Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pedalathon successfully completed!!!!

I(we) successfully completed the Pedalathon(cycling from Bangalore to Chennai on the Old Madras Road).

We were 9 in total. Kiruba, Satish, Shyam, Shree, Sandeep, Ajay,KK, Myself(left to right in the photo). And of course, How can I forget Abhinav(guy taking the photo). He was the most useful guy.. to tow the tired.

It was a great experience and a bucket full of surprises. Surprise no. 1:- No nth minute drop outs(as it usually happens for all trips/treks), but nth minute inclusions!!!! And the Inclusion was Shree!!! (will tell about him later).

Day 1:
Surprise no.2- All of us(9 people) meeting exactly at 3:45 near Sony World, Koramangala and starting off at 4am.
Initially all were full of enthu and we were cycling pretty fast. As we covered about 20kms, our Sandy started falling behind. He was pretty apprehensive about his stamina from the beginning ... and it was I who had pushed him to join Pedalathon. So, it was my turn to worry now, seeing him mentally & physically down within the first 35-40 kms. There was still a long way to go. I tried hard to be along with him and to encourage him.

Just about 15 kms behind Kolar, a car driven by an old man was punctured. To add to the troubles, the passenger in the car was older than him and they were struggling to change the tyres. It was here that our team got into action. Also, myself and Sandy got some time to catch up with the rest of our team. The tyre was changed (Ofcourse, team work) and the car was ready. I realised the greatness of our work when the old man joined both his hands in gratitude. I was dumbfounded...

With a feather in our caps, and with the Kamat Upachar only a few metres away, it was time for breakfast(9 am). Had a hearty breakfast of idlies, kesaribath, vada, dosa.....Again started at 10am. Slowly the front tyre of KK started giving troubles. The air was very low, and we suspected a flat tyre. The nearest puncture shop was at Narasapur(about 10kms). With no other way, we deviated from the highway to Narasapur. On the way, we saw our Surprise no.3: Hundreds of bats, as big as eagles clinging on to the trees en-route. We could see them only on 3-4 trees(100s in number), but none on other trees nearby. Don't know why....

With KK's tyre problem fixed, we had already lost a lot of time, it was time to push ourselves now. Thankfully, Sandy recovered after being fuelled.

Stopped to have our lunch near Nangli at a road side dhaba at around 1pm. After a nice lunch, our bodies wanted some rest. while some took a nap on the rope cots, some went to attend nature calls. It was again a big break of more than an hour. All were ready, and Sandy went missing. Thinking that he has gone to attend nature call, we waited for some more time, but no sight of Sandy. Then, someone saw his cap behind a lugguage auto. He was cooly sleeping and we were waiting.

Had a long way to go now(about 80kms) before dusk... The sun was shining bright and the heat kept on increasing as we neared Andhra. We had to take more frequent breaks. My Butt.. was already paining like hell. The heat was taking it's toll on Satish and he had to be towed by Abhinav. After some time, Abhinav shifted on to Satish's cycle and Satish on to Abhi's bike.

Had our snacks near Palamaner at 5:30pm. The road after Palamaner was awesome. We were crossing the Eastern Ghats through the Rayala Elephant Sanctuary. The sudden downward slope gave us ample rest and improved our avg speed a lot.

After the ghats, it was dark now and nearly 30 more kms to Chittoor(our destination for the 1st day). Guys with headlamps on their cycles lead the way and we reached chittoor at 9pm. A hearty dinner and a good night's sleep in an a/c room, gave a boost to our energy.

1st day stats - 185kms covered, max speed 35+kms(near the ghats), moving average 17+kms/hr.

2nd day: Surprise no.4: Though tired like hell, we started at 5am.
Satish also had some problems with his cycles, so he decided to board a chennai bus from Chottoor. So, now 7+1. With a tough deadline to meet, we actually did better the second day.
Breaked for breakfast about 10kms before Ranipet.
After Walajapet, we joined the Golden Quadrilateral. From here, no trees on the roadside. The road is very good for motor vehicles, but not for cycles. It was like cycling inside an oven. We were drenched fully. We, also took regular water breaks to prevent dehydration.

For lunch, we again preferred a dhaba(so that we can rest for sometime on the rope cots) near Kanchipuram.

Again had a long break. Now it was about 65kms more to Chennai.
The journey afternoon was worse. Humid climate was killing us(but not our spirits).
By now, myself, Ajay and Shree were far ahead of the rest of the team. When we reached Sriperambudur, we met Jacob(another case-study in himself). He had ran till Sriperambudur(42kms from Chennai) to meet us, so that he can again run back along with us. Oops.. what a guy!!!

Jacob started along with us, but since Shree had a bus at 8:30, we had to hurry up.

And.. atlast we reached Poonamallee(Chennai outskirts) at 6:00pm. While we were waiting for the rest of the team, we met Satish.
Surprise no.5: All in good (atleast not sooo bad) shape, no mishaps (I was expecting a few casualties atleast :-) )

2nd day stats: 150+kms covered, average speed 18+kms/hr.

Now... travelling inside the city...it was the most difficult part. Somehow we reached the Koyembedu bus-stand by 8:00pm.
Rk met me there at 8:30pm. We were too tired to move around. Shree's bus was at 10 and our's was at 11. So, we were just sitting and chatting on the chairs. At 9:30 Kribs came along with Sandy in his car. He took me to his home. I had a nice bath there and a glass of buttermilk(thanks a lot to Krib's mother. It soothed my upset stomach).
As soon as I got into the bus, I was into deep sleep. Woke up only when we were in Koramangala, where Sandy and Ajay got down.
It was fun to see the group of autodrivers coming behind us and return back dissappointed when we alighted our bicycles.
So allz well that endz well.

Now a brief intro about our cyclists:
Kiruba:- dad of 2, In his 30s, Rowing champion, trekker, marathon runner, legendary blogger, cycles everyday to office etc.. etc.. and who knows what all he has in stock.
Shyam and Satish :- Marathon runners, regular cyclists. I must say.. Shyam is an energizer battery.'Never say die'.
Shree :- Long distance cyclist. Has done Bangalore to Mangalore, Mangalore to Ahmedabad, Mysore to Chennai, Chennai to Calcutta..etc..etc. by cycle. Keeps pedalling on and on... singing some song to the pitch of his voice. This guy can easily do long distance cycling with an average of 25kms+ an hour for sure. It was really really tough to keep up with him.
KK:- Cricketer, trekker and practising for marathon. KK, your speedo was very useful.
Ajay :- runs from Electronics city to Koramangala irregularly, cyclist, tough guy.
Sandeep :- Ran half marathons with me, trekker, cyclist, can be used as a donkey during treks.
Abhinav:- The most useful guy in this expedition. Tough guy and a good cyclist too (maybe even he didn't knew about it before).
And finally me :- I'VE COMPLETED THE PEDALATHON. Can anyone believe it!!!!

OOps... each one is a case study.

Needless to say.. Even with the application of lots of sunscreen, I'm roasted. And my Butt... it's difficult to sit. Some body pains, but the gains surpass the pains.

Rest of the Photos, click here.


sathish said...

gr8 post man...
yep, i did 've some probs later in day & my cycle was not behaving properly...

we shld try a cycling from Tirupathi to Tirumalai once, what say...

Guru said...

Your wish is my command Sir.

Rk said...

super post and nice pics.

I had ankle twists by birth. undergone 2 operations on the left leg and 1 on the right.
woo...didnt know about this!

Just wondering if someone could have done this without previous practise of long cycling ?

Abhinav Vinayakh Shankar said...

Awesome post Guru! Hope to join you guys next time, but on a cycle! :)

Karthikeyan....KK said...

Inspiring stuff guru!!! Keep cycling


Guru said...

even I was wondering whether I'll b able to do it without previous exp of long distance cycling, but one in a team, the spirit to keep up with it will take you along.

You r most welcome. And you can gain some weight also :)

Guru said...

And.. I forgot to thank all the people who encouraged us on our way. Lot of people in cars, lorries and buses waved and encouraged us.
Also, I hadn't seen the lorry drivers so decent and modest. They waited for us to pass!!!!
I think our helmets and the racing cycles gave them an impression that a race was on.

chitra said...

Oye..congrats !! When is the next one?

Guru said...

as I always say, my plans are runtime generated.
BTW, this same team is planning (to kill me)for Bangalore to Goa.

SUNIL said...

good one dude..let me know the next time u have such an event..I ll fill up the one gap u had..nth minute dropouts !! :)..ple do let me know

It needs character to achieve something..

Guru said...

Sure man.. will keep u informed.. but only if u promise me that you won't drop out.

shub said...

terribly small world, really! :)
great feat guys!

Anonymous said...

sisya, maga, guru ...super effort kandro.. nanu cycling madana anta idini... localaage...yava cycle inda start madodu anta gottitla..brand cycle .. antu intu overweightu...suggest any cycles u can to mee as a help..and guide...srini from vijngr also bangaore

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Anonymous said...

Cool adventures.. Hats off!

Keep it going. There are very few who dare to do something different.

And glad to know that you have a lot of like minded friends to do it together.

chandru said...

tumba chenagi bardidiya, ina inta sahasagalani magu. shubashayagalu.

Chaitra said...

WOW!!!... Congrats... Some feat this is!!

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Gyanender Pahuja said...

Hi Guru,

waiting for updates on your latest adventure trip.. no postings after May??

Anonymous said...

Your are one enthusiastic crazy weirdo i hv ever come accross;-)

Pritika Gupta said...

Hats off to u people..congrats

Dileep Mouleesha said...

maga.. awesome kano.. hats off!! hats off!!
*bows down with respect!*

Dileep Mouleesha said...

also maga.. do tell me if you doing this again.. i also manage to cycle around 100km a week (most of the times)

The Skylark (banadi) said...

Your achievements are incredible. Yeh hai India. Shabhash India.

Sudhir P said...

Cool. Came across ur blog looking for someone who has gone to maklidurga on cycle. Seems like u have gone a long way after that maklidurga trek.

Hope i have the pleasure of meeting u someday and pedaling along as well.

Sudhir P said...

thanks for the advice and thankx for the invite for Tour de Coorg. Unfortunately, i have my exams from 10th to 16th.

Will join next time round, depending on circumstances then.

The trip im goin tomorro, is more of a last moment freakout before starting preparations for the exams! A bit like a Che Guevara type of trip, minus the seriousness and importance bit, and also minus the extreme long distance bit!

Shrinidhi hande said...

Great post.

I'd drove on Bike between Chennai and B'lore...Have to try cycles sometimes.

I'd met Kiruba once, didn't know he was into cycling too...

Sridhar said...

ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ ,

ನಾವೆಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಕಾಲದಿಂದ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೀತಿದೀವಿ, ಓದ್ತಿದೀವಿ, ಪ್ರತಿಕ್ರಿಯಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ತಿದೀವಿ, ಮೇಲ್-ಸ್ಕ್ರಾಪ್-ಚಾಟ್ ಮಾಡ್ಕೊಳ್ತಿದೀವಿ.. ಆದ್ರೆ ನಮಮಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಜನ ಪರಸ್ಪರ ಪರಿಚಯ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿಲ್ಲ, ಮುಖತಃ ಭೇಟಿ ಆಗಿಲ್ಲ. ಇರಾದೆ ಇದ್ರೂ ಅದು ಸಾಧ್ಯ ಆಗಿಲ್ಲ!

ಇಂತಿದ್ದಾಗ, ನವ ಪ್ರಕಾಶನ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆ ‘ಪ್ರಣತಿ’, ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಬಳಸುವ ಮತ್ತು ಓದುವ ಎಲ್ಲರನ್ನು ಒಂದೆಡೆ ಸೇರಿಸುವ ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಮುಂದಾಗಿದೆ. ನಾಡಿದ್ದು ಭಾನುವಾರ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲ ಪರಸ್ಪರ ಭೇಟಿಯಾಗುವ ಅವಕಾಶ ಒದಗಿ ಬಂದಿದೆ.

ಡೇಟು: 16 ಮಾರ್ಚ್ 2008
ಟೈಮು: ಇಳಿಸಂಜೆ ನಾಲ್ಕು
ಪ್ಲೇಸು: ಇಂಡಿಯನ್ ಇನ್‍ಸ್ಟಿಟ್ಯೂಟ್ ಆಫ್ ವರ್ಲ್ಡ್ ಕಲ್ಚರ್‌, ಬಸವನಗುಡಿ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು

ಆವತ್ತು ನಮ್ಮೊಂದಿಗೆ, ಕನ್ನಡದ ಮೊದಲ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲ ತಾಣದ ರೂವಾರಿ ಡಾ| ಯು.ಬಿ. ಪವನಜ, ‘ದಟ್ಸ್ ಕನ್ನಡ’ದ ಸಂಪಾದಕ ಎಸ್.ಕೆ. ಶ್ಯಾಮಸುಂದರ್, ‘ಸಂಪದ’ದ ಹರಿಪ್ರಸಾದ್ ನಾಡಿಗ್, ‘ಕೆಂಡಸಂಪಿಗೆ’ಯ ಅಬ್ದುಲ್ ರಶೀದ್ ಸಹ ಇರ್ತಾರೆ, ಮಾತಾಡ್ತಾರೆ.

ಎಲ್ಲರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಸಂಜೆ ಕಳೆಯುವ ಖುಶಿಗೆ ನೀವೂ ಪಾಲುದಾರರಾಗಿ ಅಂತ, ‘ಪ್ರಣತಿ’ಯ ಪರವಾಗಿ ಪ್ರೀತಿಯಿಂದ ಆಹ್ವಾನಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಈ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರಿಗೂ ತಿಳಿಸಿ. ಅವರನ್ನೂ ಕರೆದುಕೊಂಡು ಬನ್ನಿ.

ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಸಿಗೋಣ,