Sunday, November 20, 2011

Coasting on East Coast Road again

One of the motivations to be keep myself fit is that it provides multiple opportunities to be alive to all those places I travel. In yet another cases, a chance chat with Dr. Subash at a Chennai hospital and before long I knew his biking pace and he my PR on a marathon! A few text messages later, I was frantically looking for a bike to join Doc & his friend, Nav on their Sunday morning ride to Mahabalipuram.

Thanks to Venkat, who put me on to Suresh who owns the Cycle mart near Kodambakkam. Suresh was kind enough to lend me a Bianchi Camaleonte Uno Sport Hybrid bike for the ride. All that was required now to get on saddle up, at 4AM on 13th Nov, Sunday.

The plan was to begin riding from Thiruvanmiyur, Nav’s place at 5AM. Doc offered to give me a ride from his place to Nav’s place.
We started a little late at quarter past 5, hit the highway soon and fell into a steady 26kmph on ECR. We hit into some cycling traffic from Reaxion, an organized ride on ECR. Doc was on a BSA kruze and Nav was on a GTR, road bikes both.

We stopped to munch on our snack bars just after passing the bridge across the river Vettar, having covered the first 20k in about 50mins. The next break was a quick one too, at the U-turn point at Mahabs. The road is flat and we stuck to the left shoulder of the road and pace-lined each other right through.

It was on these breaks that I was told (and nonchalantly) that my co-riders were erstwhile, part of the state pro-rowing team! That explained the brisk pace we were pushing.
Nav reminded us to keep focus and average 25kmph for the return leg. We did just that for the last leg, finishing the 82km distance in about 3h:17m, just as the sun was casting these shadows down!

Well, it was not close to an Ultra effort (I was missing the Bangalore ultra this year), but was a truly refreshing experience. This continues my thirst with the lovely ECR, following the relay run to Pondy. Details of the ride here.