It feels so good to try something new. Well.. Truth be told, cycling is not really new to me. As a kid, I used to be on my cycle ALL THE TIME! It’s only after we moved to the ‘big city’ that my cycling completely stopped.
A few years ago, my brother borrowed a friend’s cycle, to be fit you know! That cycle never left the garage, except the one time when I decided to take it for a spin. I used to be so good with the cycle, but that day, the cycle was not my friend. It was a complete alien out to get me! I was just not able to get the rhythm. Every time I wanted to cross the street, I kept looking into the imaginary rear view mirror. Guess I got too conditioned with riding a scooter and driving that changing lanes or crossing the road without the rear view mirror got really scary. Even the speed at which you break and the cycle reacts to it, I was just not able to get a hang of it. Defeated by the one who used to be my best friend, my companion, I put the cycle away. Maybe it really wasn’t worth reviving an old friendship.
Today, many years after that unfortunate attempt, I went back on the saddle. Boy oh boy.. I’m so glad that I didn’t let that incident scar me for life. Since I’m training for the Bangalore Half Marathon, only running was getting a bit boring. Cycling is a good way to cross train and I thought it would be a good way to jazz up the training.
There is a place near my house where I can rent a bike, but which bike? What route? How do I do this? Cycling has changed a lot now. Fortunately I had my cousin to help me out with all the details. I went to the store after work, and got myself a pretty good looking bike (I’m so vain! Pah!)
I didn’t want anything to go wrong the next morning and got my kit ready the night before. Water bottle, a packet of biscuits (although I was advised to take bananas, but didn’t have any at home) a napkin and wallet. I think I was ready.
Plan – 25 – 30 kms
Time – Didn’t matter.
I set off a few minutes short of 6:00am, nervous like mad! What if all those things I feared came back to haunt me? Well, if they did, I would deal with them then.
Kms 1-5.. Within the City. So far so good. It was kind of downhill so I was doing pretty well. Really enjoying ride and watching the colour of the sky change. It is amazing how much traffic there is at this hour? Bangalore does not sleep!
Kms 6-10.. Heading on to Srjapura Rd, the ride was getting a little tougher, but not that tough. I just realized that since it was easy on the way out, the way back was going to be pretty bad. It would be an upward gradient and I would be tired. To add to things, it was drizzling. I guess that was a good thing and a bad thing. It was not hot or bright, but the constant fear of getting caught in a downpour was not fun.
Kms 11-15… Nothing had changed, neither the weather, nor the gradient. Roads got narrower and traffic included heavy trucks and busses, so I had to be suuuper careful. So far I was doing decent time..but we’re not tracing the time right 😉
Turnabout at 15km… Excited to get to my halfway mark, I was ready for a quick break. I found this really cute place to stop under three large mango trees which looked like they were there waiting just for me. I got off my bike and wiped off all the muck that had collected on my face before having water. The trucks and busses had been splashing water all over me. Eekkss! Thank god I had the napkin with me. Not wanting the break to be too long, I set off again.
Kms 16-20.. This is where the work actually began. The traffic was picking up and the gradient was no longer in my favour. The drizzling continued, so good thing and bad thing again.
Kms 20-25.. Arrrghhh!!! I wanna go downhill again! It was just not getting easier. I did know that it wouldn’t be easy on the way back, but you never really know until you get there. To add to my misery, my bottom was beginning to hurt with what they call ‘saddle sores’. You know what, despite all this, I still was super happy on the bike. I knew that the ride would end soon and I was not ready for it. I decided to go back via HSR layout adding a few kilometers to the route. (Also, I knew that the direction in which I would be going, it was all downhill.. well almost!)
Kms 26-30.. Bangalore roads! Really! They are a class apart. The potholes and the patchwork was really not helping the growing soreness in my backside. Fortunately, I got to HSR Layout and the roads were so much better. On the downside, there was quite a bit of a climb before I could hit the downhill part of the ride. When I finally got there…. wheeeeeeeeee!!!!! It was all worth it! Lalala!
Kms 31-33… The final stretch, and it was home sweet home. The sun was peeping out just as I got to my driveway. Thank you sun for being so kind as to stay away during the ride. It was time to take the pictures.
Distance.. 33 kms
Time.. 1:50 hrs
Not to bad eh? By the time I got home, I was tired, covered in muck from head to toe, but totally invigorated. My brother had told me that people have only two reactions to biking – either they love it or absolutely hate it. There is no ‘eehh watever!’ feeling. I’m happy to report that I’m in the former category. I’d do this again in a heartbeat. Errrmm… one my backside recovers that is. I have a strange feeling that this is the first of many to come.
PS: Unfortunately, I sustained an injury 🙁 I broke my nail while I was changing gears. I’ll have to get a manicure now.