September 23, 2013 3 Comments
A thread on Bangalore Bikers Group by Anil Kadsur about a ride to mysore triggered a massive response from the Bangalore cycling fraternity. The thread kept building as more and more people gave their confirmation to join the ride. The hype had built up massively and the final count stood around 120 cyclists who were eager to ride to mysore.
To make things even better, We even got a wonderful poster urging all cyclists to join the fun.
Various topics were discussed on the thread leading to the ride, ranging from the route, to hydration and the Do’s and Dont’s on the ride. All this is excellently compiled by Chidambaram in his blog. Those who are interested in doing long distance cycling, refer to the blog as it contains very important tips. BOTS even organized a interactive session for all the participants, 2 days before the ride.
As D-Day drew near everyone were excited and finally on 21st Sept we had around 80+ bikers assembled at Kanakapura- Banashankri Junction popularly known as Merida Junction to start off the ride. Some mandatory photos and it was time to hit the road.
Excited Bikers @Merida Junction
The ride began at 6.15 and the sea of bikers, began to snake through kanakapura road. The early morning weather made the going good. The group consisted of veterans who have done brevets ranging from 100-400 kms and many first timers who were doing their first century ride.
We were cruising along at decent speeds while chatting with other cyclists. Few stops in between to stretch our muscles, for refreshments and we soon we were at kanakapura around 8.30 where the faster cyclists were already at Vasu hotel enjoying a hearty breakfast. Those who had come late, stopped for breakfast while the others were getting ready to head onwards towards malvalli. A break for an hour and it ride continued.
The sun had come out by then and it was a slow ride towards malavalli. Frequent breaks were taken while waiting for others to catch up and the pace had come down a lot. Finally after lot of huffing and puffing myself and few others reached malavalli at 1 pm and took a break for lunch. The sun was blazing now and we still had another 50 kms to go to reach mysore. The ride in the afternoon was slow due to the weather which had become hot.
Our cycles and attire were the object of attention throughout the ride. The kids were giving us high 5′s and waving to us along the way and the locals were gazing in amazement at 50+ people cycling together. When we used to take breaks, the kids and the locals used to flock to the cycles and tried to change the gears, fiddle with the lights etc. They were surprised we were cycling all the way to mysore and were curious about the bikes we were riding. The following are the list of questions we were asked during the ride
- Why are you guys riding to mysore ? Cant you take the bus !!
- Wont you get tired cycling all the way ?
- How much does your cycle cost. If you say the price, u’ll get a motor bike for the price. Whats so great about the cycle your paying so much ! ?
- Will the cycle get punctured !! DO you have the tools to repair if something goes wrong.
- Are you cycling for any cause ?
Answering these questions and enjoying the attention of onlookers we continued towards mysore. Some of the faster riders had already reached Mysore while we were struggling in the heat. Finally at 6 in the evening myself and few others reached mysore. We came to know few of them were at Hotel Siddhartha and we went there, however they had gone to the bus stand by the time we reached. The canter which was booked was already full and the rest who had planned to return back the same day took the volvo. Some bravehearts even rode back in the night making it 300 kms in a single day.
A good night sleep and i was in a better shape to ride back the next day. Left mysore at 6.15 in the morning and met 3 others near the bus stand who were getting ready to ride back. The sun was just rising when I left mysore and it was a hard and fast ride in the hot sun on a relatively empty highway to reach home in 7 hrs compared to 12 hrs that I took when going.
I would like to thank Anil and Chiddu for organizing the ride and to all cyclists who took part. Had an awesome time riding with everyone.
Snaps can be found here