Think about this, rally up more than half a dozen people from your company, finalise everything over text and everyone does their personal best distances on quad powered machines. It is Am-az-ZING!
It started as a discussion between me and Ajay. “Will you support me and ride slow if we do a 100k?” Ajay was all for it! Then it grew to Amal, then it grew to 6 others from our company, Quintype!
Oh boy, Strava called it “Sunday Morning Ride”. Not really, it went till 130PM. With a ride time of about 5:17, a ride that started at 5 AM should have wrapped up by 11. But that wasn’t what Bangalore had in mind. Not at all.
First things first, I am in no shape to attempt a long distance ride. The maximum done I had done in the recent past was about 18k. I set my goal at about 100k today.
After meeting Anagh and Ajay we started from Domlur after collecting Vamshi, Prasanth and Karthik . We rode to Madiwala and the first mishap of the day, my front brakes just slipped off. Rode onto Madiwala and got it fixed and met up with Gopal and Tejas. Rode on under the EC flyover and met up with Amal and Aditya.
The roads were brilliant and I was able to hit some good speeds, though I have never been troubled by hills like this before. My usual 2×5,6,7 became a consistent 2×2,3,4. Prasanth was doing great, almost always at the head of the pack, considering that every km after the first 10 or so was his longest till date.
Got some wacky slow uphills and downhills and too much time was spent consulting the maps. Amlesh and Aadi split at a junction and we continued ahead. We had to make frequent stops to update on our water, take a break and generally catch out breaths. I was getting progressively wasted. Then the road turned bad and we had to hobble through some potholes. We had breakfast at about 8:10, we were at 38km.
Then we got into Bannerghatta park (?) and I saw Prasanth on the side of the road next to some deer pictures. I thought they were taking pictures and standing at a beautiful curved downslope. I was like “Fuck It” and raced ahead. High-speed turns and and suddenly there was no road in front! Fishtailing to a stop, I waited at the side of the road for the others to catch-up and no one was coming down. Then I thought I would go back up and then realised, there is no way I can make it all the way. So I stopped on the side and then Tejas bikes by and says Prasanth fell! Still waiting, Anagh, Ajay and Prasanth finally came down. With a good amount of paint gone from KPs elbow. Rode on and me and Anagh were brining up the rear and then we see every stopped on the side. Vamshi’s rear tire had a hole in it. Anagh and Ajay took out the puncture kit, fixed it. We continued the ride and by then it was 10 and we had covered about 10k or so after the breakfast stop!
Uphills. Shitty Uphills. More Uphills.
Stopped to get water and boy, next was the best part of the ride. A good long curving downslope! Racing with KP, just like everything that is good, it vanished into a gravel filled torture route, made for MTBs. Tejas and Anagh had a blast. Rest of us didn’t.
Continuing on, we ended up in more roadless regions and the gang went ahead. I was hungry! Anagh being Anagh and always there to collect the last person stayed with me when I went an got two bananas and some peanut candy. Then we rode up, slow. I went to 1×1. I had gone to 1×1 just once before in my life. It was to attempt a crazy hill in Kerala. Continued on and met the gang as they waited for us. Had another water refilling and started off. I was progressively getting wasted. Ajay had given everyone electrolytes and I and just used two. In my first water bottle. My left leg started cramping. Tried pedalling for a bit and it was getting worse. Anagh stopped with me and after testing for a few minutes I was back on the saddle.
Went a bit farther and then my right leg started cramping and I ignored it. Then shooting pains and I had to stop. I decided to call it quits. Asked Anagh to go ahead. I was waiting for an auto. None came. And I was atleast 25km away from home. I will have to pay a bomb.
Waiting around for about 15 minutes, I decided to start pedalling , albeat slowly, the moment I tried to put weight on my legs the shooting pains came back. So rode carefully and didn’t stop anywhere. Followed the map, after about 10 k I realised I had turned off Strava and turned it on. Followed the route and at one point I just took google Locations to see where Anagh and Ajay were. Anagh was just 2km away on a road parallel to me! That kinda gave me a second Life! I was pumped and even had goosebumps! Pedelling became faster. Then at the next stop I saw that he was behind me, on the same road. I waited to get him to catch up but his marker wasn’t moving. So I thought location messed up and my brain. Was telling me, there’s no way I got ahead of him. Then I turned towards Madiwala and again saw him on a parallel road when I was in front of the temple.
I went ahead and then saw that they were behind me when I reached St John’s. Stopped to have a sugarcane juice and Ajay, Anagh, Karthik and Vamshi overtook me. I chased after them and caught up at Sony Signal. Wasn’t expecting this to happen . Not at all. It was that they took breaks as well. All of them crossing their own personal bests.
Had food at KFC and got home.
It was slow, but eventful. Had some amazing slopes and devil’s own Uphills!
It’s good to be back on the saddle. Ass hurts!
PS: Just so that my ego will let me publish this both me and Anagh have done more than 200kms on bikes and Ajay has done god knows what kilometres on his bike