After doing few 25-30 km rides, we planned to go for a little more and complete at least half century on next sunday. We planned to ride till Bhootnath Mahadev Temple, which is 3-4 km offroad from Halenda on Rajkot – Bhavnagar Highway.
This Sunday, Chirag was to join us for his second ride and was conscious about ride should not be of too much kilometers. Knowing this, I told him that this would be just 42 km ride, and only I knew that 42 km is of single side, ha ha ha.
We started early in morning at around 5:30. Ride till Aji Dam was usually boring passing through city. Once crossed Aji Dam cross roads, the road was passing through backside of the reservoir, where water body on a side and Manda Hills on another side, creating magnificent views.
Till now time was elapsed that the sun was eager to come out. We stopped near a farm, which might had seeded few days back and green beauty was coming out of the soil. Golden rays of the sun was filling energy to the atmosphere.
We started again with freshness and energised. The road was mostly traffic less, very few vehicles crossed us. Few kilometers ahead after crossing Kasturbadham, we waved and overtook a cyclist we seemed to be riding solo. We stopped and waited for him to reach us. He was amazed to see us as he was regular rider on this route and had never met any other cyclist. We started together slowly and introduced each other. He was Nainesh and was running a school near Tramba. Nainesh used to ride till Sardhar every Sunday. We told him our plan of Bhootnath Temple, he in no time agreed to join us. Now we were four on the road.
After Sardhar, work was going on for four laning of road and a narrow road on a side was left for traffic. In addition, by this time heavy vehicles’ traffic was also started plying and we needed to be very careful. The sun also had started heating the atmosphere and our ride started to be tiring. With few hydrating stops, we reached Halenda, from where now the ride was to be off road.
We stopped for a while as Ankur and Chirag were riding behind. When all we four gathered, we moved ahead, the path was muddy and slippery after last night’s rain fall. We crossed a small causeway where water was flowing above the bridge. In four kilometer’s off road ride, we reached the Bhootnath temple, where we were welcomed by lots of chirping peococks.
The temple itself is very small, but the campus is huge, with lots of trees around and surrounded by small hills. Lush green allover was enchanting the beauty of the place. This area experiences high winds mostly throughout the year, and so lots of windmills have been commissioned here.
We locked our cycles and went for trekking to the nearby hill. It was a little tough to trek as we are not regular trekkers, but we had done it. Drizzle started when we were on top of the hill, and the entire area was filled with peacock chirps by hundreds of peacocks around. It was one of the best thing, we had experienced during cycle ride. By now, drizzle was transformed into rain. We started descending towards the temple. Till we reached to our cycles, the rain was stopped.
We took cycles and started our return ride. After rainfall the path was transformed to a muddy trail, and when we reached that causeway, the water was flowing rapidly over the bridge. There was a caution sign that if water level above the bridge is more than 1 foot, its not advisable to cross. We had no other way to go for, and needed to cross that small bridge. We unridden the cycles and slowly crossed the bridge with cycles in hand. Fortunately, we all were on the other side of the bridge in few minutes. We stopped at Halenda for snacks, and started back.
Just in few minutes rain started again, but we continued the ride. It was first time experience for all of us to ride while its raining. After crossing Sardhar, intensity of rain increased and it started pouring. At once, we thought to stop but couldn’t find any shelter to stopby, so continued pedaling. Rain was stopped before we reached Tramba. At Tramba, Nainesh waved bye as his home came. He offered to have lunch at his place, but we politely refused and moved.
Last few kilometers were boring as now rain was stopped and the sun was shining to its glory. We were hungry too, but instead of halting for food we chose to reach home early. At around 3:00 PM, we were at home with happiness of completing longest ride till date.