Konkan Coastal Cycling trip

Konkan Coastal cycling – Mumbai to Goa cycling expedition completed on 19th to 26th Feb 2021.

Riders: Prateek Deo Gupta and Ms Sonal Agarwal

Konkan coastal cycling
Celebrating with sugarcane juice at the border of Maharashtra-Goa.


Konkan Coastal cycling
On Aronda brige which connects Maharashtra & Goa over the Terekhol river

They completed their 600kms + journey from Mumbai to Goa in 9 days by the Konkan coastal cycling route starting from Mandwa in the Raigad district and ended at Vengurla in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra they also crossed the Maharashtra – Goa state border by the  Aronda bridge over Terekhol river.

Konkan Coastal cycling  : Technical data for the hungry

Total Kms : 600 plus
Strava data: nopes, we didnt bother
Support vehicle : never, we carried our own luggage
Elevation gain: who cares , what we gained was experience
No of days : 9 days – mostly off the coastal highway on beach roads.

Konkan Coastal cycling   : cycles used :

Sonal was using a Schnell 24 inch, with 3 x 7 Shimano, pannier bags , frame bag, shoulder bag : total weight 15kgs

Prateek used a BSA Slr hybrid 26 inch: No gears, V brake system, custom made pannier bags and handle bar bag. Total weight 15kgs.
Stay : we stayed with locals most of the time and ate at their homes

most imp : not purchased a single bottle of water throughout the journey.

“Friends indeed…”

During this 600km Konkan Coastal cycling  journey , we mingled with the locals, we made friends, we made efforts to talk to them and understand them. It was fun and heart warming at times.

We were overwhelmed by their hospitality and their kindness towards us. That’s what these Konkan people are made up of … full of love & kindness..

I am glad we stopped to meet them and not just zoomed away trying to just make some record for ourselves.

As the famous words goes , its not the destination, but the journey which is everything.

“The Konkani food…”

The amazing Konkani food made our journey a pleasant and interesting one.
We tried our best to eat at locales homes and at Khanaval’s (local eateries).
The local drinks like Kokam Juice , Soul kadi really cooled us down in the blasting heat …Fantastic drinks one must surely have., to keep ur cool

“And the wonderful places..”

We were lucky to see some awesome places as we cycled.

The Konkan coast of Maharashtra has some really beautiful places that one can experience only if they cycle, if u go in a car or a motorbike u tend to miss few of them….

cycle – to be there at the moment, to feel the moment

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“The humble cycle…”

Once again our ride from Mumbai to Goa over 600kms through the Konkan coastal cycling route, with the single fixed gear BSA Slr , carrying our own luggage in panniers, has proved that we dont need flashy equipment to do beautiful and tough rides…

this post is for those who believe cycling is a humble vehicle and as you ride , you become humble.

I never lifted my cycle or jumped as we crossed the Maharashtra-Goa border …i just smiled and thanked my humble cycle, my friend for this journey, whom i trusted to take me smoothly till the end.

a 600km plus journey could be easily done with a basic, no gear hybrid cycle.. Yes the BSA Slr by TI cycles … it was a beaut on the tough roads and off roading also.

Most importantly it costed me just Rs 5000/- for the BSA Slr photon with included accessories like stand, bell, pannier, mud guards and a lock … lifetime warranty for the frame too.

We went through some very tough terrains; off roading at times and boat transfers and it never complained 🙂

Also not a single puncture … i might be lucky on this tho’.

So morale of the story is , to full fill dreams , u do not need expensive, flashy equipment… all you need is ur will and a simple humble cycle…

so go for it guys .. dont fall in the trap of marketing gimmicks, and “achievement” game , dont ride with ur strava on,shut down the google maps – dont analyse your ride rather just ride – listen to the birds , the waves , look at the morning rising sun, feel the aroma of the food cooked on wood fire.

When you cycle pass a village capture the smile of the villagers and bring it back to the city, take a bath in the river, stand on the bridges and watch the boats, sit beneath the banyan tree, take a break in a temple…

Ride just for the joy of riding and enjoying the wonderment nature has to offer… on ur humble cycle…

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Prateek runs an adventure travel company and Sonal is a school teacher.
Both of them ride with the Chembur Cycling Group in Mumbai.

They can be contacted on lifeawayfromlife2020@gmail.com


Over the hills & far away

My journey on a bicycle to the Western Ghats of Maharashtra – Sahyadri ranges.

Maharashtra has one of the most beautiful and unique mountain ranges in the world, The Western Ghats the range is known as Sahyadri in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. According to UNESCO, the Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas. Geologic evidence indicates that they were formed during the break-up of the supercontinent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago.

A cycle journey through these mountain ghat’s, was like a dream come true.
I cycled through these amazing mountains along with my friends.




We met the local people there, mingled with them, chatted with them, laughed with them, play with them and also at times cycled with them… not many cycle in these parts, but u will find occasional kids cycling in their villages.

over the hills and far away   

The stay for the night was in a a small quaint village called Ambavane, where we met a small boy around 14 yrs , who kept curiously pestering us about the cycles we had.
I loved his pestering.
Surprisingly to us , he knew everything about cycles and how to maintain it etc. He boasted of having a 21-geared cycle and that he mends the puncture himself, since the next available cycle shop was 25kms down the Ghats. He made us feel comfortable in his village and served us the most delicious village cuisine.

over the hills and far away
Along with Ashutosh the smiling boy

Ashutosh is a small young village boy who lives in a small hamlet up in the mountain. He had a distinct permanent smile on his face and he made a distinct impact on us for sure.

We rode up and down the mountains and passed thru wonderful hamlets on the way.
It was a fulfilling ride, met many people of the hills, had the best food they served us, breathed the most clean and pure air and some fantastic aroma of the village cooking their meals on wood fire  followed us.

over the hills and far away

Lots to learn from the people of the hills.
While cycling back into the city … the stark difference struck very hard – the angry faces, the screaming horns, the hurriedness, the smog, smell of burning rubber, the crowded dirty streets…

but with a hope of meeting some day , once again, the smiling Ashutosh … Over the hills & far Away.

– Prateek Deo

Details :

Trip date : 6th to  7th Feb 2021
Riding Kms in total : 200 kms
Route : Chembur(Mumbai) to Ambavane village ( near Amby valley)
via Khandala- Lonavala & INS Shivaji & back by the same route
Style of riding : Self supported cycling with 15kg luggage each in pannier bags
The team : Prateek Deo , Sonal Agarwal , Sumit Asrani


The word Ghat is explained by numerous Dravidian etymons such as the Tamil and Telugu gattu (hill and hill forest), Kannada gaati and ghatta (mountain range), Tulu gatta (hill or hillside), and ghattam in Malayalam (mountainous way, riverside and hairpin bends).

Ghat, a term used in the Indian subcontinent, depending on the context could either refer to a range of stepped-hill such as the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats; or the series of steps leading down to a body of water or wharf, such bathing or cremation place along the banks of a river or pond, Ghats in Varanasi, Dhoby Ghaut or Aapravasi Ghat.Roads passing through ghats are called Ghat Roads.


My Mumbai to Pali cycling journey experience
19th to 20th Dec 2020

“ So many years since I’ve seen your face.
Here in my heart, there’s an empty space
where you used to be.
So long, it was so long ago,
But I’ve still got the blues for you.”

A lovely Garry Moore song , words which fits my love for long distance cross-country cycling

It’s been really long since I did a long distance cross-country cycling trip. The last one being Vietnam to Cambodia – 500kms cycle journey.

I wanted get out of this city, ride along rivers, glide on the mountains, talk to the birds, and sing to the tune of the forest.

I realised, i needed the countryside badly.

I have a friend Umesh Nambiar , who has a very beautiful farmhouse in the countryside of Pali , around 100kms from Mumbai.
So that’s how the plan to cycle to Pali was made. I would cycle to my friend’s farmhouse, stay there and come back the next day.

As usual, I mapped my whole ride; I chose the least traffic routes, avoided the highways as much as possible and took the non-asphalt countryside route, wherever possible.

I carried my luggage in my pannier bags which contained all necessary things like: puncture repair kit, tool kit, medical kit, sleeping bag, extra clothes, some food stuff, torch etc.

A wonderful ride of 100kms the first day through some beautiful landscapes and few mountain sections. I was content with todays ride.

My friend’s farmhouse was near Wagoshi village, besides a small hillock. Exactly the place I was looking for rejuvenating. It was so quiet that one could hear villagers murmuring, the birds chirping, the local dog barking, the tractor sound and the locales singing. It was beautiful. Absolute zero traffic noise.

AS the sun went down, the smell of the wood burning for making dinner was out of this world.
 Thanks to my friend, a local invited me for dinner at his house. I have eaten dinners in the best restaurants in Mumbai, but none could match the dinner in this villager’s house. Simple food in the simplest environment makes the food most delicious. There was no electricity, I sat on the floor and had the most fulfilling meal in the world. It was just 7pm.

I cycled back to the farmhouse in pitch dark and chill cold,wondering how much we pay to live in the city, but somehow the true happiness is derived here. Nothing gave me more joy, than to thank the villager, who then came half the way to see me off.  They don’t close the door on your back , I observed.

I had planned to start early morning at 5 am the next day, since there was a long ghat section to be covered. But when I woke up,  it was impossible to even step out, it was pitch dark and no street lights whatsoever.

Bid farewell to the villager, who greeted me with hot milk mixed with haldi – he said “ Sir aapke city ke packet ka nahi hai doodh, its from our cow directly, taste and see “.( Sir, the milk is not from the packet like in your city, its directly from our cow here)
I would say it was a warm goodbye and an awesome start for the day.

Day 2 ride was full of mountainous roads, right from the start. But I don’t regret this route, rather it was planned and I was waiting for it.

I cycled through teak forests & mango plantations. It was the most beautiful part of my journey. A  sense of fulfillment filled me as I pushed my cycle on the mountains.

I crossed small mountain hamlets on the top, very peculiar of Maharashtra. People seemed to be very content with their lives. They seemed happy in whatever they were doing. Small farmlands grew chilies and kept it in the open for drying in the sun. Few hunters were cutting wood, cows and buffaloes were grazing and often crossed my path, and rather I crossed theirs. I could hear the sound of the distant tractor ploughing the fields, small kids riding cycles often waved me goodbye.

Sitting under a banyan tree , on top of a mountain and having a guava.. whats more to life.

There was so much romanticism in the air. My pedalling was like poetry in motion.

I often stopped in between, had a drink and embraced the pure wind of the mountains.

It took 4 hours to finally to end the mountain range and reach Pen, almost half way of my journey back.

The dream ride ended and then onwards it was a straightforward highway ride back to Mumbai.
I completed 114 kms while returning.

At the end, I was fully rejuvenated, full charged up, and made a promise to myself – be yourself no matter what they say…

Important note for all those who can’t afford an expensive cycle or cycling gear and clothing.
Don’t worry …
All you need is you will and desire to take u up there and some meticulous planning.

And yes do try and cycle in the countryside at least once, try to talk to the butterflies and the squirrels u meet on the way , wave to the mountain kids, and swim in the rivers… trust me you’ll find a new you.🙂

I realized after all…
I’ve still got the blues for you …

Written & pictures by Prateek Deo