A lot of riders started from Hebbal around 6:30. Joshine and I left from Kgla/Sarjapura Road respectively at 5:20 to get there in time, and we did. Eventually, the fragmented groups of riders were Ram, Alex, Joshine, Sharath, Saurabh, I and another guy on a roadbike (sorry – forgot the same). Nupur had driven upto Nandi’s base and was riding up. It was good going today and there were few stops – the first being for breakfast just before the airport turn, and the next a short one at Nandi base. Joshine climbed with no breaks, and I took 2. Sharath had a fall and aborted the ascent a a little before the top – and Saurabh did the last 3 kms again while we got to the top 🙂 Sriram, who was running today – met him and Nupur on their way down – they helped Sharath out. Flew back down – and there was a nice little gathering of all riders there, whom Vasu had joined too – he rode nonstop from Kgla to Nandi base! Joshine and I decided to try the climb again, while the others left for Bangalore. The sun was nice and bright and hot by now. This time I remembered to lockout the suspension, but, in hindsight, should’ve eaten before we left. Stopped after 5+ kms once, and in another km and a half, felt a bit of loss of control. Stopped for a longish break, and realized I needed food. Finished the ride with superhuman will 🙂 and immediately announced my alimentary intentions to Joshine, who’d again done it without a break – some willpower the girl’s got! Numerous biscuits, popcorn, juice, cucumber and chikki bites later, we started back. The downhill, as always, made it all worth it 🙂 Refilled water and started back for Bangalore in terrible heat. That sapped us of energy real quick – especially on the main highway. By the time we crossed the airport trumpet exchange, the consensus was to break for lunch, and wait it out till the sun was less harsh. We attacked the food with relish – tho I’m sure it wasn’t the best around 😉 The heat was less of an issue when we started again, but it was slow and easy going from thereon. We were tired, clearly, though still pushing hard on descents. Eventually Hebbal came and the rush of the city traffic helped in a way. Did Hebbal – Sarjapura road in an hour! bid adieu to Joshine at viveknagar and rode slowly home, which I got to by 6:15. The speedo showed about 156.5, but given that at Nandi top it wat 72, and the extra climb would have been 16-17 kms, I figure I actually managed 160! The speedo does stop working intermittently, and is a trifle pessimistic anyhow. In any case, its my century ride, 160 or not 😉 Feel much more ready for TFN, after this one. Learnt how to manage the heat a bit – gotta drink more often, take breaks evert 10-15 kms. The knees are just fine, though the shoulders need some more work. And I should probably get the cycling shorts anyhow….