It was a long weekend this time, and our bikes were begging to be ridden.
Begging to feel the wind, the rush of speed, and the melody of corners.
As always, there was a ride at hand.
The boys at FRC ( FZ/Fazer Riders Club-Mumbai), joined up, and we decided that our next target would be Vihigaon, that most legendary of destinations from Mumbai. Here is what happened.
Well, it was loud, for starters. Imagine 7-8 FZ riders, from across Mumbai meeting and chatting each other up. It felt more like a riot than anything else. So much so that the traffic cops at the IRB Toll Naka, where we met up, took an interest and started to walk towards us. That just led to another round of laughs. After assuring the cops that it was a group of old friends meeting up, the cops also joined in the fun and even shared a round of tea with us. Cops, we tell you, are not bad. Not at all. Some are pretty cool, and we happened to meet the coolest of the lot.
From a chef to a writer, from a camera expert to a businessman, we were a motley bunch! But boy, what camaraderie! Instantly, we got along like a house on fire, so much so that we actually went through a briefing without coming to blows. haha. The lead was a seasoned veteran of rides. The tail, was one of the coolest heads ever to grace a pair of shoulders. After a round of introductions, we started off.
Oh yes, this was one of those rare occasions where the riders treasured their helmets as if made of gold. That was understandable because almost all of them were of the same premium brand. No matter where they went, the helmets went with them. The helmets were their babies, and they jealously guarded them.
After the ride started, it was a blur. Kilometers sped past, and the best bit was the weather. We have never ridden in better weather, by the way. In the blink of an eye, we were at the entrance to the delicious Kasara Ghats, where breakfast awaited us. And what a noisy affair it was! We were actually asked to quieten down more than once, by the manager, no less! The ladies eyed our riders with some intent, not that we understand what it was. After a wholesome round of misal paos and selfies, tea was served. Food never tasted better.
Oh yes, the best part of the ride. Clear, wide, smooth roads. Light breeze. Like freed spirits, our engines revved, and our bikes charged on. Relentlessly, we chased the sky. Like mirages we floated, sliced and zipped past the corners. It really did feel like we were the only ones in the world. Bike-crazed, possessed spirits who haunt roads and guard corners. And it continued all the way till we reached the Vihigaon falls, also called Ashoka Falls
We bikers are an eccentric lot, aren’t we? So while the world went right, we went left. And we discovered a vast, open field, with no one in sight. There were a few cows grazing peacefully, with locals looking at us curiously. There was a tiny stream, where we washed our faces. The more adventurous among us successfully attempted a river crossing, and then just sat on the bank. He did not want to come back. A lot like a famous ad for an amusement park, right? While we were mucking about, it started to rain. Great news for all of us. Bikes got cleaned for free, monsoon-style! A while later, we headed on towards the Ashoka Falls. And we trekked in biking gear.
The ascent and descent was steep, like really, really steep. Too possessive about our gear, we wore them and started trekking. Top tip: Biking gear is very useful for trekking. Seriously. Being agile and fit, the trek up and down was over in a flash. We found a nice trail, and off-roaded for a bit, before we decided to end the fun and head on back home
A Punjabi co-rider took us to a local dhaba, complete with wicker cots and huuuge glasses of lassi. We ordered the “Gaothi Handi”, which took some time to cook. And was it worth it! It tasted like nothing else on the planet. It was a Godsend. Bellies full, some people snoozed for a bit before starting back towards home.
Farewells were never more difficult. We felt like long-lost brothers, united by horsepower and divided by pin codes.
We would love to ride with you again, FRC
With love, Riders Bug