Three months of silence this year. Apart from few 20’s and 30’s and yes that hyped ringa ringa roses marathon (Vodafone Cycling Marathon) in Feb, pedalling was not that great. The numbers (km) this year were moving dead slow. I was afraid…pushed myself hard to kick that thought of “Saturated?” from my brain. Three months of being the Mr. Procrastinator, blaming every stuff like work, home, travel and… and… a complete void !.
“My innings on the saddle is not over” I said myself. I really longed for a century this year. And Vola! FB heard my voice…or probably read my thoughts …! Invitation waiting there top right on the window.
“100 kms Ride 2 Janapadaloka and back !!!” invited by the famous “Anil Kadsur”. He encouraged, supported and accompanied me for my first century to Anekel. Called me voluntarily, pushed me to attempt it and all this when I didn’t even have a thought of making that 100 km mark ever on my bike…! Later joined in my 6th century on Harohalli Jigani ride and then there now an invitation awaiting my reply.
Obvious hit the “Yes”. That long draught without a century needs to end someday…why not now. But then My Captain America’s movie plan with Nand… ? Releasing on Friday, Saturday I am booked for the ride, Sunday and following week …nah can’t wait that long ! The “Winter Soldier” releasing this Summer is a long awaited one… wrapped it up on Friday night. Yes a good night’s sleep is a must for the next day’s long ride but I had to take my chances. Especially when my friend, a crick freak there was ready to bunk the India vs. SA match only to make his home believe that he is working late office hours !! 😛
To start off… judiciously followed every single step which BOTS kept posting those timely set of 6 tips. Ok, except for the sleep thing here. Reached late night on Friday, checked…rechecked… everything needed for the ride and off to bed. I don’t mind repeating this from my earlier posts… when it comes to cycling ! There is always this enthu to wake up in those ungodly hours… 3.30 AM ! As suggested I had eat at-least an hour before I start riding. And what did I find in fridge !! ICECREAM ! Yes of course dry fruits and other stuff.
5th April 2014, Saturday… temperature was decent and a lil dry. Dark outside and only realized that the lights were in the bag and bag is in the office 😛 (left there before going to the movie last night). Safety compromised ! Next .. keys.. where are my cycle keys ? Great ! in the bag…which is in office ! :/. A perfect excuse to skip the ride…Nah ! spent about 30 minutes searching for a spare one. “Kehte hai agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho toh poori kaynath tumhein usse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai”, kind of thing happened..! found the spare :).
5.30 am At Leela Palace, met Aakash and 3 others who came from Marathalli. Aakash the roadie was the navigator till The Specialized Store the supposed to be starting point. There were few Anil’s “Who is Who” at the store I had a look at. Felt great to see have a lil chat, hellos and Hi and Man… they were so down to earth ! Appearances would surely deceive one. Who would believe that they are the ones who wrap up long brevets.. ride some 1000’s of kms every year. (One can always refer their brief profiles here as described by Anil)
Like every river joins the ocean… people starting from every possible place had to meet at the “U Turn” point at Janapadaloka at about 53 km mark. Breakfast there at the delicious Kamat ! Weekend Morning Breakfasts here are really amazing !.
Started a lil late at 6.30 am from the Specialized store with the second batch of riders… (as usual we enjoy watching few people pooling in late when we were supposed to start at 6 am J ) . And so the ride begins.. very soon touched the Mysore road and the roadies and hybrids were already sprinting ! Took the advantage of the good weather, tried covering as much as possible as long as it is friendly. Reached Janapadaloka in slightly over 2 hours.
Rs. 120 Breakfast Buffet ! @ Kamat … Amazing one hour spent there. Few group photos, some time with those ducks and with fellow cyclists. Took enough rest and assumed that I was ready for the return leg. No one knew (of course except the ones who left ahead) what the roads have to surprise us.
A warm welcome !
Exclusive parking for our bikes with an exclusive security personnel !
The 20+ first timers in the quest to accomplish their century ride !
Plan was to start slow, get warmed up and pick the pace. Thanks to the sun and the dry weather. Thanks to the tarmac that looked so polished reflecting the heat from below ! Thanks to the unwelcoming traffic now and then. Ride always continued to be slow…except for few down slopes. Gatorade, coconut water, plain water, maaza, slice, dry fruits, water melon every now and then were must. Every drop of liquid intake seemed like mysteriously coming out as sweat even before reaching the stomach. And then again, do I really have to blame these or blame myself for staying away from practice for so long. “I have done 8, this is also achievable…” was the only thing that kept me going.
Support from BOTS was great… really thankful. I am sure their service points at 25th and 75th km was absolutely helpful for many. Met a fellow cyclist who happens to be a Wildlife photographer from Tamil Nadu. Somehow convinced him to ride some more but eventually gave up and took an auto just about 20 min ride away from entering Bangalore. Hope that he reached safe.
Riding away from Bangalore is as easy… as we gradually get to a lower altitude it is mostly autopilot mode ! But yes it is not the same while returning. Analogically it’s something like, it’s easy to do the wrong thing and it’s hard to get back to good habits. It’s hard, but we do try.
A HUNDRED KILOMETERS ON A CYCLE !!! , for people who think I am crazy ! how about a whopping 140+ people who joined and what about 20 new people who attempted to break the barrier to set a new threshold ! The feeling of accomplishing a century is to be experienced … one cannot understand until he / she attempts once.
Some hopeless numbers:
Onward: Specialized Store – Janapadaloka 53.55 km in 2 hours 18 min. (http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/318519967/13590248)
Return: Janapadaloka – My place 58.55 km in 3 hours 22 min. (http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/318538771/13590248)
Total: 120 km (door to door) in about 6 hours on saddle, 2 hours of rests and breakfast ! (I am definitely not a brevet guy ! )
Century number: 9
Anyways reached home safely and I hope everyone else did. A long and relatively tiring one. I thought this was yet another century and I just thought that number 9 would just be fine !… 😛