Le cycle Tour Pune Goa

Le Tour Pune Goa - 27-29 th Sept 2012.

गोव्याला सायकल चालवत जायचे हा किडा बरेच दिवस डोक्यात वळवळत होता. ४-५ महिन्यांपुर्वी ठरवले की तयारी चालु करु यात आणि मग प्रत्यक्ष किती जण नक्की हा प्रवास करणार याचा अंदाज येईलच.
The group was formed and a daily routine of cycling was decided. Everyone was doing about 25 km daily and 50-60 km on weekends.
As days passed , every one started feeling much better and the confidence level went up.
To get used to the climbs and the distance, the group cycled all the way to khambatki ghat and back to pune (140+) ,once to kamshet and back ( 100+ km ,) and once climbed the bopdeo ghat too. A Sinhgad climb on cycle was also done.

Finally the month of the Sept 2012 arrived and everyone became aware that the countdown had begun . The D-day was approaching fast. In between the गणेशोत्सव was to be taken care of with lots of मोदक to be eaten.  भरपुर मोदक खाऊन आम्ही सर्व जण तयार झालो.

Day 1 - 27 th Sept 2012 4am.

 The Le Tour Goa Team
  1. Manoj Hardikar.
  2. Prashant Shintre.
  3. Mandar Gadre.
  4. Sanjay Karandikar.
  5. Shilpa Karandikar.
  6. Sunil Ranade.
  7. Geeta Ranade.
  8. Mahesh Zurale.
  9. Rupali Zurale.
  10. Ravi Ranande
  11. Dr.Prasad Joshi
  12. Aniruddha Mahajan
  13. Kiran Garge
  14. Atul Kulkarni
The previous night we loaded our support vehicle with our luggage, 2 spare cycles, pumps,tubes  and necessay tools and lots of water.

गणपती बाप्पा मोरयाच्या गजरात  team was flagged off on 27th Sept 2012 at 4 am in the morning.
Every cycle had good lights and tail lamps for safety. Most of us were wearing protective safety vests
I had the most powerful light known as Magic Shine MJ808. It is the best. We started and within an hour we were at Katraj top. It was decided that we would be riding in pairs or threes and not alone. 
I was riding with Prasad joshi and Aniruddha.  They were actually tailing me and utilising my light. We were averaging @ 20 -22 km per hour by then. We crossed the katraj tunnel and took a small break and started again towards khambatki ghat. By 7 we were at the base of the khambatki. We ate लाडु आणि energy bars and started tackling the ghat.
I had climbed Khambatki ghat last year when I had done Pune- Panchagani - Pune -200 km ride. I must admit that with the practice and guidance from my cycling buddies, Satish Apte ( माझे गुरु) , Sanjay Joshi and Col. Hasabnis  there was a tremendous improvement when I climbed khambatki this time. I was at the top of the ghat waiting for my group to arrive.
Bhau (prasad joshi) and aniruddha arrived shortly after me.
Soon we started our descend and reached Hotel Virangula,  We had breakfast of idli and tea. 
We had created a relay system. The group who reaches the designated spot will wait till the group behind them arrives. Prashant and Manoj had already reached there so they left immediately when there breakfast was over. By the time we finished our breakfast Geeta and Sunil Ranade arrived. We left handing over the relay sheet to them.
We reached Satarai by 9-30 to 10. We had a tea at a nearby hotel and proceeded.
We would stop in between to top up water and eat an energy bar or something after @ 1 hour. Bhau and me were pacing nicely and aniruddha slightly behind us. Bhau is a tough guy with the experience by cycling in leh and ladakh.
We took a small break outside Satara and then decided that we  will stop at karad. So we were spinning  with a good decent pace and suddenly realised karad was just few km away and around 12.-12-30 we were at Hotel Sangam. Again the same relay system. Prashant and Manoj were hogging at food. We ordered our food. By the time the food arrived I ould catch a small nap of 15 min .  Bhau and aniruddha and I slept on कट्टा in the garden restaurant of Hotel Sangam. That 10-15 min of rest really helped  me to recoup the enegy levels. We ate some pavbhaji and some juice and started from Hotel Sangam. By then we had covered more than 160 km with @ 40 km to be done.
So bhau suggested let us ride for 10 km and take a minute break and carry on. This was a good idea..With 20 km left I started getting impatient and got a downhill and there I broke away from them. I carried on with my pace. In between I was keeping an eye on the speedometer, the distance was reducing 15, 10 and then under ten. And finally I could see the hoarding of Sai International saying Hotel just around the corner. To my surprise it was really around the next corner. I had reached the hotel by 2.30 pm covering exactly 201 km. The hotel is @ 38 km from Karad and 30 km from Kolhapur. The hotel is very nice and they serve good food.

201 km mark .

The day 1 over. The support vehicle was with the rest of the group. The next group arrived around 4pm and the last members by 5.30pm. Everyone had reached safely. By the way,  all of us had completed the 201 km in the prescribed BRM time of 13h 30 min.
I must say something about Geeta,Rupali and Shilpa. They were consistent and kept riding at their pace and reached the hotel. Helmets off to all the ladies !
Ravi Ranade had a puncture.  We had two spare cycles so he changed the cycle and continued. The support vehicle arrived with the  last group and we got our clothes. I had nice hot water bath and relaxed and slept for some time.
The dinner was a quick one and every one was off to bed. We had decided that we will start at 5 am in the morning on day 2.

Day 2 - 28 Sept 2012 - The hotel served us with toast butter and tea coffee at 4 am in the morning. By 5.30 we were ready to start. After some minor checkup and tweaking we set off.
Again the same group of  bhau,aniruddha and me started towards kolhapur. After 15 km we stopped as I needed to put some ointment on the left calf. Ample use of volini was done.

 The journey started once again. The road was smooth with some patches of concrete roads. Today the pace was less than yesterday. Soon I met Prashant at the bridge with Manoj. Manoj and me started pacing and he also realised pacing is good so we continued together with Prashant  to Nipani. Bhau and Aniruddha were together with Ravi and Atul. At the bridge we stopped for a break to grab some bars and chocolates and saw Sanjay and Shilpa coming.
Sanjay Karandikar

Shilpa Karandikar

Mandar Gadre and Prasad Joshi

Prashant Shintre
Manoj Hardikar with Aniruddha behind
Once again we started and were pacing towards the Satywati Ghat. This one was a good climb. It was similar to New Katraj Ghat and slighly with more gradient. The Sun was bright by now. We kept on going  and reached Hotel Kaveri at the top. More than 50% distance of day 2 was covered.
We ate some nice idlees, coffee and refilled water and started towards ajra. We were welcomed with a very rough patch of 7-8 km till the Maharashtra Karnataka state border changed. Then the road was better. Like this we reached the Uttur phata. I used the two downhills to my advantage to relax and take rest.
Prashant at Uttur phata
We had soft drinks at uttur and as we started from there Geeta ranade arrived.She rode all alone from Satywati Ghat to Uttur. We had been there for @ 10 min and did not want to cool down so we proceeded. 
Our trio of Manoj, Prashant and me kept on going  towards Ajra. We stopped at Ajra junction and ate some good बुंदीचे लाडु. , filled up water, and proceeded further till we stopped at a small mandir to take a break.
Manoj and Mandar
 I used the downhill to my advantage and I was ahead of Manoj and Prashant. Suddenly a rocket whizzed by me. That was Sanjay Karandikar . I tried pacing with him for 2-3 km and gave up. 
Finally I reached at the turn of Amboli with the board reading "Amboli 10 km ".  It had started raining by then.
Today we were clever so we asked the support vehicle to come ahead of others and reach with us to Amobli . 
The rain was moderate fortunately not as strong as the monsoon one. For the last 10 km we were riding in rains.
Finally I reached amboli and saw Sanjay waiting for me at a tea stall. There I grabbed some parle G biscuits had tea and we reached the hotel around 2-2.30 pm. Within a short time Manoj and Prashant arrived followed by Geeta, Sunil and others.
Day 2 over with riding of 149 km 
गेल्या गेल्या दुपारी मस्त पैकी चिकन मालवणी व पोळ्या उडवल्या व पो्टोबा जरा शांत केला.
रात्री काही जणांनी माफक प्रमाणात मद्यपानाच कार्यक्रम केला आणि त्याल जोड मिळाली ती मस्त सुरमाई  व चिकनची.
The hotel staff at Amboli was very courteous and they served us exciting fish, कोंबडी वडे, चिकन तांदळाची भाकरी असे उत्तम जेवण रात्री मिळाले.  सगळ्यांना सडकुन भुका लागल्या होत्या त्यामुळे भरपुर वेळ आमचे जेवण चालुच  होते.
We dedide that we would start at 6 am the next day to Goa.
Day 3 - 29 Sept 2012.
Every one was ready, but the hotel was not able to give us breakfast so early. So we ate whatever we had like energy bars, chikki etc and started. 

After cycle check up , oiling and a tube change for one cycle we finally started at 6.45 am .
The Amboli ghat downhill was awesome.

I started my downhill and reached the base in @ 35 min. The road surface is not so good at certain sections of the ghat. I was careful and worried about the possible puncture. So fat no puncture and no problems.
I realized I had come much ahead so I waitied.. Shilap came after some time, we had tea and finished a pack of biscuits. Others were enjoying the ghat and shooting photographs and taking it leisurely. 
Soon I reached Sawantwadi and stopped at Shree Renuka for good idlee and tea, I had snacks at this hotel earlier also. This is opposite the Sawantwadi Bus stand.
As I was having my breakfast Sanjay, Shilpa and Prashant went ahead. 
So I was on my own and started on my way.. After some time I reached the banda village and joined the highway. Now I realised Goa was in sight.

I met Prashant at a hotel nearby with shilpa and sanjay. Prashant and I started together and decided that now we would ride together till the end. 
By now the pace had dropped down. The Sun was shining brightly and the humidity level was high. At 31 km away from Goa, there came a deadly climb.. चक्क शिव्या घालत घालत तो चढ चढला. We stopped there and got some cold water and literally emptied the bottle on my head. and T shirt. I
We started and carried on.. We had realised the distance is now reducing and it was playing on the mind too. Every km passing by,  the task was becoming more and more tough. Suddenly we saw the board Panaji 10 km and we shouted with joy. There we met the Goa Randonneurs Mr. Aires Andrade.
Finally we reached Hotel Orion, Panaji Goa at exactly 11.30 am.

Shortly after Manoj arrived.  The total distance covered was 436 km in 3 days.
By 12 the party had begun with others arriving one by one..


  1. Hi Mandar,

    Thouroughly enjoyed the nicely worded write up of your cycle trip to Goa..
    Well Mandar you are a famous cyclist9everone knows that) & now I must say you are on the way to become a famous writer.
    Congratulations to you & to your Goa group for ndoing this tough ride especially the ladies.
    All the best for your future rides.
    Sanjay Joshi

  2. Dear Sanjay
    Thanks for your kind words. I am not a famous person and I would like to be a simple man and about the writing , I think I need to work a lot, the thoughts were gathered together with the help of my better half - Vaishali

  3. Nice report and congratulations for the achievement to the whole team.

    Did you all comeback by bus and send the bicycles by the support vehicle. None of you are on a road bike.

  4. All were using hybrids.
    There was a the transportation issue. So I also used my hybrid

  5. A really nice story.

    Congratulations on a well arranged tour and a successful ride.

  6. Excellent write up Mandar...heartiest congratulations to you and the entire team...:)

  7. Dear Mandar,

    It was nice of you to have chronicled your trip so nicely. It is going to help me plan my own.

    One question, I have seen in one of the photographs that there looks like a charger DC cable popping out near handle bar, what is that ? Do you have a hub dynamo and a regulator/charger ? What kind of bikes you were riding ? Were they Racers/Hybrids/MTB's ? Just a info on composition would help me and each riders opinion on what kind of bike would they prefer on long rides.

    == Dongre
    PS:- including a link to what I am planning, Please respond if you have any suggestions.

  8. Dear Dongre
    Thanks for your encouraging words.
    The tour was exciting. About the dynamo thing it is the battery pack of the magic shine mj808. You can see the light on the handle bar. I you include the link as you have suggested. All of us used hybrids except two on MTV with city tyres.

  9. Dear Mandar,

    I have a hybrid with hub Dynamo and I have got a regulator connected to it which gives out a USB/ 5 VDC/300 mA DC which charges any USB device on the go. I also carry 5600 mAh external battery for emergency. Additionally dynamo also directly connected to a LED headlight/Taillight combo.

    I plan to go long distances hence I chose this arrangement.

    But good to have MJ808 if bike does't have a hub dynamo.

    I have a lot of opposition from family to go all alone so my trips have been curtailed down to 1-2 days.

    Any good place you can know where I can buy 700x38c tires in Pune ? A friend of mine has bought Metro 700x35c for paltry Rs 200 from Sangli shop "Bharat Tires", and he seems quite happy with Rs 200 tire. I have asked them to get 700x38c, but if they cannot then I would go with 700x35c rather than waiting for 700x38's.

    Do let me know if you have a good source for tires.


  10. Congrats to you & your team for cycling from Pune to Goa. You may mention about your return journey in your blog. Wishing you happy & safe cycling in your future ride.

  11. Dear Anonymous
    If you could give your details we can communicate.
    I would like to know more about the hub dynamo.

  12. Dear RG Bhat
    Thanks for your comments. I returned back from Goa in a bus.

  13. Dear Mandar,
    I dont see your email id here. Pl let me know your mail-id if you want to know about hub dynamo.

  14. Dear dongre
    My email is magadre@gmail.com

  15. Dear dongre
    My email is magadre@gmail.com

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  17. Hi Mandar,

    I am amazed by your journey. excellent !!

    I was also thinking of such a cycle trip to Goa but what i am thinking it would be slightly different. It is because I always like to go alone !! I have plan to make it happen from 24 Feb'14 to 27Feb'14. For last month I am practicing for it by cycling around 100-140 KM on weekends.

    You are more fit than me so was able to cycle 200 KM in first day. I am planing to run around 130 KM a day. So can you brief me about the road, I mean which patch is easy & which is tough. That will help me in preparing my mind beforehand.

    I never do any preparation. I like it to be that way, Spontaneous !! But as it is a long journey , i think I should. It will be great if you can guide me about what are the least things i should carry& consider before starting.

    Thank you in advance!! Waiting for your reply :)

    I wish you all the best for your future cycling expeditions !!

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  20. Hello Kedar & Mandar,

    Sorry to barge in Mandar's blog, but I saw your comment before Mandar and would like to give you my opinion and also would like to present you a request.

    I am in Kolhapur, I tried KOP_GOA last year and would have to abandon at Amboli (after abt 129 Kms fm KOP) due to 5 punctures in my partner's bike. So I have to carry on with backup car as my son has to attend a Scuba diving camp in Goa the very next day.

    Our route was KOP-Gargoti-Uttur-Ajra-Amboli-Sawantwadi. I believe Mandar went straight to Gadhinglaj from Highway and then to Ajra-Amboli-Sawantwadi route. My route had too much gradient. You can map the actual gradient on www.bikemap.net . I believe Mandar's route had less gradient than my route.

    Presently I am planning Delhi-Manali-Leh-Srinagar trip in Aug 2014 and hence I have bought a new gear like Tent/sleeping bag/spares etc. But no proper carrying/fixing arrangement as yet. May be in next week or so I should be able to make some contraption to house and fix on the bike. Overall weight is including tent/sleeping bag/clothes is going to be about 8 Kgs.

    So, if you don't mind I would like to join you for Goa trip from
    Kolhapur which is on your way. I would also be able to check my tent and other arrangements. I don't mind if you have sleep-over in my place if you are coming alone and going to be brave enough to complete 200 Kms on first day like Mandar.

    Thanks in Advance

  21. Dear kedar
    Sorry to reply so lately. Actually I didn't see the reply. By now your trip must be over. I am sure you must have had a great trip.

  22. Hi Prashant

    I am really sorry I did not see your reply earlier. I would have loved it if you had joined me from Kolhapur.. I feel like i missed some great fun of cycling with you.

    Well I made it happen in March14. Yes I agree with you when you say the road you mentioned has more gradient. Even I got my Tyre punctured at the same spot 5 times. It was frustrating. Yeah, but some how I made it :) :)

    Anyways, Next time we can sync up & plan a trip. The Aug plan you talked about seems difficult for me to manage but I will let you know if I can join.

    Thanks again for your support.

    Cheers !!

  23. Hi Prahsant,

    I am sorry I saw your reply late. I feel like i missed some great fun cycling with you. But yes we can plan next time.

    And yeas I completed my tavel in March'14. I have also mas=de a small video of my journey. Hope yoy will like it :)


    Cheers !!!


  24. Hi Mandar,

    It is Fine. I also forgot after I posted here. Well yes, I had a great trip & I also have made a small video. I Hope you will like it.


    Cheers !!


  25. Hi Kedar,
    Congrats on making it alone from Pune to Goa. I was looking at your youtube video but the audio track has been muted. I wanted to know where did you stay after every end of day and how did you return?


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