It took me this long to overcome my laziness and jot down about some of my rides.
Post the bitter experiences in the Challakere 400 Brevet, since I had to vacate hostel, I dumped my sick Rockrider in Mustafa’s room. For almost a month and a half, whenever I think about riding, those experiences and the condition of my dumped bike started to frighten me and I never overcame those fears to ride out.
Somehow, after settling down in the job and a home outside the institute, slowly, boredom in weekends forced me to think about riding again. One fine Friday evening, I went to institute, took my bike, replaced the torn rim tape and the sick tube from the back wheel of my bike, and exchanged back Serfas Drifters of Gokul for my stock knobbies. Still with less confidence, after putting tube and tyre back on the wheel, I hadn’t fit back wheel to bike and wanted to check pressure the next morning as I still was suspecting that problems exist. And rightly so, the pressure had reduced much by the next morning. Got frustrated of that, I left my bike in Hari’s room and took his Rockrider 5.0 out for the ride.
Six of us started riding together but soon we got divided into 3 groups of 2 each, according to the individual ride plans. Jitendra and I wanted to ride a bit more, so rode the route IISc – Gollahalli – Madhure – Doddaballapur –Dodbelavangala – Madhure – IIHR – IISc. We set out for ride by 0600 hrs and were back around 1415 hrs after riding easy and relaxed 113 kms. Hari’s rockrider 5.0 really rocked that day, I felt only less differences when compared with my rockrider.
Later that day, I found that the failure in the back wheel of my (again) dumped bike was because of using a wrong tube (A tube already patched for a puncture, but the patch failed). Blaming my carelessness, I replaced that with a brand new tube and took the bike to my home.
Again I was not riding out much (actually, not at all riding), as I still noticed some pressure reduction in the back tyre, though not much, but more than it normally happens. After some three weeks, I took it to Decathlon as well to make sure there was no problem with back tyre and I could trust it and take for longer rides.
By Ganesh Chaturti day, I got courage to take it out for a reasonably long ride. Kalpesh and I rode to Nandi Hills via Siva’s road. My 2 months of break from any kind of workouts, change from Serfas Drifters back to stock knobbies and my constant fear over the air leakage in back tyre made that ride quite difficult for me. On the way to Nandi and back, I was riding normally. But I got too much tired while climbing. With 2 to 3 breaks, I climbed Nandi in some 45 mins around. Kalpesh that day climbed Nandi for the first time and that too with his BSA mach, he climbed in some 40 mins without any break.
Then came the announcement for the September month end ride to Anchetty and back from Chiddu. Since the route is quite difficult, I was in a dilemma whether to go for it. I decided finally to give a try. That day, I showed up for the ride unannounced, met and rode with most of the well known randonneurs and riders like Aman, Anil Kadsur, Chiddu, Shreeju and Sumit. Route was Merida junction - Harohalli – Maralwadi – Anchetty –Denkanikottai – Hosur and back.
11 of us started riding and we passed Bangalore – Maralwadi section quite fast as the roads were good and slightly descending. We stopped at Maralwadi for breakfast and I downed a plate of Chitranna and refilled water bottles. We then started riding and slowly we got separated into small groups. I was riding throughout with Aman, Shreeju and Sumit.
The Maralwadi – Anchetty section involved two climbs, some pass through an elephant corridor and mostly MTB friendly roads (yeah, were patchy) with greeny vista and mountain covers. While passing along the elephant corridor, one person did warn and tried to scar me to be careful that elephants may come on the way :-D. In the last part of that section where it was completely descending and we were speeding up, there were many butterflies on the middle of the road, flying low. I tried my best to avoid them but injured/killed a few. We reached Anchetty and took a small snack and drinks break.
Anchetty – Denkanikottai section is a continuous uphill for 23 kms. The ride plan was to stop at a waterfalls at some 6th km from Anchetty but came to know that I had already crossed it, after some 15 kms. I took no break and we reached Denkanikottai for a late lunch. Post lunch ride to Hosur was highly rolling and after Hosur, we gained speed in NH7 to reach Silk board by 1720 hrs and I finished the ride by 1735 hrs.
This Anchetty ride had brought back my confidence. I was ready for some big rides at this point, with my bike not at all giving any problem. Quite often I took the bike out for a commute to confirm that. Here came a mail from Mustafa, about one of the two fantastic rides I have done after. A write up on that ride/trek trip later :-)
Following are the reports on Anchetty ride by the fellow riders...........