Friday, October 13, 2006

Runner For Life

Date: 8th October, 2006
Distance: 5.6kms
Route: Gandhi Statue > Minsk Square > Cubbon Road > Ulsoor Road > Trinity Circle > Anil Kumble Circle > Gandhi Statue.

In what could be my last outing for sometime, I joined Runners For Life (RFL) on their Sunday morning run. Runners for Life (RFL) is a group of people who are passionate about running. On all of my three previous marathons, I had met and made friends with a few of RFL’s runners. During the last Bangalore marathon, I met Aravind Bharati and the RFL pamphlets distributed at the stadium helped get on their mailing list.
I have been trying to get Buckeet into the running, cycling thingi. We had cycled to lalbagh one other Sunday and walked around the lake in lalbagh. So he was more than eager to join me on the run. But, what is life without challenges, so we said, lets get Tima to run too. Takes me back to Having a Healthy disregard for the impossible quote.
I don’t know how he managed, but when I reached Gandhi statue on Sunday morning, guess who was smoking a ciggie there. By 6:30, there were about 40 RFLers to run as many laps as they could of the 5.6km track.
Dr. Rajat Chauhan runs with RFL too. He advised me against running and I decided to accompany Tima to walk the distance. We took nearly one hour to finish. For once, it did look like the early birds catch the worms, only, in this case the birds were running, and the worms – sizzling hot. Thanks to some focused promo, Red Bull had a two hot uns, get us to try their energy drink. Am not sure if it was the gals or the drink, I sure could have torn some trees after that!
As Gyanender, bucket, I and Tima (donkey at the end) had breakfast at Coffee house, we knew one thing – This is surely not going to be last we are going to run with RFL.
But for me, I will have to take this brief hiatus from biking, cycling, running, et al. A split second (one I can never forget) decision to block a rare powerful kick from an opponent during football four years ago, has left my left (3 left’s in 5 words!!) knee Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptured. Yes, I silently suffered the pain on my endurance runs/rides all the time. Good sense prevailed; I am getting reconstruction done next week, with rehabilitation taking 3-6 months.
Guess what, I am on spinal anesthesia, meaning, I can be awake and aware as I get operated. So, are you reading my next blog already??

Monday, October 09, 2006

5A on the Highway

I saw…
…One Hundred Bullets parked away neatly
…Undying spirits dance away to the drummin of drunk village drummers
…who only a while ago, sat in rapt attention as was clicked open
…A hundred hangovers ache at once
…All this and more as RTMC completed its 5 years on the highway.
5A on the Highway at Yercaud!!

Between 1st and 2nd October, about 94 bikes (largely bullets, 5 RD's, 2 BMW F650's and a CBR 900RR, 1 Jawa 350 and a few Yamaha RX's) some 130 leather clad bikers from Bangalore and Chennai, rounded up at Shevroys Resort, Yercaud. Yercaud is this serene hill station about 2000mts above sea level, just outside of Salem.
Day 1: Ride to the Pardy
We started at Bangalore on Sat morning, about 40 odd bullets. The road from Bangalore to Yercaud, for 3 days, was littered with Bullets, what else with 100 odd bulls taking that road. The Krishnagiri road is a speed daemon’s heaven, the RD’s and the beamers freaked the bullets out.
Breakfast happened at the HP station, just after Hosur, we cleaned the restaurant up. There were loads of old-time RTMCians in full attendance – prashy, charul, Adrian, Bumboo, muthu, pp. VC, girish, vodka, vakeel, etc, etc. It was quite an uneventful ride all the way up to Yercaud, except I was caught red-handed (open-mouthed actually) gaping at Dj’s girl friend in the Scorpio as it went past.
At Shevroys resort, Small Moe was doing the watchman duty, getting in some parking discipline. The agenda for the day was registration and pardy! I was sharing the room with Shakti (biscuit) and Ajith pinto. Yercaud had its season of late evening downpours, which pushed the party from the lawn into the hall.
Dj set the dance floor going, the only pain was that the bar was not at the dance hall and one had to pre-mix in mineral water bottles. Bisleri was in ‘high’ demand.
Day 2: Trek, Tech and cha-cha
A few early birds, went on a short trek to savor the estate plantations. Ajith, an almost localite, took us to a ridge atop his sister’s Arabica coffee estate. We then rode a little more to a small water fall nearby.
There were loads of events lined up to Caman The Enjaiment. An?l did the mass Ayudha pooja for all the Bullets – some capacity this poojari had – 100 bullets in one shot!
Then there was a slow biking race (wouldn’t qualify to be called a race, I guess). After the race Sultan and I rode down a bit for some pictures, well, I went with my camera and returned without it. Yes, despite my hazzar efforts this year to keep the lost-n-found list short, I lost it!!
The lost-not-found list for this year is:
Rayban Goggles
A pair of Nikes
Undies (what the…)
And loads of irretrievable self-confidence
(if you are still wondering what to present me this Diwali, read the list again)
After sulking over the camera and consoling myself that it was depreciated many times over anyways, doc (re-christened toothpick), boom, tiger and I went on the loop ride – 30kms of looping ghat roads.
Then there was this Kabbaddi match, RTMC vs MadBulls, à la David vs Goliath, only this time, Goliath had the sling too!! Our guys literally had mud in the face when they finished 0-2. We should have an online Kabbaddi contest next time (Xbox, take note).
What followed the savage match was a totally citified tech session. Mr. Subash Chandra Bose, the veteran bullet racer, now working in the R&D of Ucal, shared some gyan on the mechanical, thermal and volumetric efficiency of bullets. At the end of this, everyone now wants a BS-29 export-only carburetor.
Soon after, there was this official 5 Anniversary ceremony. Amidst lot of nick-name shouting and start-the-fcuking-show shouts, RTMC video was played, the website inaugurated, the 5A cake cut and duly smeared on the moderators.
Then the chicks hit the dance floor – gurl friendies, wifeys, side kicks – they sure knew how to shake their booty. You were all too bootiful I say. And then we heard commotion at the entrance to the hall. The dance floor had shifted and there was confusing noise. Enter, half-drunk drummers doing the dank-a-naka beats and they hijacked the dance floor. For the next half hour we were head-banging (after a point, literally) to the drummers’ beats - live band, RTMC ishtyle.
Day 3: Bang Bang Bangalore
We started back from Shevroys on the 2nd morning at 9 or so. Not before we stuffed ourselves with pooris, idlis, pongal and bread. An?l had a puncture down the ghat section, 3shoeL and I carried on at sedate speeds, while the rest of them stayed behind. All was fine till I got to Richmond circle, but hey, after having done 250 odd kms since morning, with just 10kms to reach home, “phut” the engine went off. I parked the bullet at the Agro showroom for the night and rikshawed back home.
The weekend was in so many ways the celebration of the undying spirit of freedom which RTMC epitomizes. May you have many more Anniversaries.
Caman the Enjaiment!!