Fired my Classic 500 at 6 am for a Sunday ride from Bombay to Kamshet and back.

This was my first group ride. The sun was still rising while we got the group together.

Royal Enfields for the day - Saurabh's green Classic 500, Thakkar's Thunderbird 350, my red Classic 500.

The gang - Abhishek Thakkar.

Aditya Agarwal.

Saurabh Saxena.

Bhakti Grover.

Harpreet Grover.

And moi.

9 am breakfast at Datta Snacks Corner in Panvel. The food joint is almost a cult spot for those hitting the Bombay-Goa and Bombay-Pune highways, especially the bikers. You can always spot an interesting RE or three here.

The excellent vada pav and kanda pohe.

The baba who wouldn't leave without ten rupees.

The road that led to nowhere.

The gang that went nowhere.

My Classic 500. We crusied on the Panvel-Khandala stretch at 60-70 kmph and a gentle twist to the throttle saw us go back and forth in the riding order. No aggressive overtaking, just smooth movement.

Thakkar taking in the views at Khandala.

Boys in the ubiquitous amateur rider attire - black jackets and blue jeans.

Before lunch, we checked out the Della Adventure Resort at Lonavala. Adi and I tried out the F1 race simulator while Thakkar and Saurabh tried their hand at archery. Couple of hours ill-spent.

The bad taste in the mouth from Della was washed down with some good food at Diamond Restaurant in Lonavala. Kamshet was another 30 km from Lonavala.

Waiting for the train to pass at a railway crossing near Kamshet.

It was beautiful countryside beyond the railway tracks. Remote and charming.

The plan for the afternoon was to paraglide with www.flynirvana.com. You would climb up a cliff at the edge of the plateau and jump off in a tandem parachute along with your pilot. About Rs. 3000 for a 10-15 minute flight.

The lovely road to the cliff.

The last bit to the cliff was through unpaved terrain. Look at the gorgeous cactus plant!

Notice the tiny windmills on top of the cliff.

Not evident in this picture - Saurabh gasping for breath after the short hike up the hill. Dude, get in shape. And no, round is not a shape.

Harpreet and Bhakti had to reschedule their evening flight back to Delhi to a late night one.

Paragliding enthusiasts and students came to this place with their own gear.

Bhakti and Harpreet ready for their paragliding flight.

Bhakti got a good lift and had a great flight. Harpreet wasn't so lucky with the wind and had to land early.

Waiting for our turn.

Saurabh had another good flight.

But I think it was Adi who had the most awesome flight.

When a little wind lifted the parachute, the pilot Ravi and I leaned forward and ran off the cliff. That beautiful moment when the feet leave the ground and you start flying.

Paragliding isn't an easy passion to pursue, but I could see why it is totally worth it. When we glided over golden fields just before dusk, I could imagine how they make stuff at National Geographic.

Flying is every kid's dream and this is perhaps the simplest way to do it.

We left Kamshet at 7 pm. Bringing the bikes home in a train formation was quite some fun. Thakkar piloted at a sustained 80 kmph and I followed him with a steady gap of 10 m. Susu rode behind me. We split up at Kalamboli and dived in to the traffic going towards the city. 9.45 pm and we were back in Bombay. It was a pleasure riding with you, gentlemen.



Tags: Adventure Sports, India, Ride, Royal Enfield

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  1. Good fun! - Samir Saxena
  2. Awesomeness! Pure jaw dropping awesomeness! - Yashad Kirtane