Barbeques n Beaches

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LORD SAYS : Version 7.00 – Barbeque and Beaches to MURUD -JANJIRA

Coordinates : 18* 19’36”N  72*57’27”E

The Lord had spoken! Lord Fusebox’ unique messages always send the adrenalin pumping with the excitement at fever pitch. The colourful ride was meant to kick off the second calendar year of Bisons Ride Hard and was aptly named Barbeques and Beaches, since that was what it was going to be – barbeque at the Murud beach. And leading it was going to be the Lord himself on his Baby Blue.

Since it was a short ride the assembly time was a little later than usual but that did not stop Paaji from sending his customary 4 AM ‘good morning’ messages, which he always did, to wake up the Bisons on the day of a ride. It was quite sunny and bright by 7.30 AM when we assembled at our starting point at Shri Sai Snacks, Panvel.

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Owning the highways!

The ride anniversary of the Bisons in October had created a lot of media interest in the Club and so not surprisingly there were a lot of new faces raring to ride with the Bisons on this one. Lord Fusebox – wonder where or why he keeps his fuses, or if he keeps them at all — was there, cheerfully greeting everyone, as he ticked off every new arrival’s name on the list in his hand.

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Lord at his entertaining best!

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Enjoying a beer after reaching Murud

One of the new riders, Milton Singh, had a flat on his way to the meeting point, and was delayed. Like the responsible Bisons that we were, we waited till 9 AM for our customary briefing of the ride by Paaji. Signals, Manny and Bhavik had come to see us off, since they were not joining us on this one. Bhavik is a colourful rider whose bike is even more resplendent in orange and green!  Unfortunately matters domestic beckoned to him and he had to go back. The three of them waited to see the legendary Bisons riding off in style. I bet they felt more than a tinge of regret and envy!

We rode on the NH4 till Khopoli, keeping up with the idling speed of Amit aka Tubeless. He was riding a new Classic and was running it in, which reduced his speed considerably. His wife Namita who was his pillion was nursing a fractured hand and this made it even more risky for him to speed up.

From Khopoli, we went on towards Pen and Alibagh  with Vikas aka Fallen (though he now he calls himself Sniper) and Deelux clicking those beautiful shots enroute.

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The group split near Pen as the front half rode off with the Lord towards the city, and took a longer route to join us later. The remaining Bisons, including Paaji, Deelux, Bala, Jay, me with Pallavi and Raj aka Corner, went a little slowly. Famous for his ‘cornering’ tactics, this time Corner was understandably irritated with the traffic because he was not on his bike but a car that didn’t allow him to do any heroics. But despite his irritation at the slowness of the traffic, I am sure he was happy to be in the car because his little son was riding too. For me, well, I enjoyed ripping away with the flying Dalayas and good old Deelux, even if it was only for a short stretch.

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The talk of the beach – Sarvesh. A wannabe Bison (DietPal and Corner’s son)

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After crossing Alibagh, the landscape became breathtaking, with the Konkan sea seemingly riding with us, all the way till we reached Murud, our destination, around 1230. We checked into Sahil Lodge which was to be the home of the Bisons for the weekend. Couples and families got their rooms while the bachelors happily settled in dormitories.  After a quick wash and freshening up, it was time to raid the restaurant across  at the  Rasal Lodge. In a celebratory mood, the Bisons ordered beers with the excellent food, which was followed by the customary grill…er…introduction session of aspiring Bisons.

Vishal Jaju, the lawyer was the first one to be grilled on the barbeque ride and was tagged as Two Stroke during the session. Mayank was the next one — from the ever growing fleet of Air India who had flown into the land of Bisons.  The  inimitable Paaji used his mechanical expertise along with that of Raj aka Corner, the Wrench and Spanner Awardee 2012,  to explain the  story of the twin spark engine.

Even while the introduction session was going on, our captain was hard at work, sweating  over the barbeque grills, lovingly preparing a spread for his fellow Bisons.  Lord Fusebox is undoubtedly, Raymond’s Complete Man.  A multifaceted personality, he not only enjoys every bit of the ride, but also dresses nattily, riding with aplomb on his lovingly decorated Baby Blue and writing  wonderfully witty trip logs to even barbeque cooking!

By the time we finished with the excellent lunch, the sun was ready to bid adieu and was hugging the sea at the far horizon. And stuffed to the gills, we set out to explore the unbelievably clean Murud beach.

There were many activities for those who were looking for some fun — horses and horse carts, water scooter and speedboats and paragliding. The last mentioned was the pick of the lot, with a muscular Scorpio charging no less than Rs. 500 for a very short flight of 500 meters or so. With such a thrill being promised, who cared about the bucks, anyway?

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Cooling off in the cool water

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Corner and Corner Jr.

 

Soon the black and blue silhouettes of the Bisons dotted the beach in groups, some strolling along the serene beach, while others some enjoying the typical beach activities including horse/cart riding, splashing in the waters  and even making sand castles to regale the only little Bison – Corner Jr. Not to forget the banana boat ride undertaken by  Pallavi, Raj, Adnan, Mayank , Deelux and Mohnish, which culminated in their falling off the boat in the shallows. But the most interesting activity was the photo sessions. While we posed and clicked and got clicked, the photographers amongst us were busy capturing the setting sun in its varied hues and shades. But no matter what we were doing, we all were having a blast!

When the sun finally sank into the red waters, we returned back. But the party was far from over. Though the Beach part of the ride was over, the Barbeque part remained and for which our captain was tirelessly working since that afternoon.

The terrace of Sahil Lodge was the venue with the twinkling evening stars overhead, but the good Lord refused to allow anyone on the terrace till the dishes were all served,  effectively using the services of the bubbly Bala as a bouncer!

When the word was given, the hungry hordes descended on the delectable spread — those amazingly juicy chicken chunks , and the golden yellow portions of sweet corn, grilled and served to perfection. And the Bisons feasted, washing the food down with    the choicest of drinks. The party had just begun! Soon the Bisons moved to the spacious dining hall of the Rasal Lodge where the food was served. The riders dined and wined long and hard before the day finally came to an end.

Sunday morning   was heralded with shutterbugs leaving early to capture the myriad moods of nature, while others including me, strolled down to the beach to savour the clean sands and cleaner air along the Murud beach, jogging or walking welcoming the morning sun.

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It wasn’t till 9 AM when all the Bisons were up and about, some still not quite awake from the wonderful feast of the previous night, even as others polished off the omelets and downed several cups of refreshing tea.

As usual everyone was saddled up and ready to hit the highway by 1100 hrs and after some great shots of the men and the machines,  we bade a fond farewell to Murud.  We rode back in formation, each rider following the helmet ahead (Deelux don’t be afraid of Cheryl’s helmet eyes; they bring up the rear, effectively scaring some poor motorist following her!) and looking behind for the headlights that followed, in the rearview mirrors, feeling the reassurance of riding with brothers and basking in their warmth.

We Ride Hard ,

But we also ride safe

Because we care

And because we are the Bisons!

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And we rode back!

Manu

Through the eyes of Manu Goel and essayed by The Cyber Nag