Finally got my roadbike (will be a post on that soon).... And without time to get used to the new posture (or take pretty pictures of it), i set out on my biggest ride ever.... Multiple laps of Chickballapur - Yelahanka CCD plus multiple nandi climbs was the vague ride plan
Started 5:15 pm, where a whole bunch of Cleated Warriors (Nalla, Anita and hubby Sandeep, Venkat, Anke, Reena) had come in to flag me off... They were riding with me for a while, and then i zoomed off, hoping to get as much distance covered before the sun would be switched off.... The sun was gone soon enough, and i rode on with my adequate enough headlights.... And it was drizzling, and i was now worried of all the slush that would get into my drivetrain
At the railway level crossing near devanhalli, the thin roadie tyres got into the grooves of the track and i had a topple, a 360 degree side way roll, with one leg uncleated in time to soften the fall. And for dramatic effect, all this was in a puddle of muddy water... Only scrape wounds, so carried on without much trouble, except that i was a bit unnerved.... Killed a lot of time cleaning it up and fixing the bike after i reached ccd.
Had a relaxed meal and set out again, but decided i would do airport laps instead of chikballapur cos the roads were well lit, and that particular nasty stretch of construction work near the railway crossing could be avoided.... Still was maintaining a 25 kmph riding average... But the handlebar position, saddle angle etc seemed a little uncomfortable... For quite a lot of time to come, it was all just tweaking all these settings.
Anita, reena, sandeep were there till 1 am taking care of me, and also meanwhile doing their own night centuries.... Sachin and Ramesh dropped by too, to check out how things were going
By the time i had done 150 km, and finally found the right settings of saddle and handlebar, my wrists were already hurting like crazy.... So took breaks often to stretch and relieve.... And on my way back, saw that the lights were slowly being turned off on different sections of the road.... I had my headlight, but i wouldnt be able to maintain a good speed.... And Thammiah and his friend Yashoda came in at the right time, and supported me with their car lighting up the way... Did a lap of chickballapur and headed to Nandi base(with the light provided by Nalla's car until it got bright) where other riders would sync up, and there was an RFL nandi run happening to add to the active crowd on the hill
Took a nice break, took in some salts and energy, and some rest before the first climb... Nalla was riding with me.... Gave my everything to it, hoping to beat my mtb time... Missed it by 2 secs! But, anyway, a 36:28 is still a good climb in my books.... But i exerted so feverishly on this one that i started shivering once i was done..... But, i was feeling strong and invincible.. Took a break, descended and turned back again, with Sachin and Ramesh joining in as well.... But this time i took it real slow and shifted into granny gears pretty early on.... Started cramping inspite of all the salts i had taken in..... Had to take a coupla breaks, and did the climb in 61 min (including breaks)..... Had breakfast of set dosa after descent.....
The third ascent was a killer.... I took a power nap of 15 min, and another 5 min break, and finished the climb in 68 min... And only two climbs before i felt invincible, now i was feeling dead! The descent was crazy, everything started looking dreamy, i somehow felt i was riding down a twisted ribbon... All i needed to do was to straighten the ribbon instead of negotiating the hairpins etc... And the curves looked a little exaggerated... Had i bonked? Or was it the sleeplessness? Or worst still, was it both? Took it ultra slow, and just concentrated on following Nalla's line..... the only other thing that registered in my mind was Athreya who was running 60 km up n down nandi.... Man, what an inspiration!
Met Suma at the base, and we rode as a bunch till Bellary road, where i took another power nap in Nalla's car..... The dead me got alive again, and felt really strong, doing a 26 kmph average on the chikballapur laps.... Suma went to CCD, fetched me sandwiches and brownies..... And by the time i was on my way back to CCD, Reena and Anita started riding with me, and venkat was on his mobike chattin and pumping me up.... Except for my hurting wrists, i felt as if i had just started riding, and was feeling i was good to go at least another 100 km
I'm sooooo super proud of my team, who did a collective ~1000 km supporting me.... I owe it all to you
Although, initial plans were to be able to do atleast a 450 km, the amount of breaks i took dint allow it
Ended up with 372.76 km in 16hr 32min of riding.... (Which means all i need to take care of is to manage my breaks better)
Current mood: the kind when you are just waking up after you fainted
Currently listening to: Reload - Rob Zombie