back. I stopped once when the sun started to come above the horizon. The sunrise was beautiful as always with the sky having multiple shades of orange. I stopped and took a few pictures of the sky and myself.
I moved on and crossed Pune around 8am and continued further till Katraj bypass. I always had this liking for the Katraj Via-duct and think that its a beautiful sight so I stopped over there and took a picture of it.
After this my stomach started grumbling due to hunger so stopped at Joshi Wadewale for a good breakfast. Had a stomachful and moved on my way. It was time now to feed my bike as I hadn't filled my bike with fuel so was riding slow searching for a petrol pump and had a tankful of petrol and moved on. I was cruising comfortably at 90kmph and just when I was getting bored of the straights I came across the Khambatki Ghat, so I blessed my luck and NH4 and attacked those curves and that's when I realised that my technique of taking curves needed some more practice. I continued ahead and decided that I was doing good speed and that I will ride till 11am or 300 kms or whichever comes first and turn back from there so continued riding at 90kmph and pretty soon I passed Satara. This is the first time I had gone beyond Satara on the NH4. I was also thinking of going to Kolhapur and saying hi to my Friend over there, but dropped the idea as I wanted to return back before sundown as I am not comfortable riding in the night so just continued with my previous plan of covering 300kms. At around 10.40am I covered the 300kms from my home on my trip meter so was looking for a U-turn when I saw the Taswade Toll Collection centre and took a U-turn over there and had a cup of tea, clicked a snap of my turning point and was on the way back by 11.10 am.
I was doing good distance so far. On the return leg decided that I wil take fewer breaks so crossed Pune and took a butt break for a few mins. After that I took the next halt at Toni-Da-Dhaba for lunch. Had a quick lunch and was on my way. After this it was quick riding with a full stomach and soon i was on the outskirts of Bombay by 4pm. I hit the evening rush traffic from Vashi till Dadar and reached home at round 4.45pm after covering 602 kms. Salil welcomed me and took a snap of mine. Overall a good ride which cured the itch to ride for sometime and decided that during the next ride will attack the NH17 or Bombay - Goa highway.