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Cycling beyond Bopdev Ghat

Cycling beyond Bopdev Ghat

Today we’re going to do a rather special
ride, through a village called Garade. We’ll also talk, just a wee bit, about exploration! We start our ride going up Bopdev ghat – this
ghat has been either the start, or the end, of dozens of my cycling adventures. But I’ll cover the climb itself later … for
now, we’ll skip ahead to the top, where we happen to meet Prashant [Jog] and Udit
[Shrivastava], who were practicing for their MLK ride. Now Prashant runs Pune randonneurs, so I know
who he is, but we’ve never met before. “So, practicing for something? No, not at all … just Saturday .. weekend
… this is my favorite climb” And this is what I love about the cycling community
– meet any cyclist and it’s very easy to start a conversation, share some route ideas,
a cup of tea, or actually get help if you’re stuck … and for Indians, this is not normal. So we continue down the Saswad highway, and
in about three and a half kilometers, there’s a very easy to miss right turn that takes
you to Garade. I missed the turn, so we’ll just cycle backwards
… and when we see the RMG Goat farm sign, we do it right the second time around. The road is absolutely crap … but just for
a couple hundred meters, after which … well, see for yourself! What we have here now, is a simply beautiful,
15 kilometer stretch of road that takes you across to the Bangalore highway. I won’t try to describe the route – you
can just … take it in as we ride along. By the way, if you take this right, you’ll
get another slightly shorter route that also goes across to the highway, through villages
Patharwadi and Gogalwadi. It’s a little cosier than this route and
is a gravel ride – at least, that was the state a year and a half ago. You could do both routes in reverse as well,
starting from the Bangalore highway and coming across to the Saswad highway. So what I wanted to talk about … was some
Strava stats. So there’s a segment that runs from the
top of Katraj ghat to the toll booth beyond the point at which you need to turn in to
go to Garade. 1400 riders have ridden that. Now, if you do take the turn in to go to Garade,
you get a nice killer climb called the Mariaamata climb, it’s a very short one, but a nice
one, and according to Strava, only 60 riders have ridden that climb. Beyond that, if you go beyond the climb, you
would actually reach the Garade route that we are on now, but there are only 13 riders
who have ridden that. Now, if you include the riders that have done
the same route in the other direction, like we did, that number increases to 27, including
the 3 of us who did that on this ride. So 1400 riders on the highway, 60 riders on
the climb, and only 27 riders on this route, on this lovely route … and I think that’s
pretty sad. So I know a lot of cyclists don’t use Strava,
so more than 27 would have ridden here, but it’s still a good indicator of how many
people actually ride here, relative to the number of people who could. When I first rode through Garade, over a year
ago, I thought to myself, “wow, what an amazing route, but I’m sure hardly anyone
rides here”. “ I had navigated only to garade! Gotta get us home safe, Chief!” This route is special because, in a way, this
channel exists only because of it – I started, “the Indian cyclist” because most cyclists
just ride the same routes over and over again, and I felt I just had to share routes like
this with everyone, so that you have more options when you’re out on your next long
ride. So if you’re a cyclist in Pune for instance,
riding to Lonavala and back is probably one of the most boring things you can do on your
bike. Do yourself a favor, pull up Google maps,
and start exploring routes like this instead – I’ll have a video coming soon that goes
deeper into exploration, and heck this whole channel is about cycling routes, so if this
sort of content interests you, please Subscribe. Okay, I’ll get off my soap box so we can
end our ride with the Mariaamata ghat. In this direction, it’s a descent, but we
must talk about the climb stats – if you were riding up, the primary body of the climb is
about 1.5 km long and it’s at a formidable average gradient of 10%. If I’m remembering this right, a year and
a half ago, this was just a mud road, and as you can see now, it’s in really fine
form. After the descent, just continue straight
to exit at the bangalore highway, from where you can return to the city via the old or
the new Katraj ghat – either way, another descent! A final warning – on the highway, if you go
to Joshi Wade wale, and ask for, “Do wada sambar – ek sambhar ke saath, ek sambhar separate”, you might be served this. Thanks for riding along, and until next time
– keep exploring! “Wow, when I saw the ghat starting, I said
… oh crap! I know, I thought the same thing. Don’t tell me there’s more!”

7 thoughts on “Cycling beyond Bopdev Ghat

  1. What's your favourite route that you think is underrated and not enough people ride?
    If you're looking for group rides, consider joining the Cyclop discord community here:

  2. Hi. All the places you mentioned are about 40 to 50 kms away from city centre. Do you do the whole 100+kms stretch including the inclines or transport the cycle in a car or something? Also. What do you ride?

  3. Cycling is the best hobby. Doesnt cause trouble to anyone else, freshens up your mind cost free, and doesnt pollute the environment.

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