Crazy weekend!

Last weekend was really crazy, tiring, exciting, all at once – thanks to my sister for giving me an idea during a random dinner chat.

Last week, I had plans to go to Bangalore with one of my friends and I was telling about my plans to my family. Having known that I am a little adventurous, and known for taking my bike for longer distances, one of my younger cousins asked if I am going in bike. My sister jokingly said to him that I am going in cycle this time. My face lightened up – I have always wanted to do long distance cycling trip and said to myself I am doing it this time, if not both ways, at least one way and Bangalore to Chennai looked like a real possibility as my friend had a cycle in Bangalore which he was not using.

During that week after completing my work at Bangalore, I prepared his cycle and myself for the trip – made seats in comfortable position, fixed the chain that was not working and some small fixes(The cycle has been used for only 2-3 times in the past one year). It had a 6-speed gear, and was light so I thought it would not be like last time(I had already done a Chennai – Mahabalipuram – Chennai, 4 years ago in a heavy cycle, and it was a terrible experience). Within Bangalore, I travelled about 50-60 KM in two days just to check if I would be able to use the cycle efficiently and whether the cycle was in good condition. The tests were successful, but the cycle lacked a few basic things – Shock Absorbers, Tail lights, Seat cover(Seat was very very small and hard). But did not have time to make any alterations. So I decided, no off-roading, no-night riding, the seat cover was a major issue which I did not get fixed, but this gave me some room to innovate which you will see below.

The Plan:

I did not set any time limit for my journey, so I had all the time I needed and I just wanted to complete the ride. The route was straightforward – Bangalore – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Vellore – Chennai, and the mantra was simple, ride as much as the body allows and rest, and repeat it the next day until I reach Chennai. I thought I should easily be able to cover the distance in 3 days having done a 100 KM journey in a day once(Mahabalipuram trip)

D-Day

The D-day arrived, I started at 5 in the morning. I had slept only 2-3 hours the previous night, but was still looking fresh and excited at what I am after over the next few days. The morning weather was really good, and the highway was awesome and safe, 6-lane with service lanes in many towns, and scenic as well with ups and downs. The traffic was also not that heavy. I really enjoyed the ride. In approximately two hours and ten minutes, I had reached Hosur. The Hosur – Krishnagiri route was even great, but it was getting hotter. The roads had several steep inclinations as well as several good downward slopes, which offset the heat. I reached Krishnagiri at 10AM and had completed about 85KM in 5 hours including breaks almost every hour. Having reached Krishnagiri in a quick time, I was convinced, I will be able to complete the entire journey in two days. Rested at Krishnagiri for close to 45 minutes, did some basic exercises to keep my muscles flexible.

I started at 10.45 from Krishnagiri and moved into the highway. I had come from an elevation of 1000m(Bangalore) to about 600m(Krishnagiri) and it was getting hotter for me. I was feeling uncomfortable now, I felt all sort of distractions – Painful legs and butts, Heavy bags, Hot Sun, I attacked three of the above distractions – I removed my clothes and put it around the seat so my seats got comfortable, bags became less heavy – two problems solved at once!! and I had purchased a cap which made me feel little better. I know the more I ride, the less painful I will feel. This is an experience I had got from numerous treks I have participated. I usually feel pain at the start and later my legs just adapt to the pain and it can take on any climb. I am really glad it worked here as well. I was able to move forward and kept going, stopping almost every one hour for food, drink, snacks, etc. I was not as quick as before, on an average I was doing only about 14-15 KM an hour.

Reached Ambur at around 3.15 in the afternoon. and still had 3 hours of sunlight left so I thought I will push till Vellore, which was 50 KM from Ambur. The next 50 KMs was the longest I felt, it took me about 4.5 hours to reach Vellore from there. Reached Vellore at 7.30 PM, after a 14 and half hours cycle ride covering approximately 200KM. I was feeling great at what I had done that day.

The worst part of the trip:

I booked a hotel room at Vellore for Rs. 300 per night, a decent price I thought for a decently maintained room. I had not considered the other factors – it was on ground floor, and on the entrance, which was right opposite to the busy bus stand and very close to highway. I planned to sleep early that night, and wake up early for the next day ride, but thanks to the continuous honking from the buses,and vehicles, I had not slept until midnight. I did not know when I slept that night, but I woke up at 9.30 AM the next day. I had to ride under Sun again for the whole of the 125+ KM to Chennai!

The ride started at 10.30 AM and I was riding slower than my previous day. When I started the day, roads were good, and traffic was less. The weather was hot initially, but became cloudy later in the day.  As I moved closer to Chennai, it was all four-lane, with the small lane on the side for motorcyle or cycle effectively closed by sand, and very less service lanes, and speeding vehicles going much closer. I was glad I did not choose to ride this route in the night.

Feeling Accomplished:

I was riding at roughly between 14-15 KM per hour that day. Reached Kanchipuram at 3.15 and Sriperambudur at 5.15 and finally home at 7.15, feeling accomplished. Covered approximately 320KM with riding time of 22-23 hours split over two days.

A great way to spend a weekend, alone and on budget! 🙂

Some pics

Bangalore to Hosur Route, just after Electronics city toll gate.

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At Krishnagiri, 117 KM to Vellore and 253 KM to Chennai!

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Between Kanchipuram and Chennai. You see my Jeans pant and TShirt being used as seat cover.

                  WP_20140727_002 (1)

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Posted in Cycling, Travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

7 years later…..

Here comes the first post! I do not even have the right to call this page a blog all these years. Anyways.. let me get in and write/post something before I choose to change my mind 🙂

Why did I start this blog in the first place if it is going to be left empty for 7 years? Rewinding a bit… I was in college back then and everyone started their own blogs, and it was more of “Do what your peers are doing” phase, or the network effect as call it. I did not have anything on mind to write when I opened this blog, nor was I good at writing.

OK, I understand. But, what has made me write something NOW, 7 years later? – A valid question to ask. I really don’t have an answer to this question, I just updated my “About” page and I thought I will open my account here as well 🙂  Hopefully, I will make use of this start to continue writing from now. And no, it won’t be 7 years before I write something again!

Hope to make you visit this page again soon! Bye for now.

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