Why am I riding the TFN ?I’m a 34 year old desk-bound guy who’s hardly gotten any exercise in a decade. I’m certainly not the athletic kinds, reasonably sedentary, in fact. I’ve just started cycling only a few months ago. My legs aren’t that strong, and my knees howled in protest on the first long ride a couple of weeks ago. My parents will be in town, and I have a wife and kids who would have ideally joined me in a car on a trip to beautiful places like this. Why does anyone ride ? Especially such a ride ? I dunno – maybe its the idea of being up in the mountains with the December chill getting deep into your bones – with the only internal combustion happening inside your cells trying to counter the temperatures. Maybe its the silence of the wind whistling past your ears as you wheeeeeeee! down a slope. Perhaps its an escapist dream one wants to live for a few days, where all that matters is getting to the next milestone, or round the next bend. The company of like minded people to share stories with, and learn from, is surely part of the deal. Is it the likely battle with ones own self as one struggles up the Ooty switchbacks, or when the muscles scream for rest ? About crossing personal barriers, overcoming demons ? Is it the adrenaline rush of the long distances in the most fun terrain around these parts ? Or the fear of the rapidly increasing numbers on the right hand side of columns in forms which say “age:”, and a rush to do something before that number gets too big ? What ? Its a beautful place, and tough climbs, cool fresh air, great coffee, fun company. All of that. I could analyse this forever and ever. But at the end of the day, whats true is that I just want to do this ride. Perhaps I’ll find the answer along the way, perhaps not. Perhaps I’ll not even finish the legs I plan to do. But – I’ll have tried to do what I wanted to. Maybe thats the big one …..
C’y’all on the Tour of the Nilgiris.