The week before last, I had decided to go to Nandi Hills. Febin had also agreed to come with Manjeri’s cycle. But, on Friday, Manerji’c cycle developed some problem and we were in a fix. Febin decided to buy a new cycle immediately. I right away set off on my Trek to Decathlon in Sarjapura which was some 16-20 kms away. We bought a B’Twin Rockrider 5.1 the same day and came back to my place immediately. We rested and had some food. Since, Febin had not ridden a cycle in a long time we decided to leave early.
So, after a light nap, we set off at 1’O’ Clock. It was a little crazy as he had not had any time to get used to his cycle and we were straight away setting off for a 120 km ride, and that too immediately after a 20 km ride. Anyway, we decided to put good sense aside and just do it.
Before setting off, we had decided on the route using Google Maps. I entered the destination into my phone and used it to make sure that we were not making any mistakes. There was no traffic and riding was an absolute pleasure for me. The night air was cool, the roads were smooth and there was light breeze from behind. Perfect conditions for a good average. After some 26 kms we were past Hebbal. We took a break as Febin started getting back and neck pains. Also, his cycle did not have high enough gear ratios and he was having a tough time keeping up with me.
The day before, he had made big claims saying that he would beat me with an ordinary cycle. I didn’t use the occasion to taunt him a little as I worried about the more than 100 kms remaining. We took breaks every 20 kms. I had some Tiger-On-Steroid balm like spray which he used on his neck. Very soon he started complaining about butt-pain too. Thats the most dangerous an unbearable of all pains.But, like a true soldier he battled on. Stroke by stroke, metre by metre, braving all sorts of pain, through the pitch black night he cycled on and eventually covered the 100+ kms.
It is a pretty neat feeling. Cycling through unknown roads, in the dark, with a light breeze while keeping out a beady eye for speed-breakers.
We stopped at a wayside eatery and had a cup of tea and a bread-omelette and again set off. After some 8 kms, I realized that I had forgotten both my bag and my new helmet. I had to cycle back and get it and come back again. I met Febin on the way and asked him to go on.
By the time I reached the start of Nandi Hills, he was waiting for me there. An accident had happened there recently and because of that they now let people through only after sunrise. I really wanted to cycle all the way up. But my panicked cycling for the last 16-20 kms had shaken me up a bit. We were drinking only water and we didn’t have anything to eat with us. I was starting to get fatigued.
Anyway, I set off on my cycle and Febin started walking his cycle up. With a few breaks in between I cycled 6.5 kms up. But, the last 1.5kms was really steep and I had to simply give up. As I was walking up, a vehicle drew up and stopped in front of me. Inside, I saw Febin sitting with his cycle. What a relief it was! I put my cycle on board and dragged myself onto the vehicle. We were really too tired to see all the sights. We walked to the very top and bought a pineapple and some biscuits which we ate with great relish. I had not slept in 24 hrs. So, I took a nap on a rock in the strong breeze.
The ride downhill was just awesome!! No pedaling. Just speed. Free, effortless speed… The wind buzzing in your ears, the Bontrager tires making a juicy whining sound as they gripped the road, the sharp winding curves, pulsed braking before, light pedaling after, motocross style leaning in and making turns at crazy angles while perched like an eagle on the cycle… It was like a dream, a boy’s biggest dream(after well endowed girls, of course!)… 8kms of downhill road curving and winding… it was just mind-blowing!!
The confidence that my Trek inspired in me was amazing. I never thought I could cross 50kmph on a cycle. I could have done more if my legs weren’t shaking as much(probably from low electrolyte).
We cycled up to the airport. After that, the dry strong winds against us, the barren desert like road, the heat and the hunger started getting to me. We cycled for some 3 kms more and then caught a volvo bus to Bangalore. We slept soundly for some 2 hrs after which the bus dropped us off at Murugdeshpalya from where we cycled to my place.
After a nice hot bath I ravenously gorged on the chicken and chappathi that our cook had made. Made a lot of hot drinks and lay down in front of the TV to watch the WC final.
All in all, a fantastic trip. My tribute to Kudiyan for demonstrating great tenacity and endurance. But, he definitely underestimated the task and his claim that he would beat me with an ordinary cycle was rather stupid and a little irritating. I am pretty certain that he has learned his lesson though. The cycle plays a very important role on long rides like this. Looking forward to more such trips…