Mangalore to Pune on Harley Davidson.
Mangalore to Pune on 8th April 2022
Pune can be reached by following NH-66, NH-52 and NH-48 from Mangalore.
It was a wonderful morning of 8th April, at 4 AM I left Mangalore city on my bike. It was still dark, and sunrise was two and a half hours away.
I rode on NH 66 for 235 kms, i covered this distance in two hours and thirty minutes (including one tea break), as there was no traffic on the highway since it was too early. The highway was clear, with no obstructions. I got my bike’s tank full in Mangalore before leaving and then at Kumta (city in Karnataka).
After 235 Km I took right from Gokarna and entered into the beautiful western ghats. Curved roads and trees everywhere. This is NH-52, a hilly road inside the forest. This highway connects Karwar to Hubli, with a side road connecting from Gokarna. There is a 20 KM stretch on this highway where no phone network works. I reached a small town on this highway: Yellapur by 8 AM, had my breakfast “Masala dosa” and Chai.
After I resumed my journey (from Mangalore to Pune), I turned left from Yellapur towards Belgavi. Although the restaurant owner at Yellapur told me to take straight highway till Hubli and then take NH-48 from there. (NH-48 is the main highway which connects Pune to Bangalore via Satara, Kolhapur, Belgavi, Dharwad and Hubli). But I got tempted by google maps shortcut and turned left from Yellapur in order to reach Belgavi via SH-93. It was a single road highway with lot of potholes (shortcuts are not always good, especially the one you find on Google maps). After 45 Kms with back pain due to lot of jerks, I had to leave this highway and I took SH-28 to reach Dharwad (had to ride extra 30 kms). On the outskirts of Dharwad I got onto NH-48.
From Dharwad, Belgavi is around 70 Kms. I rode as fast as I could on this 6-lane highway, as I wanted to cover the distance to avoid scorching hot weather (I couldn’t manage to avoid it though).
In Belgavi, I got another tank full (Price of petrol in Karnataka 111 rs per litre). The clock was showing 10:30 AM. Total distance covered till now was 430 Km. Day was already hot, and in riding gears I was sweating profusely. But during the ride the head wind was good enough to keep me a little cool (no matter if it was the hot air). After the tank was full and a brief water / toilet break, I started again. After a small town named Nipani, I entered Maharashtra.
By the time I was entering into Maharashtra the 6-lane highway was converted to 4-lane. It was now time to reach Kolhapur (no stoppage planned, but still, you must cross the city). The weather was ridiculously hot, and traffic started to rise in Maharashtra. Traffic volume was too much for this 4-lane highway (including uncountable two wheelers). But the good thing was that there were no traffic jams. I was easily maintaining the speed in between 80–120 kmph.
I couldn’t actually see the city, as it was a bypass highway, and one more advantage was that it got converted into six lanes. Almost 12:30 in the noon, in the heatwave I think there were very few people driving (especially very few two wheelers on the highway). There were several vehicles parked on the highway restaurants as it was lunch time too. I had to stop for the petrol at 1 PM. I covered 270 kms in 2 hours and 30 minutes. It was so hot that I think I lost track of speed, as this was a very good average. (So far 695 Kms). Petrol in Maharashtra costs a whopping 120 rs per litre.
After the tank was full, I stopped for lunch, and there I met 5 Harley riders, riding from Goa to Pune for the same event. I had lunch with them, shared my experience, I had spent almost 1 hour 15 minutes with them. (I didn’t plan to spend this long initially as I usually don’t take such long breaks, but it wouldn’t be polite, if I had left without any reason). After lunch we started together, but they stopped to tank up, and I said goodbye to them with the promise to meet at the event.
I had to reach the The Westin hotel, Koregaon Park in Pune. Which was still 107 kms from there.
Trouble with hot weather
The map showed another two and a half hours to reach, which was actually not very motivating in that heat. Anyways, I started with the destination in mind. Crossed ghat in Khandala and started moving. As soon as I was getting near to Pune, traffic started getting dense. I entered Pune city after crossing a small tunnel, the hotel was still 15 kms from there, it means I had to cross the entire city during the daytime full of traffic.
It’s always very difficult to ride an 1800 CC bike in heavy traffic conditions that too in the hot afternoon. 3 PM was flashing on my mobile. Had to go through several traffic signals, and after 3–4 kms, my phone was dead due to extreme heat. I have lost my good friend: google maps. I was worried as I wasn’t familiar with the way to the hotel. So, I started taking guidance from local auto walas. After taking navigation help from at least 10 of them, and buying some spirits, I reached the hotel at 4 PM.
Mangalore to Pune is total 802 Kms which was covered in 12 hours, including a breakfast, a lunch, a tea and 3 fuel breaks.
To fight such hot weather, I always carry Electrol with me, to supply all required electrolytes to my body (to keep me hydrated). I had 2 litres of Electrol during this ride.
Return journey from Pune to Mangalore.
Write to [email protected] to share your story or to suggest any improvements. Petrol prices and weather conditions are as per the April 2022 month, they are not to be generalized.