Thursday, December 31, 2009

WHO are WE, and WHY are WE here?

To begin with SaddleTramps Riding Club was created for the love of the ride. Those who join choose coz of their devotion to riding and the respect of the road. We are brought together by our addiction to having good times with friends new and old, and our love for going out and riding around for no other reason than to enjoy the road laid before us. Group rides, trips, get-togethers, brotherhood, and an all together good time. We ride as much as possible the year-round, not just during warm weather. We ride to work. We ride for fun. We ride as a way of life.

The group has an easygoing, caring camaraderie that translates to a lot of laughter. The rider is always more important than what brand motorcycle he rides. The freedom to ride, the freedom to have fun, the freedom to meet new people and make new friends, the freedom to make a contribution- equal being a member of THE SADDLE TRAMPS.

That takes care of the introduction. Scroll below for some delightful experiences and memories in the form of words and visuals.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Call of the pinnacles...trek to Mahuli

"......In between sections were too vertical and squeezing all the calf muscles- my body felt like a furnace and I prayed just for a small drizzle that would cool everything around. Never had my prayers been answered so soon - a short quick shower from the skies charged up the batteries. The R brothers were too slow to keep up- so I used to hurry and wait for them ahead. The ritual carried on till we reached half way and from thereon we three were together. The pinnacles- my love, were forcing us at regular intervals to stop and stare at them....."

Two big kids and a small one..on a casual trek that stretched their muscles to the max. A short narration and visuals HERE

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thrilling trek to Jivdhangad

....A bigger shock in the waiting, a 90 degree vertical patch which shook the daylights out of me. I told Vithal to go ahead and I follow. It wasn't easy for him either- could see him stretch to the max to get his feet in the right places. He's up and now its my turn, initially I get through and then I realise I simply cannot stretch my feet into the next slot- nowhere near. The more I tried to stretch, the more my left leg started to lose grip. I realised its not in my ability to stretch so far- I turned my head to look down- would be a 100 feet drop on the rocks, everything went into mute mode- as if the world stood still. Surprisingly the height didnt scare me. The only thought that came to mind was "Deepak you fall and you're gone forever". "Hell! Am not going to fall- no way, whatever it takes", I said to myself. I was all helpless- hanging off the rock thinking what to do. Tried stretching once more- failed again....

A thrilling and slippery trek to the fort of Jivdhangad....more about the trekking adventure HERE

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Muck whipping ride to Rajmachi

"Was an amazing ride, something we never tried before. Bikes took some battering and luckily didnt break down on any front. The only regret being of not having trekked Rajmachi, but come winters- I'll be there on top. It will just for the trek then not the ride- the hangover is not going to go away so soon, not at least for another 2 years. Maybe then we'll be heading for another chocolate treat."

Read HERE about a group of toddlers whipping up the muck on the way to mighty Rajmachi!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Off-roading to Rajmachi

"Disappointed took a U-turn resolving never to return to Lonavla (at least in the rains). The patience test still wasn't through- it took another hour to come back to the main road via the railway crossing. What now? Varandha came to mind, but would have been very late to return (gave up). Then thought Sudhagad at Pali ..fine will go there I said. Suddenly Rajmachi struck my mind- I remembered Ishtibhai talking about it some years back".

An incomplete but short burst of slush adventure into the off-roading territory of Rajmachi. A small narration HERE

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kohoj ki Khoj

"The rain gods very pleased with the western belt of Maharashtra have been generously leaving the heavenly tap open, washing off the slushy roads, waking up the greenery all around transforming even the most ordinary barren landscapes into green carpets."

Nowhere close to being trekkers, but an excuse to explore the greener side of mother earth transforms you into one.

Read HERE a fun-filled trek that start with four of us and completed with two reaching the top and back to base.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another stroll in the Park called Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary

There was this cottage like structure on stilts which I had seen on the way towards and had decided to see while coming back. Located a bit off the road at an elevation, it was HAUNTED every inch including the entrance that looked even more scary. I made my way up and looking around from the top, as I turned back the windows started squeaking and banging mildly. To admit I was really scared, but not for long as I realised that the whole cottage was shaking with my weight and so were the windows.
A day's run through into the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. A larger summary HERE

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rediscovering heritage in the backyard

Wish I could have shared some more info on this place. But I resolve to be a more learned man on these amazing structures when I make my next trip here.

After coming out of premises of these lovely monuments still in aghast of the amount of manpower that would have gone in making them, I took a small ride around the National Park to re-ignite my school memories. 

Trying to get hold of the munk's attention who by now have become vary and unfazed by flock of visitors..or maybe somehow stardom has made way into their minds ;)

A re-discovering walk in the park. A few memories and info HERE

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One trip of a different kind....

After an exciting ride as pillion- it was my turn to return the favour. Firing up the engine and pulling on the revs...."You've got some grunt baby, let me stir you up then!" I murmured. This single pod pod monster feels like a bloody V-Twin with oodles of torque on tap. Swinging between the coconut trees, rolling over the rocky blocks and as soon as I'm about to push harder Rajeev says "Wait wait wait...Deepak go slow. If my Director sees this, he'll get a heart attack". I slow down and a few satisfying minutes later- the wheels come to a rolling stop. Getting off I realised that it was me who was more stirred up than the Honda.
Not a ride, but one hell of a lucky trip....but everything for a bike after all. Here's MORE

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Group Ride to Ratnagiri

In the meanwhile the table was set up, we went out strolling to have glimpse of the rotating beam of the Ratnagiri light house. By the time we are back, everything was set with snacks and baatlis are out. There was an outbreak of laughter since we took our seats. Didn’t know what time we got cracking and how many hours had passed, until Parimal called up at 11.00 pm, who had left Pune at 5 in the evening and had covered more than 450 kms in 6 hours including the 100 kms stretch of between Karad and Chiplun via Kumbharli ghats- takes some guts to ride through that stretch at night. I myself would give it a skip and look for an alternative if I were in his place. Nonetheless his induction into the already running laughter-blaster raised the graph.
One of the memorable rides out with a bunch of biker buddies. Read more about the 2 day outing HERE

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just another one day outing

.......I felt I was in paradise, with the water so pure at your feet, the hills on the other side full of greenery, the blue sky with its cloud friends and except for the breeze singing in your ears…there was not a decibel around- only if I could spot angels flying around…..Losing oneself in the hurricane life on a city, you realize your very existence when you’re at a place as this.

A fun filled outing to Lavasa, Mulshi and Diveagar with 20 horses between the legs and an 89 kg pillion (of course he's the owner). Read more about it HERE

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gunning for the SaddleSore and getting it right

Bumps, speed breakers, potholes- I was bouncing all over. Tried my best to just carry on, but they turned out to be more than a match for my aching wrists and stiff shoulders. Found a stall and stopped over for a tea break. Confirmed with the stall owner of the distance till Hubli. 150 kms it was and I remember Pune was another 435 kms from Hubli. I had decided to conclude the trip at Panvel rather than Lonavla in case the distance minus the odo-error comes into play. It was dot 2 in the night and my plan was to reach Pune before 9 in the morning so that I have a cut-to-cut margin to touch Panvel, which meant that my average speed has to be over 80 kms an hour. Doubts started creeping in whether I could complete it. All the messages and calls made by friends started ringing in my ears- I thought I'd lost it. But then got up and decided whatever result may come- I'll just give whatever I have, I wanted to succeed not for me or the SS certification, but for my friends who had faith that I can do it. From thereon I was fighting against time. 

The story of the 23 hour ride experience filled with jerks, jumps and joy, its HERE

Monday, January 12, 2009

A day's escape to BOREDOM....

.....the whole of Saturday would have gone waste fiddling with the remote control boring myself switching from one TV channel to the other. To frankly admit- am badly broke and for the first time I had to be pillion on a ride- its a different story that I ended up riding his P220 75% of the journey ;) It was decided to ride to Malshej, breathe in some fresh air on the ghats and return back home.

Riding as an excuse to escape one day's boredom. A brief of the ride HERE

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Soon I was passing bridges every now and then- with even more regret in mind that I'm missing some beautiful scenery and decided to stop on one of them just to look around with my HID support. I dont remember what this place was- it was more than half an hour when a vehicle had last crossed me. It was pitch dark and with the moon missing, couldnt see anything except where your headlight beam goes. I stopped and by instinct switched off the engine- and the sight I saw was something I would remember for the rest of my life. I could feel something moving over my head and as I looked up a few hundred metres away- I could see a two lines of lights rotating. Didnt take time to realise that it was a lighthouse on its duty. A completely dark sky- studded with millions of stars visible so clearly and this light beaming across in all directions. 

A four day freedom ride covering more than 3000 kms across 4 states. The epic narration of memories HERE

Friday, December 12, 2008

One day burst to Shirdi and back

Like in the past, Shirdi trips were never planned- they've just happened. Just a day before I decided I'll be riding next morning. Being stuck with a ceased block-piston again and my bike in running-in, the ride was still on. Heartiest thanks to Alkesh who without a second thought and with full trust handed over the keys of his P220 for the ride. Sought Amit's company just 7 hours before the ride and to my delight he affirmed within ten minutes.

Two P220's on a one-day burst to Shirdi and back. The complete story HERE

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mumbai to Kolhapur and back via Amba Ghat

......We had tea again after getting up and as per the plan, we had to halt somewhere in Kolhapur. It was 4 in the morning and a misdirected advice from a local shopkeeper landed us nowhere. In the end manage to find a spacious shed and we were into deep sleep not extending more than an hour and a half..courtesy the tradition of playing some loud and lousy songs whenever there's a wedding function in a village. Revel and me had managed to sleep even in the noisy conditions, but poor Glen had a torrid time.

Its past 6 and we're up for the rest of our journey. Stopped over for tea at a village after Panhala and headed straight towards Amba Ghat. The Ghats hadn't even started, but the quality of the roads were beautiful.

We just couldn't get over with the scenery, the breeze and the sight of the wonderful roads that we had yet to roll on. Clicked the maximum pics of the ride here.

One of the most beautiful and exciting round trips done.  More of it HERE

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Riding through Bhor & Varandha

...Faced heavy showers right from the word go and thick fog as soon as we touched Lonavla. Took a first tea break on NH4 diversion from Dehu Road.

A high speed cruise took us till Kaapurhol and no sooner did we take right towards Bhor- it was an amazing experience. Breath-taking scenery all round.

Experienced the misty gush of the Bhatghar river on the way and went for a site see around Bhatghar dam. Read more about the ride through paradise HERE

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Riding high up the Satpudas to Toranmal

....Clouds getting thicker and sight getting worse, we were braking every now and then, grasping all that we could see ahead and move on. Switch to high beam, and you have your own light refracted back into your eyes. Toranmal is still 13 kms away, at this pace it will take us two hours. A puncture is enough to mess up the entire ride. You do get this feeling when the last puncture repair you saw was more 50 kms away. Am praying within "We'll handle this scare god, but please bless the tyres". The struggle carries on in similar manner. Distance indicators were appearing after ages showing what a crawl it was. I was screaming at Amit who was venturing too close the edge in an effort to provide escort lights to Vinod. I wish I could have clicked those scary and anxious moments, but then couldn't think other than getting lost off that place.

A thrilling more about it HERE

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rainy Round Ride

Vinod & Deepak's circling ride from Mumbai to Chiplun and back via Kumbharli Ghat.

We passed through some amazing scenery- specially Kumbharli Ghat that connects Chiplun to Karad..felt like we were riding through a north-eastern state :)

Enjoyed a typical countryside spiced-up food. Vinod satisfied himself with Mutton Masala and me with Kaaju Masala. With rains and cold weather outside- having hot and spicy food under a shade is a different experience overall.

The complete though short circling experience HERE

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dand-el-ising Ride

Vaibhav's ride cum jungle safari to Dandeli & Karwar

.....the tarmac is absolutely fantastic.. sweeping corners with woods all around.. some scenic views to please and no villages for kms together.. if something goes wrong here.. there is no option but to hitchhike ur way to the nearest village for help.. (touchwood) me rode on without any problems...

Relive the complete experience HERE

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ride to Karwar & Amboli

Alkesh & Deepak

....No blind corners with trees ticking by in the corner of your eyes- with your mind almost keeping a track on the number of them whizzing past you. We already had an extended treat and it was time for some jerky experiences.

Lost ourselves at Londha taking a horrible road which came to a dead end in some far flung village and then again a sign board totally misguiding us on the directions taking us towards Goa rather than Karwar. It was a waste of 30 kms merry-go-round-ing the same place. In the end got placed on the right track and again it transformed into a comfortable glide.

The complete Travelogue HERE

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ride to the Land of the Gods

Kapil's ride to Uttaranchal

.......But wait; there is no bridge to the other side! And these seemingly fresh footprints on loose river bank mud belong to a very, very big cat. We’ve surely got company! Now, normally this is when everyone in the tiger safari rejoices for they are about to sight the elusive tiger.

But this is not your regular safari, is it? whats the fun in that? Here there is no guide, no fellow safari goers, and no jeep to hide in. “we” here is just me and my bike. I’ve come 1800 kilometers from home, I’m unarmed and only human in this jungle!

Read about his complete adventure HERE

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Short ride to Jawhar

As planned, Glen and me rode to
Jawhar this Sunday.

We started at 6.15 in the morning from Thane and just 5 kms ahead, my speedo cable came off. Hot tea sipping at Ghodbunder before some high speed cruising till Charoti Naka. Got the cable fixed at a garage and carried on through the serpentine roads till Jawhar. Took halt at the lake, clicked a few pics, took halt under a shade and muched some biscuits alongwith company of cattle- one of them getting too close for comfort and only left when all got over.

Paid a visit to the Jai Vilas Palace built by King Yeshwantrao Mukhane in 1940- unfortunately he died 4 years later. We had to bribe the care-taker to enter and again to click pics inside which was strictly prohibited. Was a treat going around it viewing the old furniture, paintings, the rooms trying to relive the moments the royal family would have lived in its times.

Purchased cashews on the way to Vikramgad, the place I assumed to be a fort which in the end was a small village :'( But enjoyed the roads of some 25 kms full of curves- dont remember if we got any straights to ride on and best part was no traffic. Took exit to Manor on NH4 and halted for lunch at a small dhaba ahead and some cool water-melon at Thane.

A few memories of the ride HERE:

Trip to Murud Beach & Suvarnagad

We had a great night riding experience (in batches) and spending time together at Murud Beach near Dapoli. Great job by Prasad and Ishtibhai to get the arrangements up and running. Tasteful dining experience amidst lot of joke cracking on a moonlit stary night. Did miss out on the Dolphins Site Seeing, but compensated by a visit to the Suvarnadurg Fort- a heart in mouth boating experience.

Suvarnadurg the island fortress off the coast of Harnai was a fort built by Shivaji to counter the Siddi. Ths fort was later used by Shivaji to counter the Europeans and was a base for the Maratha navy's ship building facility.

Thanks to Abhijit, Amit, Vinod, Sanket, Vaibhav, Parimal, Salil, Prasad, Ishtiaque, Sarang and Glen for making this trip a wonderful experience.

The pics HERE

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

D Wild Ass Ride.....

Vaibhav & Amit Patil ride to the Rann of Kutch

We start going inside the confusing barren land as there are no landmarks.. GPS is of utmost necessity to get into this confusing Rann.. As we get into the Rann we spot Wild Asses..Stop there and try to rann behind them to get closer..but in vain.. amit even tries to ride behind them..getting back on the track makes us realise that it was a Mirage..

Enjoy the complete Rann-ing Mirage Ride HERE

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ride to Tarkarli

After a really long time went out to ride somewhere. So we (Prasad, Sanket, Parimal and myself) fixed a place called Tarkarli in Malvan, approx 525 kms from Mumbai. Nice clean beach with well maintained MTDC cottages and dormitories. The sand is the best you could find on any beach- almost white and very fine- nice feeling to be walking over them. Also something that I saw first time in my life in real- blue waters :D The water is nice and clean and great for a swim though I didnt give it a try as I dont know swimming.

MTDC also has scuba diving facilities at some distance from the beach at a very reasonable cost. But you should know to swim to get the gear on.

Getting back to the trip, we started from Mumbai at 05.30 in the morning. Left the party from Grand Hyatt, reached home at 03.30, packed up, had a bath, stacked the luggage onto the bike and rode out. NH17 is a treat to ride on, full of curves- throwing your body around to counter the twisties is always fun and thrilling. Shot a riding video of the complete ghat section. 12 hours of riding took us to Tarkarli- got a dormitory for 4 of us @ Rs.1150/-. Good, clean, spacious with all facilities, add a working large screen colour TV too :P Malwani food as always is a cherishing moment. Stayed overnight, strolled around the beach in the morning and left for Mumbai. Sounds too quick of a trip and nothing much to write about- was a real quick one, but then its more about riding than the destination.

Return journey on sunday- took the Kolhapur via Gaganbavda. The rest three split up and I rode alone from Satara to Mumbai non-stop except for a tea break at Lonavla.

Enough of words, here's the more important part:

Our route and distance
Mumbai- Vashi- Panvel- Wadkhal- Poladpur- Khed- Chiplun- Kankavli- Kasal- Malvan- Tarkarli- Tarkarli- Tarele- Vaibhavwadi- Gaganbavda- Kolhapur- Satara- Pune- Mumbai: 1108 kms.

And here are the pics. not much though.