Come the race day, Venkat picked me up at 6, we strapped the 2 Giants together on the race (Guess what happens when 2 Giants strap in, you get a Baby-Giant. Ha ha ha). Anyways, we got there at 7 and boy-o-boy what a spectacle it was.
The starting point was vibrant with multitudes of hues of bright jerseys, spandex (all black!), bikes, helmets, bike racks (all black again), trees, tender coconuts, blue skies and green grass (yes, it was vibrant with multitudes of hues!!!)
(*photo credit - someone in BBC, forget the link from when I pulled this off)
What a Quantum leap the biking scene has taken since the last time I raced at BBCh. The field has completely changed now – there are teams of riders training for speed and endurance, there’s an wide assortment of bikes –Giants, Cannodales, Ordeas, Bianchis, Btwins and the Treks. Whatever happened to the Firefox that used to rule to roost a couple of years back!
Everyone’s talking about ‘components’, the slicks, shifters, oz (added so that I can quickly put an etcetera), etc, etc – and a whole lot of tech jargon. And you can draw up an NxN grid with hybrid, road, MTB on one of the axes; Price of the bikes starting from 10K to 2lakhs on one; Sex on the other; age, height, weight, nationality, hair color, eye color on the other and while you confuse the hell out of everyone, you will still have one guy/gurl on each cell of the NxN matrix. (you get the drift, right)
Okie fine, now let’s start riding, its 7:30AM. And we started by turning around. It was a rolling start (I hadn’t trained just for this bit and it cost me the race, can you believe that!!!) we went back to the highway and rode together as a pack till the starting line and then the pack took off.
We rode from the Nandi turn-off point on the NH7 to the Base of the hill and then continued around the hill. Nandi turn-off point to the Idly point is 8k and the loop around the hill was 17km. So we did 2 loops around the hill and back to the starting point making a 51k in all.
The route was excellent and ideal for the road race. It included a climb that lasted nearly 3km (from 960m to 1055m altitude) and getting to about 12% gradient (50m climb in 420m) before it fell rapidly. I managed to go from 9kmph to 57kmph in a matter of 90sec on the downhill… The granny gears were tested and tested again during the second loop as well.
I finished in a modest 1:59hours, about 6mins behind Venkat. And since then I have simply been raving about the transformation of the Bangalore Biking Scene… what a lovely scene, I say...