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