My first time to the United States turned out to be a short trip indeed. I only had one destination in my calendar – San Fransisco. A quick trip to Seattle happened too, except that I only saw the interiors of my aunt’s home there
In Delhi, I met a lady called Anita, who had sold her car around 10 years ago and now cycles around instead. She told me that with her workplace and home not too far from each other, she manages on two wheels most of the time. And this too, in Delhi!
She said something else that struck a chord: “Do you notice that a large population of any city is on cycles. You just don’t notice them.”
And this is so true. When I wasn’t cycling (and didn’t know how to!), cyclists never registered in my vision – at least consciously. But there’s a huge lower and middle class population that relies totally on cycles. If you start looking, they’re everywhere. On the road, they’re a bunch of folks who come to your notice only if you happen to be behind them at a traffic signal and in your way. Otherwise, they’re a largely anonymous lot, who are either in front or behind the traffic, or on the side of the road. Sometimes, they’re also on the pavement
When I began cycling, I realized that it is not easy being a cyclist. That cyclists definitely deserve much more respect on the roads. In fact, even when I drive now, I am more mindful of cyclists because I have new found respect for what they go through everyday to survive on the roads. Roads filled honking and inconsiderate drivers. And a lot of rude, idiotic people in a big hurry to get… god only knows where.
Day 3: Hassan to Madikeri
A day filled with scenic routes but a lot of climbs and pretty tiring too in the end. It turned out to be a long day for me. The best part was early on when we had the Gorur dam stretch opened up for us to cycle on – around 3-4 kms on the dam itself. The ascent to Madikeri was a tough, tiring and long climb to end the day and after that we had another descent of nearly 5 kms to the homestay off Madikeri – made worse by the really really bad roads. We were glad that we had some Coorg food waiting for us!
After being flagged off at around 8 am in the morning yesterday (dec 16), it’s been around close to 270+ kms of cycling upto now for the TFN riders.
On Day 1, we made it from Bangalore to Mysore via the National Highway. It wasn’t the most pleasant stretch in terms of traffic, but I was just glad that I could get this part over with. With trucks and other high speed vehicles all moving at break neck speeds and honking continuously, it’s not really conducive to cyclists. But after lunch on the road, we reached our destination – the comfortable Hotel Regaalis and even got some time to take in some sightseeing in the evening.
Day 2 was an early morning start – we began around 720 am from Mysore and headed towards Hassan. A rather rolling terrain, which meant that our muscles got a big workout pedalling up and down for many kilometers. The only positive today was the great weather – it started drizzling in the morning and then got cloudy till around noon. It was only after our lunch stop (at around 95 kms from Mysore) that the sun came out! This also meant that we had to pedal the hardest stretch (long, long climbs!) with the sun shining down on us!
I was just glad to reach the hotel (Southern Star, Hassan) and have a really hot shower to relax the worn out muscles.
Gaurav is live blogging (as long as he has connection
Peevee has pictures
Some pictures from Day 1 and 2 on the road.
Just realised that it’s been a while since I updated. And I have good reason too! I have been busy preparing for the Tour of the Nilgiris…
It’s now around a month and a week away – and I still don’t feel I’m preparing well enough. And though, I’ve been hard at work climbing hills around Bangalore, I still feel I have quite a way to go
Last weekend, we did 90km preparation ride from BTM, Kanakpura Road, Harohalli, Jigni, Anekal, Begur, Hosur Road and back to BTM – a distance of 90 kms including a few stretches of continuous inclines. Thankfully, the weather gods were on our side and we had light drizzles, cool winds and the sun went into hiding – just perfect weather for a tough and long ride!
A few photos, courtesy Gopal V, who accompanied us all the way on his Bullet.