Monday, December 21, 2009

TFN09 Day 5 | Rest day at Irpu

Walked 7 odd km to Irpu falls takin pics all the way, and faced the maddening tourist crowd....... Dint get into the water..... But managed to get some nice pics,,,,,, The rest of the day went into showing some love to the bike, striving for a a glittering chain and cassette

Current mood: Waiting for tomorrow
Currently listening to: someday - Flipsyde

TFN09 Day4 | Madikeri -> Irpu

Distance: 129km
Saddle time: 7hr 58 min

A real tough ride, considering the killer gradients amidst such pathetic roads, although the greenery around was beautiful.... The climb up Talacauvery and the rewarding descent thereafter was the best part of the ride.... Hitched a ride in the suoport truck for 12 km, to ensure i made it before dark... And as the light got low, all i did was follow Srikar's wheel closely as he zipped around potholes and patches

Current mood: Sleepy
Currently listening to: Gudugudiya sedi nodo - Raghu Dixit

TFN09 Day3 | Hassan -> Madikeri

Distance: 123 km
Saddle time: 7hr 19 min

Bad to moderate roads...... Took it slow...... The rolling ascents and descents weren't easy on the bad roads.... But the cooler air with the scents of eucalyptus, cardamom and other trees made it all worth it
Currently mood: happy
Currently listening to: nothing

TFN09 Day2 | Mysore -> Hassan

Dustance: 143 km
Saddle time: 6hr 54min

A drizzling start, which i blitzed through sucking a friend's wheel (i.e. drafting behind him)..... Then out came paddy fields, one prettier than the other....... Took it slow and took a lot of pics..... Reached Hassan for a late lunch.... Then went on a local ride and enjoyed the setting sun by the countryside

Current mood: excited
Currently listening to: nothing

Thursday, December 17, 2009

TFN09 Day 1 | Bangalore -> Mysore

Distance: 170 km (from home)
Saddle time: 6hr 47min

Blitzed past the highway, and spared myself for a few photo breaks and food breaks. Some slight drizzle en route , adding to the perfect weather for riding. Muthu and me drafted each other for a long while, and helped keep the pace, in an dull route. Reached the hotel at 3pm and relaxed the rest of the day.

Current mood: Waiting for Day2 to officially begin
Currently listening to: nothing

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I just wanna keep wandering.... Staying in one spot is so tiring...... But the world doesnt like vagabonds....

Current mood: preoccupied
Currently listening to: Open road - Bryan Adams

Cycling to Bevinatta (20 Nov 09 and again on 22 Nov 09)

I cycled the longest single day ride.... and i am too lazy to post it..... And i do the same ride again, with just a day's gap.... A feat for sure to do two 190 km rides almost back to back..... But yet, it felt so normal... so un-blog-worthy while doing it.... no huge sense of accomplishment.... But yet, the route was nice..... the company was nice while i rode the second time round.... And it definitely needs mention in my blog.

Route: Sarjapur ->Attibele -> TVS Rd -> Anusonay -> Bevinatta -> Denkanikottai -> TVS Rd -> Attibele -> Sarjapur..... Route was 190 km roundtrip for me, starting from home

One fine Friday morning, at around 8 am, i just head off to drop a biker to territory she knew.... Just continued riding on, until i found myself at Attibele (50 km from my house)...... Thinking arbit things, and monotonously moving forward pedalstroke after another.... just a 700 ml bottle of water in the holder.... Tender coconuts en route helped a bit too..... Finally i realized i was absent mindedly heading to Bevinatta, where i had been to once with vinay (but by boarding random buses).... Nice empty roads amidst vilages, greenery, fields and hillocks....... Until the chaos of Denkannikottai.... A quick 20 min lunch, and off to Bangalore on another nice low traffic road..... At the end of it, dint even feel that i had done 190 kms

A coupla days later, i herd a bunch of folks training for TFN (, on the same route... this time with a camera, and more water! We got down the stream near Bevinatta, picnicking around.... then we ate sugarcane right off the fields, as they were being harvested.... And a tired but good ride home..... Only few of them did the complete ride (which was upto 160 kms for the others).... But those who did, went home with pride, and joy

I was numb throughout the ride, mentally that is.... and a storm was underway..... Thats where i got all the energy to ride!

Current mood: preoccupied
Currently listening to: Bulla ki Janam kaun - Rabbi Shergill

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trek 4300

My all new Trek 4300 (2010 model)! If u r wondering how come its so dirty when its still new, It did ~35 kms of trails and some slush on BBCh6 on the day just after it was bought. And in the 3 days since it was bought it has already done ~200 km.....

The bike feels awesome.... The suspension lockout is really handy..... And the Alivio shifts much better than the Acero I had on the crossway...... Im yet to utilize the all-terrain-ness of the bike..... I need to do some blitzy trail rides.... The seatpost is a bit short for me, when i have to be in road riding position, fine for trails though.... have to look for a longer one soon.....

Wait for a review in some time when i've done some distance on it.... Until then, its still learning to ride trails for me.

Current mood: Excited to know that next BBCh is a criterium
Currently listening to: Chop suey - System of a down

Monday, August 31, 2009

The failed double century ride to Anchetti

~60 riders..... target of cycling 200 kms in one day..... some doing their first ever 100+ ride.... some who find it just 'refreshing'.... Few riders crashed, serious enough to need surgeries, some escaped w relatively mino bruises..... some quit due to shortcomings of either man or machine (man: exhaustion.... machine: cut cables, screwed up tubes[like mine] and tires, screwed sprockets)....

overall, awesome route.... will do it again sooner or later

Current mood: raring to go
Currently listening to: Sound the bugle now - Bryan Adams

Friday, July 03, 2009


Opportunity knocks but once... but once
Either way, and the other beckons.
Regretting the future regrets.
Living upto long set targets
Love and Life which should be one,
Going separate ways, delaying union

A life unsettled
An undreamt dream
Opportunity knocks but once... but once
Either way, and the other beckons.

Current mood: blah
Currently listening to: Analyze - Thom Yorke

Monday, June 15, 2009


People have been complainin that my blog has become more of an event announcement and reporting blog. Where's the passion? where's the love in the post?

Things that i was passionate about, have become more routine these days.... For example, it was a big thing to cycle to Nandi hills once. Now its something that happens very often. But u might ask, arent ur limits still being stretched? Arent there new things that u r doing?

Yes indeed. But, these things take time to write about. I spend more time doing the things than writing about them these days. But i hope to mend that, cos i still love to write these things, so that i can visit it back with the same flavour as i originally relished it.

So there are a few things that i've been writing for ages now.... those articles with a soul.... All just drafts waiting to be completed somewhere in the near future hopefully..... The trip to Sangannakal's neolithic rock art..... ambitions and traininng for the Sunfeast 10k...... The sudden trip to Pondicherry..... Training for the duathlon..... Cradles of Innovation..... My experience teaching kids.....

The problem with the things that u want to write with passion is that u always feel that u havent done a good job writing it, and keep modifying it eternally until u feel its palatable.

Current mood: swinging
Currently listening to: Ascension of the spirit - Evanescence

Thursday, May 21, 2009

5000km up

Also a review of Merida Crossway10V, cycling in bangalore, and also on my cycling over the year.

The bike: I figured that the bike is not the right frame size for me. But still pretty comfortable, when riding with a reasonably high saddle. The original saddle was bad engineering. It had a fragile plastic thingy at a place which would recieve some load when one shifts weight on the saddle. And it cracked within two months of my riding it. The new one (that usually comes with a Merida Sub 20) has been awesome.

Also had to replace the headset, cos i lost some peices of it when over dissembling and transporting the bike once.

The Rear derailleur once just blew out, when i was shifting while on a bump. Apparently it was cos there was a loose screw and the RD swung and got caught in spokes. So replaced it with a shimano Acero, and things have been fine since.

Apart form the tiny replacements here and there, the bike has been good to me, inspite of me abusing it. i feel i have definitely earned out the money i've spent on it (one year is pretty quick payback time).

Have done many Nandi rides, some trail rides, a big ride to Yelagiri, and Tour oF Nilgiris(TFN) with it, with a pleasant experience throughout

The last big thing i did on my bike (apart from having two recent falls) was to do good at the TimeTrial held last month. Other than that, its been just roaming around. Since my girlfriend doesnt mind me sweaty (and probably likes me salty to taste :D), i go on dates on cycle too. In fact, we got to bond with each other in the process of me teaching her to ride the bike when both of us were drunk!)

The first TimeTrial of BBCh09 (Bangalore Bicycle Championships) comes this sunday, and my RD shifting thumb is still out of shape (due to a fall last sunday). Hope i can still do ok.

Current mood: annoyed at my screwed thumb
Currently listening to: Round a bend - Beck

Monday, May 04, 2009

BBCh '09 - Starting May 24th

After the success and interest in last month's time trial, BBC (Bangalore Bikers Club) is making it bigger with a monthly race, with scores that'll be tallied up, with an official season. The first race in the season will be a time trial on May 24th. Unfortunately for me (but fair nevertheless), there'll be no MTB/hybrid category anymore. The season will have long rides, criteriums, timetrials etc.

Full details here.

Current mood: Cheerful
Currently listening to: High hopes - Pink floyd

The Rube life

Life is just a Rube Goldberg contraption to get chemicals from a higher energy state to a lower energy state

Current mood: not as dejected as the statement sounds. In fact pretty happy
Currently listening to: Sleep - Poets of the Fall

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bangalore Duathlon

Date: June 14th
10k run + 20k cycle
5k run + 10k cycle

The exact format is being worked out. (cycle,run or run,cycle or run,cycle,run)..... Since its being conducted by RFL and RAC-F, it should be well organised.

At last, something that suits me perfect..... running+cycling. I beleive i have a niche when these two are combined. Let me see how it goes. But i need to train hard to be in prime shape for this. I hope to finish the 10k run +20k cycle in less than 1:45:00. Or should i fancy my chances at victory in the 5k run + 10k cycle? Where i hope to do it within 0:50:00?

Anyway, i need to try out a practice run/ride to check how high/low these goals are

Current mood: stupidly overconfident
currently listening to: Njaan Ara - Avial

Time Trial

Yesterday, it was probably the first time i had a podium finish in any sport. Well, it was not an official 'event', it was just an informal event where a bunch of guys from BBC (Bangalore Bikers Club) / BZ (BikesZone Cycling) tested their speed versus each other. But, nevertheless, it was a first time i won even an informal event.

For those of you who dont know what a time trial is..... Its a cycle race, with a staggered start (One cyclist starts one minute after the another cyclist who starts.....), so that the cylists dont bump into each other too often. And you do a short distance like 10-20 km, where u try to hit the maximum pace u can.

There were two categories: Roadbikes and MTB/Hybrid. The course was 8.65 km long. It was generally a gentle downhill for round1. And in round2, it was the same course uphill. It saw around 20 participants

Round1: There was a nasty truck that was blocking the road for a lot of the route, that was preventing me from doing fast enough.... the advantages of drafting behind it was soon lost. So i dropped the truck as soon as it permitted, doing a dangerous pumped up overtake...... In some time, overtook 3 ppl who started ahead of me..... Finished the 8.65 km in 14:47 at an average speed of 35.1 kmph.... Finished first in the MTB/Hybrid cactegory and third overall(including roadbikes)

Round 2: the long gentle uphill, is painful and irritating, as it doesn't give any break for ur legs. And to top it all, there was headwind (wind coming head on), making it hard to even touch the thirties speed, forget maintaining it.... Did it in 18:41 at avg speed of 27.7 kmph. Won in my category again, and came 4th overall (Missed third spot by 3 secs).

Overall results combining round 1 and 2 : 17.3 km in 33:28 at an avg speed of 31.2 kmph. First in MTB/Hybrid category and third overall.

Current mood: Jumpin around
Currently listening to: Jupiter Cafe - Thermal and a Quarter

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sunfeast world 10k 2009 comin up

Although there hasn't been any official declaration yet, inside sources (read RFL spies) say that the Sunfeast world 10k would be on May 10th. The registrations will begin sometime soon.

Meanwhile, Vinay and meself have started on a training program, knowing that we have still ~6 weeks for the event. All those who r waiting for the news to start training, sould probably start training now.

If u r in bangalore, u have a few options for being trained:
- The Nike Run Club (at Kanteerava stadium every sat and wed)
- "Runner's high" by Dr. Rajat et al

I am however planning to stick to training programs here.
And u can track my trainin at dailymile.

Edit: Tanvir Kazmi points out that there is still juggling of dates going on, as we can see from here. (This link says May 31st). So what i would do is to start on a 3 week training program (like here), by which time, the date should get settled. And then do some speed drills and cross-training during the gap the posponement would introduce. Then do another 3 week trainin cycle to reach optimum training for D-Day

Re-edit: Its on May 31 finally. And i am totally sucky at following training schedules that the change of date doesn't affect my so-called training at all! :)

Current mood: Sleepy
Currently listening to: Little room - Norah Jones

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Movie night at BOTS

BOTS screens biking movies once in a while at the rooftop store of theirs. This was the second such session. This time, the movies screened were:
- a 10 min trailer of the TFN documentary by Flaunge
- Seasons

The movies were good, but the best part of such events is the chance to meet other bikers, and catch up w the ones u know.

Current mood: still gettin out of sleep
currently listening to: Knights of Cydonia - Muse

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nijagallu | 22 Feb 2009

Waking up late after the 'adventure that never happened' in my previous post, the original intentions of going to Hessarghatta close to sunrise, was out of the question. So we decided to go there in the evening, while in the morning, we would go to this place called Nijagallu, off Tumkur Road (NH4).

Who: Myself, Vinay, Achutha, Chetan
Where: Nijagallu, Off Tumkur Road, just beyond Dobbspet

The idea initially was to go to the top of the tiny hillock and see what Chetan said would be a nice 'romantic spot', away from the humdrum of the temple just a little distance below the hilltop. But, we being we, had to find a way that was hard enough to go through.... Chetan was new to this, but was willing to try....

Soon enough, we found our way into thorns and big boulders and crevices..... It offered some variety in techniques needed to climb, including my personal favourite - the spiderman climb.... the spiderman climb is when u have a 60-80 degree incline, of flat rock, and u r climbing it with just the friction of ur hands and legs and the tiny surface features of the rock..... these are stuff that look impossible at the onset.... terribly risky if u screw up.... and terribly satisfying once u conquer the stretch.....

Somewhere in between, we found a tree that had branched a lot... a tree perfect for beginers like me and chetan to climb.... spent a lot of time doin crazy stuff on the tree (including sleeping on it!). Camera batteries died by now, w enough power to last a few snaps

A few more spiderman climbs and we reached the fort on top. took pictures conserving remainin battery power.... then headed down into the valley, to go to the other side where the temple was, so that we could finally go to where Chetan originally wanted to take us!

The temple area was filthy with all the pollution brought in by the devotees! (Unlike the pristine areas we trekked through moments earlier). But the spot that Chetan showed us was a nice place, and was away from the chaos of the temple.

We got down to our bikes and then headed to Hessarghatta as planned. Where the usual joys of the place brought in a peaceful finale to the heavy work of the earlier part of the day. Achutha, who hadn't been here before, just began jumping around and yelling, like a mad guy!

Current mood: sleepy
Currently listening to: Story of my life - Bon Jovi

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The adventure that didn't happen

I was way too sleepy.... But we decided to watch Philadelphia instead...... But we watched 'Pyar ke side effects' instead..... then at 2 in the night, we decided to go to Cantonment station to have 'coffee' and 'masala tea', two of us on one motorbike, and one on cycle..... But we headed off to Nandi hills instead.... But we stopped for coffee at Cafe Coffee Day at 3 am..... got a flat on my cycle, and the Nandi trip got cancelled, with the mobike carrying the three of us, and the cycle resting on my shoulders....

All this happened without anyone at home knowing anythin abt it..... Not that it matters much..... But its a top secret...... at least because we took care of everythin not to wake anyone up doin our sneaky adventures!

Confused, abt what this is all about? Well, we din't have a clue either. It was just one freaky idea after another..... an adventure that never happened, but yet an adventure that never happened! (The repitition not a typo btw)

Current mood: loopy
Currently listening to: Round a bend - Beck

Thursday, February 19, 2009

side effects of dopamine

- insomnia
- a strange field that makes electronic stuff like cellphones, stick to your body
- hair loss
- restlessness
- mild insanity
- increased activity of the right half of the brain (the arts et al)
- decrease in activity of the left side (logic et al)

Current mood: drowsy (due to after-effect of side-effect-1)
Currently listening to: Annie's song - John Denver

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fresh surge of Dopamine

Wine.... Floyd.... under the shade of trees.... with open meadows till the eyes can reach..... My neurons blissfully drowning in the flash flood of Dopamine.... The best of highs on V-Day!

Current mood: swimming in the ocean of Dopamine
Currently listening to: Wish you were here - Pink Floyd

Friday, February 06, 2009

Tata Book House Book Fair

My favorite book stall in Bangalore, Tata Book House (inside IISc campus) is organising a book fair which will last till Feb 15th. With discounts ranging from 25% to 50%, this is a real steal, for getting the waiting-in-wishlist books. For those who dont know TBH already, it is a bookstore that stocks a lot of technical books and popular science books, that u wouldn't get so easily outside. Plus, even during the non-book-fair times, u get a healthy 10-20% discount on the books. U also get the literature kinda books too, like novels, general literature, self-help books etc.

And i am now drained of ~4k buyin many books that were on my droolin-on-it-but-too-pricey-for-now-list
Books i got:
- The Character of Physical Law - Richard Feynman
- The Road to Reality - Roger Penrose
- Don't you have time to think? - Richard Feynman
- Dialogues concerning two new sciences - Galileo Galilei (with commentary by Stephen Hawking)
- The six not-so-easy pieces - Richard Feynman
- On the shoulder of giants - collected works of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Einstein with Coommentary by Stephen Hawking
- Godel Escher Bach - Douglas Hofstadter
- Unweaving the rainbow - Richard Dawkins
- Tek Money - William Shatner

Current mood: Lost deep into reading "Character of Physical Law" by Feynman
Currently listening to: Skip divided - Thom Yorke

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Hessarghattta once more

Missed Critical Mass on Saturday, as i was wayyy too sleepy. And waking up late next day, ensured that i'd miss any planned long Sunday ride. A friend suggested that i do Sarjapur. But by the time i finished deciding for or against it, another friend (Chetan) pulled me into riding to Hessarghatta.

We went on the Hessarghatta main road, unlike my previous rides where we took some tiny out-of-shape shortcut roads. I must say that i enjoyed the main road better inspite of the mild traffic on it, because the road was so much nicer. And although there was nothin mightily scenic enroute, it was pleasant.

But, once we reached Hessarghatta, it was heaven as usual. The scenery here doesn't fail to mesmerize how many ever times we've been here. I have been here for the Bangalore Ultra runs, a few training runs, and quite a few cycle rides before. And Chetan had been here on motorbike many times before too. However, this was his first cycle ride of this distance. (He did ~65 km on this ride)

We slowly soaked in the gentle sun reflected off the golden grass, moving at a leisurely pace, chit chatting abt life, girls and the combination of the two. Took every possible photo-break, water-break, sugarcane-juice-break, watermelon break, tender-coconut-break, lets just-sleep-on-the-grass-and-enjoy-for-a-while-break, etc. etc.

Chetan did quite well for his first half century ride, albeit with sore butt and muscles. (Extra credit for being on a steel frame bike without gears). And for me this was the longest ride since TFN (did many rides b/w 20 and 50 km, but never went on any long ride i planned)

Directions: If u head out of the city on NH4 (Tumkur road) from Gorgontepalya(Where NH4 meets ORR). U'll reach a turn(right) called "8th mile". (There should be a petrol bunk on ur right, which could be obscured by construction work). This will get u on Hessarghatta main road. At any fork ( i remember only one major one), just ask the directions to Hessarghatta. Ride on and u'll get Hessarghatta bus stand. Just before the bus stand, u'll see a right turn with sign boards to Taj Kuteeram and Nrityagram. (If u r confused, just ask around for directions to nrityagram). Head on that road for ~4 km and u'll see a mass of trees on ur left. That's the canopy u see in the first pic. If u go on the tarmac instead of getting lost in those woods, u should ultimately reach Kuteeram and Nrityagram. Just before u reach there, u'll see a right turn leading to the horizon. Just keep ur eyes open, u cant miss it. If u do, ask around for directions to this resort called "Our Native Village". There are plenty of trails around. Explore and enjoy.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Easy Photo Sharing

Current mood: blank
Currently listening to: Ramble on - Led Zeppelin

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My fastest 5k so far

Just got the mood to run today, and wanted to better my 5k run timings. And i did it quite comfortably, in 25m40s. (Which beats the world record for 10 km!)

How did i improve
1. All the biomechanics i learnt for giving a talk at Sympotein-III ! About running step frequencies being the resonant frequencies of the spring mass system. My gait thus far was somewhat in between walking and running, which is very inefficient (but is still what i do on longer runs as i have not trained myself to run properly for longer distances)
2. In my previous gait, my landing was braking too much and transferring much less energy into the next step. Consciously correctied that during he run
3. I have relatively small calves, and haven't trained them well enough. So i usually have a very tiny push from it into the next step. I consciously did that extra leap this time. And it lasted for at least a km continuously in the begining, and on and off later on.

Hopes in running this year:
a sub 20m 5k run
a sub 45m 10k run
a sub 2 hr half marathon
a sub 5 hr marathon
a sub 11hr 75k ultra

But this would need a helluva lot of training. And i'd have to also lose a lot of the extra deadweight. Which i guess will happen simultaneously though :)

Current mood: still lost
Currently listening to: Sunday sun - Beck

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Critical Mass Bangalore 31st Jan 2009

Want to make Bangalore, bicycle friendly? Greener? Reduce traffic jams? Join Bangalore's edition of Critical Mass. Also be there for the Bangalore Cycling Inclusive Planning Workshop (which happens just before critical mass), to show the cyclists' strength in numbers.

Co-ordinates of start point : Click here

Current mood: Sorta lost
Currently listening to: Angie - Rolling Stones

Sunday, January 25, 2009


x: .... Not only is that improbable, its impossible!
Y: Well... Accordinng to Quantum mechanics, u can only say that its improbable. X: Ah! Now you bring in Quantum mechanics for this?
Y: There is always a tiny probability for any event to occur.
X: Whatever!
Me: "The only thing that's certainly impossible, is certainty"
*Waited for applause, whistles, claps.... *

Just got ppl staring at me trying to understand it. :(

Moments later:
Y: You flicked that quote from somewhere. Its too good to have been invented on the spot by you.

Honestly, i invented it on the spot. And have been trying to explain the meaning to everyone, hoping that someday, it will be a famous quote!

But found a cooler quote by someone else, which sorta means more or less the same. So there dies my dash at fame!
"The only certain thing in life is uncertainty" Author unknown

Current mood: excited
Currently listening to: Somewhere I belong - Linkin Park

Monday, January 12, 2009

Benagluru Midnight Marathon 2009

Did my best official timimg at a marathon (5hr 55 min). I say "official" because i did the first 42.2 km of Bangalore Ultra 07 in better time, 5hr 50 min.

Anyway, I'm happy with my performance, especially considering that it hasn't been even two weeks since TFN.

Special thanks goes to RFL, for the support to slow runners like me, when the marathon organisers' support was dwindling.

Organisation of the marathon: Better than previous editions. At least there was water till the end! But they threatened to close down support and certification at 5 and half hours instead of the 6 hrs they had promised on the website. A friend and myself got really pissed with this... yelled at them.... and decided to run and not be swept, And yeah, they did keep it open until the 6 hr time limit. But, we had to do the final 45 mins dodging vehicles and facing the glare of oncoming vehicles amidst darkness. This part, was seriously annoying.

But the frustration against the organisers fueled a 2nd wave and both of us covered the last 5 point chillar km in pretty good time.

Overall, I felt i could have managed my run better. I could have shaved at least an additional 20 mins that way. My 4:1 plan (4 min runnin and 1 min walking) din't happen at all. It became a random run/walk, as i was trying to syncronise with others.

And RFLers, especially the women did us proud being in the top 3 of most events.

Current mood: pissed at many things
Currently listening to: King of the Bongo - Manu Chao

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I deserve laziness too

X: Can you get me some coffee?
Y: I'm too lazy. Get it youself na?
X: What? U cycle nine hundred and odd kilometers. I can't buy that argument.
Y: *thinks*......
X: *angrily gets coffee waiting for response*
Y: Well, at least i deserve the laziness.

Current mood: lazy to make poster for annual talks
Currently listening to: The trainman cometh (Matrix Revolutions OST) - Don Davis

Monday, January 05, 2009


A cheerful face,
A steady slow pace,
Mind chases,
Heart races

But someone's faster than me.

Yet i don't lose hope,
Mind chases, Heart races,
Sweet voices flowing around,
Dreams still stay skyward bound

But someone's flying to it faster than me.

One last chance, one last try.....
I slow down to try match pace
Still trapped in a dizzying daze
Anyway, Its not a race, its not a race

But someone's courting It better than me

My hopes failing me,
I zoom ahead not waiting
Drafting behind a boring thing
Lot of distance now covered,
A small wait,
with no bait
Result: No fish
I zoom ahead drafting behind boring things
instead of waiting for the nice company.
But consciously so......
I'll have to learn to live anyway.... heart shaken.

Current mood: Heartshaken
Currently listening to: My different versions of singing this out

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Tour oF Nilgiris 08 (Dec 25th-31st 2008)

For those who don't know it already, TFN was a 919 km cycle ride through Bangalore-Mysore-Madikeri-Wayanad-Ooty-Mysore-Bangalore. We actually did a shorter distance(~800 km) as we didn't do most of the local rides.

Short report:
Did my longest ride ever (~750 km)
The ride was awesome.
Support crew were excellent.
Met a diverse bunch of amazing people
The Ooty climb was not as hard as expected.
The Madikeri to Sultan Batheri ride was the hardest and most fun. With ~150 km of rolling terrain (ups n downs)
Madumalai-Bandipur was the awesomest stretch
Ooty was cold
Had loooads of fun
Photo slideshow is at the bottom of the post

Day minus one (Dec 24th): A very un-brief briefing..... Collected goodies. Deposited luggage. Got to know abt the riders riding along......

Day 1 | Bangalore - Mysore (160 km): Lots of ppl turned up from RFL and BBC to send us off..... Some even rode all the way to Mysore..... Did the first 75 km at a 26.6 kmph avg speed. Then by the time reached Mysore average speed dropped to 25 kmph...... Was an uneventful ride except for a fall at Mysore and injured my hand a bit (due to which i couldn't do the Chamundi climb)
Before the start

Evening saw us at a nice resort (WindFlower) at Chamundi base, where we had snacks and coffee.... Did a local ride and met up with some Mysore bikers..... Finally reached the Youth Hostel to listen to the Warden's very long breifing on the "norms" of the hostel and the history of their employees(sigh!), before heading to sleep.

Day 2 | Mysore - Madikeri (125 km): Amazing road until Kushalnagar...... Nice pleasant ride.... mildly scenic, nothing worth the camera though...... But after Kushalnagar, the scenery turned beautiful and the roads turned horrible.... And there was a long climb to reach Madikeri. Climbed hard, ran out of juice within myself and also my hydration pack..... Caught up with Sameer (like we inevitably always did almost through the tour) who was also out of juice..... We stopped and waited for the support car to load up on food and Gatorade..... Chit-chatting, especially with the witty remarks from Sameer got me through the climb. A six kilometer descent later, reached the estate where we retired for the day.
At Madikeri

Had a campfire at night, where we heard Avinash doing the Malgudi days tune on the flute..... Lots of jib-jabbing and a tiny walk later, went off to sleep.

Day 3 | Madikeri - Sultan Batheri (150 km) aka i-love-my-bike ride: Extremely scenic. But the road was bad. Most road bikers didnt do much of riding as the bikes would be a piece of rubble at the end of it (except for the ones who bunny-hopped over potholes).... Since mine was a hybrid bike it did both thae bad patches and good patches reasonably well.... Wayanad was beautiful.... Ullas had a bad fall with a lost tooth and a fractured hand..... I rode extra carefully on the downhills..... The whole route was ups and downs.... Steeeeeep ups and downs..... Some ups were so steep and long that, one could give up on it just by looking! But i rode managing my best to avoid stooping down to the nanny gear..... Finally reached the dingy hotel where we stayed the night. Was proud that i did every stretch of the steep climbs and long bad roads(thanks to padded shorts for safety of important stuff).

The night was spent cribbing about the hotel and worrying about how safe our bikes would be, before we went to sleep peacefully keeping our bikes indoors.

Day 4 | Sultan Batheri - Ooty [95 km (70 km on cycle + 25 km in sweep vehicle)] : Was a scenic ride, going through tea estates at Devarsolai. After Gudalur came the big climb that many of us were fearing all through. Took plenty of breaks (photo breaks, water breaks, food breaks, rest breaks). But the gradient was not even close to the gradients climbed on the previous day. Only thing was that it was up n up n up this time instead of ups n downs. And finally after 70 kms of hard effort, got swept (sweeper vehicles are the ones that pick u up and float u to the destination if u don't do it fast enough) with around 25 km yet to go, as it was getting cold and dark. But i now realize that i could have actually rode through, as it was mainly downhill with a coupla small ups).
On the climb to Ooty

The night saw shivering people and a warm campfire with amazing local food. There was singing and dancing especially from Seema and Avinash. Then a few slept, while the others were busy preventing them from sleeping, laughing their hearts out listening to ride stories (especially from Avinash).

Day 5 | Rest day at Ooty (rode 15 km): Some went running up Dodda betta, others went cyclng. Some mended their bikes all day through. The support team finally slept that day and did a tiny ride around Ooty....... I rode around Ooty in the morning with Francis and Murali...... "Trekked" in the garden at the KSTDC hotel with them.... Had a gala time and then slept tight through noon, instead of earlier plans of riding up Doddabetta..... Then went around chocolate shopping..... Finally rode the "Chaiyya-Chaiyya" train from Ooty to Coonoor with a bunch of riders. Dickie gifted me a nice jersey. (Saminder Singh aka Dickie is an avid cyclist, now 46, is very rich at heart and has a lot of cycling gear that he gives out as "shareware", to build a cycling community that helps each other). Had a fun time, taking a break from the daily cycling, and got to know so much more about Dickie, from the first time i heard of him.
Ooty Lake

Once more, there was a campfire at night, where we had more fun n frolic. Many of us stayed up late at bed singing and guffawing. And boy, what a mix it was when we had professional singers like Deeksha, and the besuras like myself, and of course with the woofers provided by the snoring lot! We stayed up until 1 am, inspite of knowing that we had to ride the next day! That would most likely be the last day we could stay together like that! (Thanks to the "norms" of the Mysore hostel the next day)

Day 6 | Ooty - Mysore [120 km (80 km on cycle+ 40 km in sweep vehicle)] : Woke up to the tunes of Murali playing the flute before we headed off.... reached Madumalai after a slow and careful ~20 km descent with breathtaking views, and 36 crazy hairpins...... Burnt rubber on the descent (not the rubber of the tyres, but the rubber of the brakes)...... I was scared chicken shit of the crazy downhills and hairpins, that i went almost at the pace of going up hill!..... (Nelly, the pro downhill rider did the descent in 18 mins, where i took 1 hr 18 mins). Then entered the awesomest stretch through Madumalai-Bandipur. The feel was so amazing that i slowed down as much as i could and just enjoyed the scenery..... the gentle sun coming through the branches of the trees around..... the chirping of birds.... the chattering of Langurs..... i was drunk with nature, din't bother takin my camera out, lest i screw up the high i was relishing..... I wanted this state of mind to last ass long ass it could, doing my best to be as slow as possible....... That's the most amazing slow ride i've ever had.

On reaching Guldlupet, the road was mighty horrible and even my padded shorts couldn't save my poor butts. I survived through the bad patch of roads, which were worsened by strong headwinds, which also picked up some dust. But i could do it at a horrendously slow pace. The road after Gundlupet was good, but i was still 40 km short around 5 pm. I still could've managed to reach Mysore on the cycle by 7 pm, but i din't wanna brave crazy traffic at dark. So willingly got swept.

No campfire this night, yet, many of us just sat together, with another round of guffawing.... The ladies slipped into our rooms too, sneaking away from the warden's eyes.... Some more gala time and off to sleep.

Day 7 | Mysore Bangalore (155 km) : Rode initially with Deeksha, Kaushik and Francis until almost near Mandya. there were really strong headwinds.,,,,, Drafted behind a tractor carryinng gravel, for a looooong while before i could no longer match sppeds. By then had lost the group. Stopped for a while and relaxed, waiting for the group...... still no sign.... then saw Vaz, and tried drafting behind him..... lost all my energy trying to keep up pace.... gave up and took some rest and food...... Then was a constant effort doing the boring stretch all the way to Bangalore, where i finally managed to get lost in the Bangalore University campus (We were supposed to meet at the BU gate, but someone gave me directions to a different BU gate :).
The 11 yr old Sukhdev who did 95 km on day 1 and 75 km on day 7

Then was the tough and strenuous part of riding upto Vidhana Soudha beside some crazy traffic (Even though the traffic police tried their best to limit traffic). And then it was finally over, with lots of cameras flashing, some from the press, many from the ones who wanted to grab as much as possible for memories.
Tossing the support crew

Post TFN Party: Most riders and support crew met up at Orange Peel on Jan 1st and had a good time, having the one last time we could see all of us together like that until probably the end of this year.

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Photo slideshow

Something that i felt during the ride...... Sameer, seemed extremely like my REAPmate Suhas, the kind of witty jokes and remarks.... Both Hari and Dino seemed like another REAPmate Aditya Rotti... the way they talked and laughed.... I'm probably seeing the past great company i've had in the new friends i make...... Or long distance riding does things to ur mind :) .... Anyway, a wierd feeling.

Current mood: Missing people already
Currently listening to: Linger - The Cranberries