Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rides around Pune

Putting this down after a long time. Was in Pune sometime in December last year. Pune is my hometown as my folks are there. Was in Pune from 1988 to 1998 before I left for Mumbai for job. Pune was where I started to go our for longish ride. In fact, did my first 100 km there, Pune – Panshet and back to Salunke Vihar – probably a little less than a full 100 though.

Whenever in Pune on past visits,  it was for just a few days or a week at max, so used to do city rides to relive old memories. Would typically cycle to JM Road area and hog on Joshi and Bharti Vadawala’s vadas nearby, go towards MG road and pick up some Kingburgers , cycle around ABC and my book haunts and maybe go on till NDA.

This time decided to go on some of the other routes.

Pune – Pirangut and back

Went via Pune University circle – NDA Chowk (Chandani Chowk?) and then on to the Pirangut road. Strange experience. Was going beyond NDA for the first time after more than ten years. Couldn’t recognize an inch of the road beyond NDA. Used to go to Pirangut for some work related assignment – don’t recollect having cycled there.

Traffic started to do down after University circle. The patch from University circle to NDA chowk has also changed a lot but not so much. Also I had been on that route off and on during my Pune visits. The road beyond NDA chowk  used to be a totally desolate kind of road. But now there is a nice new road and full of towns and habitations on the way. The only patch I could faintly remember was the final climb down to Pirangut, but that road is too felt very different. Its again a new and a wide road. Lavade phata used to be an absolutely desolate place where the ST bus would stop for folks to get down and get on. Saw the board for Lavade village but just couldnt place the phata. And the area is now a bustling town. Overall a nice ride though. Traffic starts to go down after Univ. circle. And low traffic after NDA chowk though at a few places in between it gets crowded.

The ride back was also nice. The climb back after Pirnagut seemed pretty tough. Had to get down at a few places. Was slightly out of shape too at that time though.

Nice ride overall.

Pune – Panshet and back

I had been on that route to Vittalwadi area during my past visits. Much wider road but much more traffic. Even beyond Vittalwadi the city had changed a lot. The only landmark that I could recollect in that patch was the Venkateshwara house since I used to come there for work related assignments. The patch along the Khadakvasala lake area has not changed so much.

The best part was the ride from Sinhagad junction to Panshet. It was almost as if time had stood still. It seemed as if not an inch had changed. A few more constructions on the way and little more hustle and bustle around the towns/ villages on the way but nothing compared to change I found on the Pirangut route. This one has remained a really beautiful patch. The last time I had done this patch was more than ten years back during monsoons and it was one of my most exhilarating rides. Even during winter the route was as beautiful as ever.

Was transported back in time. Felt as if I was again back in college and the year was 1995. Very eerie feeling.

Somewhere along the way saw a huge groups of cyclists coming from the other side. Seemed like NDA cadets. They were riding the same kind of bikes as me (Atlas types) but were doing pretty impressive speeds.

A beautiful ride overall.

1 comment:

Ishkaran Singh said...

Hi Amar, this is Ishkaran - a cyclist from Pune..
nice post describing you cycling experiences in Pune and how Pune has changed over the past few years. If you happen to come down to Pune again, we will cycle along the Pune-Pirangut strect .. i love this road for cycling..