“Most of us have visited the place where the river Arkavathi is rumoured to begin, at Nandi. And an IISc Rando populaire follows the river in it’s course. This ride aims to trace the river to the place where it ends. About 100 Km of this ride will be almost parallel to the river, meeting it at the place where it mixes into Kaveri.
Expect an extremely scenic route with pretty decent climbs. I will be on my RR 5.0 and the ride will be at brevet speeds (15 kph average).
Anyone interested?” …Read the mail from Hari in BBC. Found it tempting. Aimed for my first 200 K, I went for it.
17th August 2013
Bike cleaning and lubrication – Done,
Air pressure check, Lights charge – Done,
Snickers, water, glucose, cash – All Done
By 9:00 pm, all set for the first 200 k attempt. Set Alarm 4.30am and Ready to crash on to the bed.
Close my eyes and The GAME BEGINS. My Brain starts to conjure every scene of from the morning show “The Conjuring”. The fun filled comedy enjoyable movie in the morning gave a terrible time at night. Especially those branches outside the window, those sodium vapour lamps to add on to the background effects, that cool breeze swinging the white towel hanged at the corner of the room… FREAKING!
18th August 2013
All I needed was a good night sleep for a big 200 k day ahead, but was unlucky with that. Somehow woke up at 4.00 am, got ready and was already out by 5.15 am. All that one hour, every scene of the movie still running. 2 activities at once… Multi-tasking Brain! Huh… I would feel blessed if could have worked out well while studying I college or school… 2 subjects at once ha.
Rock and Roll
Subhiksha Daffodils, Rustam Bagh, Manipal Hospital, Koramangala, Madiwala, Silk Board, Jayadeva Flyover, Banashankari Metro, Metro Cash and Carry.
The whole stretch till Madiwala in the early hours was pitch black. It was my regular 18 k morning ride route and so kinda used to it. I did try asking the people around “Where is Merida Junction?” No one could direct me! Later after contacting Hari, realized I have already crossed the junction. Met Satya at Metro cash and carry. We had a little chat waiting for the others to join.
All set and All Met at around 6.45am – 7:00 am I guess.
- Hari Krishna
- Pankaj – “Impressed by your diet and stamina 🙂 and yup FB ! :D”
- Shreedhar Ramachandra
- Sandeep Ratna
The map looks like an attempt by a kindergrand to draw a straight line. As simple as that …!! Or is it so? It was upto us to find out how the ride would be. Riding on from the Metro cash and carry store after Banashankari, stopped somewhere near Harohalli for Breakfast for about 30 min. Satya according to his past rides on this route shared some info on the only decent places for food.
Very soon we hit the road. Satya and Arvind headed back to Bangalore. The remaining moved on ahead. The complete downhill gradient helped in rolling forward with least efforts. As usual, Hari zoomed away to some distance, stops at some scenic locations trying to capture the beauty around. I did love to take some pics but the constant fear of being left behind was pushing me to maintain the pace.
Better Idea was to keep going. Counting from Merida Jn. somewhere after 50th km and then 68th km there were two uphills approx. 80 m each. Choosing the perfect picturesque spot was already being done by Hari. All I had to do was reach the place, halt for a moment, click some pics and meanwhile wait for the others to join.
Pictures taken on top of the hill before the drop :
I as a downhill enthusiast, always looking for an opportunity to glide down at thrilling speeds, could not ask for more.
It was at the 70th km – a 10 km direct Drop! As a first timer to such terrain on a bike, I had no clue how to maneuver through those steep and sharp curves down the hill. First turn literally forgot to breathe… skipped the pulse. Riding down, I could not judge the required turn, speed and the inclination on to the road required for a successful turn. The moment I came into my senses to hit the brakes and control the speed… too late for an inevitable skid. Blew me out of control…as though death dragging me off the road down to the bottom of the hill.
Damn..! Freaked out again as though the whole previous night Conjuring effect was not enough! Huh! 3-5 secs was the time gap, I tried my best to get back to control. Might be illogical but there is always a bond that one develops with their personal bike. The more I ride, the more I get used to it, the more I get to know how to stay in control. That skid was totally my mistake. Ignorance obv is not a bliss and not even an excuse in these cases. I believe Shreedhar ahead of me did hear the sound as I skid. I don’t know if he really noticed it or no. Sandeep claims to have caught the action. Obviously he was right behind me. Tried most of the time to accompany him.
Some how reached the destination by around twelve-ish. Shreedhar was the only guy who knew Kannada. Luckily managed to take our bikes beyond the entry gates to the River Banks. Pictures taken with the scenic beauty (First pic of the Post) as background. I saw two rivers but could not make out which one is Kaveri and which one is Akravathi 😀
Had lunch in a small canteen in the premises. Hunting for Bananas went in vain here. I wonder how the monkeys here are surviving! By 1 pm we were all set to roll. Dropped the faint idea of getting into one of those coracles and exploring the other side of the bank, Mekedaatu.
It is so true that there is always a balance that the Universe maintains, every action every deed. Many a times we tend to ignore that. But standing there staring ahead the road I just arrived, raising my head looking at the 10 km drop I just had… I knew it would be fun conquering it. The ride begins.
As usual, I start slow. Owing to the fact that I need to cover the entire journey ahead, preferred to follow the same concept of going easy on the legs with lower gears maintaining approx. one rotation per sec where ever possible. As usual Hari zoomed away. We all did our slow climb. Tedious it was but was equally fun. Never really had an opportunity to enjoy the experience of 1×1 combo on the MTB for so so long in the city. This combo really does miracles uphill.
I still don’t get the magical combo of 3×1 that Hari used all the ride to cruise on uphills..! Experts say it’s a wrong combo (logically I do feel the same) but is being used with ease by another expert again. I hope he shares his gyaan here. Advice from him was simple, “use every downhill as an opportunity to cruise on to the uphill ahead. It’s better than starting every uphill fresh”. It really worked! Helped in coming a long way through.
Sandeep already made a huge daring attempt of joining the 200 k ride directly from his previous highest of 40 km!! “Awesome Man. You really did a great job”. He did want to drop after reaching the Sangama, but Universe was already conspiring 😛 It made sure he finished those 10 km killer climbs before giving up. Later took a bus and off he goes to Bangalore.
On return Somewhere after Kanakpura, My left knee and the bone connecting the knee and the foot down was awesomely screwed up. It did happen during my last ride to Hesarghatta immediately completing Annekel ride with Anil the previous day. I tried continuing neglecting the indication, and was like abusing my body no matter what.
40 km… 39 km… 38 km… on and on… 30 km…The downhill rides which I enjoyed in morning, those very roads seemed like teasing me. Now every uphill I managed to walk. At some point I met Hari and Shreedhar waiting for me. I really felt bad for pulling them behind. It was already 6pm and road was getting darker. Racing against time was to maintain racing speeds. At the condition I was suffering from, impossible was the only word my conscious told me. There is always another day to enjoy such rides as long as the body is capable of. I asked them to go on and I would somehow manage.
Walking alone in the dark only got worse as my muscle pulls. Left leg decided to revolt against my will. My bike lights were in no match for the ones in the traffic. Actually I should not compare them. 24 km more said the sign board and I was all in all crushed and crashed. At around 22 km from Bangalore (sign board said so) I was really happy for making it to some civilization. I found lights on roads, shops people around apart from the monotonous rash traffic I had been experiencing from past couple of hours. I remember Hari quoting when we met at some point before “about 10 – 15 km to hit the city lights, but these 10 km would be a matter of life and death”.
Realizing I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and that I just started it as a pleasure fun filled ride, there was no room for further breaking myself. Started begging for some autos for a lift. Got one somehow managed to get home !! In fact had to show how awesome my bike was. All I had to do was remove the front wheel and convince him how easily it fits inside the auto. Impressed by the magical stunt he somehow accepted to take me home. “Advantages of having such modular bikes 🙂 “
All the while the unnoticed or less talked topic was the Elevation. The Map does look beautiful. Looks like a perfect bike’s saddle with that superman effect on its sides while cruising ahead.
Finally here I am sitting at home taking a day off with another memorable experience to cherish (includes hell lot of pain too). Every mistake I made and every hurdle I came across are just the stepping stones of having better exploration with my bike J. The downhill rides, perfect maneuverings , pitch black dark night highway rides…etc.. Again it is learnt form experiences and not from books. But yes, I did fall from the bike many a times in my childhood, and now..! and I am not giving it a chance again.
It is not the injury that scares me… it is the recovery from the injury that freaks me out. I personally did not like the idea of troubling any one in the group with my self obsessed character by asking them to click many many and many pictures of me :). I some how pulled out the stunt with my “non-cellphone camera” managed to quench my thirst for my personal pic while riding. Again you know, pace to be maintained.
Giving a little credit to my bike for bearing everything no matter how much I have abused it :).
Must have done some 150+ km this time. Thank you guys and hope to join in many more rides. A 200 k some time later.