We had formally launched BYOB a couple of weeks ago with a ride to Panchagni through some really nice back –roads and amazing stretches of forests. In this second edition of BYOB we headed out on single day ride to explore a dam close to Pune, a simple one day ride from Mumbai or Pune with a few exciting surprises.

By Friday morning most of the riders had confirmed and we had a good list of about 7 or 8 bikes all set to explore the Thokarwadi dam. Located just near Maval close to Pune, the gravity fill dam on the Indrayani river is probably best visited in the monsoon as the greenery then increases ten –fold and the monsoon lends a vibrancy quite different for the light yellows and cool dry air that we had on this ride. Come Friday evening, everyone on the previous promising looking list had dropped out. This left only me, and wondering whether to head out alone the following morning, I agreed to meet friend who called and asked if I would like to have a drink. The appointment turned out well and we ended getting on board another friend and rider who jumped at the opportunity to ride his bike – something that he had not done in a while. We decided to push the ride to a Sunday morning , so we could sleep off our now raging celebration.

We left Mumbai down the usual route towards Lonavala and I decided to show the guys a stretch through the back roads we had found in Lonavala , making it a slightly larger and interesting morning ride. Once we stopped off at Chandini chowk, we moved towards Kanhe Phata that would take us to Thokarwadi Dam.

At first the road is lined by industrial estates and not the most inspiring one , I’d even go so far as to call it a mistake for having chosen this route , with parts of the intial route quite bad but as we proceeded further through the drab and concrete industrial buildings , the road gave way to fields of rice and wheat ; villages amidst hills lined with dried yellow grass, open skies and farmers working in their fields, this then by most standards was shaping up to be a good ride.

The beauty of this particular route is that you can ride around the entire dam on what are more or less decent roads. Eventually we found a spot to chill at and took some time off from riding .. and taking in the views.

The downside to lesser explored places is not having enough places to stop by and eat. By afternoon we were hungry and needed to find some food. After riding around asking for a place, we did manage to find a small stall selling the quintessential wada pav. That classic on the road moment of hunger when anything is tasty , but luckily the traditional Maharashtran snack did not fail us and we downed a couple followed with some chai with a sutta. We continued to ride around what was left of the ring road and found another stop to climb into the forest and chill while listening to my friend strum a guitar he had bought along, followed by a walk though the forest..

By now we were having such a good time that we did not realize that sunset was almost on us. So spending the last 15 minutes of daylight in silence and catching up on our own thoughts we watched the sun set and began to ride back towards Khane.

A funny thing happened to me on this ride as I realized that plans you may make don’t always turn out the way you want them but be certain that if you’re up for the ride , 9 times out of 10 it always turns into something beautiful … be it experiences in life or the road : It never ends…