3 cyclists, 300 KM, 3 days. Between Bangalore and Mysore, out and back.
I came up with this idea a month back, considering a lot of 3 day weekends that are lined up in September/October. Sahu (middle one), the owner of my old horse, jumped in when I just mentioned about this. He bought a lot of accessories for the trip, which eventually ended up costing a bit more than his cycle :-). Anand (left), an infant in ProCurve cycling club, though hesitant for a day or two, joined us by the big day. He is a proud owner of a brand new RockRider 5.3, and did just
We met at Domlur flyover at around 5 AM on Friday. The plan is do 100 KM on the first day and stay at Mandya and do the remaining 50 KM next day. In the early morning pleasant weather and mostly downhill road till the outskirts of the city, we started our ride at a comfortable pace. Soon, we lost the count of heads turned and vehicles slowed down, just to ask what is going on. An Audi may miss an appreciative look, but not 3 cyclists in their cycling gear rocking along a high-way :-). We reached Bidadi, 30 KM from Bangalore, for breakfast. As, none of us were used to sitting on the almost non-existent saddles of our high-end cycles for longer periods of time, we started feeling the heat bottom-up. Few hours after the breakfast, we were searching frantically for the next Cafe Coffee Day en-route, for the cozy comfort of sofas to relax for a while. Finally, we found one around mid noon, just before Maddur. With only 30 KM left as per the original plan, we rode leisurely towards Maddur and had lunch at Maddur Tiffany's. Heavy lunch did some damage to my friends and we reduced our pace further down and reached Mandya by 5 PM and checked in a Hotel.
We started at 6 AM the next morning, and did around 30 KM with empty stomachs and reached Srirangapatnam. Unlike the previous day, this stretch was a bit more challenging with elongated uphills. After having a pathetic breakfast there, we are left with just 15 KM more to reach our destination. We reached Mysore Palace by 11 AM and did a cycle salute to mark the finish of our ride, before heading to Hotel.
We treated ourselves to an elaborate lunch buffet at Royal Orchid Metropole. Later, Anand got into a bus and returned to Bangalore. I and Sahu stayed back, to ride on our way back as well. 4 more colleagues reached Mysore by a car by evening. 6 bachelors in a city full of celebrations (the famous Mysore Dasara). Though we didn't participate in the Dasara celebrations, we had a gala time in our own way (Details have been censored).
Sahu wanted to break our just made record of 100 KM in a day, and do 150 KM and reach Bangalore on the same day. When he can think of doing it on a Hero-Octane, it would be an insult to hesitate with a Merida in hand. So, I too was game. We did 45 KM and reached Mandya with out any breaks and emptying bottle after bottle of water. We had a decent breakfast at Mandya and planned to stop next at Maddur Coffee Day. This is the luxury of the chosen route. Bottled water, 5 modern coffee shops, hotels and resorts with air conditioned rooms etc., One deserves them after day long cycling :-). We did 100 KM by lunch time and stopped at Kamat-LokaRuchi for lunch.
We slept for half an hour each at a road side abandoned dhaba after lunch. Then, the inevitable happened. A flat tyre for my cycle. I inflated it a bit, so that I can pedal to the next cafe. We spent an hour taking rest and changing the tube at the cafe. It was 4:30 PM and around 45 KM to go, with practically no distance covered in the last 3 hours. We reached the outskirts of Bangalore at 6:30 PM. The toughest part was to get into the city. What ever route one takes, one can't avoid uphills, while entering into Bangalore from Mysore. Incidentally. we took the worst route for cycling and struggled through the ups and downs and reached home by 9 PM.
Sahu was on the verge of collapse and ecstatic at the same time. I was on a high, as usual. Whether it is a marathon or a day long cycle ride, the feeling would be more or less same.
Finally, a ride that is worth a Merida.