The cycle had been well over hauled. Had to replace the fork, both tyres and tubes. But the result was good. A very smooth, no hassles ride. The gear shifts were working well and the rolling was good. Except for the loose pedal shaft which had worn out and kept shaking and threatened to come off anytime. Saturday morning I set out from home at around 9, got the pedal shaft replaced and was on my way by 9.25. Was to meet Shrik near my office which was a good 17 kms away. Reached the office by 10.10. 45 minutes was a decent time and made me feel that I could go the office on cycle at least once a week. Had a vada pav and lime juice.
Shrik's Hero Octane looked good, and we started at 10.30 towards Hinjewadi. Past Hinjewadi, towards Paud, and we were in the villages and we kept going uphill and then eventually had a long long descent. Rested at the end of it. Had a limca and decided where to go next. Turned right on some local advice and went on a really bumpy bad road for quite a distance. The scenery around was good though it was all villages. Suddenly we were pleasantly surprised to see three woolly necked storks on the side on an inundated field. Took a few snaps and moved on in search of some hotel to eat.
We saw a lot of sugar cane laden tractors and got a sugarcane from one of them. Had some of it and washed ourselves in a nallah. Eventually found a hotel, but we could not get any meals there. Just had vada sambar, pav and a tea. The hotel guy suggested we go a little ahead and go to a Satya Sai temple nearby if we wanted to have a nap. So off we went to the temple, but it turned out to be one steep climb. Half way through we came across a short cement platform and we parked right there and went off to doze in the shade. Half an hour later, a little refreshed, we proceeded and came across Tikona on the right and a lovely lake on the left. It was beautiful. Ahead, after a friendly water break with some locals, we hit a steep long ghat road which was quite a challenge to go up. At the top, rested for a while with tea and a cream roll. Moved on from there down a lovely steep winding road, and then climbed again all the way to the Kamshet Dam and then downhill again to Pavana nagar village. At a fork where Kamshet was 10 kms to the left, we decided to go right because we were told that the highway was closer in that direction. Was that a mistake! We cycled for a long long distance with no sign of a highway. Twilight became night and we were either guided by the less than half moon, or blinded by the oncoming vehicles. Had a very needed halt where we hogged five bananas each and to wash off the sweet taste I had a tomato too! Tried to hitch a ride back with a few vehicles but no luck. So we kept going and eventually, we went over the Bombay Pune expressway, and down further to join the NH4. We went to the nearest dhaba, which was quite comfortable with beds to rest, had a beer and some not so great food, and chilled out for a while.
Around 8.30 we started cycling towards the nearest railway station, Begadewadi, which was hardly a km away from the dhaba thankfully. Got on the Lonavla-Pune local at 9.20 and after getting a few excited and curious glances and comments about our cycles, Shrik got down at Khadki and I at Pune. Pedalled back from the station to home and reached around 10.30, by when Shrik had also reached home. Had a bath and crashed.