Monday, December 22, 2008

TFN sneak peek

Flaunge, one of the partners for Tour oF Nilgiris (TFN), have made a short clip of the recce done earlier, which very beautifully portrays the flavours of TFN. A lovely TFN ad, if u may call it so.

Tour Of Nilgiris - Experience Nature from Tour Of Nilgiris on Vimeo.

Current mood: Thrilled to bits
Currently listening to: repeatedly playing the lovely tune of the TFN clip!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cycling | The road travelled thus far

When i was a little guy, in 4th standard(=grade) i guess, our painter (construction work going on at home) taught me how to cycle. Then i used to ride friends' cycles. And yeah, unlike kids' usual way of learning cycling, i learnt it without a fall, or support wheels :) Back then, cycling was just another fun thing to do, a toy rather,

Around a year later, my bro got a cycle for his daily commute of 2 km to a computer course. It was a Hercules Rockshock, which had five gears and front suspension. It was the coolest cycle of the neighborhood for quite some time. And i used to get some precious moments on it once in a while. Then, one fine day, my bro had an accident, and then he gave up cycling altogether. And of course, i was stopped too, fearing similar risks.

The cycle was just lying in a corner, catchin dust n rust for a few years. Then, after a lot of debate, i officially was granted permission to ride the cycle, with strings attached though (no main-roads, if u have to cross a mainroad, get down n push, etc etc). And i used to break the rules once in a while. I once rode 12 kms without anyone's knowledge.... And that sense of accomplishment after that.... Bragging about it to friends n all.

And then one fine day when i had finished my 10th, on a similar sneaky ride to a friend's place, i had a great fall, and lost one of my front teeth in the accident. As a result, cycling was banned at home. And this time, i was scared too. And the cycle lay in the corner again, until it got sold away to a friend.

Years later, when i was doing my 3rd yr BSc, some friends were planning a long cycle ride(40 km). Getting permission was not as hard as it would've been before. I was a bigger kid(sic!), and mom wasn't around either. Borrowed a bike, and had loads of fun (and butt-ache too) during the 40 km ride to Hessarghatta and back (ride report here).

A few months later, i bought my Hercules Ultima DX. Main purpose was for exploring around the GKVK campus (my institute, NCBS, is at the edge of GKVK) and beyond. And then, i found shortcuts to reach my institute from home, on a almost-no-traffic route. It then became my daily commute. I also would occasionally just head off to some random colony and cycle around. For close to half a year, that's all the bike did: daily commute (~10 km to n fro) and some urban exploration.

Once, when my then-girlfriend was out of town for a long while, and i wanted to take my mind off it, i went on a solo ride to Nandi. And the ride is a whole interesting story in itself! (read it here). That was my first century ride. And was damn proud of it, in spite of how i struggled through it. My cycle was reduced to rubble at the end of the ride, and stayed unrepaired for quite some time.

Then my gf ditched me (which led to lot of painful philosophical-self-revisit), and soon enough it was time for another loooong ride to take my mind off it. Did the Makalidurga ride then. (Ride report here). And this time, i ended in much better shape at the end of the ride, and so was my cycle.

I felt i was becoming a pro at this. And soon, i was looking for a biking forum where i would find others like me. I joined Bangallore Bikers Club (BBC) as suggested by a few RFL'ers. This marked a new era in my cycling life. What i once felt were insane distances, were the distances many ppl in the forum rode on almost every weekend! And their long distances, were much insaner! Stuff like Bangalore-Mangalore, Chennai-Calcutta, Bangalore- Kanyakumari, Bangalore-Ooty. I was contemplating a Bangalore-Mysore ride once, thinking of it as a BIG thing. But, here those were such trivial things. I sorta felt out of place. For a long while, i was just reading all the mails and sporadically asking doubts, speechless at the expertise and experience of almost everyone who were discussing.

Then, once after a long vacation in Rajasthan, my Ultima vanished (it later turned out that there was a huge shuffle in the parking lot, and my cycle was tucked away somewhere, and i din't get the message as i wasn't around). I saw this as a sign to get a better bike. By now, i had gotten accustomed to the fact that bikes can actually cost quite a lot. And i had saved up enough to buy one. I knew of Trek, Firefox and Merida as options. Paid a visit to BOTS(deals with TREK and Firefox bikes). Rohan there, was a real nice guy, who told me stuff that i never thought / knew of : Frame size. Most bikes for the average Indian, won't suit me, as they are very small for a 6'6" guy. And he was so great that he never pushed on the bikes he had in stock. He was a true caring cyclist, who wanted people to enjoy their rides, rather than trying to push as many bikes through. He was a cyclist first, and then a bike dealer. I loved the Trek 4300D, but he didn't have it in my frame size and shipping the right one in would take months

Venkatesh, dealing with Meridas, had a Merida Crossway, that had a 21.5" frame, which was ok for my height. And since it was a cross-bike (MTB x Road bike), it fit my requirements perfectly. I bought it, as it seemed real value for money. And Venkatesh too, is a cyclist first, and then a dealer. He was once cycling for the state team, and now has his on cycling team.

And from there on, came the phase, where i would do a 100 km ride, just when i got some time. Nandi became a usual haunt,, instead of a destination to head to when haunted. I din't need a reason to do a long ride, i just started doin it as and when time permitted.

One month after i bought the bike, i did the Bangalore-Mysore ride (report here). Although, i wasn't happy with my performance then, it still stays the longest distance i covered in a single day(160 km, that's a century mile!). The cycle stayed idle for a coupla months as my saddle was out of sorts, and i misplaced a part of the headset, trying to over-dis-assemble my bike to fit into a car.

After that hiatus, got the cycle fixed and the old fun began all over again. Now, when i'm off mood, my ride distances increase. And rides like the 362 km ride to Yelagiri happen.

Riding on the Merida was effortless. And it has become my default mode of transportation no matter where i go in the city. On weekends, its my fun ride, my meditation, my girlfriend,

And now, I'm headed to do my longest ride ever! 919 km at the Tour oF Nilgiris, starting Dec 25th. Hope it goes all well.

Current mood: Excited and nervous
Currently listening to: Say what you need to say - John Mayer

Friday, December 12, 2008

TFN approaching

TFN is fast approaching (12 days away from today). And i haven't done a long ride (100km+) in 3 weeks! I'll do Nandi again this weekend probably, and get some confidence in! I've to try out my new padded cycling shorts and also my new road tires. And i discovered today morning that i have a rim bend! Will have to fix that asap.

I somehow feel extremely ill-prepared for the climbs! But now its too late to train. this is gonna be my last long ride!

Current mood: 919 km! *jitters*
Currently listening to: Zombie - The Cranberries

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bangalore Book Festival 08

The last time the book festival was here, i took three days(4-5 hrs per day) to finish scanning all the stalls. This time, i was short on time, and did some quick shopping.(read 4 hrs). Bought books for ~3k. And feeling good abt it!

My favourite stall: BookWorm

The books i bought:
- Every second counts - Lance Armstrong
- The God delusion - Richard Dawkins
- Six easy pieces - Richard Feynman
- Motorcycle diaries - Che Guevara
- The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
- White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
- The meaning of it all - Richard Feynman
- Kepler's witch - James Connor
- Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
- Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
- David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
- Around the world in 80 days - Jules Verne
- Time Machine - HG Wells
- Vector - Robin Cook
- Invasion - Robin Cook
and 5 Star Trek novels

Current mood: confused turning in all directions
Currently listening to: Brothers in arms - Dire Straits

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Event3 from earlier post did not happen as my rear derailleur blew up(literally) on my way to the venue (And i had to push the cycle 10 km). So all i did was sit (plus sleep) at the supplies tent through the night to help Santosh do his 24 hr run (plus Doc Rajat and Shumit doing 100+km too, and Gaurav hovering around on his cycle through the night). Had good company from Balu, Anita and Santosh's parents through the night, plus tonnnes of yummy food. Carbo-loading got a new meaning that night!

Morning came and Event4 (Bangalore Ultra 2008) was calling! And the weather was perfect throughout the run! But yet i screwed it up. Didn't end up doin 75 km. Mismanaged my run! Did my first coupla 12.5 km laps way too quick. And that screwed the rest of the run. Third lap was sorta ok. But in the 4th lap, killed lot of time walking. Got disgusted at the slow pace i was moving at. I wasn't down n out. But muscles were sore. Mathematical possibility of completing 75km within deadline was out too. So, lost enthu.... Quit at 50 km. Could have done another lap too. But didn't see the point.

Things that went wrong for me:
Lack of training: the longest training run i had done was the half marathon at KTM. (But domestic n work situations didn't spare me any time)
Trail was trickier and harder than last time: Some sections were pebbly. So, doing a slightly longer by-path which was slightly longer would've been smarter. There were more elevation changes, thus slowing me down more as i was doin walk-the-ups-n-run-the-downs.
Did the first two laps way too quick: Did first lap in 1:35 and second in 1:45. Much too quick for my capacity. That definitely affected my next coupla laps. Shud've followed what A1 once said, "run as slow as you can, and then try running even slower".
Lack of a challenge: There was no one to discourage me this time, and thus no sense of fighting back.
I was plain sucky: I guess that doesn't need much explanation!

But still happy in being part of history in at least some tiny way..... in helping Santosh becoming the "Indian who covered the longest distance on road in 24h" by doing 156 km. Just a tad bit short of 100 miles.

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I'm sorry for so few pics, and that too this crappy!
Reasons (read excuses): The sun wasn't out. As a result, the lighting wasn't that great. So was the colour composition. Plus i had a real bad mood close to the end. Yeah, but if u look at Anita Bora's pics, u'll figure out that i'm just giving excuses.

Current mood: Restless
Currently listening to: Suicide note Part I - Nirvana

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Die-athlon update!

Event1 mentioned in earlier post skipped! Yippee! Thanks to me being a good boy and making a good ppt early. So caught sleep on pre-talk day
Event 2: Talk went well! Now heading out for Event 3 and 4

And i fell yesterday on my way back home. Nothing much, a bruise on my knee and something screwed up on my left hand. My running shouldn't be affected i guess. But will have a hard time on the cycle i presume. On a test ride today morning, left hand was hurting bad while tryin to hold the rear brake. Hope i can manage.

Current mood: Hyper jittery
Currently listening to: In the Bleak winter - Bert Jansch

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tour oF Nilgiris (TFN08)

910 kms | 7days of cycling through picturesque surrounds.
Chk it out:
Plus the goodies u'll get sponsored by Wildcraft

Current mood : Jittery abt Upcomin sequence of events described in previous post
Currently listening to : Tetsujin (Matrix Revolutions OST) - Don Davis

Friday, November 07, 2008

The die-athlon comin up

Well, its more than cycling and running that makes this one up.

Event1: sleepless preparation for Event2
Event2: The NCBS Fly-meet where I'll be giving a talk
Event3: Just after finishing event2, hurriedly cycle to Hessarghatta for Event4
Event4: Cycle ~100km from 6pm to 6am to help Dr. Rajat on his 200 km in 24h run.
Event5: Run 75 km at the Bangalore Ultra

Now that makes a great die-athlon

Current mood: Odd
Currently listening to: Silver rain fell - Evanescence

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cycling to Yelagiri (26-29 Oct 2008)

Diwali time every year, i just wish to get out of the city, runnin away from crackers and smoke filled gray nights..... Was looking at wikimapia hunting for an attractive enuf long ride destination. Yelagiri (In TN, near Tirupattur/Jolarpettai) fit the bill perfectly. Would be a one way dist of 175km from home, Since I had to do the painful climb up the hill included within the 175 km, i decided to split it into two days.

Day1 : Sanjaynagar to Attibele (Bangalore-TN border) | 51 km
Vinay, a friend of mine, stays at Attibele. So started off from home at 5 in the evening, to reach his house by night. Pretty uneventful, except for my odometer ticking over a 1234.5 km. Rested well after some philosophy shit with Vinay overnight.

Day2 : Attibele to Yelagiri | 123 km
Started from Attibele at 6:30 am. The route was simple: Attibele - Krishnagiri. Take left at a flyover (in direction of Vellore, Chennai etc). then go tillJolarpettai and ask around

The road was just friggin awesome. Raced past as much as i could. I even did my personal record for speed - 53 kmph, on a stretch near Shoolagiri. I could see the surprise on the other vehicle riders that were going by side at that moment.

Unlike the previous week, there was zero cloud cover! The blazing heat extracted a lot from me. And i took a nice nap at some coconut plantation on the way. Reached the base of the hill by 2 pm. After that was a long push up the hill for 13 odd km. I just couldnt ride it up, as i would lose balance in the Nanny gear. But faster was just possible for short stretches. Took more naps until i reached the top. Finally reached the top at 5:30 ish. Slopped in bed watchin some TV. Had some VERY oily noodles for dinner. No sense of guilt!. (But a sense of insecurity of it affecting the ride back)

Day 3 : Roaming around Yelagiri + Ylg to Attibele | 13 + 125 = 138 km
Frankly, Yelagiri din't live up to my expectations. It was nice n all, but over tourist-ised to feel the nature around. Also, probably i dint explore too much. Did 13 km of roaming around (which isnt much on the big long hill). Then left the place around 9:30 am after a short nap and a good breakfast. Doing the hairpins was awesome on the way down. After getting down, Just kept on moving, taking electrolyte breaks every 10 km, refilling water at every village. Stopped at some desolate Dhabas for food.Was fun and relaxing with not much of civilisation around.

Had i left at 6 am itself, i could have probly finished the ride back home that day itself. (I dont like riding in the night, especially near Diwali). Pit-stopped at Vinay's house again, where we discussed Life, the Universe and Everything over some beer.

Day 4 : Attibele - Sanjaynagar | 50 km
On the way back home, someone on a motorbike stopped me and asked from where i was coming. After i told him abt my ride, he told me of his, which he had done in his younger days. Back in the 80's he (Prem Kumar) and his friend(Krishnappa) had done a south India tour on their cycles (gearless steel framed BSA ones). They did ~3000 km in around a month. He also treated me to some badam milk and biscuits. Then i advertised a bit abt Bangalore-Bikers and Tour oF Nilgiris. Afer the bye-bye's headed home without much delaying in between.

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Overall ride stats
Distance: 362 km
Average speed: 19.1 kmph
Top speed: 53 kmph

Current mood: Wondering what to do
Currently listening to: Throes of Rejection - Nirvana

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

KTM '08

As promised, this was my worst performance in a half marathon ever. I clocked 2:30 hrs to do the 21 km. Conditions were more gruelling than usual with high temp and humidity...... (ah! more excuses!).

The route was scenic as expected. But there was gravel (for road construction) on quite a lot of sections of the road, making it very inconvenient to run on. (This was not there last year). But RFL support was good as ever. The only irritant being the late start due to which we had to see a lot more of the sun. The previous days' rains had sloshed up some sections of the road, and more annoyingly, increased the humidity levels. All in all, a very demanding run.

Anyway, this is the best marathon u can find this side of life. So no complainin.

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Current mood : Scared to bits abt the upcoming die-athlon at the Ultra
Currently listening to : I am a rock - Simon & Garfunkel

Friday, October 17, 2008

KTM '08 comin up

The 2008 edition of the Kaveri Trail Marathon will be on the coming sunday. And I'm all jittery about it, like a kid afraid of upcoming exams, when u've not prepared well enuf..... Sickness, then being busy, and then my aunt gettin a brain tumour (hospital up n downs on that end) and then her passin away.... Its been pretty chaotic.... with my longest run being just 12 km :( But i've done a few long distance cycle rides though (four rides of 100+ kms in the past 4 months). But my legs somehow are still tired from last sunday's ride. Probably becoz of incorrect diet after the ride.

Well, this post is sorta like giving excuses why it'll not be a great show from my side, And why I'm runnin only the half marathon this time. Well, it's better to tell that now rather than tellin it after the poor performance! (I guess it acts as shock absorbers to do so :)

There's a Pasta party tonight for carbo-loading at Herbs n Spices, Indiranagar. There, i'll get to meet lots of other runners and get jealous of their training schedules.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nelamangala-magadi cycling

My odometer with a reading of ~935 km (total distance bike has travelled), was begging to cross the 1000 mark. So I thought i'd do a 60-70 km ride of Nelamangala-TG Halli dam- and back. But, i took a turn at Nelamangala a little too late, and had to go through a longer route - through magadi and then TG Halli and back. Anyway, the ride was not that gr8, as half the route had pathetic roads. And for a quarter of the distance was bullied by the big bosses of the roads (buses and trucks). But the stretch from Nelamamngala to Madhavpura was good almost throughout, and was mildly scenic as well. The stretch from Madhavpura to Magadi (13 km) was quite pleasant inspite of the deteriorating roads. The stretch from Magadi to Bangalore was under construction/repair in many places, and was pretty irritating.

Overall, not the best of rides. But, still enjoyed it (probably in the pretext of crossing the 1000 mark)

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Route : NCBS (near GKVK) - Nelamangala - Madhavpura - Magadi - NCBS
Distance : 109 km
Time on bike : 5:51 hrs
Top speed : 45 kmph
Average speed : 18.3 kmph

Current mood : Unexcited
Currently listening to : Paper Tiger - Beck

Saturday, September 13, 2008


After tonnes of plans along with Vinay and Arun, of going to different places on the previous evening, we did not go anywhere but home (me in Vinay's house though).... Me and Vinay slept on the terrace discussing philospohy in the biting cold...... Next day, the travelling urge still lurking, we decided to check out this place Vinay had heard of.....

Destination: Bevinatta
Explorers: Me, Vinay
Route: Attibele-Hosur-Dankanikotta-Anusanai-Bevinatta

After boarding different cheap-fared-buses, we got down at Anusanai, and headed out to walk a beautiful stretch of road from Anusanai to Bevinatta...... The bright green paddy fields flanking on each side of the road..... A range of tiny hills at the distance in blue..... The silent road sparing only the sounds of rustling leaves, bird calls and the roar of the wind...... We saw a gushing stream and dipped in..... enjoyed the massage of the forceful waters.....

We walked the road again, drippin wet with the river water......... the sun and the wind slowly drying it up, letting us stay at a pleasant temperature throughout.....

And finally, we reached Bevinatta, after we walking either 4,6,7 or 9 km (well, that's what was the distance according to different locals we asked)...... Well, Bevinatta is no tourist spot. Its just an arbit village. so there was nothing to see there but a nice village..... A village with a view though.... the roads further ahead led to a reserved forest..... A range of hillocks at a distance...... A hillock overseeing the village, with a temple on top...... Our eyes got everything expected of the place we had in our minds

Vinay's dad's friend who lives there, told us that the forest has wild animals too, and that it is accessible..... thus deciding on coming here some other day, we boarded the bus back to traffic-jam-city.

Next time, we could probably go there by cycle and stay overnight on the hillock or in the forest........

Current mood: trying to evade the thought of work that has piled up.
Currently listening to: Bring me to Life - Evanescence

p.s: You might be wondering why there is no picture, but the thousand words instead. Well, for vagabonds like us, there is no knowledge of when we would decide to head off. So there was no advance notice for the camera to join me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Training for the Bangalore Ultra 2008

The Bangalore Ultra is just two months away. And i started training for it only today. Worse than last time. But better late than never.

I have worked out a schedule as a Google spreadsheet. I'll keep updating on my progress as well.

Caution: My schedule is a very quick ramp up, and not advisable for anyone, especially not newbies. Its just a courageous mad rush!

Here's the link:

The "should" in there is as directed by

I'm open to others suggestions on the schedule. And also if anyone wants to sync up.

Link to the Ultra Homepage:
Link to the organizers, RunnersForLife:

Current mood: Excited
Currently listening to: Paper Tiger - Beck

Vagabond Researcher

Its my other new blog.

I occasionally get into a fit of figuring out stuff about things that happen around me. Most of them stay as unanswered questions. And i've decided to write them as blog posts. Someday, i'll hopefully look back at them and solve them. Not necessarily for the use of humankind or anythin, rather for the kicks of solving things.

Current mood: Refreshed
Currently listening to: Crazy - Gnarles Barkley

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

One liners

..... are a good way to show that u r still alive!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Celebrating 10,000 hits!

Its been four years. And my blog has survived through multiple lean periods of both writing and reading.

I spent some of my densely packed time to read all of my previous posts. And i could see the evolution in these stages:
1. geek blogging pointelss stuff
2. semi-geek(phy) [meaning, that i got more social] + traveller + lovestruck
3. semi-geek(bio) + trekker + heartbroken > lovestruck > heartbroken
4. semi-geek + amateur athelete

Amidst all this was strewn poetry authored with passion. I felt the passion pinch me as i re-read them!

And i hope that i keep blogging. Years later it'll serve as a crystal ball to the past.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cycling from Bangalore to Mysore (Aug 2 2008)

Was a friend's wedding in Mysore..... Took this as an excuse to take a long weekend ride, plus have a pseudo-support-car with the rest of the friends coming there by car. (Pseudo as they wouldn't be going along with me, but would pick me up if anything goes wrong)

Started off on a fine Saturday morning at 6:15 am, with a slight threat of rain..... Went at a decent pace of 20 kmph for the first 30 km, until i hit the Bangalore-Mysore Highway close to Kengeri...... Clean pleasant ride till I reached my first pitstop - Kamat Lokaruchi at 64.5 km (speed 19 point chillar kmph)...... Had the breakfast buffet..... mmmm the Vadas were Yummy! Had loads of 'em..... Hit the road again half an hour to 45 mins later.....

.... when the odometer was in the vicinities of 90km, I felt a sudden decrease in my speed. Earlier i was conveniently doing ups at around 14-18 kmph and downs at 28-37 kmph. But at around the 90 km mark, my ups were reduced to 8-12 kmph and downs to 16-20 kmph. And the transition was quite abrupt.... I had now experienced what in proffesional cycling terminology is called "Bonking".... I had an inkling that i had bonked, and was wondering how i could have bonked inspite of eating so well...

A few moments and a few hundred metres later, I got the answer..... I puked...... there goes all the nutrition along with the Vadas..... Soon, I feel drowsy.... (Do not sleep n drive).... saw a desolate bus-stop.... Locked cycle and zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Woke up, saw cycle still there, zzzzzzzz..... One hour's siesta made me fresh. Had some juice and set off again...... Had more pit stops just to be cautious.... An uneventful pleasant ride until I reached Mysore at 5:30 ish, with a ride time of close to 8.5-9.5 hrs (Thanks to a little kid at a shop who got a bit curious with the red button on the cyclometer, i have lost the exact distance and ride time).... And after getting there, took me 7 o clock to find the destination.

And i enter the reception hall in cycling shorts and a stinky tee, my change of clothes still crawling its way to Mysore along with my friends..... Got the looks from all around, until i quickly made a dash and locked myself up in the choultry room, until my clothes arrived!

Well, had an interview session with kids, later on. Many asked what cause was i cycling for..... Hmm.... I cycle to run away from the world, and myself too.... Too far fetched to explain to even adults, let alone these sweet kids..... "I cycled just like that. I just needed an excuse"......

Current mood : Sleepy
Currently listening to : Zombie - Cranberries

p.s: I had originally planned to ride back to bangalore. But, had to get back soon as i had to make my presentation for rehearsals of the sympotein

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thoughts running in my head

- Experiments to distinguish Central Pattern Generators(CPGs) vs Chain-of-Reflexes networks for larvae and adult drosophila
- Which is the best sport that India should train in to increase its Olympic gold tally the maximum in the next Olympics?
- A biomechanical theory on the adoption of different gaits in going up and coming down a vertical in Drosophila
- If both the trot and gallop of horses are to be explained by the pogo-stick model, how does just the phase difference between the legs, create different natural frequencies?
- Oh! that girl, mmmm,...... who was she, dammit.... she was so..... nice
- When will i get a girl?!
- I think its better off being single... no pressures
- CPGs! CPGs! What was it about CPGs?
- oh Shit! Have forgotten about writing the Sympotein review
- Opamps!...... Have to build neurons! Will have to design the dendrites and synapses
- I need a girl, who would go cycling with me long distances, then we'll snuggle up all tired (not sweaty though) in some picturesque spot somewhere far far away......
- I need to cycle somewhere around 500 km away
- I need to find keys to my locker which have my cycle keys locked inside
- I haven't updated my comic for ages now
- I need a girl!
- I need new results to give Boss before the end of the month
- How do I train for winning a marathon?
- How long does it take to train to win an olympic medal?
- Chuck it all, I need a girl
- First publish paper, then worry abt everything else
- But still..... need a girl

Current mood : Lost in thought
Currently listening to : Taare Zameen Par - Shankar Mahadevan et al

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sympotein 8/8/8

Read lots of papers... Collect relevant info.... Mock presentation....... Corrections...... Bloody videos not working, thanks to the zillion codecs an avi can be of.... Screwed up rehearsals..... More suggestions.... Certain ppl not happy..... bigger issues with others' presentations..... Busy getting others' stuff ready..... Making animations...... Getting everyone's videos to work..... D-DAY ARRIVES!....... D-HOUR ARRIVES!..... Nervous, but fluent enuf delivery..... Answer questions to the audience well..... Satisfied.... done with it!......

Unintended jokes that got laughter rippling through the audience:
".... if you'd compare a T.Rex to a chick......"
".... at an orgasmic level..." instead of saying "at an organism level..."

Overall, the talk was well recieved...... and i could get the ideas across

Current mood: Relieved
Currently listening to: In my head - Don Davis

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

100 to just 100

Distances....... when a kid, going to the UAS campus that's around a km away from home, was a long distance outdoors adventure. Then school also moved to 'far away' (read 1.5 km)...... At high school, far away got redefined to 7 km, where my school was. And i was travelling a 'long' distance to school, by bus. And once, I secretly, without anyone's knowledge, cycled the distance to school and back. Something to brag about amongst friends...... Around early college times, this distance turned short, i used to walk around the same distance regularly..... Sometime later, Nandi hills was far away, Hessarghatta was far away...... first yr after college, i made a 'huge leap' into cycling a total of ~100 km to Nandi and back...... 'Wow! 100 kms'...... Now, its turned to a routine race distance - 'just 100 kms'........ And i can even run ~80 km (Bangalore Ultra '07).

waiting for a 'long' ride to happen soon......

Current mood : sleepy
Currently listening to : Orion - Metallica

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One month on my Merida Crossway

Its been a month on my new bike. And it's been fabulous all the way. I've probably earned one tenth the price of the bike in terms of cash paid to autos! Its been my default mode of transport irrespective of where in the city i go (except during rains).

The stats:
Total distance: 701 km
Top speed: 43 kmph (on a flat stretch with a long very mild downwards incline between Devanhalli and Nandi hills)
Longest ride: The BBC Nandi race - 100km - 5:31 hrs

Current mood: Excited thinking of a possible Bangalore-Mysore ride in August
Currently listening to: Deng Wo Hui Lai - Aaron Kwok (Experimenting with listening to Chinese n Japanese pop for a while, thanks to a gift by a Singaporean labmate)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Revisiting Hessarghatta

Few minutes left for the first sunday after getting my Merida...... Thought of revisiting the first ever respectable-distance ride i did, more than 2 yrs ago...... Convinced Pushky to join me on the ride.....

Started off at 5:45 am...... Pushky's "good condition" Hero DTB had a wheel-bend, faulty brakes, a slowly leaking tyre, creaking pedals et al...... But still, he was game for it. (Mind you, he did long distance rides once in a while, with his defintion of long ride until this being ~6km).... We had a pleasant uneventful ride till we reached the completely dried out Hessarghatta lake..... then on to Nrityagram and Taj Kuteeram..... Now the quest was for that "amazing spot" that our gang discovered on the earlier ride..... The open meadow where one could see the horizon..... The most scenic stretch of the Bangalore Ultra..... Searched around for it, recollecting vague memories......

......Went all around on the rich red mud roads in search of the place...... And in the process, lost Pushky...... I search frantically, racing through every fork of the bumpy trail roads that he could have possibly taken..... I experienced moments of flight, when the bumps sent me soaring!..... I searched, racing ups n downs alike at ~30kmph...... Knowing the speed limitations of his "good condition" bike, i did not have to do more than ~4km of searching, until finally we found each other at the "amazing spot"...... A few snacks, coffees and teas at a nearby petty-shop later, we headed to Bangalore..... in the wrong direction!.... Retraced our paths..... were heading back the way we originally came from.....

.... kkkkhhhhhh..... crash!!!.... Yes, i fell down.... Owing to cellphone in left hand and right hand clutching font brake harder than necessary.... Bruises at several places.... A brown-ed KTM T-shirt.... And an injured thigh muscle.... Rushed (read hi-speed-limp) to the Taj nearby for cleaning up the bruises!.... Could still pedal flat and low-grade ups, thanks to endorphins i guess..... Had amazing sweet jackfruit (from an over-generous vendor who kept on giving more n more without asking for more cash).... Then finally reached NCBS at last.

Total distance covered: 64 km (including 15-20k of roaming around Hessarghatta)
Total time: 6 hrs including lot of timepass!

important consequence: Added one zero to the right, in Pushky's definition of a long ride, which he managed without incident on his "good condition" bike, albeit at a slow pace.

Current mood: Waiting to do another long ride
Currently listening to: Sounds of UT2004 music recverberating through the lab!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

yeeha! My new bike: Merida Crosssway

I was enquiring abt TREK and Merida bikes here in Bangallore. BOTS had run out of 21" framed TREKs, plus the TREK prices had risen >10%. I went to Venkat's Merida store. I had more or less decided to go for a hybrid bike instead of an MTB, but was keeping fingers crossed hoping he had my size. (But i had also the dream of gettin disc brakes, which sadly would cost me bombs more, plus of course, the size issue)

He had a Merida-Crossway..... Perfect......And i bought it!

Experience so far (18km Chamrajpet-Sanjaynagar-GKVK):
- Awesome, effortless ride
- Powerful V-brakes. Doesn't move an inch beyond the spot u braked at. Very smooth too. Was just that powerful even in rain.
- lightweight. Can lift it with one finger (btw, that's not an exaggeration. I actually did that)
- Weird bell - Looks funky

- Looks awesome. Chicks looking more at bike than at me.
- Needs extra protection, cos it looks too cool and is so easy to lift and run away.
- A bit of fidgeting at a particular gear position, but i guess i'll just have to tune it a bit and it'll be fine.
- Weird bell - sounds different, so ppl don't realize that there's a cycle behind.

Well, the better aspects of it can probably be apparent on a long ride, or rather after many long rides!

Here's what ppl have asked, which i missed on my post earlier

Price: Rs. 15,000. And it came with a free TREK cycle-computer, a tail lamp, headlamp and sidestand. (Offer valid with venkat only till jun 30th). I din't like the headlamp( and bought a good quality TREK headlamp later from BOTS).


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Preparing for my first ever talk to a research audience

I have given a talk before to bio students at the planetarium abt the GAl4-UAS system. But never given any sort of talk to a research audience. People expect me to be a good speaker, but i do not know if i'll live upto it.

The occasion: The NCBS sympotein on animal locomotion. The sympotein is a great idea that the NCBSites have caught on to, where students present about a generic topic after reading up all relevant papers and reviews on that topic. It takes time n effort to read up everything, including the dull n boring papers. But, its a really good learning experience. I definitely feel wiser after reading just half the papers.

This sympotein, as of now is scheduled to be somewhere in the first week of August. An awful lot of time left..... Am excited already.

Current mood: Itching to read another symp paper, but still cribbing abt filling lab notebook
Currently listening to: clicketly-clickety-click-click all around

Waiting for a new bike

It's been more than a month now since my Hercules Ultima DX is gone.... Waiting to lay hands on a TREK or a Merida.... Itching to go on a long ride.... But as in anything i want to buy, people don't have my size!!! I need a 21" frame, and that sadly has to come from halfway around the world.... And it costs a bomb too! Waited accumulating cash, and now the TREK prices have gone up! Have to try Merida before they follow the global trend of hiking up bike prices.

Happy that atleast we have good shops in bangalore for these, owned by passionate bikers, who are a class apart.

Current mood: Cribbing abt having to fill up lab notebook
currently listening to: Mungaru maleye - Sonu Nigam

Thursday, January 03, 2008

a year that ran by......

..... not that 2007 was very interesting that the moments seemed to fly, but rather, i dont remember doing anything much....... The first few months of the year were happy....... I got new hope, which was more important than the hormonal rushes that accompanied....... Even in the work front, everything was steady.....

Things were going strong until midyear...... June...... Hope shattered...... hormones flushed....... No major purpose in life...... Blogged a lot in agony..... Work progress was halted....... Was continuously recovering from the stupid state for months...... I didnt find any point in life..... For a while, work went zooming ahead, because i used to put in days and nights into it trying to hide my mind from thoughts......

In september, i started preparing for the Bangalore Ultramarathon....... The training was behind schedule, but i wanted a stiff goal...... Something i can struggle and reach, but not a guaranteed success...... Much of the training, inspiration and knowledge on running are thanks to Runners for Life (RFL), which is an amazing group of enthusiastic runners

At work, i was now disinterested, my talents werent being used...... New co-boss was irritating and picking at me..... I had almost decided to chuck it....... Then suddenly, i get a new partner to work with.... He's a cool guy who is 1) a python programmer like me 2) can easily understand and argue back on anything that i say 3) has the 'do it now' attitude....... Work scene changed....... Now im doing things im better at and have someone to share with...... Have minimised interaction w new co-boss......... Completely happy giving all the time to work now....

And yeah! I ran 78 km at the Bangalore Ultra! Probably, the only thing i can be proud of in the whole of 2007

Hope that the coming year turns out better.

Current mood: lost in thought
Currently listening to: Dance alone - Sting