Yesterday I have set a new personal record by bicycling 64.42 kms nonstop! I did not get down from bike and rest for a minute!
Having not bicycled to office the entire week this week, thanks to the lock breaking and the newly ordered lock not arriving yet, I got restless. Driving the Skoda all the week started bothering me that while I talk about going green and reducing pollution, here I am driving to work every day by car. And yes, there was this ‘itch’ too to ride and a fear that if I give too long a gap, I might just get used to the comfort of a car. I decided the previous evening that since lot of mail was getting piled up, I would work from home the next day, the Friday. Working from home often is more productive than at office.
So here I am on the Friday morning, taking out my bike at 6 am. Because I was going to work from home anyway, even if I am not able to reach back home well in time, heaven is not going to fall. Usually I keep a target to leave at about 4:30 am, and manage to actually leave by 5:30 (one hour slippage – Indian Standard Time!). But today, it got further delayed leaving at 6 am. I said to myself, as hopped onto my bike, “I will do a shorter ride today, perhaps only a four hour ride”. It didn’t give me a good feeling to know that I will do a ride shorter than my usual. So I was asking myself, “am I progressing or regressing?”. And pat comes the idea, why don’t I do a shorter but nonstop ride? And if I do a nonstop, probably I will still be able to do a long ride since I waste no time.
I move on to the Rajiv Gandhi Outer Ring Road. After going 3 kms plus, I realize I did not start the GPS based sports software micoach from Adidas correctly. I start that and bicycled off. When I completed 10 kms, I felt I probably needed a rest. But did not rest . . . laughed at myself wanting to stop so early on my ride. It was a beautiful morning. Although sun had come out, it was still not sunny yet. I knew if I had to have a good ride, I needed to finish before it gets very late. I wanted to make sure that I am back home before 10 am latest, so I can get on to my laptop on time and start office work.
Riding solo is lot of fun. It’s like meditation. Just all by myself. I put some music. And into my own thoughts, or enjoying the music, or analyzing all that comes on my way, such as when I wondered how does water flow from within a rock when it is all rock-solid. How did the water seep in, store, and leak through cracks. As I analyze the deep crevices and look around the entire rock structure, I noticed that it is not all rock, there are pockets of mud/soil. It is interesting that from some small crevices there are tiny plants growing up! These mud pockets are the culprits which store water during rain and allow the water to seep in and leak out from crevices. Enlightened :).
Not many early walkers that I usually get to see during my weekend rides. The experience of riding on a working day seem to be different from the weekends. There aren’t any encouraging my cycle ride. I rode and rode and rode. As I was to get on the flyover, I was wondering if I can easily make it to climb and ride over the flyover without stopping or slowing down too much. So I picked up on pedaling. To my pleasant surprise, I did not have to go down even one gear. Yes, by the time I got to the top of the flyover, it did exhaust me. As I passed and peek over the highway beneath, it was so tempting to stop and take a snap. I resisted the temptation not to break my vow to ride nonstop and moved on.
I suspected the security who check vehicles going to airport will certainly stop me and may not allow me to ride further. I did not think the road was meant for trespassers not going to airport. And I cursed myself for making some last minute changes to my packing and not carrying an identity. To my pleasant surprise, no one stopped me at security. I just biked off. After hitting the airport roundabout for air traffic services, I pause right on my bike, take a couple of pictures, and pulled up my snack from the hydration bag – a peanut jaggery pack. Not stopping or taking rest to eat them, I continue riding as I eat the snack. Contrary to my fear, it wasn’t difficult to pull out the laddus and eat as I ride. As I exit the airport road getting on to the Bangalore Highway, in the last moment I saw there was a barricade to the exit and a bypass was provided to get to the highway. Lucky that I still had one full second, to steer myself out right and continue the ride. Did not fall :).
The ride on the return was uneventful. The objective was to reach home before the sun gets on top. Towards the last leg of 10 kms or so, my legs were paining, although not really exhausted. Kondapur, where I stay is higher in elevation. So unfortunately every time on my return when I should already be tired, I would actually have a more difficult ride. Gulping in two liters of water from my hydration bag (don’t have to get down the bike to drink water) all the way helps me keep hydrated. So here I am at my home, well in advance, actually one full hour before my targeted time. I reached the place at 8:50 am, clocking 2 hrs and 52 minutes of ride, a distance of 64.42 kms, averaging 22 kmph, and burning 1500 plus calories. And not exhausted at all, albeit the legs did pain somewhat.
The silver lining was, someone riding on a scooter stopped next to me, as I got down few yards from my home to avoid the traffic from opposite. As he introduced himself, it was a very pleasant surprise that he was Venky, my pen friend on biking, who had been in the US and just returned India two weeks back!
Nonstop ride for 64 kms! Feels good. My next goal is to have a long ride and then have one more the very next day. Not sure how it will be. Usually every long ride does bring in some sweet body pains, to be able to do one more the very next day!!