16 cars & 1800 km monsoon drive to the Konkan Coast: Experience

Usually, it used to be 7-8 cars and 10-12 people. But this time, it was different. Apart from the regulars, we had a lot of friends of the regulars who showed interest in joining. The more, the merrier.

BHPian arun_josie recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A monsoon drive to MH during the monsoon season has become an annual ritual for us few motorheads. This is happening for the past few years but the pandemic put a stop to this for two years. We resumed this tradition this year after the hiatus and it was a glorious monsoon drive.

We usually pick a region in MH for these monsoon drives because of its green carpet landscape. This time we thought about a change and considered KA and KL but, the discussion eventually returned to MH, after all, it allows us to drive a lot more which we all motorheads love. To kickstart this plan, the dates were finalized well in advance so that everyone had enough time to plan their leaves/PTO accordingly.

Once the dates were finalized, the next agenda on the discussion was the destination. This job was handed over to Paragsachania and Speedsatya who are our MH experts. Of course, HVKumar has been an integral part of our monsoon drives all these years. So, we had a long discussion with him too on the possible route and destination options. After multiple discussions, we concluded that we drive to Ganpatipule and then drive south towards Malvan taking the coastal state highway. During our earlier edition of Monsoon drive, we had driven North of Ganapatiphule while we decided to drive south this time.

With dates and destination finalized, next on the discussion was the headcount. Usually, it used to be 7-8 cars and 10-12 people. But this time, it was different. Apart from the regulars, we had a lot of friends of the regulars who showed interest in joining. The more, the merrier. The numbers started going up in no time and reached 16 cars and 30 people which we never expected. This would be our biggest headcount to date for a monsoon drive.

Now, the biggest question became logistics. How do we handle 16 cars and 30 people?

  • None of us is an event manager or has experience in handling 16 cars and 30 people on a 1700 km – 2000 km drive. So, this posed a new challenge for us.
  • Some of the challenges that we could foresee were:
  • To make a reservation for 30 people at one hotel/resort.
  • The hotel should have good parking spaces to accommodate all the cars
  • While crossing small towns with narrow roads, 16 cars can easily create traffic and might irritate the locals.
  • Parking space at places where we stop for Breakfast/Lunch
  • Food service at the hotel will take time
  • Fueling will take time
  • Managing the expenses and keeping track of it

What plans were made to manage?

  • We handed over the booking to HVKumar. He helped us by booking two resorts (one in Ganpatipule and one in Malvan) just for us. Both were close to the beach and had no issues with parking 16 cars.
  • HVKumar also helped us to tune the route better and loaded the routes in his Routo app. This was very helpful.
  • Instead of a 16-car convoy, we planned to split into multiple convoys based on the route/traffic conditions.
  • Only stop at hotels with good parking spaces.
  • Decided to have a Walkie-Talkie in each car so that communication will be easier.
  • Multiple options for refuelling

Here are the guidelines that were shared with all the participants,

Driving etiquettes:

Things to carry and other readiness:

  • For iOS – https://apps.apple.com/us/app/splitwise/id458023433
  • For Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/d…plitwiseMobile

General guidelines:

Route to be taken:

Our objective always is to try different routes wherever it is possible. So, this time we decided to take Tilari ghats during the onward journey to Ganpatipule and then Phonda ghat during the return from Malvan. We had not taken these two ghat roads in our previous monsoon drives.

Car Preps:

We made sure all documents were in place and also got the tyres, wheel alignment and wheel balancing checked. Some had to change tyres, some got the service done as well. For me, I got the WA and WB done. However, on the day before the drive, the right rear tyre was flat. So, I inflated that tyre to 30 PSI and monitored for pressure drop but there was no drop. I still took it to the nearby puncture shop. They did a thorough check but found no puncture. They checked the valve and found a minor leak. So, I got it replaced. I filled the tank as per usual.

Also, a day before we collected the walkie-talkies from the vendor and made sure all were working.

Continue reading BHPian arun_josie’s recent Konkan Coast drive for more insights and information.

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