The first Sunday of April is reserved on the calendar as #OneRide Day. This year marked the Seventh Edition of celebrating the camaraderie that comes from owning and riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle. As motorcyclists, we need but a reason half-an-excuse to throttle out. While the week is devoted towards earning that tank of fuel, the weekend is what we look forward to the most. The weather being what it was however, a breakfast run made the most sense and NH8 was the direction that had been chosen.
#HauryaBikers that we are, the plan was to ride down to Hotel Ahura, some 100 kilometres away from the city limits and gorge on some yummy Kheema-Pao, Anda-Pao & Chai. (Address: NH8, Ambivali Tarf Bahare, Maharashtra – 401606. Maps Coordinates: 20.017296, 72.924829). Ahura’s name had been tossed around on one of our brunch rides, where we’d pigged out silly at the nearby Parsi Dhaba. So what better day to check it out than to do it as part of our #OneRide 2017 celebration. It was going to be just the four of us on this one, the rest having fallen behind due to commitments on the work and home front.
The Sunday Big Bikers were already out in full-force and were zipping past us in quick succession, some making sweet music, others, a wee bit grating on the ears. But the MotoGods were smiling upon us that morning and most of ‘that’ bunch had opted to wait for the others to catch up with them at the Fountain Hotel junction. This meant that we got a clear run down the crucial twenty-odd kilometre stretch that can end up being something of a drag.
The beautifully paved NH8 was a treat to savour. The wide, well marked lanes, scant traffic and long sweeping corners had us quickly settling into a rhythm where the quicker duo took off in the lead with me playing sweeper to our displacement-challenged pal whose elder brother had called dibs on their Enfield. I wasn’t complaining though, for I typically aim for a pace that’s well above my ‘fall-asleep at the handlebar’ threshold, yet below the mark where the scenery is nothing but a fading blur.
Every 15-20 kilometres the quicker ones would slow down to give us slow-pokes the chance to catch up and we’d fall in line as we got back on the throttle. Having settled into that relaxed riding rhythm, we never even realized when the board to Ahura Hotel popped up at the edge of our visors. The parking lot had already been taken over by a bunch of ‘Sunday Big Bikers’. But we were more than happy to park out of the way, letting our bikes cool it off under the shade of some trees, so all was well.
Entering the restaurant, we’d been worried if there’d be place for us, but we were fortunate enough to get one and wasted little time parking ourselves there. The soaring heat had managed to kill half our appetite, so this #HauryaBikers run was going to be a relatively subdued one. Nevertheless, we did end up calling for multiple plates of Kheema Pao, Anda Bhurji and some Salli Par Edu. Since we couldn’t quite wait till the busy kitchen prepared our order, we ended up calling for a couple of rounds of Chai & Maska Pao.
Hotel Ahura turned out to be one of the places where the food did indeed walk the talk. Each dish, from the Chai & Maska Pao to the Kheema & Anda Pao were lip-smacking good. The portion sizes were generous and the flavours, just right. We’d previously tried Salli par Edu at one of the ‘Irani’ Cafes in Mumbai that had been underwhelming, to put things mildly. The fantastic chefs at Ahura though, had managed a winner for our taste-buds. The ‘Salli’ was crunchy, the eggs cooked just right & the portion size enough to satisfy us gluttons. What’s more, the pricing was wallet-friendly too, coming to approximately INR 250/per person – not bad at all, given the amount of food we’d eaten. Burp!
All that food had enhanced our Sunday feeling and in true #HauryaBikers style, we were soon looking for a spot to ride to, park our bikes and catch a few winks in the shade. Sometime between mouthfuls of Anda & Kheema laden Pao, Dahanu Beach had popped up and the decision had been made to head down to the beach there.
Turning off the wide, sweeping NH8, we were greeted by winding single lane roads that took us past some amazing scenery and quaint villages. About half hour of riding later we were parallel to the beach and parked the moment we spotted some benches below the trees. The next couple of hours were spent lazing around, gazing at the sights & sounds around.
Nap over, we reluctantly decided to head back to the city grind. Traffic was light as we made off in the direction of NH8. It was on this stretch that we finally decided to click a few snaps ‘on-the-go’ before we re-joined the highway at Charoti Naka.
Halfway along the way back, the heat had gotten to us all and we decided to pull over into the ‘Food Hub’ just off Haloli, on NH8 (Address: Food Hub, Village NHBHaloli, Haloli, Maharashtra – 401 404. Location Coordinates: 19.678849, 72.907984). An hour and multiple rounds of Ice-Cream and Ice Tea later, we once-again stepped out into the burning heat. It was here in the parking lot that we caught up with fellow Enfield traveller – Pritam Sukumar. This brave fellow on a North-South ride, making his way down to Bengaluru in a few days. A quick snap to add to the #OneRide 2017 memories and we were back on the road. I did catch up with him again in the congestion on the bridge before Fountain Hotel junction for a few minutes before we parted ways. We were soon back at Dahisar Check Naka where the day had begun and it was now time to bid adieu, until the next time. A quick round of thanks were in order to the MotoGods for having watched over us on this ride, before we went our separate ways.
And that, my friends, is how we celebrated #OneRide 2017 in classic #HauryaBikers style, where our steeds are important, but even more is the fact that we rode together, as one. So what’s your #OneRide story, where did you ride down to and how did you celebrate it?