The Deccan Cliffhanger 2018 – 6th edition

NOTE – Deccan Cliffhanger Route includes roads up and down mountain sections that recieve a lot of rainfall in the monsoon. Route Details are finalized each year after a physical inspection of road conditions conducted by the team mid October. The distance is 400 Miles or 643 KM give or take a few KM. The Route has always included Mahabaleshwar climb except in 2019. This year 2021 we hope to be able to revert to this route (2018 described here in full detail) or the 2016 one linked at bottom. UPDATES WILL BE POSTED HERE. 

The Route

The Race starts in Pune, the city of cycles, and finishes in Goa, on the sea shore. Set on the Deccan Plateau, the route follows the Sahyadri Range, which defines the western edge of the Deccan, finally dropping through dense forests that cover the cliffs of the Escarpment, into the Konkan as it heads to the Indian Ocean. Each year the route is modified to adjust to road conditions. This year the route goes via Surur phata through Wai to Panchagani, turning south to go through Bhilar towards Medha/Satara. From Satara till Belur (just before Dharwad it remains on the NH4, turning back to Belgaum to head for Goa through Chorla Ghat.

Description / Cautions

The Start Venue for this edition is The Cliff Restaurant and Club, at Forest Trails Bhugaon, Paranjape Schemes (Construction) Ltd which  has hosted the start of the last 2 editions. From there one heads steeply downhill and on to Chandni chowk to join NH4, heading south towards Bangalore. The first climb to Katraj tunnel is followed by a flat, slight downhill until one crosses the Nira River at Shirwal at @60 km. While this stretch usually offers an opportunity to do very good time, this year there are some sections under construction and participants are cautioned that the service roads that one has to take, are in bad condition.

The road improves after Shirwal, and climbs up Khambatki ghat which is undergoing construction work, a 3.5 km ascent with a short descent on the other side. Immediately after at @85km one turns off the highway to head though Wai up Pasarni Ghat, to Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, in the Sahyadri mountain range. Participants are cautioned that the climbing section has some bad patches and intermittent potholes, which are being fixed at present. After Panchgani the route turns left at Bhilar, to head over the spectacular ridgeline with high crosswinds and a view to valleys on both sides. The route descends down to Medha village via a steep descent over fairly good roads. Turning left at Medha the route heads to Satara to join NH4 again at @162km. Participants are warned to be very cautious on the downhill, though the road is in an good condition there is some scree on the sharp and steep turns. The surface of road after the descent till Satara, over rolling terrain is a bit rough.

The route continues south over rolling terrain with one short climb after Nippani, at @322km.  At @446km (ie @10km before Dharward) we turn around to head back to Belgaum. Navigate through Belgaum to Infinity Studio a Bike Shop that will host the control point of the race, through the night. The route heads out of Belgaum towards Chorla over rolling terrain with fairly good roads, but with very little resources available. The Descent on Chorla Ghat is spectacular through dense forest. Participants are warned to be very careful on this descent as the road is NOT in good condition and has sudden potholes. Participants MUST use extreme caution while descending, do not speed, especially at night and ensure you remain within the vehicle lights. Crew are advised to keep very close to the riders.

After entering Goa at Porlem, the route goes to Sanquelim before turning left over rolling terrain, and then heads towards the airport via Ponda. Navigation is essential to remain on route in this section. The route goes along a creek before turning sharply upwards and continues towards the airport. Turning off from the Airport road towards Bogmalo, the road heads down again to end on the beach, at the finish venue for the Race which is John’s Seagull Bar n Restaurant, Bogmalo. With great beaches, fresh sea food, and most importantly… a low tax on beer, Goa is a big holiday destination and Inspire India is happy to welcome all Participants, Crew and Officials to the legendary after party… The Deccan Clifhang’ov’er!