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To Ananthagiri

I had been to Ananthagiri, near Vikarabad for a 2 day ride. It was a fun ride. Thanks to Atlanta Foundation for renting the cyles. Hi-fi to all the riders who made it to the ride. A detailed report is here.

First 100!

We, Ritesh and I, finished our first 100+km ride – approximately 110km. Yo!

The Route map

IIT-Bombay to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, and back.

Up

Down

The Story

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

Photos will come soon, hopefully.

Drafting

Drafting behind trucks (when cycling) could be a great energy saver. I came across this idea when reading up a blog post by a cyclist.

The idea is similar to birds flying in a V-shape to get a greater lift. While drafting, the goal is to reduce the drag force.

Pacelines in cycling races are formed precisely for this reason. This page has a short summary of what drafting is all about.

Should be trying this out, the next time around.

Another 60 ...

I'd We had been on a 60 km long trip today. My second one, and Ritesh's first. The map of our route is here. On the whole the ride was wonderful! A thoroughly enjoyable one. It was near perfect, with it raining only as much as we enjoyed an not anymore. :)

  • The ride on Godbander Road was the most enjoyable part of the ride. Simple Wonderful! That's what made the trip worth it!
  • It was more relaxed than my previous ride and it took us about 5 hours on the whole. We must've been pedalling for about 4 hours. I don't have the "actual" figures.
  • Except for the stretch of Western express highway (service road) from Jogeshwari to a little after the Sanjay Gandhi National park's entrance, the road was decent. The Eastern Express highway service road was awesome!
  • Cycling alone is totally different from cycling with someone else. We didn't really go together, but we were meeting up once in a while. The loneliness, of rides on which you are alone, is absent. But waiting for, or catching up with the other guy is a bit tricky. I wonder how it would be with a bigger group.
  • I tried to keep going at about 60% effort and I still had quite a bit of juice left in me, at the end of the ride.
  • My cycle is definitely good! I really only understood this after exchanging my cycle.
  • Exchanging cycles felt nice. A slightly different set of muscles were in action. The newness kinda helped.
  • I should probably get myself a bigger round frame spectacles. Or I'm craning my neck a bit too much, to keep looking ahead, while pedaling. How about contacts?
  • The problem with riding on the left of Highways is that you "compete" with heavy vehicles. It sometimes gets a bit scary.
  • I should get a helmet soon.
  • I should get in touch with local cycling groups and tag along with them on a couple of rides. I'll get to learn a lot of things.
  • Ritesh took a few pics with his phone. Photos in some later post or with an update.
  • Where to next? A ride inside the National park, probably or the wonderful roads of Navi Mumbai.

Kudos Ritesh!

UPDATE: A few pictures, that Ritesh clicked on his phone. All the photos were on the Godbander Road.

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Gateway get away

A Rocking.. err.. Pebbling.. err.. Pedaling Trip. IIT Bombay, Powai to the Gateway of India. I simply loved it!

The original plan was to land somewhere near Chowpatty beach, but I had some useless landmarks and I got lost. I was not too particular about going to a particular place, so didn't try too hard to stay on track and was happy to end up at the Gateway. Thanks to the Mumbai local, I don't know the road routes. But, again thanks to the Mumbai local, I have a general idea of the direction.

I woke up a bit later than scheduled, but almost made up for the delay until I reach my cycle to find the rear tyre fully flat. I quickly diagnosed the problem to be with the valve. But, I had no spare valve, unless, I "borrow" it from a cycle near-by. I replaced my valve with Vattam's cycle's and was good to go!

I didn't have a big enough water bottle, and carried along only half a litre after drinking one half litre. The first half hour was a breeze; possibly the best part of the whole ride. High on energy and enthu. Then, my groin/ass started to hurt a bit. I pulled out my music player to drown the pain in music. This kinda worked and I pulled on pretty well until King's circle. That's when I emptied all the water I had. I hoped to find water along the way, if I badly needed it.

Sometime later, I had to take a right turn, but I never knew where. I didn't bother to ask anyone, nor did I look at the landmarks I had scribbled down. I was happy to go straight ahead. :)

And by the time I reached CST/Fort, I did need water; badly enough. I stopped at the next open shop (that was not a pan-ki-dukaan) and got myself some Nimbu paani and a litre of water (for future).

The Gateway of India was just 10 minutes away from here. Loitered around there, for about 40 minutes. There were a lot of Policemen all over the place. After about 5 minutes of me reaching there, they cleared the whole area right next to the Gateway of India. I don't know why. (Also, all along the way, there were a lot of men in Khaaki. I guess there's some rally or some such thing scheduled)

On the return, I lost my way almost immediately after starting. There was a one way road that I avoided and took the adjacent road but ended up going off-track. I had some doubts about this but they weren't confirmed until I reached Mahalaxmi station! But there, a Taxi driver gave me rough guidelines to get back on my track. I turned back and soon was "back-on-track".

I'd planned to have breakfast at Idli house, as soon as I saw it during my onward journey. So, I went directly to Idli house, and treated myself to a Rava idli and some wonderful Kaapi. The waiter got tipped well, too. ;)

From Matunga, back to IIT was straight forward; except for the growing traffic and the PITA (literally). The traffic signals were a bit annoying, too.

On the whole was an awesome trip! I loved it. Hope to go on more such rides. But, I guess I'll head north-ward, the next time.

By the way, it was approx. 60kms on the whole and took me 5 hours (including the time I spent at the Gateway of India) with about 3 hours 40 mins of pedaling.. err.. rocking. :D

Here is a photoset

"Plan"

IIT to Chowpatty

Route

Actual

Onward

Route

Timing

  • IIT-Bombay <2010-03-28 Sun 06:20>
  • Matunga <2010-03-28 Sun 07:10>
  • Gateway of India <2010-03-28 Sun 08:10>

Return

Route

Timing

  • Gateway of India <2010-03-28 Sun 08:50>
  • Reach Idly house <2010-03-28 Sun 09:40>
  • Start at Idly house <2010-03-28 Sun 10:00>
  • Reach IIT Bombay <2010-03-28 Sun 11:05>

Stuff I was carrying

  1. water
  2. ID
  3. some cash
  4. paper, pencil
  5. mobile phone
  6. music player, ear phones
  7. digital camera
  8. rough map
  9. Geetanjali - Tagore