My first century ride. Plus Nandi Hills!

Had planned a 90ish kms Nandi Hills ride, and as it turned out, did the full tour-day-distance! 145kms – mostly thanks to the extremely motivating Vasu, and never-say-die-first-long-distancer-Joshine. Joshine and I were the TFN aspirants on the ride, while Vasu was the guy who looked like he could actually do it easily ๐Ÿ™‚

The first-cut-plan was to take a ride with Rajat upto CCD before the airport turnoff – but he had to pullout because of some personal reasons. Vasu called on Fri night and said he’d join as well.

Got home at 1am, caught some sleep and was off at 6 – Joshine got there too and we talked to a few BMTC guys who refused to entertain bikes. Vasu had gotten home at 3 – and asked us to carry on towards Hebbal when I called him. We left Koramangala around 6:50am

There was some pain below my left knee as we started, and stayed for a while but disappeared by the time we crossed Hebbal – we were doing decent time and I even did a burst or two of pushing hard. It rained a bit en-route, and we stopped for water + a snack a little before the airport turn. Vasu caught up with us and we pushed along. Iggy and Rushi crossed us around Devanahalli – apprently after 3 ascents up Nandi Hills! Devanahalli to the turn towards NH is a persistent gradual climb and it took all my might to maintain 14kmph on that. Ant other short break.

Just before the turn at the end of the straight – saw a guy with a compressor, and given the huge rolling resistance i was sensing and attributing to crosswinds – decided to check on tyre pressure anyhow. Front:30 – Rear:35!!! Arrgghhhh. Filled them up to 55-60 (not a very sure gauge I guess) and the improvement was immediate!

Stopped at the Nandi Hills base for eats – bun + tea + biscuits + tea + chips + chikki + water – and did a lot many stretches – answered questions about the bike – and about 20 mins later Joshine and Vasu got there. Another tea.

Felt much better stuffed with all the sugar, salt, water and air in the tubes. Started the climb with a fair bit of anxiety. Vasu provided ample tips on gear selection, planned breaks and the like.

My focus – throughout the ride – was on maintaining cadence as long as I could – and thats what I was focusing on the ascent as well – did that peacefully (gears:1×2/3, 7-10kmph) for the first 3 kms – took a break – carried on for another 3 in similar fashion, then hit the hairpins. The first couple were a disaster – went to 1×1 and was looking for the next lower gear by the end of the slope after the bend ๐Ÿ™‚ Vasu suggested moving to the next higher gear on the front (2×2/3) and standing up – pushing hard just around the bend and settling down to the lower gears imdtly after – that helped and went all the way up – with some effort tho. Nandi was in the clouds, and their was a fair smattering of rain to keep things cool.

It must routine for a lot of you guys, but I went “woooooooo…” when I reached the top ๐Ÿ™‚

The downhill – in heavier rain for part of it – was a 35-44kmph affair all the way with the v-brakes doing a fairly decent job! Vasu timed himself and was actually pedalling hard as well – 11.something minutes from the ticketed gate to the base!

Vasu suggested a smaller road to Doddaballapur turning right from the base – we took that – lovely, scenic, lesser traffic. Lunch at D-b-pur was egg+rice/chapati as you wished.

The limbs were beginning to tire a bit – we hit the century a few kms along on the road to yelahanka – and average speeds dropped quite a bit. Joshine was in bad shape but determined nevertheless, and Vasu’s egging, and lighthearted banter to keep us distracted, made life easier ๐Ÿ™‚ We got to Yelahanka eventually, and from there the rush of city traffic enveloped us, and soon we were cutting/dicing through the urban commuter mess.

Got home at nearly 8:15 – more than 14 hrs after I’d started, 13+ hrs of the actual ride and 8:40 on the saddle! 145kms – unthinkable in the morning but achieved by the evening…felt real good. Especially including the Nandi ascent and rain-riding. And the legs/knees didn’t feel half as bad as after my earlier two long distance rides. Slept like a log, though each turn was a sloow painful process.

Am feeling a lot more confident about the TFN stages I’m doing – at least the first day. Getting up in some sort of shape and doing the Ooty climb on day 2 is totally another cup of tea. Raring to go, nevertheless…


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