Let me take it split-wise:
Distance travelled from home to Hebbal, 20k, averaging 22kmph, starting from home at 6:15am.
Joined Venkat, also on his Giant road bike and headed straight out at 23kmph to the Nandi Base in 1:53hrs, including a 4-5min break at the Nandi Base - a distance of 43k.
The Nandi climb, start to finish in 43mins, taking exactly the same time as I did in the BBCh2 last year, refresher here. Elevation gain on that section alone was 426mts over 7.2kms!
This may look like the slowest stretch, but it did include a couple of breaks – tender coconuts and Idly breakfast, also one while Venkat rode back up to the top to retrieve his forgotten helmet.
The real story was, we were cruising on most stretches at 25-30kmph, that after having done 80-100k. The average was brought down by the lunch break. After Venkat branched off near Mekhri circle, I pressed on, stopped at my dear sister’s place for a mini lunch.
This was the best part. How often do you get to ride at speeds over 20kmph after having done 150k! The last stretch was a beauty – 4 breaks in 20k, one to refill water, one more for some water melons and the last 2 to stretch out some cramps that were beginning to appear. I cycled towards Sarjapur and then took the deviation towards Whitefield to complete the 20k before turning back towards home.
This was the second time I rode over 150k in a day. The 10 hour ordeal including the Nandi climb was worth every minute.
If you have read this far, you deserve to read the learnings (disclaimer: used for the lack of a better word)
No matter how strong you are, how fast you go or what distances you cover, every ride (and run) has an innate ability to leave you humbled.
On this ride, the moment came in the form of a Vinod P. While in the middle of those numbers & miles, somewhere after we had posted 90k and passed the Airport Interchange, we passed a guy on a cycle (the Hercules Atlas types) complete with a basket in front with 2 bottles of water. I completely ignored him and Venkat’s comment on his pace at first.
But I was surprised when the boy in torn clothes came up from behind and said in immaculate English, “It’s good to see other cyclist on the road”. Then we got talking, Vinod works at the Airport and rides 30k to work and back each day, 6 days a week, week after week for nearly 4yrs now! Little wonder the champ kept pace with us for about 20kms. He seemed to know more about Giant bikes than I did and was thrilled when I offered him a ride on my bike for a short distance. He ends up changing his tyres every 3 months, but saves every little he can to buy a road bike that “rides like a motorcycle”.
…and then when you look at yourself, it makes you challenge a whole bunch of benchmarks – of speeds, distances and of happiness.