The Only Way To Achieve The Impossible Is To Believe It’s Possible.
Pune to Goa – Bicycle Ride – Solo – Self-supported.
I read this somewhere, car is too fast and walking is too slow hence bicycle is the best mode to see the world!!!
This idea came to my mind few months ago where I read few stories on internet on bicycle rides across globe and countries. These were self-supported rides which would take months to complete hence I thought to do something on similar but on smaller scale.
I figured out the most simpler route, Pune to Goa, where I would come across couple of ghats and one of the easiest terrain to ride on.
Initially, I was bit skeptical about this plan whether to ride solo or in a group but both of the options had their own pros and cons. Riding in a group would have given me high level of security and the expenses would have divided accordingly, however I have to be dependent on my partner as well my partner needs to be dependent on me with regards to speed, fatigue, breakdowns, etc.
Whereas, riding solo had its own advantages like numerous breaks, my own riding speed, my own stoppage time and so on. Thought lack of security and expenses didn’t bothered me much. Also, I was always preferred riding solo since I was king of my own time.
I prepared my initial draft of itinerary with the locations and halts where I will take break for the day. Also, a check-list for essentials that will be needed during this trip.
Almost, around 4 months before I started sketching my plan on papers. Discussed my idea with few pro riders who have done long distance rides like these.
I needed to build on my endurance to be ready for such a long duration ride so to check on my capability, I headed to Gateway of India, Mumbai with a bunch of riders. This ride squeezed the juice out of me helping me to understand my real proficiency for long distance riding. Although, been a night ride I was completely shattered clocking more than 182 kms.
I started my daily runs starting from 1km and gradually increasing my distance to 5 kms. It’s not like I haven’t done 5 kms before but this time I made sure to do these runs without any stoppage. It benefited me to build up my stamina and strong legs required to paddle during my long ride.
AND THE DAY ARRIVED!!!
Day 1 – 8th November, 2019
Pune to Karad – 179 kms
I intended to start my ride at 0400 hrs but the anxiety didn’t allow me to sleep early and I tend to wake up late, though I manage to leave my residence at 0440 hrs with a peck on my daughter cheek and a tight hug from my wife promising her to meet in Goa in few days. Too panicky to begin the expedition as I had a mammoth task to cover with distance of more than 450 kms till I reach my destination. But every journey begins with a single step and in my case it was the first paddle, I prayed God and begin this colossal ride. The roads were pitched dark and scary but I had good headlights to lit the void streets of Pune.
The first challenge began pretty early where I had to scale Katraj ghat which was one of the dare in the expedition to Goa. As soon as I reached near the tunnel, the sky was ignited with sunlight and took my first photo break.