me, thinking out loud…

Posts tagged ‘cycling’

First 100!

We, Ritesh and I, finished our first 100+km ride – approximately 110km. Yo!

The Route map

IIT-Bombay to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, and back.

The Story

We started at around 0720 and were hoping to reach Karnala Bird Sanctuary by around 1130. We — actually, soot covered clones of us — reached by about 1215 or so. That’s pretty decent, considering we were directed to Karnala sports complex, when we were looking for bird sanctuary and there was quite a bit of traffic near Panvel.

While we were getting tickets to get into the sanctuary, a man was amused by Ritesh’s polka (dirt) dotted shirt and asks us whether we rode down from JNPT. We got all excited and told him, that we rode down from Powai! He just said, “Gone Mad!” and walked away, as if madness was contagious. Both of us, felt great! We were high! It felt like the best compliment to get after a long, tiring, (blackening) ride. We got in and rushed to a tap and almost had a bath under it. The first touch of cold water was heaven! Just a while later, we got a shock. We couldn’t get any food near/inside the sanctuary. We will have to go back 3 km for that. We spent about an hour and a half, getting some oxygen, looking for a few birds, giving up and settling with spiders and clicking some pictures. We got went back 3km to the hotel and spent about an hour there (not all of it eating ;). We started back at around 1515.

The ride back was eventful. We took a slightly different route, tempted by a free Highway(NH4), waiting to be rode on. The road looked awesome, with a hill on the left, and no vehicles in sight. But, as fate would have it, Ritesh’s rear tyre gave way. After some search we found a guy fixing tyres of vehicles on the highway. But he refused to fix our bicycle. He refused even to fill air in it, so we could reach the nearest cycle repair shop. After more search, we found who agreed to fill air in the tyre. (It needs a special valve pin. The previous guy, probably didn’t have it. But we could’ve hacked up something.)

We rushed to Kalamboli and got the tyre fixed. Then we headed back in the route that we had come on. It’d been raining on and off through out the morning. But first rain on the return only started near Nerul. It was a great relief. My cycle started moving more smoothly… I loved it. We got lost a bit near Ghatkopar. Also, the traffic was quite bad there. (Why do drivers get so bad, once it starts raining? It’s not unique to Mumbai, but quite visible here. We were back in Campus by around 2040.

Ritesh was energized after the puncture was fixed. He rode like crazy, after that. The sole of my feet started hurting — something like a cramp. I don’t know what exactly happened. Also, my groin was hurting quite a bit. My only motivation at that point was seeing Ritesh ride like crazy. He was at his best, then! I’m still wondering where he got all that energy from. It was a great ride, for both of us! Motivating each other to keep going. :)

Ritesh, where to next?

Some lessons for future

  • The Cycle needs to be as close to perfect, as it possibly can be.
  • Carry your route map along. Enquiring the route a colossal waste of time and sometimes unreliable, too.
  • A pollution mask is a must for Mumbai (or any other city.)
  • Carry enough water and food. (We drank about 7L of water between us)
  • Need to learn how to fix punctures. Need a tool kit.
  • A helmet, shorts with padding would be good.
  • An odometer would be useful too.
  • Learn to use the hand-pump or carry along a normal pump.
  • I should probably ride along with some Cycling group for the experience of it. I’ll get to learn a lot of things.

Photos

Photos will come soon, hopefully.

Drafting

2010-08-07 Sat 13:14

Drafting behind trucks (when cycling) could be a great energy saver. I came across this idea when reading up a blog post by a cyclist.

The idea is similar to birds flying in a V-shape to get a greater lift. While drafting, the goal is to reduce the drag force.

Pacelines in cycling races are formed precisely for this reason. This page has a short summary of what drafting is all about.

Should be trying this out, the next time around.

Another 60 …

I’d We had been on a 60 km long trip today. My second one, and Ritesh’s first. The map of our route is here. On the whole the ride was wonderful! A thoroughly enjoyable one. It was near perfect, with it raining only as much as we enjoyed an not anymore. :)

  • The ride on Godbander Road was the most enjoyable part of the ride. Simple Wonderful! That’s what made the trip worth it!
  • It was more relaxed than my previous ride and it took us about 5 hours on the whole. We must’ve been pedalling for about 4 hours. I don’t have the “actual” figures.
  • Except for the stretch of Western express highway (service road) from Jogeshwari to a little after the Sanjay Gandhi National park’s entrance, the road was decent. The Eastern Express highway service road was awesome!
  • Cycling alone is totally different from cycling with someone else. We didn’t really go together, but we were meeting up once in a while. The loneliness, of rides on which you are alone, is absent. But waiting for, or catching up with the other guy is a bit tricky. I wonder how it would be with a bigger group.
  • I tried to keep going at about 60% effort and I still had quite a bit of juice left in me, at the end of the ride.
  • My cycle is definitely good! I really only understood this after exchanging my cycle.
  • Exchanging cycles felt nice. A slightly different set of muscles were in action. The newness kinda helped.
  • I should probably get myself a bigger round frame spectacles. Or I’m craning my neck a bit too much, to keep looking ahead, while pedaling. How about contacts?
  • The problem with riding on the left of Highways is that you “compete” with heavy vehicles. It sometimes gets a bit scary.
  • I should get a helmet soon.
  • I should get in touch with local cycling groups and tag along with them on a couple of rides. I’ll get to learn a lot of things.
  • Ritesh took a few pics with his phone. Photos in some later post or with an update.
  • Where to next? A ride inside the National park, probably or the wonderful roads of Navi Mumbai.

Kudos Ritesh!

UPDATE: A few pictures, that Ritesh clicked on his phone. All the photos were on the Godbander Road.

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02884.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02888.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02890.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02892.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02895.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02899.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02900.jpg

https://punchagan.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/dsc02898.jpg

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