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The Evil Coin

Monday, January 16, 2012

you humans, you ravening species
you created me, you coined me
and then
your blood em poisoned
your eyes blinded
your minds hypnotized
you fell under my spell

my humans! my slaves!
you will now forever bow to my Power


A failed attempt - with happy smile

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This is a summary of my recent attempt at the 300km Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) Brevet ride dated December 17, 2011.

So here is my story. Being my first 300km+ bicycle ride, was excited about the event, the excitement doubled due to  none 100km+ rides done in past 3 months, was eagerly waiting for the day. The ride would take me across 3 states Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, where i had to cover a total of 315km in 20hrs. wow!

The previous night preparations included, procuring some high energy goodies at the grocery store, packs   of electrolytes from the medical store, some general gear check up, installing high power front lights and rear strobe (as a few hours towards the end had to done in the night), lubing chains, inflating tires and all that stuff followed by a hot shower and an sleepless night :P anyways, woke up early at 4:45am, slipped into the compression clothing, a reflector jacket on top, set myself on the saddle, to peddle 10km to the start point, the MG Road metro station, in a serene and quite early morning chill. Being the the first one to reach there, waited for bunch of co-riders and organizers to arrive, signed off waver form, got the brevet card stamped, received a cue sheet with a map and kicked off for the big ride sharp 6am.

The early morning darkness lifted off within minutes, was soon cruising through the dense misty fog all the way up to Hoskote where took a right turn towards Malur. Water droplets dripping off the helmet, wet hands engulfed in fog, ridding felt like a dream. Highways shrunk into narrower village roads. A tough time maneuvering through a numerous patchy stretches and a consistent wind resistance to slow me down. every small bump on the road faithfully transmitted all throughout the body. The fantastic weather being on my side helped to keep moving on. After a fresh hot idlis at Malur at 43km, refilled my water stock and headed toward the Tekal. Roads were decent with sudden broken tarmacs in between. Small towns of Bangarapet, Bethamangala, Venkatagirikota were soon crossed. The co-riders gave  a wonderful company. Stopped in between a couple of times, stretched, ate countless roadside bananas, had a hot refresher tea, while the local people and children gathered around to see, touch and inquire about the expensive looking bicycles with techno gadgetry and strange thin wheels. Told them about the trip and got big smiles back, soon moved on.

As the time passed off, eventually sun made its presence felt. A midday and i was riding into Andhra. Kind of felt exhausted with the rising mercury, but then a 20km decent from Vekatagirikota into the deep gorges of Peranampattu was the sweet desert. Crowded town of Peranampattu at 142km under 1:30pm blazing sun felt crazy hot. Unable to find a decent place to rest and feed myself a lunch, gulped 2 rounds of orange juice and started to Vaniyambadi at a little lower pace. The Peranampattu-Ambur stretch was a cool surprise, In spite of being hot, an awesome country side, roads lined up with luscious green trees with wide canopies, the coconut plantations, black grapes, sugarcane fields, plump tamarinds fallen from the trees,  the spectacular sight of small houses and village life by the road side was wonderful to watch.

The radiant sun slowly turned into pleasant yellow. After 180km of almost a non stop hard ridding, it felt nice to be on the smooth Bangalore-Chennai Highway. Felt hungry and exhausted.

Final Destination still 120km away, was going strong and confident but, unfortunately developed some weird knee pain, took the most needed rest and lunch at Cholas highway restaurant at 5:30pm, started again, pushing myself to another 40km upto Krishnagiri only to increase the pain to the point where pedaling further felt difficult and impossible. The long krishnagiri-hossur climbs waiting ahead felt like a monster. Had enough of strength and endurance to make it but the knees wouldn't just allow to move further, decided to drop off from ride, a wise decision indeed. Dark 7:00pm looking out for transport, found a mini truck at Krishnagiri, threw myself and the bike in. Although felt relieved but cant explain how bad it felt to drop off from the ride i was counting on from weeks. wanted so much to finish this ride. Safely back in Bangalore, a hot shower, followed by a dead sleep, the hard day came to an end and i became the 'Did Not Finish' (DNF) in the ride  :(

Nevertheless 220km is still a big number. Actually its not about the number but the journey and the experience and i am happy to have absorbed and grown on that :)

It was good overall experience with a lot of lessons to learn. 
  1. Never mess up with the bike fit settings just before a big ride
  2. Practice long rides more often. Long brevet rides aren't jokes. They aren't impossible either but they just need a different planning, preparation and strategy
  3. Speed thrills but still avoid hitting those big gears on a long ride. Take it easy on knees
  4. Loose weight. A reduction of mere 2kg makes hell lot of difference specifically on the climbs
A quick search on the net showed up ITB syndrome mixed with micro trauma due to overuse. A full recovery from the injury being crucial for speedy rehabilitation.

Its been more than couple of weeks now and things seems perfectly fine. Currently focusing on the overall fitness and the right cycling techniques, have already started doing short frequent low gear, high cadence rides. Luck next time.

Some Ride Statistics
Start time: 6am
Drop time: ~7pm 
Total time: ~13hrs
Total distance: 220km
Max Speed: 53.4kmph
avg speed: 21kmph

Elevation profile and the Map of the route

Google map - Kolar Gold Fields 300K BRM



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