We, Ritesh and I, finished our first 100+km ride – approximately 110km. Yo!
The Route map
IIT-Bombay to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, and back.
We started at around 0720 and were hoping to reach Karnala Bird Sanctuary by around 1130. We — actually, soot covered clones of us — reached by about 1215 or so. That’s pretty decent, considering we were directed to Karnala sports complex, when we were looking for bird sanctuary and there was quite a bit of traffic near Panvel.
While we were getting tickets to get into the sanctuary, a man was amused by Ritesh’s polka (dirt) dotted shirt and asks us whether we rode down from JNPT. We got all excited and told him, that we rode down from Powai! He just said, “Gone Mad!” and walked away, as if madness was contagious. Both of us, felt great! We were high! It felt like the best compliment to get after a long, tiring, (blackening) ride. We got in and rushed to a tap and almost had a bath under it. The first touch of cold water was heaven! Just a while later, we got a shock. We couldn’t get any food near/inside the sanctuary. We will have to go back 3 km for that. We spent about an hour and a half, getting some oxygen, looking for a few birds, giving up and settling with spiders and clicking some pictures. We got went back 3km to the hotel and spent about an hour there (not all of it eating ;). We started back at around 1515.
The ride back was eventful. We took a slightly different route, tempted by a free Highway(NH4), waiting to be rode on. The road looked awesome, with a hill on the left, and no vehicles in sight. But, as fate would have it, Ritesh’s rear tyre gave way. After some search we found a guy fixing tyres of vehicles on the highway. But he refused to fix our bicycle. He refused even to fill air in it, so we could reach the nearest cycle repair shop. After more search, we found who agreed to fill air in the tyre. (It needs a special valve pin. The previous guy, probably didn’t have it. But we could’ve hacked up something.)
We rushed to Kalamboli and got the tyre fixed. Then we headed back in the route that we had come on. It’d been raining on and off through out the morning. But first rain on the return only started near Nerul. It was a great relief. My cycle started moving more smoothly… I loved it. We got lost a bit near Ghatkopar. Also, the traffic was quite bad there. (Why do drivers get so bad, once it starts raining? It’s not unique to Mumbai, but quite visible here. We were back in Campus by around 2040.
Ritesh was energized after the puncture was fixed. He rode like crazy, after that. The sole of my feet started hurting — something like a cramp. I don’t know what exactly happened. Also, my groin was hurting quite a bit. My only motivation at that point was seeing Ritesh ride like crazy. He was at his best, then! I’m still wondering where he got all that energy from. It was a great ride, for both of us! Motivating each other to keep going. :)
Ritesh, where to next?
Some lessons for future
- The Cycle needs to be as close to perfect, as it possibly can be.
- Carry your route map along. Enquiring the route a colossal waste of time and sometimes unreliable, too.
- A pollution mask is a must for Mumbai (or any other city.)
- Carry enough water and food. (We drank about 7L of water between us)
- Need to learn how to fix punctures. Need a tool kit.
- A helmet, shorts with padding would be good.
- An odometer would be useful too.
- Learn to use the hand-pump or carry along a normal pump.
- I should probably ride along with some Cycling group for the experience of it. I’ll get to learn a lot of things.
Photos will come soon, hopefully.